Lily’s Literature #9

I’m pleased to be back with another installment of Lily’s Literature! I really enjoy reviewing my recent reads and seeing what y’all have been reading or think I should add to my “To-Read List”. Before I begin, there’s something I’m curious about–How many of you have Kindles/Nooks/E-Readers, etc. and how many of you buy your books or go to the library? I usually purchase mine but I feel like it’s getting slightly out of control.

The book that I started reading after my last literature post was The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. I’d been interested in reading this one for a while. The story takes place in a small Georgia town and follows five characters that all, in their own way, have lonely hearts. The character that brings all of these stories together is a man named John Singer who happens to be a deaf mute. The other four are drawn to him and are only content when he is around. The story ebbs and flows around these characters and is often heartbreaking.McCullers heart

I wasn’t totally immersed in the book. I thought the writing was great, the characters were well developed, and the nuances were apparent. I just couldn’t fully get into it for some reason. It felt like it was one-note the entire time so I wasn’t excited or depressed or angry. I just read the story and was like, “Okay.” But, as I said before, it was very well written and the characters were extremely life-like. Maybe I couldn’t concentrate because Carson McCullers’ picture was on the back of my book and her cheeks were too distracting.

After that I read a book that I wouldn’t have picked out on my own. It’s titled My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. I was really nervous to read this one because I knew it was the author’s account of having a stroke and what she learned from it. Jill was one of the lucky ones in that before she had her stroke, she was a brain scientist. Not only that, but during her stroke she was able to contact a friend just in time to get her help. Not everyone is so lucky. She then goes onto explain what happened during the time of her stroke, her recovery period, and what we can do to help those we know who’ve survived having a stroke. my-stroke-of-insight-cover

I didn’t think I would like this book simply because I dislike science and hate learning things. I’m not a big fan of non-fiction, but I was willing to try this one out because it was for a book club. I actually took a lot away from this book and feel like I have a lot more insight and respect to how my complicated little brain works. It really makes you look at life differently. If you’re into science and nature, this is a good one to try!

And finally, the book I finished today, my favorite book that I’ve read all year is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I don’t even know where to begin. In this sci-fi story, the year is 2044. Earth is pretty much a wasteland dump because all of the resources have been used up and everything has gone to shit. Video game designer James Halliday made a simulated game-like world where players can basically live life. It’s called OASIS. They can go to school, work, go shopping there–do whatever they needed to do to escape life on Earth. When the creator dies, an announcement is made that he hid 3 keys in OASIS that lead to a mega Easter egg containing Halliday’s fortune and control of OASIS. Even though he gave the population clues, he hid the keys so well that no one found anything for a couple of years. Until one day, Wade Watts uncovers the first key and the word goes crazy.Ready-Player-One-Paperback-Cover

I can’t even describe how into this book I was. I’ve been telling everyone I know to read it because I need someone to talk to about it. I’m always in awe when authors can create a whole world different from the one we know. There are tons and tons of video game, movie, TV, and music references–mostly from the 80’s. It’s great. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in all of that nerd-speak. Otherwise, you might get a bit lost. But still, I think almost everyone would enjoy this read.

Have you read any books lately?


28 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #9

  1. I’ll check out Ready, Player One. You might enjoy Makers by Cory Doctorow.

    I just finished reading 500 pages on a history of Jerusalem, from pre biblical time to the present. It was a great read, but because the focus is on just Jerusalem, there’s a lot of background I’m missing, particularly where the Ottoman empire is involved. Historically, the Ottomans are up there with Rome, but for the sliver that intersects with Jerusalem, they come off as the Keystone Cops.
    Still, great book.

    • Holy crap. You’re a smarty pants. I should realllllly brush up on my history since I’m a history major after all. I’m extremely rusty. And by that I mean that I’ve forgotten almost everything I’ve learned.

      That sounds awesome though. I do think biblical-time period knowledge is pretty sweet. It always comes in handy. I would actually love to visit Israel and check it out. I’ve heard great things about it. I would also like to go to Rome. So many places, so little time.

      I will check out Makers. Thank you!

      • The ending was EVERYTHING! I gasped so hard at the last page and ahhhhh just so good.

        Did you know that Ernest Cline put his own easter eggs in the book??! Right when it came out he held a contest. I wish I would have read it then!

        HOLD THE PHONE, there’s gonna be a movie?! OMG! I didn’t know that!! Ahhh, that’s the best news.

      • OMG I just FREAKED OUT about the contest and I’m so mad that it’s over. I would’ve been the worst gunter ever.

        YEAH! Obviously nothing has been done for the movie–no cast or anything, but I checked IMDB and it said Warner Bros is going to do it and then I confirmed it because Ernest Cline thanked Warner Bros in his Acknowledgments.
        Okay…maybe I would be a good gunter? 😉

      • Sarah, I already created this comment and I looked down and we said the same exact thing, but I’m gonna post it anyways because it’s important…

      • Hahah I know right?! SO EXCITING. I have no idea how they’re gonna make it look like it did in my brain, but I’m sure they’ll figure out a way.
        Glad we can all fangirl together!

  2. Addie says:

    I love The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Currently, I’m reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Mill on the Floss by George Eliott. I’ve ordered The Maid’s Version, Burial Rites and I want to read City on Fire. A million dollars for a debut novel! I can’t imagine!

    My books are a mix of purchased 3D books, library loans and ebooks.

    Once again, a lovely review, Lily!

    • The Goldfinch is supposed to be really good! Tell me how it is when you’re done. It’s pretty chunky. I’ve never heard of The Mill and the Floss. I want to read Burial Rites too and I had The Maid’s version on my list but I took it off because it was getting bad reviews 😦 I’ve never heard of City on Fire.

      Interesting. I haven’t come across someone who mixes all mediums of book-buying!

      Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Addie says:

        I heard about City on Fire via the NYT announcing the amount of the contract he signed, and, it looks good.

        I buy some books, because I love the feel and weight and smell of 3D books–seeing them in a stack next to my bed or in my bookcases adds to my sense of happiness. I have a huge number on my ereader because I’ve been reading since I was 4, and, I never go anywhere without a book. This way, it’s easier…I can keep a number of books with me at all times, so, I’m never without reading material. I use the library to read books I want to read, but, I’m not sure I want to spend money on to find out if they are any good. I put my name on a list, read them, and, if I love it, I may buy it to keep.

        My big problem is, I retain the plot, characters and a great deal of dialogue, etc, of almost everything I read, so, I very seldom read a book twice. Annoying, yet, true. It is/was handy when studying, though!

      • Your explanation makes sense to me! I feel bad about not using the library more. I also have not read any books twice. There are too many books that I need to read for the first time!

  3. Inteerrresstinngg. Out of interest, would you recommend Ready Player One for someone who isn’t into sci-fi at all? (And I mean really, no interest in the slightest). It does seem to hit pretty close to home considering all those people who are addicted to that Second Life (I think that’s the name of it?).

    In response to your question, I’m a big fan of buying real, paper books. Screw kindles. I get the appeal, but I like libraries/book shelves/books far more than the convenience of carrying 1000 books in one go. I find it weird when I go to someone’s house and they don’t own any books, and I shudder to think if that were ever to happen to me.

    • Yes I would suggest it. I think you would be able to follow along pretty well. There is a lot of nerd jargon but I think you would be okay. It’s more nerdy than sci-fi really. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi myself. Like, I would never go into that section of the book store and pick out something there. But this was just a really great story!

      I feel the same about kindles. I think book shelves filled with books are way more impressive and way cooler to look at. Who cares if they’re a huge fire hazard, right? Haha. You bring up an amazing and scary point–I would hate to find myself with no books!

  4. I’ve had a Kindle for about three years now and it’s fantastic. If I find something interesting to read about – usually some non-fiction stuff – then I can just pop over to Amazon to download it straight away.

    Haven’t bothered with paper books since then.

    That book about the brain surgeon who had a stroke sounds jolly interesting.

    I recently finished a book called Into Thin Air, a non-fiction account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. ’twas jolly interesting.

    • Kindles do seem extremely convenient. I like the idea of them for traveling. But I think in my home, I would like to hold a book.

      Yeah it was cool! Not fast paced or exciting by any means, but if you like learning stuff and science-y knowledge, then you should give it a shot.

      Into Thin Air sounds good! I need to learn more about that. Maybe I’ll check it out! You’re such a non-fiction dude.

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    You really should consider being a librarian.
    I’m reading:
    just Babies The Origins of Good and Evil by Paul Bloom.

    And Death of the Black Haired Girl by Robert Stone.

    Love love Lily’s Literature.

    • Aww thanks Audra! That means a lot to me. I get so excited when people like the posts that I like writing. I really like Lily’s Lit too!

      I haven’t heard of either of those books but I will check them out. Also, I would love to be a librarian! I might look into some library science classes…

      • unfetteredbs says:

        In all seriousness … Consider the profession. Your studies , background, reading And writing …. Perfect fit lady.

        Plus. I know someone who could help you with your classes. Wink

      • Yeah, no I’m actually serious. I have always liked libraries and one summer I actually applied to work at my hometown library (but they weren’t hiring 😦 )! So yeah I’m gonna look into it!

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