A Satirical Comparision

Title: Fight Club vs. Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Genre: Satirical Fiction
Quotations: “Nothing is static. Everything is falling apart.” vs. “Please, don’t kill it with big words.”
Would recommend to: people who like a punch in the gut at the end of a mind-spinning novel.

If you’ve ever read a book that left you questioning every word written in the entire novel, Chuck Palahniuk’s novels would be great for you. I’ve only read “Fight Club” and “Rant,” but each left me confused until the last 100 pages or so.

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Probably like many of you, I hate watching a movie before I have read the book. Sadly, I saw “Fight Club” before I read it. But I think that was a good thing in relation to this book.

It is a very confusing plot-line to follow, whether movie or book, but seeing the movie first helped me realize things I hadn’t realized while watching the movie but could pick up with the foresight the movie gave me.

I promise I won’t ruin the ending if you don’t already know it.

The book focuses on a man who is suffering from insomnia. The only way he can sleep is by attending morbid group therapy sessions, that is until he meets Tyler Durden and starts a fight club. Now the first rule of fight club is, ‘Don’t talk about fight club.” So, I’m going to stop there with my description.

The book seems like it goes all over the place, but at the end, you are left with your mind blown.

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“Fight Club” lovers will not be disappointed in Palahniuk’s “Rant.” This book is a bit different from other novels as it is written in the form of an oral history (like an interview).

It’s a bit harder to get interested in, but once you are, there are no regrets. It promises to blow your mind almost as much as, or more than, “Fight Club.”

“Rant” focuses on now deceased Rant Casey who is credited as being the greatest serial killer the world may never know. The book is hard to summarize due to the nature of how it is written, but I promise it will be a thrilling ride involving disease, time travel and death.

Let’s Take a Look at Satire

Palahniuk’s novels are all satirical commentaries on life in America. Both touch upon the theme of living in the moment. But they also criticize widely accepted theologies. They question conformity and break out of the box.

If you like thrilling reads that stump you until the very end, I definitely suggest picking up all of Palahniuk’s novels. I know more of his books will grace my reading list in the future.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Treasure Tuesday

1. I am currently reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. (It’s a movie now staring Reese Witherspoon.)

2. Here’s some inspiration from my favorite fictional characters featured on Buzzfeed. I always try to keep Dory’s advice in mind.

3. books equal life

4. I’ve currently taking up doing crossword puzzles. Here’s a fun one for you to do from USA Today.

5. My grandmother turns 90 on Thursday, and she’s sassier than ever. She inspires me every day.

6. Beach days are upon us; therefore, beach reads are now acceptable. Check out your local Barnes and Nobel for its most recent beach selections.

Happy reading,
Kim

We All Worry About the Bell Jar

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Quotation: “I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest…”
Would recommend to: someone needing to be reminded that they are not alone.

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WARNING: (If you don’t already know this…) Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” is a semi-autobiographical piece of work that talks about her struggle with depression throughout her early adult life.

I read “The Bell Jar” at a time in my life very similar to the main character, Esther. I had just moved to a new city (for the summer), was alone (I had no friends) and was working full-time (I had an internship).

The premise of the story is that Esther Greenwood is in New York, on break from college, where she should be having the time of her life at a summer job, but instead she feels forlorn. She’s disinterested in life and ends up in a mental hospital after various attempts at suicide. The book also highlights the inhumane treatment of mental disorders during the time.

I was able to relate to a lot of the themes in the book about depression and the lack of connection to conventional experiences.

I think a lot of people my age (early twenties) can relate to these ideas, even if they don’t feel like they suffer from depression.

A very important part of the book is that, after Esther leaves the medical institution, she’s worried about “the bell jar” descending again. Essentially, she’s worried that she’s never actually going to be okay and the depression will come back to haunt her. (We now have the knowledge that “the bell jar” did cover her again with it’s depression.)

Although not everyone relates to the depression angle, we can all worry about different aspects of our life coming back to haunt us and make us miserable. For example, a job you got fired from or a bad breakup. Anything can be seen as “the bell jar.”

I think if reader’s try hard enough to see some of themselves in a character, they can relate to a storyline more powerfully. “The Bell Jar” is a great example of that connection.

Treasure Tuesday

1. Finals are officially over, and I am moving into my junior year of college!

2. I am currently reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.

3. scent of books

4. Check out these items every book-lover needs in their home according to Buzzfeed. I know I really want numbers 7, 19, and 28 for myself.

5. Rory is currently reading “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath on “Gilmore Girls.” I personally love that book and will post a review on Friday about it.

6. Watch this adorable compilation video of cute animal friendships.

7. I am going to start reading and watching “Game of Thrones” soon. So I will post a comparative review in the future.

Happy reading,

Kim

Dark Words

Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery
Quotation: “The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.”
Would recommend to: those who enjoy thrillers and mystery.

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A couple months ago (and by that I probably mean a year ago at this point), I went to the book store trying to buy “Gone Girl” but settled for “Dark Places,” and I was not disappointed. When I tell you this book is amazing, believe me. Please, please believe me. It blew my mind.

If you are not one for thrillers or mysteries, stop reading this post now and pick up something that won’t leave you with nightmares. But if you’re a thrill-seeker, like myself, you will devour this book in mere days (maybe even hours).

WARNING: It is a very dark novel. And you probably won’t like the main character, Libby Day, very much.

But it is very honest.  Libby never pretends to be anyone but herself, even to the public. She is slightly abrasive, very uncaring for those around her, and driven by purely selfish motives, like money. But that’s part of what makes the book so good in my opinion — You know she is doing it for herself and no one else.

The premise of the novel is that Libby’s mother and two sisters were killed by her older brother one cold winter night. Or were they? From that description, you surmise that it probably wasn’t her brother because there wouldn’t be a story without a different killer. And although you know this information going in, the story’s twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the novel.

The structure of the novel also interested me. It wasn’t cut and dry, all taking place at the same time. And that’s what I loved about it. It would alternate between point-of-view, as well as time period, flipping from the present to the past back to the present. It would have one chapter set in the present day in Libby’s perspective and then flashback to her brother or mother’s perspective of the day the murder’s happened.

This structure allows the reader to come to his/her own conclusions about what happened on the night in question, but you’re still shell-shocked when the actual occurrences are revealed in black-and-white.

It truly is a jaw-dropping book.

Happy reading,
Kim

UPDATE: I recently finished “Gone Girl” and will make sure to post my reactions to that as well.

Treasure Tuesday

Here’s what I’ve got for you this week to get you to Friday.

1. I am not currently reading anything! (I know, it’s shocking.) So if you want to suggest anything, leave it in a comment.

2. This shirt exists, and I want it.

than in real life

You can get it at Forever21.

3. Figure out which guy from “Mazerunner” you should date with this Buzzfeed quiz. (I got Thomas, aka Dylan O’Brien!)

4.going somewhere else

Travel somewhere else with a new book this week.

5. smiling puppy

I hope something happens this week that makes you as happy as this puppy in the summer sun.

Happy reading,
Kim

Pasta, Yoga, Sex

Title: Eat Pray Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Memoir
Quotation: “But it destroys me to not be able to count on that affection when I need it.”
Would recommend to: someone in touch with their faith  who likes carbs.

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This was an interesting read to say the least. It opened my mind to a lot of things I never thought about myself before. First of all, I’m not very spiritual. But I didn’t think that would be a problem for me since the book was only supposed to be 1/3 about spirituality.

WARNING: If you don’t believe in anything, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Almost the entire book talked about spirituality. And I say spirituality because it wasn’t just God; it was commune with nature, speaking to God, and various other spiritual cliches.

I went into this book thinking I believed in something. I don’t want to get caught up in the, “Does God exist?” argument, but my personal beliefs have never called my higher being “God.” I thought that, since I believed in something bigger than myself, I would be able to relate to the book. But I didn’t. And spirituality is such a huge part of the book, that I think to fully appreciate the memoir, you have to have a firm belief in a God-like creature.

I didn’t like the book, but it’s also fine if you loved the book, bought three copies, and saw the movie six times. It’s all personal preference.

Other than my lack of a connection with the work, it was flawless. There was meaning and consistency behind the structure (how she divided the book into sections and chapters related to her experience with Yogis), she made sure their was continuity with her theme, and she recorded her thoughts, feelings, and experiences with very little censorship. She captured the essence of what a memoir is and should be.

If you are a fan of memoirs in every shape and size about all different topics, I would definitely suggest “Eat Pray Love.” But if you’re very opinionated (with different opinions on religion and travel), put this one on the shelf to gather dust and grab an old classic that you love.

Happy reading,
KIm

Treasure Tuesday

1. The royal baby was born! She is named Charlotte, and I don’t know about you, but my roommate is thrilled.

2.  Personally, I only have three more days of classes , and I could not be more excited to finish my second semester of sophomore year!

3. I’m still working my way through “The Time Machine” by H. G. Wells. Sadly, final assignments have consumed my life, but I will get back to furiously turning the pages in one week.

4.  Here’s a list of the most popular books of 2014. Check it out to add some great reads to your list. My mom suggested “The Nightingale” to me a couple months ago, and I can’t wait to pick it up.

5. write your own story

6. Yesterday was May 4, therefore there were many amazing “May the Fourth be with you” graphics. Here’s one I really liked.

7. There are people in the world who love you, even if they don’t show you everyday. When you’re having a tough day, remember someone cares.

Happy reading,
Kim

The Perks of Being a Bookworm

For this week, I thought I would review “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.

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(http://www.cinematicparadox.com/2012/12/my-15-top-obsessions-of-2012.html)

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephan Chbosky
Genre: Teen Fiction
Quotation: “But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
Would recommend to: teenagers or young adults going through a transitional period.

This novel follows a 16-year-old boy, Charlie, as he stumbles his way through his freshman year of high school. He’s a shy kid who prefers to watch the action around him than participate in it. Throughout the book, he makes good friends and experiences normal high school events. The novel seems mundane at the beginning, but grows into a powerful message that any reader can learn from.

Charlie goes to a football game, experiences weed for the first time, falls in love with music and people, goes to parties, meets people with various backgrounds, forges a powerful bond with a teacher and learns about himself and others as he trumps through freshman year.

“Perks” has a unique structure and style that not everyone can connect with instantly. It is written as if Charlie is corresponding with a friend through letters. Every entry begins with the date and a salutation, which helps readers understand the twisting timing of the story.

The author also relies heavily on context and intuition from the reader to dig deeper behind the black words in front of them.  Charlie explains his feelings and his actions to a point, but to fully grasp the meaning behind the text, the reader must think beyond what is stated. The interpretation of the storyline is left up to the reader.

This book holds a very powerful message about life and its continuity despite difficult times. If you are looking for an honest, heartfelt, powerfully written, compelling story, I suggest you pick up this book and delve within its covers. Push your mind to understand more than what the author is presenting to you while reading this novel. To fully understand the message of the novel, it requires inference, questioning, and a lot of understanding of other people and their emotions. Readers also benefit from being at a similar time in their life as Charlie (going through a transition) because it can help them understand how he is feeling at certain points in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first reading, as well as second, of this classic novel, and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. You never know what life lessons a 16-year-old boy can teach you.

Happy reading,
Kim