Considering it’s January 12th – you probably thought I forgot about my “November/December Book Club” choice.
In fact, I finished it before Christmas – but I have been letting it marinate. Letting it sink in, hoping the time would give me me some opinion on how I felt about the book. Unfortunately — I’ve got nothing. Sometimes reading reviews about the book help me decide. Sometimes it’s rereading certain passages. It’s been almost a month since I finished — and I still don’t know how I feel. So I guess you could say my opinion of the book is pretty mixed.
- As I’ve said before, I really enjoy Jeffry Eugenides’ writing style. He approaches the characters as “humans” in that they are flawed and they are (mostly) relatable, while some are not and for good reason.
- I was definitely drawn into the (marriage) plot and wanted to know more about Madeleine and Mitchell.
- I really enjoyed Mitchell’s trip around the world. His honestly when he couldn’t deal with what he experienced in Calcutta, and his experimentation with different religions.
- The bi-polar plot. I studied psychology as an undergrad and I’m slightly fascinated with mental illness (not enough to further my studies in it though!). I don’t know that this book portrayed manic depression accurately, but I do know that I enjoyed reading about it.
- I really hated Leonard. Now, I think I’m SUPPOSED to both hate him and pity him – but mainly I just hated him. I didn’t understand Madeleine’s allure to him. Basically, I felt like Mitchell
- All the sex. I get it, guys like sex, they think about sex all the time. And normally, it doesn’t bother me. But I feel like the “sex scenes” in this book were just out of control and some of them were just not necessary. Maybe I’m a prude, but I feel like it diminished the story a bit.
- The side characters. I felt like there were a lot of characters introduced in this book that never went anywhere or offered anything to the plot.
- The end. I really just didn’t feel satisfied. I really WANTED to LOVE this book, but I just didn’t. I do still love the way Eugenides writes – and it seems so odd to write that after saying I hated the plot, but his writing just sucks you in.
Summary: Read it because you love Eugenides writing, but don’t expect to love it or feel any kind of special bond with the characters. I don’t regret reading it – but I would understand if people told me they read it and HATED it.
After reading The Marriage Plot (which, was mildly depressing) I decided to read this book:
Your Voice In My Head by Emma Forrest
And that’s when I began to question my own sanity.
This book is ALSO about bi-polar disorder – so maybe the world is trying to tell me something? I actually read about this book on my of my favorite gossip sites (Lainey Gossip). It was her pick of best book of the year. Here’s a synopsis:
Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love. One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.
Now, I didn’t dislike this book — but it IS a memoir and I have a hard time digesting memoirs. They seem so one-dimensional and at times very whiny. This was no exception. The book really had a grasp on me until after 3/4s of the way through when her super-famous actor boyfriend, who weeks earlier announced he wanted to have a baby with her, breaks up with her. She calls him Gypsy Husband (GH) – and if you do a simple Google search, you’ll discover he is Colin Farrell. The breakup CONSUMES her – even to the poing where it shadows the death of her psychiatrist – and it all kinda goes down hill from there. I do appreciate the honestly of her book and shedding a light ont0 bi-polar disorder.
Summary: Read this one if are curious about how people with bi-polar disorder perceive themselves, want to read about how much psychiatrists really DO help their patients (and not just with meds!), and wonder what kind of guy Colin Farrell is.
And FINALLY, as I mentioned before I went to go see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with Paula, her hubby, and my friend Tracy.
It was dark and sinister, there were scenes that I cringed at and scenes where I just had to close my eyes. From what I remember of the book (read more than 2 years ago), it was pretty spot on and it was definitely very well acted. There were some minor plots that were removed and some confusion about the end – but the important parts remained the same. And also Daniel Craig looks really good. Have I mentioned that?
My opinion going into this movie is that the series is seriously violent and deranged. I have to admit, I haven’t read the 3rd book because I HATED the 2nd book – particularly how it ended (which now, I cannot remember – but I’m sure I had good reason!). I did like the first one though and I did enjoy this movie. Rape scenes (even though they are very necessary to the plot) excluded.
Summary: Go see the movie even if you haven’t read the books. You can also watch the Swedish version with subtitles, but why read subtitles when you can read a book? Be prepared for several rape scenes, nudity, and violence. So basically, leave your 5 year old at home.
Have you read any good books lately? Seen any good movies? Thoughts of my opinions above?