Friday, September 6, 2013

This Month In Fiction

The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger

So, I finally read this.

Holden's just this guy, you know?

Read more reviews about this book on LibraryThing.

The Basic Eight
by Daniel Handler

I love this book.  Let me just repeat that; I LOVE THIS BOOK.  I already knew that Daniel Handler was amazing, because he wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket.  But anybody that makes me question my own sanity over the course of a novel deserves the title Genius.

First of all, where does this man come up with these names?  The narrator in this novel is a teenage girl named Flannery Culp.

The Basic Eight is the unofficial name of Flannery and her main group of friends.  They're starting out their senior year of high school.  And before the end of the first semester, SOMEONE is going to get murdered and Flannery is going to be arrested for it.  We just don't quite know how or why.  Yet.

This is not a YA novel.  At least, it's listed under adult fiction in the library.  Which makes sense, because it's a little more graphic than the typical teen mystery.  These kids are having sex at really inopportune times.


Awesome Quotes

"Relax," she said.  "You will be wise.  You're young.  You can't have everything right away."

Today she was wearing, and getting away with, a cape.  A cape.  No one else could wear a cape to school; people would think they were pretending to be a wizard or something.

...the singer snarls, and the drums kick in, the full band in full force, the bass crackling like the feel of cold cement on your back as you lean against a building you hate, a building you have always hated, to kiss a man you love and have always loved.

Read more reviews about this book on LibraryThing.

 Adverbs: A Novel
by Daniel Handler

This "novel" is really a series of short stories about love with connecting characters.  I enjoyed a lot of the stories, but I think this is something I'll have to reread before I can fully process everything that happened.

At some point Daniel Handler mentions that there may be more than one character with the same name, which just totally threw me off.  I was already confusing myself a little bit trying to place how everyone fit in with each other's stories, so that didn't help.

I don't know how he's able to get inside the mind of everybody in the whole world, but he should never stop.

This isn't my favorite of Daniel Handler's, but you know you're going to read it anyway, so just do it.

Awesome Quotes

All alone, unwitnessed, there is no one else to believe it, the way paths cross in the sun.  Love is this sudden crash in your path, quick and to the point, and nearly always it leaves someone slain on the green.  I killed the bird and I never saw Keith again and so I am alone this morning with blood on my shoe.

This is love, to sit with someone you've known forever in a place you've been meaning to go, and watching as their life happens to them until you stand up and it's time to go.  You don't care about yours.  Why should it change, the love you feel, no matter how death goes?

Love - is this something we can learn to do again, and if so, when will that time arrive, even on a bad day?

It is not the diamonds or the birds, the people or the potatoes; it is not any of the nouns.  The miracle is the adverbs, the way things are done.  It is the way love gets done despite every catastrophe, and look - actually look! - the potatoes have arrived!

She got herself a glass of water and drank it even though she also had to pee, and this is even another thing like love.  We need things and also to get rid of them, and at the same time.  We need things, and the opposite of them, and we are so rarely completely comfortable.
Read more reviews about this book on LibraryThing.


  1. Wait- so what did you actually think of The Catcher in the Rye???

  2. I didn't really like it, but I didn't hate it either. I enjoyed Holden's voice. Salinger's style was very relatable, and pretty true to a lot of the conflicting feelings of teenagers. But, as an adult, I was often annoyed with Holden. I kept wanting him to just ask for help. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I read it when I was younger.