Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Things on Friday - Read This Edition

Every once in a while, I read a book that just really sticks with me, gets under my skin and makes me want to share it with everyone I meet. Okay, maybe it's not all that uncommon and I do it all the time. What's your point?

In any case, here are:

Five Books You Should Probably Just Read

1. Feed, by Mira Grant - This is maybe one of the best zombie novels I've ever read. Why? Well, mostly because it's not about the zombies. See, here's the thing about zombies: they are, in essence, sort of boring. They are really a portrayal of universal human fears (loss of self, technology, big government, etc, etc.), but basically they are shambling shells who want to eat you. They aren't particularly smart or savvy. Which means that zombie books have got to deal with bigger, human questions. Feed is really about politics and scandal and journalism. But it's so much better than that. It's about truth, no, sorry, it's about Truth and Justice. And also, zombies. Aaaand, it's not about a world destroyed by zombies but a world adapted to zombies. Which is sort of fresh and interesting.

2. Come and Go Molly Snow by Mary Ann Taylor-Hall - Come and Go Molly Snow is about woman dealing with the loss of her child and the loss of her one true love, her music. It's haunting and lyrical and lovely. It's set in Kentucky, which buys it bonus points in my book. Dealing with the Bluegrass music industry and culture, it is never insulting, always insightful and again - just plain lovely.

3. Kimmie 66 by Aaron Alexovich - I've decided to read all the non-super-hero graphic novels at my local library. Don't worry, there aren't many. They are really nice to read between books, though, because you can read the whole book in one sitting and they are, generally, kind of weird. Kimmie 66 is about a girl trying to uncover the secret of her best friend's (who she's never met in person) suicide. It's twisty and turny and the main character, Telly, is enchantingly cute, while trying desperately hard to never be cute. It's not rocket surgery, but it is fun and enjoyable.

4. Under the Dome by Stephen King - You know, ever since Mr. King "retired," I love every book more than the last. Possibly because I worry that it will be the last. In any case, Under the Dome is the tale of what happens in a small Maine town when an impenetrable dome pops into place around the borders. Those who are in - are in, including some children whose parents ran out for supplies and those who are out - are out. There's some really interesting stuff here about small-town politics and religion. But what I loved best is the story of the town kids. Like It, the adults are too busy worrying with whatever it is that adults worry about and the kids are the ones fighting the good fight. It's epic and long, but very, very worth it.

5. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - I like to throw in an oldie to these lists. If you've never read it, Ender's  Game, the novel that launched at least two full series, is the story of brilliant little boy who becomes the chosen one to lead the entire Earth against some (possibly) hostile aliens. The story of Ender is complex and beautiful and speaks to what happens when you mix child-like focus and determination and grown-up politics and ruthlessness. It's also a great book about world government and why and how and will it work.

All of these books are stories that I find myself pondering fresh in the dead of night. You need those in life. Things to ponder when the lights are out and there's nothing on TV and you still can't sleep. Something to wrap your head around and wonder about. I recommend any and all of them to anyone over the age of consent.

Now it's your turn. What book is rattling around in your head? It doesn't matter if you read it last month or last decade, tell me what pushes your buttons.


Suze said...

Remember Tom taylor from Bethel? He named his kid Ender!

Jessi said...

I did not know that. How cool!