Sunday, October 14, 2007

Books Again

I suppose one might say that these two authors, which I'm going to write a bit about or rather some of their books, play in waaay different intellectual as well as writing skills leagues - I do know which one I prefer, no doubt about that, but depending on the mood of the day, sometimes a really easy-to-read-through-offering-a-bit-of-humour-and-giggles book can be just what one needs.

However, easy-to-read-giggle-books - notice I don't call them chicklit, because I do very much hate that word. A lot - really should be well written, kind of plausible and not stirring up emotions of annoyance at the incredible stupidity, superficiality and immaturity of the main character.

This is one of the reasons I, some time ago, said goodbye to Marian Keynes for good. I have no idea why I kept reading so many, too many, books of hers since I almost all the time just kept getting irritated over her style of well-meaning shallowness dressed in what's supposed to be wittiness - while I just got the evergrowing and distinct impression it's written from some chicklit humour template masquerading as being slightly more insightful and funny than anything else in the genre.

Another writer in the genre I did appreciate was Sophie Kinsella, and her Shopaholic-series. I had a great time while reading the first one - The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic. I laughed, I memorized excellent excuses, I was thoroughly entertained in almost every way.

Then I began reading the second book - Shopaholic Abroad - and suddenly I wasn't all that entertained anymore. I got really annoyed over the fact that the main character obviously hadn't learnt a lesson from her previous encounters with debt and excessive shopping, the way she concealed her behaviour from her boyfriend, room-mate, family. Not to mention the fact that she and her boyfriend never ever seemed to really have a dialog about their jobs, their lives, their dreams, their hopes, their future. The relationship just seemed so very comparted from the rest of their respective lives - in an immature, strained way.

Ok, it had its moments of slight entertainment, the silly things we do, perhaps not when it comes to shopping but in other areas in life. And the fact that I became quite annoyed over the book didn't stop me from reading it through during a couple of late nights... And then beginning reading the next one, Shopaholic Ties the Knot. Which made me even more annoyed over the fact that that darn main character still hadn't learn anything from her previous books... And I just can't stand the obsessiveness so many, too many, women have over weddings. It's so completely ridiculous and oh so not in my realm of thinking.

However it didn't stop me from once again finishing the book during another couple of late night readings. But that was that, no more Shopaholic-book - I've already gotten upset from reading excerpts from the Shopaholic & Baby book... *shiver*

I must admit though, that when buying these two latter Shopaholic-books, I also bought the Undomestic Goddess one, I mean a book about a lawyer that change her direction in life, there must be something well worth reading in such a one, mustn't it...?

But all and all, the lesson I've now, at last, learnt is that this genre just isn't my cup of tea.. um, books. Discerning me demand more of the easy to read books one now and then has to rest one's mind in.

Which leads me to the fact that less so often is more. Far from always, but surprisingly often when it comes to books. Many of the ones I treasure the most are quite short ones, but in those few pages there are such impressive glittering largeness one really lacks words to describe them. They are just elaborate gems! One such book is Alessandro Baricco's Seta (Silk) - I've just begun reading it again.

And this time perhaps not because of good reasons, but just because I've finished reading his Novecento, Un monologo, and I didn't much like it. I think the idea is lovely - about a child that's born on an oceanliner and never ever gets ashore, but stays on the liner inventing and playing amazing music on the piano while it crosses the ocean back and forth - and me not liking the book might have something to do with the fact that it's originally a one-man's play. I just didn't get a feel for it, it never really touched me, unfortunately. So just because I didn't want my latest impression of Baricco's writing being this one I'm re-reading Seta, just to see if it is just as wonderful as I once thought...

By the way, I just saw that Seta has been made into a movie - I can safely say it's not a movie I'll see... The movie that was based on Novecento though, that was a rather lovely, wistful, well-played, beautiful one - The Legend of 1900 - do see...


Wendy said...

I've seen a film with the same premise as "Novecento, Un monologo". Wish I could remember its name. It was a beautiful movie.
Will look out for "Seta". :)

Pia K said...

Oh, I hope you'll remember the name of the movie...!

Btw, I've just sent for Vikram Seth's Two lives, just because you praised it so much:) I'm curious what I'll think about it, not a writer all that wellknown in Sweden I believe.

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