Book Report!

The Marriage PlotI read this book because it was recommended for my Myers Briggs type on this list of “The One Perfect Book for Your Myers Briggs Type.” (I’m an INFJ.) So do you think I liked it or hated it?

I HAAAAATED it. Might be one of my least favorite books that I’ve read all the way through. First, as I’ve said before, I don’t like media (books, movies, etc.) in which nothing happens (i.e. lots of description, lots of musings and philosophical theories, etc.). And nothing happened in this book. I don’t even know how to tell you what it was about. It’s about a few stupid college students who stupidly graduate and try to figure out their stupid places in the stupid world. And none of the characters are likable. Or at least, I couldn’t relate to any of them.

Aside from being boring, this book seemed to me to have nothing to do with the values of my Myers Briggs type (which was the whole reason for reading it). INFJs care a great deal about the world, society, others, etc. We want to help people and make an impact, and all kinds of idealistic things like that. And the characters in this book all seemed to be functioning on a very trivial, self-centered, myopic level. It was all about them, how they would be happiest, how to get the most out of their relationships, how to become the most prestigious in their field, etc. It felt really shallow and empty.

This thing won a Pulitzer? I never claimed to have “good taste”, so I must be the stupid one here for not seeing this for the supposed gem that it is, but ugh, I don’t care. What a dumb book.

s-e-c-r-e-tThis book was all right. I didn’t have high expectations for it, and I think that’s the best way to go into it. It’s nice, pleasant, fluff. It’s a romance novel I guess? I don’t really know, since I feel like that term is to be used solely in reference to a book with Fabio on the cover, but if this isn’t a romance novel, I don’t know what is. The ending was really really bad, but it happened so quickly that you can kind of forgive it. That’s as much discussion as this book deserves.

PositronI do love me some Margaret Atwood. Positron is a series, 4 episodes of which have been released so far (I just read all 4). As with most of Atwood’s books, Positron is what she would term “Speculative Fiction.” She uses this term to differentiate her work from Science Fiction (which is how many people classify her books). Speculative Fiction is more about a potential world; a society on this earth that could result from our current trajectory (rather than a fantasy world, or a world based on science that we do not yet have).  I would say that 1984 and Brave New World could fit into the Speculative Fiction genre.

So Positron takes place in the U.S., after economic collapse and years of the resulting chaos. The story revolves around a married couple who live in an experimental town called Consilience, in which all the citizens spend every other month in an idyllic, highly-regulated, 1950s-style life, and every other month in (a fairly pleasant) prison. This is meant to create financial and social stability. I’m at the point where the main characters are involved in a plot to destroy the experiment. I don’t know how many episodes are going to be released, but it feels like I’m in the middle of the story, so I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I’m liking it so far.

pic_1This is the second book in the Outlander Trilogy. It follows the story of a woman who accidentally leaps back in time (it seems much less silly when you’re actually reading it), falls in love with a man (a Scottish Highlander….providing lots of brogue-y, plaid-filled charm), and finds herself  swept up in a Jacobite Rebellion (there is quite a bit of history…though I haven’t researched yet how much of it is accurate). I preferred the first book, but this one was okay.

The main character, Claire, is getting on my nerves a bit. First, she seems to have little empathy (for anyone other than her husband). I can maybe forgive this because she’s kind of in survival mode most of the time (akin to Katniss in the Hunger Games books…I don’t mind that she sees all of her interactions as a strategy for winning because, ya know, she has to). It just feels kind of less than fulfilling to swim around in that brain for so long (these books are looooong).

Second, she’s a bit unrealistically competent. She seems to know everything, and to be good at everything. It’s really nice for her and all, but it would just be a little easier to buy into a character with a few more weaknesses. That’s what contributes to depth, no?

Anyway, this book ended on a very sad note, and as with the first book, I need a little time to step away and breathe easy (and not have to worry about evading the British, and amputating limbs, and…saying goodbye to loved ones…) before I move onto the last one.

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