Book 39

39. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron-
Please be aware that if you don’t know what the book or movie are about then this post will contain spoilers for you. I was disappointed by this book. I have never actually seen the movie Sophie’s Choice, so I may have made some erroneous assumptions regarding the plot of the movie, but the book certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. Going into it I knew that the premise of the movie (or so I’d heard) was that Sophie had to choose which one of her children was going to be gassed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. I assumed wrongly that the plot of the book would revolve around this point. It really didn’t. The book is over 500 pages long and it is only in the last 50 that you actually find out about this choice and only in the last 100 pages that you even find out she has 2 kids. Most of the story revolves around Sophie, her crazy boyfriend, and a neighbor in their rooming house (who is ostensibly writing the story). The story of her time in Aushwitz is told in flashbacks to the neighbor. But of course the flashbacks are half lies and you have to struggle through all kinds of information that turns out in the end to be lies. I found this book very tedious to get through. It dragged on too long and by the time I actually got to the part where Sophie had to choose I really didn’t care anymore. In addition to the fact that this big momentous moment in the book seemed to almost be breezed by. I give this book a 4 out of 10.

Book 38

38. Blue Water by A. Manette Ansay
I loved this book. I love this author. Her writing is amazing. I was so excited when I discovered that she had written a new book. I apparently was a little late since it recently came out in paperback, meaning I totally missed it when it was out in hardcover, but whatever the library owns it and I read it. It did not disappoint. The story follows a set of parents grieving the loss of their son in a drunk driving accident. In order to escape their pain they buy a boat and set off on the high seas only to learn that leaving your life doesn’t allow you to leave your pain. Rating 9 out of 10.

Book 37

37. Terrorist by John Updike
A fictional story about a teenage Muslim boy who becomes enmeshed in a terrorist plot. It was an okay story, although the character is not really what you would expect. But I didn’t really think it was that great of a book. 6 out of 10

Book 36

36. Politics Lost by Joe Klein
I’m not sure what made me pick up this book. I don’t really care that much about politics. Yes I try to do the good citizen thing by voting and whatnot, but really I think most politicians are full of crap and just out to get themselves reelected. This book pretty much reinforced my view of the fact that mostly it doesn’t matter if you are actually qualified for the job it more matters whether you have a good campaign and if you are perceived by the public as being a likeable guy. Oh by the way the book is about political campaigns (mostly presidential) in the past 30 or so years and the way that pollsters and other assorted campaign strategists try to make us the dumb American public vote for their candidate. And based on the outcomes for most of the people and the debacles that many of their campaigns turned into as a result of warring people within their campaigns or completely idiotic decisions made by their campaign people, if I was running for office I’d forgo all these so called “professionals”.

Cause it wasn’t really my cup of tea I’ll give it a 6. It could better though for someone who was really interested in politics.

Book 35

35. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
After reading In Cold Blood a little while ago and really enjoying I decided to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I was kind of leary of reading it because I really love the movie. Most of the times books blow movies out of the water, but there is the occasional book I don’t think is as good. Particularly if I’ve seen the movie prior to reading the book. But Breakfast at Tiffany’s wasn’t bad. I didn’t like it as much as In Cold Blood, but it was still decent. The movie followed the book fairly closely. There are a few different characters and they end differently (which I already knew so it didn’t throw me), but for the most part the movie is fairly faithful to the book. But somehow I couldn’t really seem to get a feel for the characters or care about them as much in the book as I did the movie. Strange I know, but what can you do?

Book 34

34. The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman
I actually found this a very interesting book. I did know some of the information in the book from having seen the Frontline on Wal-Mart (Is Wal-Mart Good for America) and that other Wal-Mart bashing documentary whose title I can’t remember at the moment. The thing about this book is that it is more balanced than these other things I have seen. It definitely points out the bad, but not necessarily in a Wal-Mart is the evil of the world kind of way. But it also points out some good as well as discussing how Wal-Mart has wound up where it is today and how to some degree it has become a self-propelling machine going in a direction it might not have intended to go in. The book contains some interesting facts about the company while also discussing how guarded Wal-Mart is against sharing any such facts. If you’re curious about this giant retailer and the effects it has good and bad I would recommend this read. I’ll give it an 8 out of 10.