Sunday, October 2, 2011

Seriously, it gets better...

For today's post I'm sharing three books that I think need to be endured a little (AS IN, NOT THROWN ACROSS THE ROOM) before they get better. This blog chain question was asked by Shaun. Michelle's post is here, and Margie will post after me.

Dune. Arrakis. Source of all the Spice in the universe... Ahem. by Frank Herbert. I lovethisbook. But yeah, mostly the second half. The first half is mostly ponderous world-building, imagined book excerpts (which could be considered more ponderous world building) and not enough sandworms, dammit. Seriously, keep reading until Duke Leto is dead. The the spice really starts to fly. Enjoy the ride. ;)

Room, by Emma Donoghue. I know the subject matter seems a little gruesome, but the treatment is tasteful and appropriate. I can't say this is one of my favorites or anything, not like Dune and the next book on my list, but it's certainly one that needs to be finished before it can be fully appreciated. The voice is consistent enough to keep you in the story, and innocent enough to mitigate the full weight of the horrific situation the main character and his mother are in. For those who are still squeamish about the story line, young Jack and his mother do not stay in their "room" for more than the first half of the book. As disturbing as Room occasionally was, it was thought-provoking, to say the least. In fact, I still think about it often, and remind myself how thankful I am of the life I'm living.


His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik is one of my favorite series. Who doesn't love dragons? I appreciate how the author has put a twist on the traditional dragon-rider story by militarizing them. Some dragons are like flying horses, while others are more like airships, soldiers climbing in the rigging. Though I know some people find the writing style to be dry, old-fashioned, I like how well it compliments other novels fictionalizing the Napoleonic Era, such as those by Patrick O'Brien, whose series inspired the film Master and Commander. The main character's relationship with his dragon borders on adorable sometimes, but I can't say I would act much different from Will Laurence if I was confronted with harnessing a dragon as wily as Temeraire.

Hope you like my suggestions, but you don't have to take my word for it. ;) You can always see what other folks have to say on Goodreads. Cheers!

16 comments:

Margie Gelbwasser said...

Great suggestions! Heard A LOT about room, but since I became a mom, I can't read abuse books. Too emotionally difficult for me.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This is an interesting concept and post. There is a book I've picked up several times and put aside. I try to read it because people say it gets amazing after you get through the beginning. Maybe I'll try again. *sigh*

MG Higgins said...

I agree about Room. Difficult to read, but I kept going and am glad I finished. It really is a thought-provoking book.

Krispy said...

I've been meaning to read that Naomi Novik books. Two of my friends have read it and love it, and I like dragons. So yeah, I have no idea why I haven't gotten on this yet. Haha.

I like the concept of this kind of book rec post. There's so much emphasis on hooky openings these days that it's nice to hear about books with slower starts that are nevertheless so worth the read. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

I read Dune when I was a teenager, and it did start a little slow. I haven't read the other two.

Chelle818 said...

Know what you mean about slow starts. Laurell Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures started out really slow for me. Took me several tries to get through the first few chapters. Was hooked on the series for the first 10 or so books. Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking started off slow, but only took a chapter or two to hook me and now it's one of my favorite series. :)

Cynthia Lee said...

I read Dune in the 8th grade (a loooong time ago for me) and I remember being sucked into it from the very start. Isn't that funny? It's so wildly subjective.

Today, though, I'm not sure it would still be something that I'd enjoy.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I read the Dune books as a teenager. I also read Her Majesty's Dragon, but wasn't drawn in enough to continue the series.

Jonathon Arntson said...

I would really like to read ROOM. I love the way the book made you thankful for where you are.

Hannah Kincade said...

Dune is one of those books for me where I love one perspective and am SO BORED by the other. I had no interest in the Harkonens. I just wanted it to say with Paul and all the spice stuff. I haven't read any further in the series because of that, but I loved most of Dune so I should.

Susan R. Mills said...

I've heard a lot about Room. I guess I'm going to have to read it. :) Thanks for your thoughts on these books.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Room has been on my "consider reading it" list since it came out... I have to say your description leaves me still on the fence.

Abby Annis said...

I know you recommended ROOM to me forever ago, but I finally picked it up at the library yesterday. Can't wait to dig into it. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I haven't read any of those, but I have a very hard time enduring a book... I'll admit it.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Room is totally on my TBR list and I've tried to read Dune but never finished. Looks like I'll be kicking both back to the head of the class. Great list!

Eric said...

Oh wow, I completely forgot about Dune. But I totally agree with you. The first half is really tough to slog through, but the rest of the story is worth it. The other two you mention I'm not familiar with so I'll have to check them out.