January Reads

It's been a couple months since I've posted on here and I figured what better time to begin than in January (even though today is February 1st as I write this). It seems I have trouble sometimes remembering books once I gain some distance from them and I've been wanting to write my own quick reviews for some time now. It's helpful for my writing to write in a different way than I'm used to and I believe it will only be beneficial for me. Some months I might have more or less than others but my goal is to try to read three a month. With a baby to be born in the next month, it's likely this will only last until then but it's worth an attempt. Before I ramble on, let's begin with the three books of January. Oh, and also, the rating scale is based on nails. Funny, I know. Five of course being the highest.


GOD KNOWS by Joseph Heller


Rating:



Joseph Heller pens a novel written from the perspective of King David. Yes, the infamous David from the Bible and historical literature (and the notable statue which, according to Joseph’s David, he is all too unhappy about). Now this isn't written from an evangelistic effort as in it's an attempt to be a proponent of one religion or another. In fact, from what I can tell, it appears a bit satirical and mocking of God and religion. And as someone who studied the Bible for my degree, I truly enjoyed it. It’s a fun perspective of the well known character and gives humanity to the often distant historical figure. David is seen as human, what maybe the average man would be like in a position like his. Most importantly, you get a glimpse into what it could possibly be like to have a harem of wives and how a hopeless romantic like David deals with it. There are points where it’s a bit boring and repetitive, hence only the four nails. But overall it was an illuminating novel revealing a possible way David thought.

UNDER THE SKIN by Michel Faber


Rating:



Michel Faber is slowly becoming a favorite of mine. After reading The Book of Strange New Things I decided to pick this book up. His characters feel real, like someone who actually exists. Even in this book, when they are not exactly human. But that’s the question Faber asks through his prose. What does it mean to be human? Where does value come from? There’s a creepy, sci-fi vibe but simultaneously an on the ground, earthly story occurring. I found myself being drawn into the main character, Isserley, in ways I’m not normally when reading other novels. If you’ve seen the movie, which I did watch afterwards, I would recommend the book. I think it’s a better way to receive the story, although the movie is a worthy watch as well. It does feel it’s trying to be too artsy at times, and that’s where the novel is superior. Faber’s writing style is simple and sweet but not in a negative way. Simple as in a concise way of conveying what he needs to without overdoing his language or explanations. Add this one to your list!

THE WHIP by Luke Short


Rating:



If you’re looking for a good ol’ western, Luke Short is your man. This is the second book of his I’ve read, with five more on my to-be-read shelf because they're fairly short and only two bucks at the local used book shop. The first one I read was Paper Sheriff, a great read. This one though, is about a man named Will Gannon who don’t take nothing from no-one. He’s a bit of a dick but he’s got redemption on his brain. After his wife has left him for another man and he’s quit his job, he’s looking for purpose. Which he finds in clearing and protecting a stage coach route. This new venture brings outlaw gangs, despicable plates of unedible food and of course, a woman who's easy on the eyes. The only reason I give it four nails is because something near the end, but I won't spoil anything. Something could've been tied up a bit better but it nowhere near ruins the story. I’ll definitely be back with more Luke Short in the future!

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