Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain (by Garth Stein)

I just finished this book last week. It was for book club. I think at book club we spent approximately 5 minutes, maybe, talking about the book. But the point of book club is to drink wine and chat, didn't you know that? In any case, I liked the book. It was a book about a man and his family, told from the perspective of the man's dog - Enzo. Interesting and creative idea. At times I found myself forgetting that I was reading from the perspective of the dog. Very clever writing. The main guy - the owner of the dog - Denny Swift, is a race driver. Not a Nascar driver, but a race driver on courses around the world in fancy shmancy cars. The book uses the racing as an analogy to life throughout the book. Basically, the dog falls in love with the racing also. Denny meets a woman, gets married, has a kid, and it goes on from there. This book definitely had its sad moments (not quite as sad as Marley & Me where I bawled like a little girl at the end), but definitely sad. And it also deals with the struggle between your dreams and the realities of those dreams. All in all a good read. Especially if you like dogs. I'm a cat person myself, but I found this entertaining.

Up next: In Cold Blood (by Truman Capote) - I'm trying to mix in a few more classics into my reading repertoire.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Day (by David Nicholls)

I picked this book up at B&N on a whim. I was trying to find "The Art of Racing in the Rain" (for book club) and stumbled upon this book, as it was a pick of one of the employees at B&N. My, am I glad I found this book. What a thought provoking, emotional, and creative novel. This book follows the lives of two people - Emma and Dexter, and is set in England. Em and Dex meet on their last day of college after graduation. Em, after having a crush on Dexter for almost all of college, finally lands him at a party that night. What follows is a dramatic and yet delightful trip through the next 20 years of their lives, but only told on one day of the year - July 15th (hence the title "One Day"). Each chapter is July 15. Each chapter discusses what is going on that day in Emma's life and in Dexter's life. Each of the characters has an impact on the other's life. This book read fast, was immensely addicting, and hard to put down. I'm glad I read it on vacation because I had extended periods of time to read. This isn't a happy go lucky chick lit book. It deals with real struggles throughout the book, but it also unravels a genuine love between the two main characters. I felt myself relating at times to the struggle to "find yourself" and establish yourself as a woman in her 20s, and I also related to the quest to find love, and the obstacles along the way. I recommend this book. It is quite enjoyable. Make sure you have tissues handy throughout the book.

Up Next: The Art of Racing in the Rain (by Garth Stein)