Friday, May 18, 2012

What I'm reading...and rereading

Posted by Simcha 5:02 AM, under | 9 comments

I know had promised you guys some reviews of the books I've read but I decided that instead I want to talk about some of the books that I'm currently reading, and rereading. If any of you have read these book I'd love to hear your thought on them (though no spoilers, since I haven't finished yet)


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I had read The Name of the Wind a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. The sequel became one of my most anticipated book and I rushed out to buy it as soon as it was available. And since then the book has been sitting on my shelf untouched. See, the problem is that even though I loved The Name of the Wind I don't really remember it very well anymore. So while I really do want to read The Wise Man's Fear I don't want to ruin the experience by spending the first few hundred pages trying to remember what happened in the last book and who all the characters are. For that reason I decided that it would definitely be in my best interest to reread The Name of the Wind.

I'm glad to say that The Name of the Wind is just as good the second time around, though there is one small thing that's been niggling at me, which I don't remember being bothered by before. And that is the face that Kvothe is just so darn perfect at pretty much everything. He is a prodigy student, he's a master musician, he excels at everything he tried his hand at and comes out on top in every altercation. His overwhelming perfectness is making him less believable to me as a character, and a little annoying as well. I'm even beginning to feel some sympathy for his evil nemesis, Ambrose Jakis. I suspect that Kvothe would probably grate on my nerves as well if I had to spend a significant amount of time with him.

I'm curious if any of you who have read The Name of the Wind were bothered by this as well.


Black and White by Jackie Kessler

I got this book out of my elibrary without knowing anything about it, other than what the book blurb said. I don't remember ever hearing of this book or author before, but it sounded like it would be a fun read, and so far I am really enjoying it.

Here's the description:

 It's the ultimate battle of good versus good. They were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.

But now playtime’s over. Separately Jet and Iridium uncover clues that point to a looming evil, one that is entwined within the Academy.  As Jet works with Bruce Hunter—a normal man with an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees—she becomes convinced that Iridium is involved in a scheme that will level the power structure of America itself. And Iridium, teaming with the mysterious vigilante called Taser, uncovers an insidious plot that’s been a decade in the making…a plot in which Jet is key. They’re both right. And they’re both wrong. Because nothing is as simple as Black and White.
I haven't gotten too far into the book yet and I really hope I have a chance to finish it before it expires. So far the story has been switching between the POVs of Jet and Iridium, both in the present time, where Jet is trying to capture Iridium, and to the past, when the two were roommates, and best friends, at the superhero academy. I've enjoyed the way the story has played out and that the characters seem to have some depth and complexity.  I'm really looking forward to continuing with this book and seeing if it delivers.


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Ever since I read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods I've kept my eyes out for other travelogues about people's experiences hiking. It's something that I'd love to do myself some day and for now I just enjoy reading about other people's experiences. What interested me about this book in particular is that Cheryl actually hikes the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own, without any previous backpacking experience at all. Now, if only I was brave enough to do something like that. 

But what I hadn't expected to find in this book was the whole painful backstory that led to Cheryl's decision to hit the trail on her own for three months. The death of her mother that left her devastated and broken, even four years later, the breakup of her marriage to a man that she still loved and the flirtation with heroine, which let her escape from all the pain she was feeling. I quickly discovered that this wasn't just a book about hiking and that it had very little in common with Bryson's story of hiking the Appalachian Trail. But even though I didn't realize what I was getting into when starting on Wild I quickly became invested in Cheryl's story and I'm really hoping that she comes out on the other end somewhat healed. And I'm really hoping she gets back together with that wonderful husband of hers, though I'm fighting the temptation to Google her to find out. I'll make myself wait until the end of the story.


I read The Name of the Wind a couple of years ago, but I don't remember that bothering me, although I've been planning to re-read it before reading the sequel, although I have no idea when I'll do that...

I've also read Black & White over a year ago & although I remember I enjoyed it a lot, I never read the sequel, although at the time I wanted to. I'm planning to read them both some time ;)

As for Wild, sounds really good & you got me interested in the book, although I rarely read non-fiction.

Happy reading!

I think that Kvothe's "perfectness" is offset by all the stupid choices he makes. He does a lot of things without thinking through the consequences and he usually pays a price for that. So I guess I could say that his almost unrealistic talents in school and music, etc don't bother me because his juvenile attitudes and choices make up the difference. (Make sense?)

I thought the book was sooooooo boring! And Kvothe was too darn perfect, it annoyed me. He did everything perfectly and got a hot older woman too

I have been wanting to read In the Name of the Wind for years now, but for some reason have yet to pick it up. I'm thinking that if you liked it enough to reread it, really need to get it this year.

Aleksandra: I'd be interested in hearing if you feel any different about The Name of the Wind after rereading it. Though this was really the only difference for me.

Havilah: True, except even his thoughtless actions don't have such serious consequences, so far. I wonder if his situation becomes more severe in book 2, and if we'll see his character mature. Can't wait to get started on it to find out!

Blodeuedd: Really, you didn't like the Name of the Wind? I would have guessed that this is a book you would enjoy. I certainly did, despite Kvothe being a little too perfect, and he doesn't really get the girl. The I think the story would benefit by making Kvothe a little more flawed.

Ryan: Now's a good time to read it since The Wise Man's Fear is available. And I think you would enjoy it. This is one of my favorite fantasies.

I actually just finished reading The Name of the Wind a couple of days ago ("devouring" would be an accurate phrase as well). You're absolutely right - Kvothe is disturbingly perfect. Then again, so is almost every other aspect of The Name of the Wind. Any flaws in plotting or pacing or even Kvothe's unrealistic characterization were set aside in favor of the writing, the storytelling and some other factor that made me enjoy the book on a ridiculous level. Kvothe is not a realistic character, but somehow it didn't interfere with my appreciation of the rest of the book. I'm still not sure why in the world I liked the book as much as I did...

Biblibio: I agree that the fantastic writing, storytelling and pacing is probably why it's so easy to overlook any other flaws with the book. Despite the fact that I was rereading The Name of the Wind, I was just as engrossed by it as the first time.

Oh I hear you on the sequel to Name of the Wind. I couldn't wait to get it and it too have been sitting on my shelf waiting for me since release. Shame as it's a wonderful read. I need to get to it. And I have Black & White here too. I do want to read it as well.

Hope you are doing well. And glad to see you back posting.

Melissa: I was actually surprised by how quickly I reread The Name of the Wind, considering its size and I was really glad I did so. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy The Wise Man's Fear a lot more this way, as soon as I remember where I had put it...

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