Friday, February 3, 2012

The Letham post

I was trying to hold out on this post because I was hoping that I'd finish another book in the mean time to at least throw in the middle of these 2 books Im going to write about now. As it goes "the best laid plans...". Which, can I take the liberty of an aside here and just say that there are a lot, and I mean A LOT of sentences from books that strike me as fitting to my life and incredibly ingenious, but none are so consistently fitting as that one from Steinbeck. If I had my way the theme song to my life would be a musical number of that sentence. Anyways, asides aside (ha) the two books I want to report on are both by Jonathan Letham (as im sure is surprising to you based on the title of this post). My goal is to read and own all of his works and I'm well on my way. For this post, I read 'You Don't Love Me Yet' and 'Men and Cartoons', the latter being a collection of short stories.

'You Don't Love Me Yet': well, I'll say that this was an odd one to me. It was, at it's core, a Letham book but it was also more explicity graphic, sappy and runaway to me than I'm used to from Jonathan. I didn't hate it but I also didn't love it. I'm not sure as to the publication date but I am pretty sure this was after 'Fortress of Solitude' and I almost felt like he needed to churn out a book. Now I know I said In my initial rules that I would never post anything negative about a book and I still feel like I'm adhering to that rule. Jonathan Letham is one of my all time favorite authors, he is like a relic to me and I hold him in the utmost regards, so maybe i have a more myopic view of this book, but I just didn't like it that much. It may be that I've been taken to a level of being so overwhelmed by his novels that my bar has been so raised that this one just fell short? I'm not sure. That being said, this is not my effort to discourage you from this book, if you aren't obsessed with his writing like I am, then you'll probably like it and should pick this up, although if you're just getting into him please see below, or my other posts for titles to read first.

On to 'Men and Cartoons' the 2nd short story book I've read by Letham (the first was 'Wall of the Sky Wall of the Eye'). This book provided multiple reinforcement to me as to why I fell in love with Letham in the first place. I used to not really enjoy short stories because they kinda left me feeling like I was being cheated, as an "always novel reader" I would get done with a story and want to know what happened next, only in reading more short stories by brilliant authors did I realize that was really the recipe for a great short story. This book did not fail that test, I'd get done with one and check just to make sure there were no pages stuck together so as to know that I didn't miss just a little more. The collection was stellar and I ran through it from start to finish in just an evening and I would highly recommend.

So, my current tally for January was 4 books and I'd like to stay on track for about 3 a month but like I've said before I don't want to post or talk about a monthly book goal, because I want to enjoy what I'm reading and not feel pressure to tear through them for the sake of saying "I read x amount this month". Also I clearly lied to you about which books were in my queue so I'm not going to tell you what book is up next although I will say I'm SUPER stoked as I have been wanting to read it for a really long time and FINALLY bought it...stay tuned.

In closing I guess I'll just say if you haven't heard of Jonathan Letham please do yourself a favor and look into some of his books, my fav and "first and foremost recommendation" is 'Fortress of Solitude', it's spectacular and I 100% endorse it. (but if you are for any reason "unfulfilled", let me know, (ya know holla at me) I'd love to discuss why you weren't happy).

Happy Reading and promising a non-Letham post in the near future.
Read On,
The Reader

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