Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock

I read this book after I went to Spain. The events in this book take place in Ronda and feature a bridge which I saw on my trip.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, mostly because it's about painting. The Forgetting Room is the room where the narrator and his grandfather before him would enter to become absorbed in their art. Painting is used as a form of escape. I think anyone who paints can relate to the feeling. I forget sometimes how much I love painting, and after reading this book I was reminded of how much I love falling into a painting. It's never about the finished product, but rather the process of creating the work.

This is a nice book, complete with some beautiful illustrations.

Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

I was intrigued by this book because of the use of graphic art -- "comic book" art -- within the novel. I'm something of a comic book fan. But 26 pages into this book, I have decided to stop reading it. After reading a scene in which a fourteen year old girl goes to the school bathroom and tries to slit her wrists with a broken makeup compact, I've decided this book is not for me. The girl is just soooo depressed because her boyfriend broke up with her. She's fourteen! Granted I probably have no sympathy for the situation because I was never a normal teenager, I was always more interested in literature and art and music and sports than in the boys in my school. I dreamed of movie stars and bad boy rockers. I never longed for the smelly kid sitting next to me in study hall.

I couldn't get any further into the book because reading that particular scene sent my mind reeling with angry thoughts. I couldn't focus on the story anymore. What kind of upbringing did this child have that she thinks a boy is worth so much tragedy? How pathetic and empty is her life that she thinks everything is over because of a boy? The beginning of the novel talks about how wonderful her father was at being a stay at home dad, but something was off with this kid. I'm simply not interested in reading this kind of melodrama.

There are so many books I want to read right now, I'm not wasting any more time with this one.