Wednesday, February 25, 2015

{the last twelve dollars}


One of my favourite things to get as a present is a Chapters gift card. I hoard them in my wallet, occasionally wandering the aisles of the book store as if I'm going to use them, but I never do. Never, that is, until I have collected enough that I can order a billion books all at once online (and in the process rack up so many Plum Points that I get to order even more free books). It's the best.

As an added bonus, Chapters does this thing where they ship each individual book that you order as soon as it's ready, so even if you order ten books on the same day they could, quite possibly, arrive all at different times. Which makes for a pretty darn magical week and has, in the past, done wonders for my relationship with the mail lady (edit: she might hate me, who knows, but I looooove her).

So I decided this morning that it was time.

I calculated my total gift card amount, added all of the books that are currently on my To Read list to my virtual shopping cart, and found that I still had a stray twelve dollars to spend. In the privacy of my living room, I did jazz hands and leaned back in my chair, trying to think of a worthwhile way to spend that extra bit of gift card glory. It's not an easy decision, you know? There are so many books. And a lot of them suck. And lots are quite good. But I don't want to spend my twelve dollars on those. I want to spend my twelve dollars on something that will fill up my head and wrench my gut and metaphorically glue itself to my fingertips until I've read every last word. Something memorable and weird and smart. Something, for lack of better words, great.

So that was how I came to be clicking around on goodreads, following links and reading reviews, when I somehow found myself reading the comments section under Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park (I don't know how I got there. I was just clicking a lot).

I kind of thought that the comments on goodreads would be more intelligent and productive than the ones on YouTube. Maybe because I've never really used goodreads before today. Maybe because I have this weird notion that people who read things and who talk about reading things are going to have better online conversations than people who watch Taylor Swift music videos. I forfeit my notions.

I realize that the book being discussed is Jurassic Park. But still. The first comment on the page was this:


I didn't even notice Victor's eye patch until just a second ago.

But the point is not that. The point is: I'm probably not going to spend my twelve dollars on Jurassic Park. What was the last great book you read?

21 comments:

  1. I just read The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath which I really enjoyed and also Lord of the Flies, which is so short you could read it in a day or two!
    I also read this book that was really funky and strange called Machine Man. There were some things about it that weren't my favorite, but if you're looking for something different and interesting, I think this book would qualify! (link to book: http://www.amazon.com/Machine-Man-Vintage-Contemporaries-Original/dp/0307476898)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read The Bell Jar too! I have not, however, read Lord of the Flies in ten years (I was about to type "a couple of years" and then I realized that it's actually been ten. HOW?) I should revisit that.
      Also, I'm looking up Machine Man right now...
      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. ha, to be honest. I read Jurassic Park ages ago. AGES. when I was 18 or 19. and it's actually not bad. doesn't compare with literary fiction, of course, but it wasn't bad. not bad at all. I buy my books from Amazon. ebooks. I upload all my gift vouchers and try to get as many books as possible for what I got. my current wishlist has about 250 books on it, and every morning I check if one of them is on sale. for the past 35 pounds or so I got 29 books. among them such great reads as The Goldfinch, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and most recently The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (a collection of short stories), very good and also the last great book I read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa. You know how to work the system.
      I just looked up The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and it looks very, very interesting, but I think The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher might win out this round...
      Thank you!

      Delete
  3. Ooo Timothy Schaffert's Swan Gondola or Alice Hoffman's The Museum of Extraordinary Things! So much love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. these both look fascinating! Thank you!!
      (I'm so excited about the comments on this post and I'm only halfway through. NEED MORE GIFT CARDS.)

      Delete
  4. WE WERE LIARS! WE WERE LIARS! WE WERE LIARS! By e Lockhart. But also I own it and you can just borrow it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart..."

      That's what it says on Chapters. Blisteringly smart.

      I love that.

      Blisteringly smart. Blisteringly.

      Delete
  5. Of course I don't know what you like, but I recommend everything from Alessandro Baricco. Maybe in the first place 'Silk' or 'Ocean Sea'.

    stephanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I like lots of things. That's the wonder of asking for book recommendations on the internet! :D
      Thank you!!

      Delete
  6. Loved The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller was very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the diversity of suggestions coming in. Thank you! I'll look these up!

      Delete
  7. Roses and Bones by Francesca Lia Block. All the stories are modern day re-tellings of Greek myths and fairy tales. The book I read before that was a book of Anne Sexton poetry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so cool. Looking it up now. Thanks!

      Delete
  8. LOVE this post, and when I still lived in Canada I LIVED for chapters. I sincerely miss all the time I spent walking around that place. I'm itching to get back for a visit and return there.

    The last book I read, which also ending up being AMAZING, was the Rosie Project. Definite recommend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should come back and hang out! We could be friends and stuff.

      Also, The Rosie Project has been on sale at Chapters for forever, but I didn't like the cover so I never gave it a shot...but now everyone is talking about how good it is. I think I'm just going to have to get over the cover and read it. (I allllllways judge books by their covers.)

      Delete
  9. Hi Suzy! I'm not sure what you've been enjoying most lately, and maybe you've already read his work, but I love recommending Jonathan Safran Foer, especially Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (of course, don't judge them by the movies). I'm really not sure which one I loved more! They both deal with sobering topics and are very moving, but his writing style is also just so witty and beautiful and I completely loved the character development and narrative voices (very distinct). Definitely memorable and weird and smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good, I haven't seen the movies. (I'm terrible at seeing movies.) I always glance at those when I walk past them in book stores; maybe it's time to give them a shot! Thank youuuuu!

      Delete
  10. Haha…I do the same thing…hoard my giftcards, then buy a billion books!!!! But then I have the books shipped to the closest store so that when I go pick them up, I can peruse the isles and pick up MORE books that I will then pay for with my insane amount of plum reward points.

    But to answer your question, the last great book I read was “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. I mostly just read it so I could watch the movie, but was pleasantly surprised! And the ending took a turn that I didn’t expect (but that may be because I didn’t know anything about this story prior to reading the book)…so YAY!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did you make a goodreads account? Cuz I would follow you if you did...
    I recently read "Smoke Gets in your eyes" which is a memoir of someone who used to work at a crematorium. It had some crazy stories, but it was mostly a study of culture's views on death and I thought it was super interesting and engaging!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman is a real winner. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Say anything you want. It doesn't even have to be relevant.