Sunday, August 19, 2012

30 Day Book Meme - Day 1

Since I'm determined to really push my book blog and post frequently on it, but am at the same time cramming for my exams (which is good - it means I'm reading a lot, but also lacking the time to write reviews), I decided to start the 30 Day Book Meme, which I stumbled upon at Ellen's book blog here. Obviously, the meme isn't going to take over the blog completely, but it's a nice way to break up the upcoming reviews, get to know me a little bit and point to some of my earlier reviews.

I love the idea of the meme, as it seems to me more meaningful than most memes I've seen around book blogs - those were mostly temporary and would lose their validity about a day or so after you filled it out. This one, however, I decided to really invest some time in so it can still be (somewhat) truthful even if accessed in five years, or whatever. So here we go!

Day 1 - The Best Book You Read Last Year

The year of 2011 was pretty eclectic, reading-wise. I've read some modern classics, been introduced to Chicano lit (reviews to come!) and read a LOT of GLBT fiction and non-fiction, but all in all, the book that I feel I've thought about the most was the one that I've reviewed already - Gregory Maguire's Wicked. It is a novel that I had wanted to read for a long time, but also one that can easily be described as a chore, since it is long and unfocused and often requires some previous Wizard of Oz knowledge to fully appreciate it.

So not to write a review again, let me just say it was a fabulous read. The sort-of-prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Wicked is a book you invest a lot into - your time, patience, emotions - and it is rewarding in the sense that you walk away with a sense of thinking you know what it did to you. It is heavy with symbols, metaphors and such, making it far from transparent (in fact, it can sometimes get pretty confusing, as well as a little too abstract). On the one hand, this can make for a frustrating reading experience. On the other, it's one of those things where I will randomly be reminded of Wicked and its ideas when I least expect to be - and it will often be things I hadn't exactly thought of while reading the book.

For me, that sort of literary impact is more than impressive. It ensures that the memory of the novel will stay with me, and that Maguire has managed to tune some of my brain cells to dance to his tune.

30 Day Book Meme:
#01 The best book you read last year
#03 Your favorite series
#04 Favorite book of your favorite series
#05 A book that makes you happy
#06 A book that makes you sad
#07 Most underrated book
#08 Most overrated book
#09 A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
#10 Favorite classic book
#11 A book you hated
#12 A book you used to love but don't anymore
#13 Your favorite writer
#14 Favorite book of your favorite writer
#15 Favorite male character
#16 Favorite female character
#17 Favorite quote from your favorite book
#18 A book that disappointed you
#19 Favorite book turned into a movie
#20 Favorite romance book
#21 Favorite book from your childhood
#22 Favorite book you own
#23 A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
#24 A book that you wish more people would've read
#25 A character who you can relate to the most
#26 A book that changed your opinion about something
#27 The most surprising plot twist or ending
#28 Favorite title
#29 A book everyone hated but you liked
#30 Your favorite book of all time.


Anonymous said...

Wicked was a disturbing but mesmerizing read for me. I love how it turned a classic upside down and made it new again.

Nikola said...

It was DEFINITELY disturbing. But if you think about it, the major plot points of The Wizard are disturbing as well, only they're not written as such.

I mean, the tornado, Dorothy not being able to make it into the shelter, the dead witch, Glinda letting the girl go while being aware of the danger, the Wicked Witch melting...

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I love that cover but I have to say I didn't enjoy Wicked. I think it was my own fault - I had recently seen the musical and was expecting a fun, light read, which of course Wicked isn't. I think my expectations ruined my reading experience.

Nikola said...

Hey Sam, thanks for commenting.

Yeah, I definitely understand - I was first smitten with the musical and was definitely surprised by the tone and the overall seriousness of the book.

But then, as I listened to the soundtrack of the musical more, I grew more and more attached to its darker themes and then when I finally picked up the book, it fit me to a T!

Wicked said...

I do enjoy Wicked in Brodway!