As you can see in the sidebar, I am reading Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Well, I was reading Unwind by Neal Shusterman. I was about 100 pages in and had it bookmarked with an actual, you know, bookmark, when I came home from golfing the other day to see The Wife (henceforth dubbed "The Book Thief") on the back deck reading my book.
We have many books in our house. I have stacks and stacks of books on the floor next to my side of the bed. I have read them. The Book Thief has not. She could have chosen any of these books. She could have waited until I finished the book. I'm a slow reader, but it is summer vacation. I usually finish the things in two or three days.
So now I have to wait until she's done reading the book before I can go back to it because there's no way I'm sharing the book. (I could explain why, but the reasons should be self-evident.) Thankfully, she reads faster than me.
1. Don't allow wives with a penchant for stealing books to see what you're reading. Read in secret. Perhaps in an underground bunker with surprisingly good lighting.
2. Read books that do not appeal to wives. Hemingway maybe. Or Nabokov.
3. Don't golf while the wife is in a position to steal the book you are reading.
4. Marry an illiterate.
So while she's finishing Unwind (which I was really enjoying BTW), I have started Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak. 100 pages in. It's okay. Not as good as I Am the Messenger, which I finished before picking up Unwind at the bookstore.
Let's talk a little about I Am the Messenger, shall we?
Ben Esch mentioned the book in one of his interview answers and I'd been meaning to read Zusak for some time. (I checked out The Book Thief from the library during the school year, but I have a hard time getting through thick books while school is in session, so I didn't read much of it. But I will. Scout's honor.) I concur with Ben's assessment of Messenger. Great book. Loved the voice. Loved the pace. Loved the characters. Loved the idea. Even liked the message.
But dear God, what the hell happened at the end? I won't give it away. To do so might lead you to forego the reading of the book and I want you to read it if only to experience the bewilderment and anger I felt during the last five pages. What I believe happened is that Zusak had a great idea and a really good message that he wanted to get across and he came up with a kind of cool way to deliver that message, but after writing nearly all of the book he realized he had a problem in that he couldn't really answer one very important question the main character (and readers) had. But he had to provide some answer and so he did. And it is awful. No other way around it. At worst it's a cop out. At best it's a writer being too cute for his own good.
Anyway, it didn't ruin the book, but man, did it hurt it.
Make sure your ending doesn't suck.
Weight loss update: Down 5