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SkinnyDippingIntoBooks

Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.

 

I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,


Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.


time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.


How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.


Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

this is some kind of brilliant horror

Snowblind - Christopher Golden

NETGALLEY

 




The description of this book is all wrong.

If you are looking for an in your face, Steven King sort of novel that uses clear illustrations of terror and obvious references to otherworldly manifestations, then this is not the book for you.

If however you are looking for a beautifully rendered novel, that creeps up on you slowly, cascading terror in the quietest way over your entire body then pick this up. If you are into a novel that literally holds you at the neck begging you to blink, or worse fearful of going to close to your window on a snowy night (I read this during a snowy New England week), then boys and girls this is the novel that you need to get… Right. NOW.

Snowblind is an excellent example of a book that pays equal attention to character development and setting. The first line transforms you into a world that unfortunately is my backyard—more or less, 100 miles away, so yah, sorta, kinda my backyard. You are destined to get lost in the snow as it takes over the streets of Coventry. A chill will run down your back and if you are like me you will turn up the heat by five degrees; though this may be me taking advantage of the free heat included in my rent. Style-wise Snowblind breathes freshness to the works of Karen Russell and Eowyn Ivey. It resembles Snow Child not only in content—each has snow, duh—, but also in the slow gust of wind that blows across the delicate and frightening prose. Writing like this doesn't rely on the common denominator of shock and awe that embodies most contemporary writing within this genre. No, it lays stake to its own remarkable uniqueness. Yes it's quiet, as other reviewers have stated. This stillness may deter some readers who enjoy a faster paced novel. One of the ways this novel holds up is due to its breathless descriptive prose. Recalling the very core of Karen Russell's approach to writing, this book is intense in its heavy descriptions, all the while retaining a simplistic air.

The focal point of Snowblind focuses on two blizzards set apart by 12 years. It quickly establishes core characters in the first few chapters, and upon the onset and waning of the storm, tremendous shifts in the livelihood of each come to pass. The first section is a tad smaller than the one that centers on the present storm, giving time for the events of the first to develop and expand further. The author connects these two sections with the upmost concern for clarity. The latter portion was an excellent portrayal of closure and moving on.  

What manifests from beginning to end is not really about the more distinguished themes, but entirely about loneliness. Loneliness drips from the pages, and harbors just underneath your skin. I seriously mean this; you will feel sadness as you read this novel. It will shift within your body and you will closely identify with the unique challenges of each character and their situations if you allow yourself this opportunity. There is brightness, a sense of true unwavering resilience. You too will be able to identify with this, as it is as natural, perfect, and honest as any life events that have secured you closer to yourself while shattering elements of your former self. I challenge you to connect ways you have evolved through trauma and challenges as you read this book. Personalizing it is a wonderful way to further experience its inherent wisdom. The combination of both of these key elements is what brings this beyond a novel that many will associate with An Ocean at the End of the Lane as well as earlier King novels; it just offers more substance that outlasts turning the last page.

So, what about those references to Neil Gaiman and Steven King anyhow? I can see how many would make these connections. The ending of Snowblind is much the same in direction and scope as An Ocean at the End of the Lane, in that it is a bit absurd and one needs to suspend disbelieve ever so gently. However, I believe that this novel is an improvement on Gailman's style. There is a sense of restraint and closure that brings it back to reality; which hell, we all need after reading page after page of ice ghosts with big, long razor claws. I know readers refer to this as very 'Steven King-esque' but again, it holds to its own identity. So, just leave the comparisons alone and let each just rest comfortably in their own excellence and appeal. It is these associations, after all, that have caused this novel to mislead—or so people think—readers.

Some issues rise concerning continuity as the book enters the mid-point of the last section and it seems rushed at points as if the author went a bit off on his intended purpose and swung back to abruptly to finish various elements. The conclusion was drawn out and I wish that it ended on the first page after the hyper stylized resolution that parted a bit from the previous sections and approach to writing. It seemed rather overblown and I wish the author pulled back a bit and left it more open ending.