Wednesday 30 October 2013

Book love

Each month I chat about what books I've been reading in my monthly Book Love feature.

The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
I don't think I would have ever gotten round to reading this book if I hadn't been given it as a you've-had-a-stressful-day-here's-a-book present (one of the best kinds of presents), as I always thought that you had to read it as a teenager, or it just wouldn't make sense. So I was a wee bit apprehensive about starting it, and then was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly it hooked me in.

I can totally understand why some people hate it. Holden Caulfield is frustrating and cynical and thinks everything is phony ("goddamn phonies!"), but I really took to him. He's very blunt and desperately trying to prove to himself that he's in control, but he's actually a bit scared, a bit sad, and very lost. It's funny and rebellious and sad and full of old-school American slang. I really loved it.

Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein
I also loved Starship Troopers! I've watched the film before, so I was expecting a bit of hilarious sci-fi action, but there's so much more to this book (they are actually very, very different things). I get very easily lost in a character when I like them, and I had a lot of time for Rico - so when he was musing on the philosophy of war and describing why, of course, it's important to take part in military service and live in a limited democracy, I was thinking yes! Totally! That all makes perfect sense! Hmm.

If you like sci-fi (why wouldn't you like sci-fi?) then this is a good one. And unlike the other Heinlein book I've read (Stranger in a Strange Land), Starship Troopers isn't full of weird 60s sexism. Hooray!

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