top of page

Finished: 1/29/21

Grade: A+

After a strange viral infection leaves her paralyzed and bed-ridden, Elisabeth is gifted a wild forest snail, and finds herself saved by it’s companionship.

I have read this book before and I really love it. A different perspective on life. How humans can live it. How other animals can live it. Like taking a moment on a day when you feel great to appreciate that you don’t have the flu. Or maybe like having the flu and accepting that you have the flu.

Also it’s chock full of fascinating snail facts.

Finished: 1/18/21

Grade: A+

Two generations after slavery, Janie, a young black woman in Florida, lives a life of apparent freedom. But even without the cage of slavery, her life is still limited by the expectations of her Grandmother, the expectations of the men in her life, and the whims of a seemingly indifferent God.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a classic! and wow it turns out that it’s really good! Who knew? Here we have a straightforward tale of romance and adventure, told as plainly as you want but dusted with gorgeous poetry. There are no long paragraphs of flowery language. Instead you just get these perfect sentences that describe a feeling so succinctly it’s as if the feeling was describing itself.

Lovable characters, and an action packed adventure that's as ornate as a cathedral.

Big ups to my mom for giving me this bad boy!

Finished: 1/09/21

Grade: A-

A young millionaire, Eliot Rosewater, is deemed insane when he gives up on his easy life of lounging around and collecting passive income in order to open a foundation to help the poor.

In this book Vonnegut goes buck wild with his social satire. He seems to have disdain for nearly everyone involved. The rich are described as lazy psychopaths, and the poor are described as stupid, ugly and pathetic. The only character Vonnegut seems to have any respect for here is the hearty American workingman stereotype (this time in the role of a fisherman) but even he is characterized as crude, somewhat vicious, and inevitably doomed in the ever-more-automated future.

Also, this a novel about wealth and class in the US with narry a mention of race to be found, except, towards the very end of the novel, where an old man sitting on a log sings: “The darkies work all day while the white folks stay inside and play.” Which feels like Vonnegut writing a whole book and then going back at the end and saying “Oh yeah, and racism too I guess.”

As far as socialist manifestos go this one is pretty good, but many of the characters feel more like cartoonish caricatures than real people, and some of the more interesting threads seem to pop up for a few pages or so and then disappear forever.

Definitely worth reading, but we’re talking B-tier Vonnegut.

bottom of page