Thursday, August 23, 2012

Literary Bite: Moby Dick and The Time Traveler's Wife

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Literary Bite, but for good reason! I am reading Moby Dick right now and it is taking some time. I’m 368 pages in…256 to go!

So far in 2012, I’ve been averaging about 296 pages per week. (Did I just math that out? Yes, yes I did.) But Moby Dick is particularly slow reading (I’ve been at it for 3 weeks now) because I can’t honestly say I’m enjoying the experience. Usually I would stop reading a book I didn’t like, but this is a classic, I want to have read it, I said I would read it, so I will finish it!

Anywho, yesterday I counted a win for fiction-lovers everywhere when Ex-Co-Worker-Rachel  (a non-fiction devotee) asked me to recommend a good character-driven fiction book.

I love recommending books, so here’s a re-post of a book I read back in 2009 that I'm hoping Rachel will like!

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This week, I'm reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Again. I know that there's millions of good books out there that I have yet to read, but sometimes it's nice to be guaranteed a good experience... 

I read this book for the first time five years ago, and I remember loving it. But I didn't remember too many of the details, and since the story is kind of complex (considering it involves time travel...), it stands up well to a second reading. 

The book is Audrey Neffenegger's first novel, which surprises/pleases me. Usually authors' first novels tend to be kind of meh...but this one is very impressive! And actually, go to her website...apparently she is an artist in addition to an author. She has a graphic novel that will come out in 2010. Here's a quote from her bio:
  • Miss Niffenegger trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received her MFA from Northwestern University’s Department of Art Theory and Practice in 1991. She has exhibited her artist’s books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987.
If you haven't heard of the book, I will just tell you that it is an epic love story, set in the context of a time-traveling husband. Sounds weird and sci-fi-ish, but it actually works quite well. There is more to the time-traveler, Henry, than just his weird talent/defect/time-traveling thing. Neffenegger develops both him and his wife, Claire, as complex and interesting characters. They have flaws and quirks, which endears them to the reader, and makes the story feel much more real than fantasy. 

Odds are, you have heard of this book because it was made into a movie earlier this year.  I haven't seen the movie...but I've heard it's good...obviously that's all hearsay and I can't tell you much... [Note: I have since seen the movie. It is good. But you should still read the book!]

Anyway, I highly recommend this book. It's romantic, but not mushy. And it's a super page-turner (as in, I get in bed to read before I go to sleep...and 2 hours later, I find myself practically manually holding my eyes open!)
  • What do you do when you meet the love of your life when you're six years old? And he's 36, but he's really only eight years older than you are? If you're Clare Abshire, you wait for each of his visits throughout the years until you meet him in real time.
  • Henry DeTamble is a time traveler, although not by choice. A genetic mutation causes him to spontaneously travel through time, disappearing from view, leaving behind his clothes and possessions, and arriving naked in another time and another place. For the most part, this is a curse.
To read the rest of this review, go here. Enjoy the book!!!