In lieu of a substantial, thoughtful post (it's too dang hot for me to concentrate on any one thing for long), I'm posting a list of some of the books I've read this summer and short reviews:

The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro): the book was written by a Japanese who spent most of his life in England. The plot centers on the life of a butler and his contributions to the profession. From that description it sounds a little dull (a butler's life can't be that interesting, can it?), but I found it to be quite absorbing. Side note: Before reading this book the only thing I knew about it is that Corky St. Clair made Remains of the Day lunch boxes for his movie memorabilia shop in the last scene Waiting for Guffman. That's pretty much the only reason I read the book.

China Wakes (Kristoff and Wudunn): a nonfiction work describing China's slow political, social and economic transition onto the world stage, written by a husband and wife team who worked as NYTimes reporters in Beijing during the Tiannamen Square tribulation. Fascinating, and a great preparation for my UPCOMING TRIP TO CHINA!! 5 DAYS!!

Anna Karenina (Tolstoy): The stupid preface to the book ruined the ending!!! Why do they do that? It was so irritating. It's like they assumed that, if you're reading the preface, you either a) won't care if they tell you the ending, just as long as they tell you all the fascinating political and Biblical allusions Tolstoy wove into it, or b) you've read the book already, both of which are RIDICULOUS. Anyway, I thought the book wasn't too bad. I really had to pluck up my perseverance to get through the entire thing. And I still skipped quite a few unimportant sections about a few of the characters arguing about politics or agriculture or going to an election or a government meeting. Those things may fascinate someone who has a head for political science, but I just wanted a good story and maybe a few poetic allusions, truth be told. At least now I can brag that I've read Anna Karenina.

Down and Out in Paris and London (George Orwell): I had wanted to read this ever since we read excerpts of it in Western Civ, and I devoured the book in less than 48 hours. Granted, it wasn't even 200 pages, but I rarely sit down and power-read through books like that. It was quite absorbing, even horrifying at times. Orwell describes (with his usual knack for witty metaphor) his experience living in abject poverty in Paris and London. What I love most is that he doesn't just describe the events. He also includes his opinion of why these people are poor and how society could change. I highly recommend it.
written by Ruthie @ 7:45 PM  
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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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