Monday, December 17, 2018
2018 Book List
Hey guys, so somehow I exceeded my goal, I finished reading a 6th book this year, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman. I wrote about it a bit in the previous post. It's about this girl who's alone. Though she's alone, she would argue that she's completely fine being on her own. Maybe that's some sort of defense mechanism us alone people do, saying we're fine and it's fine being alone. While I want to say that the alone-ness is something that I can relate too, I have to say that Eleanor really has it tough. She really has no one, no family, no friend, really no one and that kind of alone-ness and having to survive on her own, well that is something that I don't yet understand. Though I am super alone here in Singapore, I do have a family out there that can help me out if something bad happens to me. Outside my core family, I have extended family with aunts, uncles, and cousins who I have the belief would help me. Outside that, I know some people who I think would be kind enough to help me if I ask ... or beg. Eleanor had none of those, she really only had herself and reading her saying all that makes me realize that I am not fully alone, at least not as alone as she was, and for that I am lucky.
So Eleanor. There's an awkwardness about Eleanor, but she had a really bad childhood, so that contributes to her being socially awkward. One of the plot point that drives her story is her crush to a musician and that got me rolling my eyes. Another thing that drives her story is a new guy at work, Raymond. The guy said hi to her and one thing led to another, they ended up spending more time together and it's good for her. I remember thinking I know a guy who would just say hi randomly like Raymond and because of that randomness you do can end up as friends. Halfway through the book, I also realized I actually know a Raymond once. Like the Raymond in the book, the Raymond I know is also a tech guy. Physically they may look different, but I think they are as nice. Another person that played a big influence in Eleanor's life is her mother. As I progressed more in the book, I had my suspicion about the mother and my suspicion was kinda right. The ending of the book is a hopeful one and I'm glad that she's getting better days.
Reese Witherspoon bought the movie right to this and I kinda can picture her in the role, but perhaps she's too old for this? I was thinking Dakota Fanning but maybe she's too young? There's a kind of plainness about Eleanor so I don't know whom I would cast. Raymond would also be hard to cast too. Perhaps James Corden, but he's kinda too chirpy, so I don't know. I think I will watch the movie if it happens, but I don't know if it would manage to capture the story well. Movies based on books often have this problem.
So anyways, 6 books this year. 7 if you're counting the book I started last year.
- The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
- Swamplandia! - Karen Russell
- Tinkers - Paul Harding
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan
- Less - Andrew Sean Greer
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
I saw the list and I thought, man they all like have heavy tragic themes going on. Less
is like the lightest. If I have to choose which one I like best, well it's hard because you feel for the characters, like Cora in The Underground Railroad
, Ava in Swamplandia!
, Oscar in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
, Eleanor in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
; I even find Less
somewhat endearing. If I have to choose, perhaps Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
and choosing that made me feel bad for Ava. Maybe it's just because it's the last book I read, I felt her the most right now. Eleanor, though she's not actually fine, was strong mentally to take care of herself. There were times reading her that I was thinking how is it that she survived for so long and didn't want to kill herself. She would say it's the vodka, but I think it takes a lot of strength to be able to go on in her existence. She has her failings, but all things considered, she's tough and that is commendable.
I have bought 3 books to read next. All the subject themes are kinda heavy too. I'm starting with The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris. Yes from the title, it is a hard theme to end the year and start a new one with. It's a novel but based on real life events. Instead of an biography, the writer wrote about what happened to this man who ended up as the tattooist of Auschwitz as a novel. So it's not a fiction. You know, I don't really have a habit of reading non-fiction. Maybe because I do kinda keep up with the news? Anyways, this might be the only post this month and as such the last post of the year. If I don't write again, hope you have a good Christmas, a happy holiday, and a great start to the new year :)
:) eKa @ 9:20:00 PM •