My Constantly Evolving List of All-Time Favorites.

Kyle 's favorites books montage

Gone Girl
The Night Circus
The Woodcutter
The Graveyard Book
Sharp Objects
Dark Places
Shutter Island
The Passage
The Twelve
Rules of Civility
The Aviary
Heir to the Glimmering World
Wool Omnibus
The Weird Sisters
A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones

Kyle Uniss's favorite books »

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunny start to spring break and Oscar Wao

Finally!! It's spring break. We're staying at home this year (we usually do), so it should mean sleeping in and late nights. We try to go to Arizona earlier in the winter, because rates are lower and its usually worth getting out of the cold and snow to spend a week at my moms. This year, we did Christmas there and a week at Disney in February. AND I just got a new car, so we really can't afford electricity or heat any longer, let alone another trip.

And it looks like it is going to be spring, finally. Just to make us appreciate it even more, winter decided to say goodbye loudly with one last snow on Saturday. I grew up in Colorado and lived for a time in the beautiful Vail Valley in the mountains, so snow at the end of March isn't a shocker for me, but it isn't my favorite thing when there isn't the promise of spring skiing. So I'm hoping we get a few sunny days, because I would like to go to the zoo and maybe go for a couple of hikes.

So, we'll spend our week sleeping in and eating pancakes, late(r) night movies and family time. I'll break up fights and find it AWESOME when the girls get along. Maybe we'll bake some cookies and hit the Y (when it does rain, like it's promising to do.) Spring break is the promise of summer to come, and I can't wait.

After reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I think my life just changed a bit. There are writers that I have missed in the last few years--spending time trapped in children's books and YA dystopian fantasy has taken this from me. Wow, Junot Diaz is one of those writers.

This is my New Jersey book, and I'm so glad I read it. My husband is a Jersey boy, so I didn't want to read about suburban kids growing up, or even the Jersey Shore. I went for the inner city, the gritty New Jersey. And I stumbled on Diaz.

I've looked at this book a few times and decided against it, I guess because I didn't relate to the culture, the setting or the story. STUPID REASON, I know. You should read out of your comfort zone; that is how you learn!!!

The story is breath-taking and wonderful and loopy and sad, and even a bit predictable because of the title and the opening, but the way Diaz puts words together creates a story that is beautifully rich, even magical. YES, I had (got?) to use the translate button on my Kindle Paperwhite a few times to translate phrases from Spanish to English, but the gist of the sentence came through, I just wanted to use that technology. It was just wonderfully, creatively crafted. And his characters--WOW!! He takes a crazy--Loco--Dominican, combines them with Sci-fi geekiness and fatalistic love and creates a character that you want to shake, want to cheer for, want to read--a character you can't help but falling in love with a bit. Oscar Wao, and his whole crazy family, are well worth meeting.

I'm going to have to find time to read more Junot Diaz. This Is How You Lose Her and Drown are next on my list. I cannot wait.

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