Saturday, May 11, 2013

#6 When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

Today was the monthly meeting of the Graphic Novel Club that I go to the second Saturday of every month, and it reminded me that I'd fallen behind in logging the books that I'd read so far this year in an attempt to reach 25. (As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm much further along, I just need to catch up in writing about it!)

The sixth book I read this year is When God Was a Rabbit, about a girl, Elly, growing up in England and the relationship she has with her family, primarily her brother. The title refers to the fact that she had a pet rabbit named God, who she believed could talk to her, and that he represents the childhood that she moves past, but is always a part of her. I read this book very quickly, in a weekend, and absolutely adored it, laughing out loud at some of the truly ridiculous moments in the book (there's a school Christmas play that is pretty much unparalleled in anything I've ever read, including a death that, if it happened in real life, would be an absolute tragedy, but the author somehow makes us laugh out loud at it).

However, the book is not just a comedy, and when it moves into the 21st-century, and to New York in 2001 — specifically, September 2001 — an historical event that could have been used as a gimmick turns into a compelling story of what many, many people went through during 9/11.

I really enjoyed the book a lot, although I'll admit, some of the details simply didn't stick with me, since rather than one straight-ahead plot the book is made up of several vignettes held together only by the thread of it being Elly's life. But this book was still a fun, quick read, and sometimes that's exactly the sort of book I'm looking for.

Any good suggestions for me and my readers that might be similar to this book?


Erin {pughs' news} said...

Ooh, good to know! I had that one signed out from the library earlier this year and didn't get to it before it was due. I'll have to go back for it now.

Have you read The Night Circus? It is fab.

yourblindspot said...

Erin's right; 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern is pretty fab (though my personal preference when it comes to magical realism will always be to steer folks toward the brilliant but criminally under-read Jonathan Carroll.) For your graphic novel club (provided you haven't read them already, and that you even get a say in what you guys choose), I'd recommend 'Blankets' by Craig Thompson (ok, ANYthing by Craig Thompson, but 'Blankets' is a must), 'Wonder Struck' by Brian Selznick, 'Daytripper' by Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon, and 'Dotter of Her Father's Eyes' by Mary Talbot.

Nikki Stafford said...

I have read The Night Circus (I preordered a copy from Amazon because I was so keen to read it!) and loved it. I hear there's a movie in the works, and I'm very interested to see how they adapt it!

yourblindspot: You'll enjoy #8 and #9, coming soon! :) And Jonathan Carroll!! One of my FAVES. In fact, I was thinking of rereading The Land of Laughs this year. Now I think I have to. :)

yourblindspot said...

Nikki: Carroll... How is that guy not a household name? It's gotta be those knife-twist endings, right? Never had anyone kick the legs out from under me so effectively, and with almost every book. When I first discovered him back in '95 or so, most of his books were still out of print, and I don't like to think about how much money I spent just to read my way through his oeuvre. (Maybe the fact that I wanted all first editions had something to do with it, but I'm pretty sure the majority of them never got second printings anyway, so I try to ignore that detail. And really - tell me 'Land of Laughs' isn't worth a hundred bucks anyway.)

Maybe #s 8 and 9 earn a double post?

Nikki Stafford said...

I know. I don't know anyone besides me (and now you!) who reads Jonathan Carroll. Thousands do, don't get me wrong; he's cult-popular, but none of my friends read him. I think I'm going to go on a Jonathan Carroll binge soon.

And yes, #8 and #9 are definitely going to be a double-post. :)

Anonymous said...

I need my G of T fix.You are too good a Mom causing an important delay. Sure hope you post your blog soon.I've had to read two other recap/blog instead but they are not as good as you and Chris.

Andy said...

The Book of Things by John Connolly and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster are wonderful reads