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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile - Audrey Niffenegger I cannot favorably review a book that suggests suicide as a solution to achieve life’s goals. No. Suicide is the ending of life, not the means to a better one.

THE NIGHT BOOKMOBILE has all the elements of a book that I would usually love. It’s written by Audrey Niffenegger, who is recognized by her famous book THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. It’s conveyed in a convincing medium. It’s a book about a book lover. Everything is great: except the moral of the story.

The story is about a woman who loves to read books. She happens upon a Winnebago full of books that contain everything she’s read—from the phone book to the book she’s currently reading. She wants to become a librarian for this night bookmobile. She studies and goes to school, eventually becoming a prominent librarian in the Chicago library system. She’s left unsatisfied and unaccomplished, still wishing to work in the Winnebago. She then kills herself: “I found fourteen Valium tablets. I took them, and then slit my wrists, just in case.” The book concludes, not with tragedy, but with great reward.

As for the art of the book—it is so-so. Full of color, yes, but drawn by the hands of an amateur. The faces of Niffenegger’s characters are the most disturbing—they morph into different shapes each frame. The gist is clear though and some pictures, like the big library, are fun to look at.

But everything comes down to that one thing; I cannot support a book that promotes suicide. The protagonist worked incredibly hard to obtain a prominent position (I might question the choice to sacrifice personal relationships—but I’ll let it slide in lieu of the larger issue at hand), but to achieve one’s ultimate goal by ending one’s life is a terrible concept to perpetuate.