Maya - Jostein Gaarder, James Anderson This is my first Gaarder book, as well as my first “philosophy” book. Admittedly, during the first portion of the book I had a hard time getting into it. There is quite a bit of mystery built up and much talk of evolution as the main character is a biologist. The dialogue is designed to make the reader question their own beliefs and purpose in life, which I thought was very interesting. However, the evolutionary discussions at times became too heavy and tiresome to read. It seemed like Frank, the main character, would constantly digress into an evolutionary speech whenever given a chance and at times he came off as very whiney as he went on and on. However, once I stopped focusing on these digressions I started to enjoy the story itself, which come to find out is in fact a love story despite all the evolutionary discussions.

What I found most surprising was that I didn’t like any of the characters, but despite this I loved the message and thought the concept of the book was awesome. Weird, as I never had this experience before with a book that at times I felt like I had to push myself to get through. I’m not sure if I would pick up another Gaarder book anytime soon since it seems like I would have to be in the frame of mind to read another philosophy book like this but I definitely would not discount him in the future.