Monday, June 03, 2013

May 2013 Books

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Jeremy Holmes and Ellis Weiner (library ebook)- Ugh. Precocious kids. Obnoxious narrator.  I just...can't recommend this book.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (library book) - Purported to be the diary of a fifteen year old drug user but an actual work of fiction is depressing as hell.  It serves as a cautionary tale of drug use and the consequences of marijuana, LSD, and a variety of pharmaceutical quality pills, but I'm not sure I would have related to the narrator when I was a kid.  Her life is just too perfect, to be honest, before she starts using drugs. I don't know. The copyright date is 1971, but I feel like it holds up pretty well over time as a preachy, don't use drugs kind of book.

Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris (library book) - This book is set in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and follows our main protagonist as he attempts to figure out the fate of a young woman named Nouf.  I found the book oppressive, but I actually say that as a good thing because the author did a great job of showing the restrictive nature of women's lives in the Middle East.  I don't know if it was the best mystery in the world, but it was an intriguing look at the culture in modern Saudi Arabia.

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton (library ebook) - I don't envy the author the job of attempting to have a ghost narrate.  I was frequently confused by the "you" of the second person narration and had to remind myself over and over again that the narrator was speaking to her husband, not to me, the reader.  But, you know what?  It was a fun little read.  It's not going to blow your mind or anything, but it was a fun read.

Lost in Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation by J. Maarten Troost (library ebook) - Hilarious.  A travel narrative in the humorous style of Bill Bryson. I really, really, really enjoyed this.

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters (library ebook) - I really liked this one, too.  I enjoyed the combination of genres here with apocalyptic dystopia and mystery smashed together. It's the first in a trilogy and I'm looking forward to reading more from Winters.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson and Veronica Chambers (library ebook) - I watch Chopped a lot.  Probably more than is healthy. So I looked forward to reading this book since Samuelsson is a regular judge on that show. But I just can't with this book. He leaves his daughter fatherless and doesn't even bother to meet her until she is a teenager. Why? Because he's a chef?  Because he's a selfish jerkwad?  Because he's a self-absorbed egomaniac? Also, it pissed me off to no end that he didn't thank his daughter in the pages of rambling acknowledgements at the end.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (library book) - A friend with an eight-year-old boy told me that her son really loved this book. I can see why. I think it really gets the awkwardness and uncertainty of a certain age.  But the book doesn't really stand up as enjoyable for adults, I'm afraid.  But your tweens will love it.

The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston (library book) - The writing in this book is ponderous. It was like wading through mud to get to the point and many, many time I had to reread sentences just to understand the meaning.

The First Husband by Laura Dave (library ebook) -  This book had some delightfully funny parts to it.  I don't truly understand the development of characters here, but I almost felt like it was because I was being too judgmental and mean. Anyway, I did laugh (out loud, natch) frequently throughout the book, so it was a successful light, fluffy read for me.  I wouldn't say I loved it, nor would I say that three weeks from now I'll remember having read it, but it's fine beach or bathtub reading.


  1. That sucks - I thought the narrator improved the book when I read the Templeton Twins!

  2. Anonymous6/09/2013

    I really loved The Last Policeman, too - so interesting! I kept thinking about how I would act in the same situation (the impending apocalypse situation, that is). Depressed and giving up? Or striving to live life as well as and as full as possible?


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