Monday, November 04, 2013

October 2013 Books

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (library book) - Let me be honest for a minute.  My life is not hard, in the sense that I know that rent will get paid, we will have food in the house, and that I have family who loves me and a cat who occasionally cuddles with me.  I am lucky and I am grateful for this.  But it is sometimes a challenge for me to get out of bed. It is all I can do to make breakfast, brush my teeth, and do SOMETHING with the day. I reward myself for doing minimal chores with reading.  And I want my reading to be entertaining. It doesn't have to be OMG hilarious or OMG happy ending all the time, but I want more than a slog through a dysfunctional family with little in the way of resolution or hope at the end.  I want my reading to be a reward and this kind of felt like a punishment.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin (library book) -  I just don't think that stories about poor little rich girls are ever going to be my cup of tea.

Payback Time by Carl Deuker (library book) -  What did I expect, right? The cover is an arm holding up a football helmet.  The description of the book made it sound like it was going to be about a young boy reporter, though, so I fell for it.  But the endless descriptions of football games bored me. I just don't think I'm the audience for this one.

The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D'Agostino (library book) - I was told this book would be funny.  It is not.  It is a depressing slog through a twentysomething man's life, a man who is dealing with a crappy hand dealt to him in a crappy way.  I was waiting for the humorous elements that I was promised and I didn't get it. The writing was solid and compelling and I finished the book, but I finished it the same way I always finish the vegetables on my plate - not necessarily because it's delicious and my favorite thing ever, but because maybe it's good for me in the long run.


 Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (library book) - This book is grand. Hilarious, yet touching.  I read somewhere that someone listened to this book as an audiobook and they couldn't follow it. I believe that. It's told through a series of email exchanges, notes, and first person narration. If you didn't have it written down in front of you, it could be challenging to figure out what was going on and when the narration is changing. But it's a solid read.

Cold Case by Stephen White (library audiobook read by Scott Brick)  - I so hate hopping into the middle of a series without warning.  This was a perfectly acceptable whodunit.  I probably would have enjoyed it more had I known the back stories of the characters, but it was fine and would earn a solid 3/5 stars.

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (library book) - I read this book because it was on a list of "Best of" books you haven't read from 2012. Sure enough, I had not read any of them. And if they're all like this one, I'm not reading any other books from that list because I am so sick of reading books about creepy old men. I get that men of a certain age have needs, but it just reinforces society's worship of young women as the pinnacle of beauty and sexiness when you read books about men (and women) who have been married for a certain period of time and then they just NEED to find a vulnerable young person to use to relive their youths.

Between by Jessica Warman (library book) -  I read 30 pages, summarized those pages to my husband, and we had a discussion about how the book would end.  And we were right.  This isn't exactly the smartest literature out there.  Plus the main character was incredibly unlikeable and her choices in friends did not do her any favors.  You can skip this book and not miss anything in your life.

The Scorpio Races  by Maggie Stiefvater (library book) - Stiefvater is an enigma to me. She writes horrible books like the Shiver trilogy and awesome books like The Raven Boys. And then there's this book.  It's like two books. The first half is slow and boring and reads like what I imagine a first draft of Stephenie Meyer book might be.  But the second half was better.  Not necessarily GOOD, mind you, but I was able to read more than five or six pages at a time.  The truth is that the characters aren't distinct enough to have dual narrations.  In a George R. R. Martin book, you don't have to keep flipping to see if you're reading a Cersei chapter or a Sansa chapter or a Jon chapter or an Arya chapter.  You just KNOW because the characters are deeply, deeply different.  Martin is so good that each character has his or her own voice, story, and personality.  Frankly, I couldn't tell the difference between Puck and Sean in The Scorpio Races because the characters didn't have personalities. In the end, that's what made this book so deeply meh for me.


1 comment:

  1. So, basically, for the Between book, you didn't need to know what came between the beginning and end? Fitting title, then.

    ReplyDelete

 
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