Monday, October 1, 2012

What I've been reading lately

The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: In this volume, DJ sort of dates this guy, and that ends badly.  Mostly she keeps dealing with her screwed up, silent family, as they deal with a real crisis or two.  I love this narrator's voice and the way she comes to realize things about herself and the people around her and starts to act on them in small but powerful ways.

Book Girl and the Wayfarer's Lamentation: So what does a book series do after it resolves what you thought was going to be its main conflict?  Well, I'll have to find out in the next volume because this was the volume where some big showdowns happened, and it gets pretty brutal.  There are a lot of reversals in this book as characters and motivations are twisted and shown to be not exactly what you were led to believe.  Lots of emotional tension and some great book-related information, as per usual.

Newton's Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes: Ben Franklin + Alchemy = pretty entertaining. Unless you're London.  At least he's really sorry.

Margaux with an X, Now Playing: Stoner and Spaz II, and Deadvilleby Ron Koertge: The endings are never cheaply happy.  Each protagonist is so unique.  All the books are united by their common excellence.  Not perfect, mind you, but great.  I am impressed by his ability to make convincing characters who so easily move the plot along while narrating in first person.  I need to study this; if done right, the books just seem to hum along even if there's not really much action.  I am also impressed by his ability to create realistic adult characters, use interesting family groups/dynamics, and seamlessly include characters with various kinds of disabilities.  Well done!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: This book is always an interesting read (especially if you're me and forget everything between readings).  Ponder once again these clear examples, this lack of theological buzzwords, the thought-provoking ideas grounded firmly in a time past.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: If you are easily offended, this one is not for you; the language is frequently R-rated, as is the content (sometimes more "R" for ralph-inducing).  As the Bloggess, Jenny Lawson tells stories about her screwed up life.  And it is screwed up. 

People who think they grew up with quirky parents will be put in their places by this book.  There are baby racoons in jams, lessons in couch etiquette, more than you really wanted to think about cow artificial insemination, dead babies, saint-worthy husbands, feeling stabby, and more neuroses than you can shake a roadkill puppet at.  You will find that you really love your job (unless you work in HR).  You will be grossed out and offended for sure.  You might also laugh hard enough to have an asthma attack.  More than once.

Best served in small doses, this one nonetheless adds up surprisingly well into something akin to a memoir.  However, you really need to know what you're getting into when you read this, or you will be disappointed.  It's not Shakespeare, and it's not trying to be.  If you read it like a blog (a little bit every so often), you'll probably end up with a better opinion of it than if you try to read it like a normal memoir or novel.  If it starts getting tedious, stop reading and come back to it later when you need a really weird pick me up.

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