First off, let me say that I am weirdly excited about the return of American Idol tonight. I know that within the first fifteen minutes, I'll be covering my ears and changing the channel, but right now antipication is high.
Here we go:
1. I Smile Back by Amy Koppelman - Oh, for f*ck's sake. Novel about a housewife who becomes unbalanced. Good writing, but I had zero sympathy for the main character and gave up about halfway through.2. Home on the Bear's Domain by Martha Martin. I loved her first book, "O Rugged Land of Gold", despite the cringeworthy title, but I just couldn't get into this one, another memoir about her life in Alaska. For one thing, she really doesn't seem to like her kids very much, which actually should endear her to me, but she just came off as kind of cold. I quit about a third of the way in.
3. Closing Time by Joe Queenan. Memoir about growing up with an alcoholic, abusive father. Mr. Queenan took what should have been a fascinating story and intellectualized the shit out of it. Which is his prerogative, of course, but I gave up halfway through.
4. Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffen. The stand-up comic's memoir. I like her, but her book? Not so much.
At this point I was beginning to think I was never going to find a book I could get all the way through. Thankfully, I came to:
5. Gap Creek by Robert Morgan. Novel about a woman in the late 1800s. Well-written and interesting.
6. The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin. Published in 1941, this is a novel about an English priest in China in the early 1900s. A really good story. Oh, and I did a little research and discovered that they made the book into a movie starring Gregory Peck as the priest, which cracks me up because in the book, the priest is a nebbishly little nerd.
7. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer. Oh Christ, another full-of-himself journalist writes a "memoir" while in his forties - bleecch. Dude, you're not all that.
8. Hey! Let's do a movie review! "Adventureland" is a coming-of-age tale of kids working at a six-flags-like park. It reminded me of Garden State, which means it was boring and lame.
9. Jesus Saves by Darcey Stienke. Novel intertwining the stories of an abducted girl and a minister's daughter. Interesting and disturbing.
10. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot by John Callahan - Autobiography of a disabled cartoonist. Meh.
Boy oh boy, I'm not liking much of anything these days, am I? Must be the season. Right now, I'm about halfway through "Under the Dome" by Stephen King, and while it's interesting because Mr. King is a hell of a writer, it's following the same old King formula: Person/Group of People find themselves in peril from an outside source and must Slay the Enemy/Save the World, with a healthy dash of the Supernatural thrown in for good measure. Although so far there hasn't been much of the supernatural crap in Under the Dome, which is a welcome relief.
How bout you - read/watched anything good lately?