Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Recently Read

Skip it if you wanna.

1. Highway 50 by Jim Lilliefors - Memoir of a road trip. It was interesting, although I got the feeling that the author didn't think very much of the people he met along the way, which was a little off-putting.

2. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King - short stories. This reminded me of that apocryphal story about Picasso, where a family with a young child is traveling abroad and stops for lunch at a little cafe. They strike up a conversation with the man at the next table, and as they are getting ready to leave, the man scribbles a doodle on a cocktail napkin, hands it to them, and says, "I'm Pablo Picasso, and this just paid for your child's college education." Anything Stephen King writes is better than most of the stuff out there, but sometimes I feel like he's publishing stuff just because he can, not because he necessarily thinks it's very good. Although maybe I'm just jealous.

3. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon - Novel about a minister in a small town. Too predictable - I didn't finish it.

4. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - Novel about a family of women with unusual gifts - a little bit on the magical realism side - interesting.

5. Flophouse by David Isay - Documentary/photo book about the men living in NYC's Bowery district - good.

6. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt - Novel about a 12-year-old girl trying to find out who murdered her brother. Starts out slow, but I guess you kind of have to when you're swinging for 500 pages. The ending is a rip-snorter, although it won't satisfy everybody.

Movie Review! "American Teen". This is a doc about high school, and the moral of the story is, high school is just as clique-centered and disorienting as it was when I attended, 30 years ago. Oh, but there is one modern update: Do not ever, ever email a pic of your boobs to someone, unless you want the whole world to see it.

7. Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch - Novel about three hermit-like brothers, and what happens when one passes away under (possibly) criminal circumstances. Told through several different viewpoints and time frames, which would normally have driven me crazy, although this author nailed it. Based on real-life events in a town not far from mine. Good.

Another movie review! "I Like Killing Flies". Doc about a Greenwich Village diner owner. Quirky and really good.

8. The Bride's House by Sandra Dallas. Novel about life in a western mining town in the early 1900s. I like all of Sandra Dallas' books, because they're comforting and easy to read. "The Persian Pickle Club" is probably my favorite of hers.

So! That's what I've been reading lately. How about you?


Badass Nature Girl said...

I just read the Shack, am reading Unquenchable Thirst and have to still read, The Healthy Gut Workbook before it's due back. I picked up a book for the kids that neither wanted to read, so if I have time, I may read that one too. I some times enjoy the juvenile books immensely. Once those are returned, I have here my Wild Feminine I need to finish.

Rob said...

I read Full Dark, No Stars a couple of weeks ago. He does short stories well. I'm kind of fed up with his "doorstop" novels. They all seem alike anymore. Anyway, the first story in the book "1922", was my favorite. For a movie. Try "Red State". Totally weird.

Reading (and chickens) said...

Ooh, I wanted to see American Teen, but now, perhaps not. I still have flashbacks about high school, not sure I want a movie to remind me of them.

I am trying trying trying to finish The Hobbit. It may kill me.

downtown guy said...

Good description on the King collection. I found it fairly meh. When he is good he is very, very good, and when he is bad he is completely boring.

Becs said...

It sounds like the Picasso story is a direct riff of the ray bradbury story. A man meets Picasso on the beach. The artist draws some beautiful work in the sand and the man stands there until the tide takes the drawings away forever.

Domestic Kate said...

Born to Run. I assigned to my students, so we're all reading it together. I love that. So far, it's interesting, but I'm not too far into it yet.

Becs said...

Lately, I'm hiding in Regency romances. I'm reading one that's getting a little violent and a little sexy and I am just so not ready for that.

Candice Hern(e?) - She's my go-to for smart, funny Regencies.

rockygrace said...

BNG, I thought about reading The Shack, but seeing as how I'm an athiest, I'm not sure how much I'd get out of it.

Rob, what is "Red State"?

R(ac), yeah, there was this one girl who slept with her boyfriend, and then he promtly dumped her, so I guess not much has changed.

and downtown, yeah, when King is on, he's ON.

Becs, I like the idea of creating something that just washes away. And a violent romance? Yikes.

Kate, is that the book about the long-distance runners? (I totally looked it up on Amazon.) Let me know if it stays interesting.

Badass Nature Girl said...

Well, of course you won't get out of it what I did, but it might be an interesting read...or some thing you can tear to pieces :o)

Badass Nature Girl said...

Okay, I gave up on the 'An Unquenchable Thirst' one. I really wanted to get through it, but it was such a slow read (one of those that feels like no matter how many pages you read, you're not making a dent). So I'm reading Womenopause (I think for the second time, but I couldn't remember any thing from the first time) and Wizards and Witches and Fairies and Elves before reading the Gut workbook thingy.