Monday, October 20, 2014

Recently Read

As usual, skip it if you wanna.

1.  Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.  Ms. Chazt is a noted cartoonist, so I'm not sure why I was surprised that her memoir, about her aged parents' decline and death, was in cartoon form, but I was.  Anyway, it's really good, and a really quick read, and her Dad had dementia, so I could relate to it in a billion different ways.  Plus, she's flat-out funny.  Favorite line:  "Where, in the Five Stages of Death, is EAT TUNA SANDWICH!?!?"  (Her mom, er, lived a little longer than the doctors expected.)

2.  Heartbreak Cafe by Penelope Stokes - Novel about a recently widowed woman who opens a restaurant. Think Fannie Flagg lite.

3.  Cruddy by Lynda Barry - Novel about a young girl with a hard childhood.  I was having a hard time getting into this one, but I knew I had read one of Ms. Barry's novels before and really liked it, so I did a blog post search and ...  it was this book!  I read it back in 2008 and, according to my review, really liked it!  This time around, I didn't like it, couldn't even get very far into it,  so it just goes to proves that your own life situation at any given time has a lot to do with whether or not you'll enjoy any particular book, I guess.

4.  Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  I wanted to read it before the movie came out.  It's a memoir from a woman who hiked portions of the Pacific Coast Trail.  Good.

5.  The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro.  Humorous essays.

6.  Untamed:  The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island by Will Harlan.  Biography of  naturalist Carol Ruckdeschel.  Really, really good.  Along with a fascinating portrait of a woman who truly loves wild things, this book also explains, in an entertaining way,  lots of subjects that might ordinarily be considered dry, like the Social Darwinism concept, and why Jimmy Carter is interested in monitoring elections,Very, very good and highly recommended.

7.  Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagan.  Novel about a child murderer on the loose in a small town in the fifties told from the viewpoint of a young girl.  Okay.

8.  Let Us Build Us a City by Donald Harington - Nonfiction about several small Arkansas towns and their inhabitants.  I loved, loved his novel When Angels Rest and I enjoy reading about small-town life, so I thought I would like this book as well.  Nope.  It just wanders all over the place, and not in a good way.  Didn't even get past the first town.

9.  O Pioneers by Willa Cather.  No, I'd never read it before.  Novel about Nebraska farmers in the late 1800s, written in the early 1900s.  Interesting, because unlike a lot of books of that era that come off as really dated, I felt like this one could have been written today.  Good.

10.  Found by Davy Rothbart.  Series of essays, mainly written by hipsters and people in bands nobody's ever heard of, about found things.  Meh. 

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

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