Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recently Read

Yeah, yeah, skip it if you wanna.

1.  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.  I got this one from the library after several people on line praised it.  Novel about the remains of a family, beset by tragedy, living in isolation from the local villagers.  Strange and eerie and poetic. I read it in an afternoon and really liked it. 

2. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson - Yep, the same author as #1 above, there.  This was a memoir of when her children were young; think Erma Bombeck.  Badly dated, and I find it hard to believe that a woman who could write like she could was such a ditz in real life.

3.  Ruffles on My Longjohns by Isabel Edwards - Memoir of homesteading in Alaska in the 1930s.  This woman was as tough as nails.  Very interesting.

4.  Pioneer Girl:  The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder/edited by Pamela Smith Hill.  Remember the Little House on the Prairie books?  Yeah, this is the original, with massive liner notes.  If you're still obsessed with Little House, you will LOVE this book.  Basically, every sentence of the Little House books is fact-checked via Ms. Wilder's actual life.  Holy cow.

5.  All Dogs Go To Kevin by Jessica Vogelsang - Veterinarian's memoir.  Yeah, I read a LOT of those.  This one, while light-hearted, didn't really go into detail about ... well, anything, really.  Meh.

6.  Life is Short (no pun intended) by Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein - Account by the stars of TLC's show The Little Couple of their childhoods, growing up and how they met.   Interesting.

7.  Movie review!  Marjoe is a documentary from the seventies about the child evangelist Marjoe Gortner and his career as he aged.  Kind of an expose of the evangelism biz, it's very interesting.  Confession time!  I had a crush on Marjoe when I was a kid.  True story.  Yes, I AM odd.

8.  Crow Lake by Mary Lawson - Novel about siblings in rural Canada who are orphaned when their parents die in a car crash.  Very well-written, but dry.  I never really cared for any of the characters and quit about two-thirds of the way through.

9.  Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina - Novel about unionizing the West Virginia coalfields in the early 1900s.   Like Crow Lake (above), the prose is excellent but the characters were not engaging.  I finished it, but I can't say as I recommend it.

10.  Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb - This novel, about an Autistic man, got great reviews, but I just found it so-so.  It is a quick read.

11.  Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal - Novel about ... oh hell, I don't know.  The writing was really stilted so I gave up a few pages in.

MAN, I am having a hard time finding good books lately.  Got anything to recommend?

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