Friday, February 12, 2016

Recently Read

As always, skip it if you wanna.

1.  44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith - This author was recommended to me as having a style similar to Maeve Binchy, whom I LOVE.  However, 44 Scotland Street was a bust for me, mainly because so many of the characters were sooooo unlikable.  I got about halfway through, realized that I didn't care what happened to the painting OR the missing underwear, and quit.

2.  The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory - Memoir from a guy who rescued a cat.  The first two chapters, involving the rescue, were engrossing - the following chapters were a bunch of meh.  Meh.

3.  Looking for the Klondike Stone by Elizabeth Arthur - Memoir about the years the author spent at summer camp as a young child.  I have nothing but admiration for people who can remember events and conversations from their childhood, because I don't remember any of that stuff from my own growing up, but still, this book was a little ... er ... boring?   As a series of long-form essays on line, it might have been interesting, but ingested all at once it was kind of meh.  Summer camp has a special place in my own heart, but that doesn't necessarily mean I wanted to read about someone else's experiences with it. Didn't finish.

4.  The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner - Account of the author's childhood in a polygamous family.  I LOVE this kind of thing, but the author could've used a ghostwriter.  Didn't finish.

At this point, I'd like to say, I really, REALLY am not trying to dis these authors.  I keep doing these Recently Read posts because, so often, I'll get partway through a book only to realize that I'd read it before, because I am OLD, so now I put all the books I've read down in these lists so that, before I buy a book or take it out of the library, I can search for the title on the blog here and find out if I've already read it.   Every single one of these authors is to be admired for actually writing a book, even if me, Little Miss Nobody, didn't find it interesting.

5.  Ambulance Girl - Memoir about a woman who became an EMT.  Way, WAY too much about her feelings about becoming an EMT, and almost nothing about what being an EMT is actually like.  Not good.

Movie review time!  Hands on a Hardbody (minds out of the gutter, please!) is an old documentary about people trying to win a truck by being the last one standing.  Fascinating and sad.

6.  The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp - Memoir about a woman in her twenties who was supposedly homeless.  Oh oh OH there is a LOT that I could say about this book, none of it good, but suffice it to say that she wasn't actually homeless and leave it at that.  Blech.

7.  Ever By My Side by Nick Trout - Veterinarian's memoir.  I read a LOT of veterinarian's memoirs, because they're usually an enjoyable read, and this book was no exception.

8.  Off Keck Road by Mona Simpson. Novel. Didn't finish.

9.  The Journeyer by Gary Jennings.  Historical fiction about the travels of Marco Polo.  I read this book many, many years ago and LOVED it.  All this time later, I could still remember parts of the story.  So I finally bought a copy to see if it was as good as I remembered.  This book, at over a thousand pages, can give War and Peace a run for its money, length-wise, but that didn't bother me at all, because YES, it was as good as I remembered.  Parts were somewhat sensationalistic, and I had to kind of skim over some of the more-graphic parts, but oh boy, this is a good book.  Highly recommended.  Very good.

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


~~Silk said...

I have a problem with bad books. Unlike you, I am incapable of just quitting it. No matter how bad it is, I'll keep slogging through, hoping it will get better. I don't know why. It's like a commitment to a bad idea that I have to make better or something. So in self-defense, I try to read every review I can find before buying or opening a book. That doesn't always work. I just read some reviews for "The Girl's Guide...", and even though most were negative, I might have started it because of the reasons given for why it was bad. Apparently it was not badly written, just a "not what I expected, and 'you made stupid choices'" story. Sigh. In the end, I guess I have no defense against wasted reads. Thanks for your warnings.

Domestic Kate said...

Years ago, when I was probably about 13, my mom bought The Cat Who Came for Christmas for me. I seemed to remember it was boring and I didn't finish it. But I've remembered that title for 22 years.

Becs said...

Life is too short to read bad books. I give them as many pages as I can and then dump them. I am still - still! - reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. It keeps breaking my heart. Just when you think the white soldiers will do what they said they would do, they start murdering Native American women,children, old men, and warriors.

Nicholas Nickleby is still in my unpacked suitcase from Thanksgiving.

Emma and I were reading the biography of Rosalind Franklin together. Emma zoomed past me and now I'm struggling along. Rosalind Franklin was the woman who did all the research that Crick and Watson "borrowed" when they came up with the discovery of the double helix.

I'm also trying to finish a book about Toms River, NJ's version of Love Canal.

Too many books, so little time.

rockygrace said...

~~Silk, yeah, I used to feel guilty if I dumped a book halfway through. No longer. Ha.

Kate, don't worry, I finished it for you. It wasn't very good.

Becs, I was reading your comment, and I was like, the biography of Rosalind Franklin? Wasn't she the woman who played Auntie Mame? (I guess I was thinking of Rosalind Russell. I'm not sure. I'm an idiot. But it made me laugh, so there ya go.)