Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Crossed Off the Bookshelf

So since I've been stuck at home and I have watched all the episodes of all the tv shows that I like....I've been burning through books like nobody's business. It's a good thing Fully Booked gave me a 20% discount otherwise we'd be broke.

Just a quick run through of the books I've finished in the last 3 weeks and my 2 cents worth on each:

1. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain - I'm a big Bourdain fan. I have a copy of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, plus his fiction novel Gone Bamboo. He's a funny writer (he writes like someone I should be friends with) and makes me feel like I should be eating better food and learning how to cook. He's irreverent and I bet Jamie Oliver hates his guts. :-)

2. Heart Sick - pure pulp fiction. The literary equivalent of a popcorn movie. Fun, fast and totally shallow. I forget who wrote it (my sister has my book right now) but its one of the better murder/mystery novels I've read in a long while.

3. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin - chick lit. Blech. I actually like chick lit. But there's something about the main character that bugged the living crap out of me. I felt totally unsympathetic with her indecisiveness and childish reasoning. And the premise, I mean....really? Choose between your wonderful, loving, successful, handsome, rich husband --- or your emotionally stunted, brooding, passive aggressive ex-boyfriend who dumped you for no reason. What kind of choice is that?

4. StarGirl by Jerry Spinelli* - what a great book! All teenage girls should be made to read this book. What a terrific treatise on being free to be whoever you want to be. I've always felt that conformity is overrated. Why should we waste time seeking the approval of others when what really matters is being true to one's self. Stargirl is a wonderful testament to that. It's funny, poignant and stirring. I can't wait till Pilar is old enough to read this.

5. Holes by Louis Sachar* - you would have thought it was a short story with how fast I read through this book (6 hours straight --- although inclusive of lunch, afternoon nap and 10 million bathroom breaks). I can understand why it won a Newberry medal. Though the ending was predictable (although I am 34 and this book is targeted for the 15 and under crowd --- so it should be no surprise that I knew what was going to happen halfway through the book) it didn't detract from the book's charm and I was still eager to read through the whole thing just to see how it would pan out.

6. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris - here's another guy who writes like he should be my friend. I can just imagine the conversations we would have. The minute I finished reading it I immediately called my friend Jaime and told him that this is what he would be like if he were a smart and witty gay writer.....instead of just being :-) Actually his sexuality is only anecdotal to his random musings on life, family, fashion, and whatever the hell else caught his fancy. I found this one much more enjoyable than his other collection of essays Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

7.On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan - I have always promised myself that I would own/read an Ian McEwan book before I die. Largely because he has like 6 books on the 1001 Book You Must Read Before You Die. But to be honest, I haven't finished this one yet. His books are like Merchant/Ivory movies --- beautiful, lyrical, profound....and a tad boring. I keep starting and stopping. It feels a little like work to get through it. So I'm putting it back on the shelf for a while.

I also read Everything You Need to Know to Have a Healthy Twin Pregnancy but I doubt if you'd want to hear about.

I highly recommend The Nasty Bits and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, as well as Star Girl and Holes.

* Star Girl and Holes are books for kids by who says you have to limit yourself to adult fiction? :-)