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I have been reading a lot lately, and not really blogging about anything. Ugh. I know I should be writing more.  Baby steps. Here is a little bit about some of the fiction I’ve read lately.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
I was mostly familiar with David Levithan for writing 1/2 of the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Green, which I have read and liked) and as 1/2 of the team who wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (the book, with Rachel Cohn, which I have not read but I was pleasantly surprised by the movie). This didn’t blow me away, but it was certainly lovely and interesting. It’s organized as a dictionary so the stories occur alphabetically instead of chronologically. I like that you can read it differently any time you pick it up, and that it will feel different/read differently based on who is reading it. It was a quick enough read that I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a quick charming novel.

Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
Recommended. This is the second in the Dirk Gently series. Dirk, for those who are unfamiliar, is a private holistic detective. The first book involved a couple of ghosts and a lot of other wacky stuff. It was ok, but very very very slow to develop. This one was great right off the bat. It also draws heavily on mythology acting up in the modern world, which is something I LOVE (my very favorite book is American Gods). The story engaged me to the very end, and involved just the right mix of clarity and complexity. I think the first book had to many characters and plotlines and weird things going on you didn’t know were going on. This one took all the good stuff from the first book and jettisoned most of the nonsense.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I hated every minute of this book. Well there was one single minute when I liked it, but every other minute was spent hating this book. I am still so angry that spent so much time reading because it was vastly unsatisfying. I went into it pretty excited because it has gotten so much great press. My idol Linda Holmes on Pop Culture Happy Hour said she read it in one sitting while on a plane. She couldn’t say enough good things about it (mentioned about 41:15 in that linked episode)! Barrie Hardymon too! I cannot imagine that. I found it was pure drudgery and I felt like I was turning pages not because it was an un-put-down-able page-turner but because of muscle memory. I wish it were 75-100 pages shorter. I wish at least one of the characters was likable. I wish the twist was satisfying. I wish the format were satisfying. And I wish the writing were enjoyable. I hated it so much.

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
Recommended! I was really taken aback by this one. Ostensibly it’s a story about a man who breaks his shoelaces then buys new shoe laces over his lunch hour. The book is so little about that story though. He goes on all kinds of tangents about design and modern life that were fascinating and elegant. So much of the book takes place in the footnotes, and some of those footnotes stretch across several pages. It is not fast-paced or dramatic or exciting. It is cerebral and nuanced and careful. I found Baker’s (character’s) rich internal life a lot like my own and I was very impressed with this tremendous little book.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Allie has
completed her goal of reading 150 books in 2012!


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