Published by admin on 01 Jan 2008 at 09:15 am
16. The Mystified Magistrate: And Other Tales by Marquis de Sade (12/3/08) I’ve never read any of his pornographic novels, and don’t know that much about him except the stuff I can sort of recall from the movie Quill, so I thought all of his stuff was dirty. This is a fun read about a crooked judge who gets his comeuppance and how. The Marquis really hated judges. And he tortures this one good.
15. The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks (11/15/08) I didn’t love everything about this, and the ending feels more than a little abrupt, but I do think it’s a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the way he writes women, and I think his family dynamic is spot on.
14. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (9/14/08) My mom and my sister recommended this. It’s a good plane read. I found it a little too pulpy for my taste, but it’s a good replacement for Patricia Cornwell or any other hacky mystery writer who is currently failing you. (I’m not bitter. Not at all!)
13. The Wasp Factory: A Novel by Iain Banks (8/10/08) Loved this. It’s super creepy and has a twist ending that normally would irritate me, but for some reason it just totally works. Highly recommend.
12. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (8/9/08) 50 books recommended this, and while I liked the charm and the use of intersecting stories, it just didn’t complete do it for me. I’m sure part of that had to do with me taking over a month to get through it.
11. Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn (8/1/08) This was a re-read. I had been talking to someone about it, and then as I cruised through the Beverly Hills Public Library I saw a pristine hardcover copy on their book sale rack for one dollar (!) so I bought it. The first 100 pages are so strong that you can almost forgive the last 250, almost. I’d be completely surprised this hasn’t been optioned for screen rights. It’s cinematic and engaging, but needed a stronger editor (in my humblest of opinions).
10. Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (5/14/08) This is the kinder, gentler (and a little gayer) version of A Million Little Pieces. But I really liked it. He has an excellent and slightly uncanny way of telling a story that feels like he’s just sitting down and talking to you. I liked this.
(I am a little embarrassed about my reading list, thus far. Please forgive me. I gave up television and apparently my brain needed its trash quotient filled some other way.)
9. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (5/3/08) I have no idea what possessed me to re-read this. But I did. And I still cried at the same places I cried when I read it as a young lass. It’s not great literature, but for some reason I still really like this story. Sue me.
8. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (4/20/08) I read a Stephanie Plum Christmas story for book club last year, and kind of hated it, so this one sat languishing of my shelf for quite some time. I started reading Cloud Atlas on the plane, but couldn’t get into it, so I cracked this one open and it was actually super enjoyable. I highly recommend it for travel or a nice vacation read. It’s a little over written in some parts, but it doesn’t feel long or too tedious, I can see why she’s a best seller.
7. A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore (4/14/08) This was a book club read from a few months ago and I never had the chance to finish it. It’s actually pretty funny, if a bit predictable. I recommend it for a trip. Easy to read, the themes are easy to follow and the characters are all really fun.
6. The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-cream God by John R. Powers (4/13/08) This was recommended to me and I thought I would like it, and I did like the first 100 pages or so, but it got a little tedious with the super-sarcastic dialogue and I missed a feeling of sincerity. I think that makes me a sap, but so be it.
5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (3/23/08) It still made me cry, but the very end left me a little cold. I don’t know, something about it rang a little… trite, maybe? Or open ended in an ‘easy way out’ kind of way. I still really liked it though.
4. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (3/4/08) If you like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, you really should pick this up. It’s referential to Austen and the Bronte’s but not in the way you find today. She had an ease with the landscape and the time. I adored the main character in a way I find rare in literature today. I highly recommend it.
3. If Loving You is Wrong by Gregg Olsen (2/25/08) I hoped this was going to be a trashy exposé about Mary Kay Letourneau, and it certainly tried, but boy did it fail. Oddly researched and horribly written, I should have given up after the first 100 pages, but by then I had invested so much time in it, that I kept reading. It didn’t get better. I guess that will teach me.
2. Play it As it Lays by Joan Didion (1/31/08) This is some dark shit. Her writing challenges you to step up and feel the pain. There are no halfsies with her, it’s brutal. I loved it. Your mileage may vary.
1. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin (1/26/08) It took me a long time to get through this, I started reading it before the break-up, and after the break-up I had no desire to read, especially since I knew that once I was done, it was one more thing that was finished. And that, my friends, is a lot of baggage to put on a book. I think I liked it. I had trouble with the constantly shifting narrator, mostly because I would put it down and then wouldn’t pick it up again for a while. I’ll probably have to re-read this at some point.