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2nd quarter books - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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2nd quarter books [Aug. 30th, 2009|02:00 am]
Just me.
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yes, I should have posted these at the beginning of July. I got busy with weddingy stuff and neglected my duties. This also accounts for the smaller number of books finished. Oh well.


Fiction:
1. Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings (audio) by Christopher Moore
Eh. not one of his better ones. I like the vampire ones and the Stupidest Angel better.

2. The Riddle of the Traveling Skull by Harry Stephen Keeler
McSweeny's reprint of a so-so work by a usually INSANE writer from the 30's. Keeler is one of a kind, out of print and hard to find, so this is as easy a starting point as you're likely to find. Liked it okay, but I've read better Keelers. still an okay introduction if you haven't read him, though.

3. Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard (audio)- I'd read tons of Ballard's dystopian stuff better never read his (arguably) best known work. I've never seen the movie, either. Pretty good, but not what you'd expect after "Crash" or "Concrete Island".

4. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Now this was a good one. Think by now I'm all caught up on Moore (except for the new one, Fool). Title pretty much explains the plot. Funny.

5. The Sportswriter by Richard Ford (audio)
Never read Ford, this is acclaimed, it was on audio, so why not. Literary "coming of middle age" story. I would have hated this if I read it at 25, now, I liked it okay. kinda depressing, but not bad. Doubt I'll read any more of his stuff, though.

6. The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
wow. this was great. Epistolary novel about an Egyptologist in 1922 whose discoveries are overshadowed by those of Howard Cater and King Tut. oh, and there's also a missing person/ possible murder mystery mixed in. Apparently compares to Nabokov's "pale fire", which I know nothing about, with the use of unreliable narrators. great, would recommend.

non fic

1. Lost on Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation by J. Maarten Troost (audio)
not as good as his 2 about the south pacific. focuses alot of weird food and uneasy capitalism. Funny, but read "the sex lives of cannibals" first.

2. Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen : how one girl risked her marriage, her job, and her sanity to master the art of living by Powell, Julie.
I read this way before the movie came out. you already know what this is about. I liked it fine, will see the movie on DVD.

3. Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz
Excellent travel book where the author goes about the South Pacific following Cook's voyages and quoting from Cook's diary. Best part- renting a car on the tiny island of Niue, which only has planes on and off once a week, and getting no hassles with deposits because there's no where to hide/steal the car. Then they mistake the police chief's car for theirs, take it home, and again, get in no trouble for it since everyone knew where the car was.

4. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
great, half informative, half prurient. Now I want to read her book about dead people.

5. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (audio)
good. like you need a review.

6. The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (P.S.) by Marilyn Johnson
About obituaries and the people who love them. Focuses on the "common man" obits that newspapers started doing in the 80s along side the notable deaths. good, but fluffy.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jtemperance
2009-08-30 09:37 am (UTC)
McSweeney's is reprinting Harry Stephen Keeler? That's cool. The only one I've read is "Finger, Finger!" It took forever to get through, but it was worth it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: holyoutlaw
2009-08-30 04:40 pm (UTC)
I liked Roach's "Stiff!" a lot, it was very funny.
(Reply) (Thread)