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

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books read, 2nd quarter [Aug. 12th, 2012|11:47 pm]
Just me.
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Once again I forget to post this in June and now we're halfway thru the 3rd quarter. Oh well.

fiction:
1) The Leopard by Jo Nesbo (audio) - I read the Snowman and liked it, this is the next book in that series. Fairly tense crime thriller, but less believable plot than the Snowman. Audio is well done and will keep your eyes from hanging up on the Norwegian names.

2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - finally read this coming of age story. Very sad in parts but a nice memoir of what it's like to be young and miserable.

3) The Magician King by Lev Grossman (audio) - Sequel to the Magicians, which I really liked. This one has too much about Fillory when the really interesting story is about how Julia self-trains as a Magician after failing the Breakbills entrance exam. I'd probably read a 3rd one but I'd prepare for it to be disappointing.

4) Double Dexter By Jeffry P. Lindsay- Series is losing steam. WIll probably quit reading it. Started this one on audio, but it was read by the author and he's a TERRIBLE reader. Do not read on audio if you're still with this series.

5) Red, White, and Blood by Christopher Farnsworth- 3rd in President's Vampire series, where there's a vampire honor bound to advise and protect the Prez. This one has a very surprising twist ending that makes me want to read the next book NOW but I don't think he's written it yet.

6) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (audiobook) Perhaps the most delightful book I read all year. audio read by Wil Wheaton, who clearly is perfect for this story. Plot: it's the near future, there's a big puzzle-solving contest that will give the winner control of The Oasis, a very popular immersive video game environment. The creator of the contest makes all the puzzle steps feature the nerd passions from his youth, aka the 1980s. Great trip down memory lane for us 80s geeks.

7) A Study in scarlet by A. Conan Doyle (audiobook) Realized after watching the Masterpiece Mystery series with Frumious Bandersnatch that I'd never read a Sherlock Holmes story. Now I have. This one features evil Mormons!

8) Swamplandia! by Karen Russell Started out great, then turns icky when the Birdman shows up. Magical realism and great character development suddenly derails into really unpleasant story. Am really glad it did not win the Pulitzer.

9) Vanishing Act (Jane Whitefield Novels) by Thomas Perry (audio) 1st in series about a Seneca woman who helps people in trouble (battered wives, mob witnesses, etc) disappear. Good story, might read more of them.

10) A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume One by Daniel Abraham -follows the structure of the TV series pretty well, so I didn't learn much new (I haven't read the actual novels yet). Did not care much for the art style, so probably won't continue.

nonfiction
1) Best American Crime Writing: 2006 - Apparently they stopped doing this series, so no new ones. Boo.

2) Tales From Development Hell : The Greatest Movies Never Made? by David Hughes Stories about big budget movies that were almost made, but weren't, like the Total Recall sequel, Paul Verhoven's Crusades movie, and a John Boorman 1970's Lord of the Rings movie. Good reading if you're a film nerd.

3) Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon I had no idea that these dudes from The State wrote "Night at the Museum" and the Vin Diesel comedy "The Pacifier". They've also written some flops, so it's fun to read about those, too. Great read if you think you'll ever write a screenplay.

4) Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman - Essays, mostly funny. I liked it but can see why some people loathe this guy's writing.

5) Just Kids by Patti Smith - Memoir of being a starving artist in NYC in the late 60s and early 70s. Became the first great love of Robert Mapplethorpe before he knew he was gay (though if you've seen the bullwhip photo, you're probably as surprised as I am that there was a time when he didn't know). Criticisms: a little too name-droppy, and the path from starving to success isn't explored as much as I would like. I did like that she fesses up to living in such slovenly dumps at this time that she got lice on several occasions. Also, not enough detail on how Blue Oyster Cult decided to record songs she wrote (she was dating one of them, but no info about collaborating with the band).

6) Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck by Roger Ebert - another compilation of his zero to two star reviews. great bathroom reading.
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