July 2nd, 2006


2nd quarter books read


1) With an axe: 16 horrific accounts of real-life axe murders.- H. paul jeffers -
True crime paperback given to me years ago by Lori, just now read it. Fun trash. Includes Karla 'Please don't kill me" faye Tucker's story but omits the axeman of New orleans, who randomly killed multiple italian grocers (?!) in 1919.

2) The Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley
single chick in NY makes vow to go on date with anyone who asks her out, ends up being asked by elderly man who can't speak english, a mime, a lesbian, and other unsuitable mates. Amusing. Happy ending.

3) My Kind of Place : Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere by Susan Orlean (audio)
collection of magazine pieces. The one about going to Bhutan for a ritual said to get infertile women knocked up is especially interesting. recommended.

4) A Book of Curious Advice : Most Unusual Manners, Morals, and Medicine from Days of Yore by Ruth Pepper Summers
17th-19th century advice books tell you how to cure face worms (aka whitehead pimples- but they look like worms when you pop them, so...) and how many hours to cook your vegetables. fascinating look at quackery and "common sense".

5) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (audio)
exhaustive but enlightening. A lot of overlaps with the Al Gore movie. the part about Easter Island and how they totally deforested their land in order to build those big statues is particular interesting/ maddening.

6) 100 Bullshit Jobs...And How to Get Them by Stanley Bing
List books like this are also bullshit, but then Bing lists "Author of this book" as one of the jobs, so I guess he's aware of the hypocrisy. funny in parts, but anyone could have written this and accomplished about the same humor level.

7) What Would Dewey Do? An Unshelved Collection by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes
comic strips about public library work. Funnier than it sounds.

8) v for vendetta - Alan Moore
Haven't seen the movie yet. liked the graphic novel, though.


1) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer (audio)
9-11 orphan on a quest. Pretty good, but similar precocious vegetarian narrator schtick as "Everything is illuminated". Will be interesting to see what this author's next 5 books are like and if he's a one-trick pony or not.

2) Flush- Carl hiaasen (audio)
his 2nd teen novel. okay but not really that funny compared to his adult novels.

3) Beacon Street Mourning : A Fremont Jones Mystery by Dianne Day (audio)
Last of this series. okay. not as good as early ones.

4) Sour Puss (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries - by Rita Mae Brown (audio
Why do I keep reading this fucking cat mystery series? The character development is good, but the "mystery" parts were not.

5) The Hunt ball- Rita Mae Brown
I mean, I loved her early novels about lesbians and Southern families, so I keep reading her. I really should cut my losses.

6) The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides (audio)
As good as Middlesex, maybe even better. Great portryal of adolescent angst and obsession.

7) Lost- Michael Robotham (audio)
british cop novel, sequel to book I didn't read. Okay, nothing amazing.

8) Prep- Curtis Sittenfeld (audio)
NY times put this in the top 10 best novels of 2005. its good, especially for a first novel, but not THAT good. Basically a contemporary Catcher in the Rye, but written by a woman and with a female lower middle class protagonist. Good portrayal of what it's like to be shy/an outsider in high school, but it takes forever for the book's pivotal conflict to happen. Probably more poignant if you read it in your teens or twenties (like Catcher, which I read WAY too late to really "get").