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Books read, 4th quarter 2010 - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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Books read, 4th quarter 2010 [Jan. 5th, 2011|01:41 pm]
Just me.
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 Fiction:

1) Dexter by Design - Jeffry Lindsay
2) Dexter is Delicious - Jeffry Lindsay

Books 4 and 5 in the series, and now I'm caught up. The variance between who got killed off in the TV series and who's killed in the books varies wildly, and the whole "Barrel girls" plot of last season doesn't even appear here. Enjoyable but the TV show is better, believe it or not.

3) Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris
4) Club Dead - Charlaine Harris

Books 2 and 3 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I swear I didn't mean to read so many novels that spawned cable shows, but that's the way the library hold list worked out. These are enjoyable despite knowing they're fiction junk food, kinda like when you really crave Mcdonald's fries, eat them, and then feel guilty for eating them. Not really liking this whole werewolf subplot in the the books or the TV show.

5) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson
Almost as good as the hype, but overly long. I saw the movie before I finished this, which I thought did a better job in telling the story by cutting out the sub-plots about labor history and Swedish magazine publishing. Would recommend, and certainly a better written "book even non-readers are reading" book than the Da Vinci Code was.

6) The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
YA dystopian novel about a televised Survivor type game featuring 24 children killing each other, with the last kid standing winning riches and comfort. Think Battle Royale, but American. Also a fair amount of rebel alliance/class warfare plot elements. Anyway, very compelling and I literally read it all in one sitting. Now in line for part 2 of the trilogy.

Graphic novels: (used to list these in NF as per Dewey classification, but I think they need a separate section)

7) Embroideries  - Marjane Satrapi
Meh. Bunch of Iranian ladies sitting around talking about marriage, husbands, female oppression and lady parts. Might have been compelling as part of a longer narrative, but read more like walking in on a coffee klatsch where you don't know anyone or their background stories.

8) Persepolis 2 -Marjane Satrapi
Better than the above, but not as good as Persepolis. Still, a compelling insight into what it was like to live in Iran during the revolution and the Iran/Iraq war.

9) James Kochalka's Magic Boy & Robot Elf - James Kochalka
Gift from my mom. Didn't really care for it. Simultaneously weird and precious, which didn't work for me.

10) A.D: New Orleans after the Deluge - Josh Neufeld
Katrina narrative. Not as good as I'd hoped, but compelling.

Non fiction:

11) National Lampoon Road Trip USA: All the Places your Dad Never Stopped at - Harmon Leon
Travelogue to crappy or uncomfortable places, such as towns with Klan heritage or boar hunting ranches. Funny, but funny in the way that makes you want to wash your hands.

12) Role Models - John Waters
Essays about people who John Waters admires, including artists, amateur pornographers, and repentant Manson girl Leslie van Houten, and Johnny Mathis (really). Great fun if you're a fan of his films.

13) Getting into Guinness: One Man's Longest, Fastest, Highest Journey inside the World's Most Famous Record Book- Larry Olmsted
History of the record book and profiles of people who set out to get into the book multiple times (including the author, who set a "playing golf in multiple countries in one day" record and a marathon poker record. Fun but forgettable.

14) Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery - James Lileks
Like the Gallery of Regrettable Food - same idea, still funny.

15) Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice - James Lileks
Probably funnier if you've actually read parenting books, but I enjoyed it. It's amazing that there was once controversy about giving babies laudanum to stop their crying (spoiler alert: you shouldn't)

16) Earth (the Book) A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
Daily Show humor book, like "America (the book)". I liked it though 2 weeks later I can't remember any of the jokes in it that made me laugh.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: erikred
2011-01-05 08:49 pm (UTC)
3) Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris

I still feel guilty as hell about enjoying these, but it's hard to deny they're enjoyable, and they go down like popcorn.

5) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson

I don't agree with everything said in this review in The F-Word (which I stumbled across while thumbing through Bitch Magazine at the superlative Issues just off Piedmont Ave. in Oakland), but it did point out something that bothered me about this book: namely, that a book with such horrendous violence against women would get praised so much for having a strong female lead. I mean, I'm glad I finished the book, mostly, and it had a little catharsis to make up for the other stuff, but, well, yuck. And ick. And no.

Far better is Tarantino's Death Proof, where the strong female protagonists beat, to a pulp, Kurt Russell, an obvious proxy for the author, in retaliation for torturing his audience for nearly an hour before getting to the good stuff.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2011-01-06 02:55 am (UTC)

sexism etc

I was particularly bothered that the movie felt the need to have Salander attacked AGAIN in the subway after the guardian rape scene, esp since that isn't in the source book. I don't see the book as either feminist or antifeminist, but I don't expect my fiction to be idealistic.

I did not enjoy Death Proof because the first part where Kurt kills all the drunken girls was violent and didn't make the stunt gals learn his history. In other words, we have to see him kill the innocent gals, and when the stunt gals fight back, they have no idea how psychotic he really is. So it doesn't really help the audience hate him more, it just makes us squirm as the first set of women are tormented.
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[User Picture]From: erikred
2011-01-06 03:08 am (UTC)

Re: sexism etc

Sorry, didn't make myself clear: at the end, Russell's character is a proxy for Tarantino; the beatdown is meant to bring relief to an audience who's had to endure the first part of the film. Mind you, I only saw the Grindhouse version, so I have no idea what the so-called full-length Death Proof is like... and you really couldn't pay me to see it.
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[User Picture]From: haineux
2011-01-05 08:52 pm (UTC)
I was going to just post the picture of PEDIATRIC NEMBUTAL (which I simply can NOT believe ran in real live magazines), but the entire journal entry is entertaining: http://mommyhoodandlife.com/2009/08/12/time-warp-thursday-um-wednesday-baby-did-a-bad-bad-thing-edition/

But seriously, check out the ZOMBIE EYES.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2011-01-06 02:58 am (UTC)

WOW

the book is very much like this- if you haven't already seen it, as a new parent, I think you'll enjoy it.

Crazy that mother's little helper was given to infants too.
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