Friday, December 31, 2010

37. The Sopranos: Selected Scripts

By David Chase (323 pp)

I didn't expect to finish any other books this year, however insomnia had other ideas. I woke up at midnight last night and read most of this. I think I fell asleep at 4am. Nothing like waking up the day after your birthday and feeling like you've aged a million years.

I was a HUGE Sopranos fan and these were really fun to read. The collection includes the pilot episode, the episode where Tony takes Meadow to apply for college which was one of my favorite. It also has the episode called Pine Barrons where Paulie and Christopher chase that guy around in the forest. Really great writing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

36. Heart-Shaped Box

by Joe Hill (351 pp)

When I was a teenager I read lots of horror books. I rarely do anymore although I really liked Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol. This is a horror story about an aging rock star who gets haunted by a ghost. The first 75 pages are crazy and you can hardly believe there are still 250pp to go. But it dragged for me in the middle and went on too long.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

35. Quest for a Maid

by Frances Mary Hendry (270pp)

This is one of cousin Lisa's favorite books. It's a YA book set in the 1200's and is inspired by the story of Margaret, Maid of Norway who was shipped off to Scotland as a child as part of some treaty and was killed en route. This story is about a young girl whose father builds ships and she becomes involved with the Maid of Norway. I loved the time period specific details and I also loved the protagonist who kept doing stuff she wasn't supposed to be doing and making things worse. Recommend.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

34. The Forever War

by Joe Haldeman (278 pp)

This book was published in 1974 and I'm always hearing how great it is or seeing it on some top Sci Fi book list so when I saw it at Camille's book exchange, I grabbed it.

I guess I don't like hard SF as much as I think I do. I don't get why this book is considered so great. Yeah, I get it's about the stupidity of war and it was entertaining enough. But there were long mathy explanations about how the fighting suits could withstand .006 gees with a tachyon conversion process as long as the temperature wasn't more than 7.6039 absolute while the vibrating factor of the liquid could be reduced by 7³. And I'd be reading along thinking, "Why are you telling me this?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

33. Rat Girl: A Memoir

by Kristin Hersh (319 pp.)

I am amazed by how much I liked this book. Kristin Hersh started a band called The Throwing Muses when she was a teenager. I wasn't what you'd call a huge fan but I followed the band and was always fascinated by such young people having a successful band and Kristin being a Mom. This memoir is based on her journal when she was 18 and when she was pregnant. It's a little odd, and probably not for everyone but I loved it. I especially love how they were like the anti-attention-whores. They just wanted to do their thing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

32. Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

by Jillian Lauren (339 pp.)

The premise is great: an American woman ends up in the harem of the brother of the Sultan of Brunei. The actual harem part is riveting. The way they recruit the girls, the culture of the harem, the mind games, the way the women treat each other. But wow, it's amazing how this woman managed to write her own memoir and make herself into a completely unsympathetic protagonist. Let's go through a checklist of memoir drama points: Sex industry worker? Check. Daddy issues? Check. Depression? Check. Disordered Eating? Check. Unplanned pregnancy? Check. Abusive parents? Check. Search for birth mother? Check. Plus a couple I've never seen before: a life changing ginormous tattoo and trauma over feeding live mice to large snake she purchased. Unrepentant money grubbing followed by aw shucks, I just needed to find myself.

I recommend if the harem stuff sounds intriguing. The rest of it is easy to skim through.