Sunday, March 31, 2013

10. Half A Life

By Darin Strauss (205 pp)

This book is tough, but really, really good. Two months before he graduated high school, Strauss was out with friends and a bike swerved in front of his car. The bicycle rider was a classmate and she died from the accident. He was not at fault. This happened in 1988. The story is about him dealing with it for the rest of his life, so far. It is, at times, completely heart-breaking. There are a lot of ways a book like this could go wrong but this one does not. It does not tie up in some neat conclusion. Recommend.

Friday, March 15, 2013

9. Confessions of a Shopaholic

By Sophie Kinsella (269 pp ebook)

Another light reading book for travel. A young woman can't stop buying things and it catches up with her. There was a part of me that experienced severe anxiety about her spending. "You don't need that," I wanted to shout at the book. But there was another part of me that understood her rationale. "I should get that white coat. I would be known as that girl with the white coat." Hilarious and fun to read.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

8. On The Island

By Tracey Garvis Graves (281 pp ebook)

After I finished the Twilight series I figured I'd never again find a book that I enjoyed as much as I thought it was awful. I was wrong. On the Island is the story of a 17 year old boy recovering from a serious illness and his 30 year old tutor who get stranded on a island in the Maldives. Don't worry, nothing happens until he's legal. The writing is weak and cliched. Implausibility builds upon implausibility. I completely enjoyed it during a long day of travel.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

7. Footnotes in Gaza

By Joe Sacco (418 pp)

Last year I decided I would read more graphic novels and this is the first one I've managed to read since then. It's a journalistic account of a couple of incidents in Gaza in the 1950's. It's also a journalistic account of the author researching and interviewing to tell this story. It's dense and lost me in a couple of spots. It's a tough story but really well done.

Friday, March 1, 2013

6. Jagannath

By Karin Tidbeck (111 pp. ebook)

I go through these phases where I try to support small presses and look for books I might normally not read. I think if you call yourself a writer you should do your best to support all kinds of reading.

I had a credit at Weightless Books and this is the book I tried. These are short stories with odd speculative elements. Tidbeck is Swedish and her voice and perspective are original and sometimes disturbing. Definitely recommended for folks who like strange with their stories.