Sunday, April 28, 2013

15. Tenth of December

By George Saunders (251 pp)

I love these stories. I think every one has a moment that fills the reader with dread. I think "Escape from Spiderhead" is my favorite although the title story is great, too. If you ever want some cheap entertainment, go read the one star reviews of this book. Hilarity for days.

Friday, April 26, 2013

14. Wide Open

By Deborah Coates (320 pp)

I can't remember where I heard about this book. I gave it to my sister and she liked it so when the offered the ebook for cheap I bought another copy. It's set in South Dakota and is about a woman who returns from Afghanistan after her sister dies. Also, she sees ghosts. The story comes from the speculative bits but it feels like a real world story with this crazy unexplained stuff going on. The setting and the tone are different and I never felt like I knew where it was going. There were a couple of sections that went slow for me but over all I liked it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

13. We Live in Water

By Jess Walter (171 pp)

Short stories that are so, so good. It's a small collection and a few are a little iffy but the good ones are so good. My favorites are "Helpless Little Things" and "Statistical Abstract for My Hometown of Spokane, Washington." Recommend.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

12. Seraphina

By Rachel Hartman (451 pp)

This morning I said, screw it, I'm going to stay in bed until I finish this book. Otherwise I probably won't finish it until next weekend. It is terrific. It's hard to say much without spoilers. It's fantasy in a world with a tenuous peace between people and dragons. It's about a talented young musician who goes to live at the castle and becomes involved in the investigation of a royal murder. I recommend. I did a have a bit of a problem with character fatigue: too many names and nicknames, titles and informal titles. Over halfway through the book I was thinking: if a book ever needed a directory of characters, it's this one. And then I flipped to the back and there it was. Now you know.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

11. Shakespeare Wrote For Money

By Nick Hornby (131 pp)

I'm doing something I never normally do and I've started at least 7 books. In general I prefer project to process. I like beginning, middle, end. I don't like unfinished things. But I here I am in the middle of 2 books of short stories, a YA fantasy novel, a regular novel and 3 non-fiction books. I finally put everything aside to focus on this so I could finish one thing. This is the third and final collection of Hornby's Believer columns. I read The Pollysyllabic Spree in 2005 and Housekeeping v. the Dirt last year. He makes everything he reads sound terrific and it's hard to resist the urge to start a list and plan a trip to the library immediately, except, I'm already in the middle of 7 books and have a groaning to-read stack. But I'm going to get to these some day.