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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Books Read :: June 2012


Not too much read in June due to one book being a big ol' tome. Enjoy my thoughts as follows.

Mission: to read 52 books in 2012
Status: 36/52
Books Read, June: 4

Notes on Books Read:

33) Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
I read this book for my book club this month. My only complaint about this book was that there were too many big words. I noted something like this on my book club page at one point, "if one more character is described or described AGAIN as 'avuncular', I am going to throw this book at the wall." The novel was really long, and I was annoyed because not a lot of people read the whole thing/posted about where they were in the book, etc. This is the problem with having an "online" book club-- no one is really dependable. Dependability is dead. But I digress-- I think I was most mad because I really enjoyed this book and had a lot about it that I wanted to discuss, but I wound up not really doing much of that. Here are things that struck me that I would have liked to get into with my book club: The juxtaposition between Ruprecht and Lori. The lead up to the mystery of Skippy's death and then the either "aha!" or the let down of the discovery. How well written Howard's relationship with his girlfriend was, and how it provided relief for an older audience sick of reading about the foolishness of teenagers. The different voices provided, even when the book was mostly in the 3rd person. The odd way that some of it was in the second person in a mostly controlled but sometimes inconsistent way. Ruprecht's weirdo science.  

34) Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell
This was an extremely well-written apocalyptic novella consisting of a number of different stories, alphabetical by children's names, of parents and children in a nearly unrecognizable earth. I don't know if I'd consider a novella, actually-- it was more like a story collection, the beginning of 26 different stories. This was something that confused me at first-- I wasn't sure if the stories were linked or not linked. But eventually one realizes that the worlds could not all really coincide. My favorites were "Domina, Dorren, Dorma", "Kidd, Kier, Kimball", and "Prescott, Presley, Preston".

35) Watch the Doors as They Close by Karen Lillis
This is a novella of a fictionalized realistic account of an NYC relationship, failed. This was one of those books that captured NYC so well that I wanted to go back while I was reading it. Then I remembered how bad it smells in the summer and how expensive it is and how frantic I already feel in a less-busy city-- The main characters in this book were familiar even though I didn't know them. A novella like this takes you into its characters and as you are feeling your way around them, you find someone you know.

36) Stories V! by Scott McClanahan
I bought this when I saw Scott read at the TireFire reading series in Philly, and I picked up Karen's book because this book has a lady in a bikini stretched across it and I didn't want to bring it to school. Oddly, unbeknownst to me, Scott blurbed Karen's book, which I discovered on the Philly subway headed into the city. The books, though, were not really similar at all, except in that they felt like true stories turned into very entertaining fiction. I don't know what to say, really, about Scott's book except that you should read it. Or go see him read if he reads near you. "TIME HAS STOPPED."

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