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Recent Good ReadsMarch 4, 2012

I went through kind of a dry spell there. I was reading a stack'o'books for a contest and couldn't blog about them (which is fair, since I'm scoring them). But that was a month of reading that I couldn't write about. And while there were some good books in the pile, sadly, there was nothing astonishing that I felt like I had to break the rules to tell you about, so I was eager to get back to my planned reading.

And I'm back! Honestly, I'm loving being back on the Kindle--real books felt so heavy in my hands. Isn't that wussy? And the formatting kept distracting me. I love that on the Kindle all books read the same, formatting-wise (or should), so there's nothing to keep you from plunging into the story.

Horizon, by Sophie Littlefield 

This is the third book in Sophie's Aftertime series. Disclaimer: Sophie is one of my favorite people. She's who you call when you want to be good, and she's who you call when you want to be very bad. And when things go wrong? She's the first to call you. I'm honored to call her a friend. 

And it's a good thing she's a friend, because if she weren't, I'd have to hate her for her talent. She is the MASTER of emotion. She can wring so much out of a seemingly simple sentence that you just kind of sit there, stunned, asking "Where did that come from?" 

I'd say this: read the first one, Aftertime. It's scary and post-apocalyptic (not my usual fare but I gobbled it up) and wonderful. I won't tell you much more, but know this: you'll be hooked. I loved the second book, Rebirth, also. But Horizon blew me out of the water. It's an absolutely stunning conclusion. 


BadIdeaA Bad Idea I'm About To Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgment and Stunningly Awkward Adventure, Chris Gethard

This one was a fluke. I can't remember where I read about it, but it was one of those sample chapters I threw at my Kindle while running by, and I loved it. It's a brief, painful, humorous memoir (the best kind) of a seriously funny manic-depressive. From chapters on his intestinal woes to pro-wrestling, he moved through a landscape that was so solidly male that if asked, I would have guessed it wouldn't have been a book for me. Too male, I would have thought. Too something. But his humility and capacity to relentlessly poke at himself made each chapter lovely, and I roared through it in a day in bed sick with the flu. 



FallingFalling For Me: How I Hung Curtains, Learned to Cook, Traveled to Seville, and Fell in Love, Anna David

Confession: If a memoir is about a privileged 30-something woman learning to do something we all think we should be able to do (but sometimes can't) on a journey of self-discovery framed by a device, no matter how clumsy said device might be, I'm IN* (see My Year With Eleanor, a book this one is reminding me of). Really, I'm in. Anna David finds Helen Gurley Brown's 60s classic Sex and the Single Girl and decided to try living her life by its tenets in order to see if she can figure herself out a little more (and maybe catch a man along the way. Okay, no, she establishes firmly that this is NOT what the experiment is about. But she's candid enough to share that the idea keeps rearing its head).

I'm not done with this one yet and I'm guessing by its subtle title that perhaps a man does come along, but I'm enjoying it enough that I'm sharing it now. 

*Oh, I just realized I'm so in, I wrote one of those myself. Hmmm. 

Now, since I'm in the light-hearted secretly-kind-of-deep memoir mood, Sophie's novel notwithstanding, anything you recommend? 


A Life in Stitches.

Truly, I read a lot, and it was a 5/5 on my goodreads page.

I'm glad I'm not the only wuss who finds holding books to be too much work. Of course, now that I'm nursing a newborn, the Kindle is that much more awesome.

I just finished Tupelo Hassman's novel, girlchild. It is heartbreaking and hopeful all at once, and if you're looking for a fresh voice that will take your breath away (sometimes by knocking the wind out of you), this is it.

Check out Divergent by Veronica Roth. It's a post-apocalyptic novel set in Chicago. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am happy to see a sequel coming out in May!

Thanks for the recommendations.

I love memoirs! Also I love my Kindle.

A few weeks ago I read my first physical book in ages. After my first reading session, I set it down on the table. Then I stared at it in surprise, because I realized that it wouldn't remember where I was! I would have to LITERALLY put a scrap of paper in it to mark my place. LIKE SOME KIND OF ANIMAL.


* Bossypants by Tina Fey

* Martha Stewart's daughter wrote a memoir called "Whateverland" that I'm itching to read.

* Neil Strauss "The Game" (about the world of pick-up artists) will horrify you and you won't be able to put it down, like WOW seriously!

* I haven't read Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" but you might dig it.

Every time you do one of these my Amazon basket fills or my wishlist gets longer. This time they've had to go on my wishlist as sadly Sophie's book isn't readily available in the UK (and I have the second A Bad Day book yet to read of hers!) and I have a bookcase full of books waiting to be read already!

Seriously, thanks and don't stop, it would be a lot harder to find good stuff to read without your posts! Thanks!

I finally read Learning to Swim (upon your recommendation) while on a very long flight last week. Loved it! Much of it takes place in my home town (Burlington) and it was fun to see how accurately some of the locations were described. Even one of the restaurants mentioned is owned by some family friends!

Thanks for the recommendation. :)

I love a priveledged 30 something memoir of a woman who does something life changing. I ate up Julie and Julia, ditto for Eat Pray Love, Nora Ephron. (I count those, along with A Life in Stitches amoung the books that MUST be required reading for life.) (We'd have a lot more knitters.)

Right now I'm on a Willa Cather bender. My Antonia is the current, not sure which one is next. But if you're looking for memoir, I would go with the Nora Ephron, funny and refelctive.

"Talking to Girls about Duran Duran" by Rob Sheffield. Not a "privileged 30-something woman" novel, but a fun read either way. It's a memoir linked together by the music he loved in the 1980s and how it either impacted on his life or reminded him of specific stories. :)

Even if you're not an art lover you'll be shocked, amused and sometimes stunned by "Chasing Aphrodite", by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. It reads like a juicy gossip novel, but it reveals all sorts of interesting (and scandalous) tidbits about the workings of the art world, specifically centered around the Getty Museum in L.A.!

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