Something is wacky with my Google Docs today. Skipping letters. Typing so s-l-o-w-l-y. Muy malo.
So I just got frustrated with the whole thing and decided to write tiny little book reviews. Please forgive me. I promise I will do better next time.
Rick Sammon’s Field Guide to Digital Photography: Quick Lessons on Making Great Pictures
All the adjectives apply. Digital. Field. Quick. Great.
The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and other Simple, Brilliant Things by Neil Pasricha
From the website. Pasricha names a few of his favorite things. Small moments.
Let’s Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Commendable Things from Times Gone by Lesley M. M. Blume
You know how people are always wishing they’d bring back hats? Lesley M. M. Blume has been thinking about the things she misses a LOT. Enough for an entire book.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The Corrections was a bleak novel about unhappy, unlikable people. So is Freedom. I was not in the mood for Freedom; I didn’t think I was going to like it and I didn’t. That doesn’t mean it is not a good novel, possibly even a great novel. I just was not in the mood for a huge book filled with disfunctional people.*
Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun by Liza Bakewell
My family calls me “Madre." I was, consequently, eager to read this book, a book that centers on a single word, "madre." Imagine my horror, then, when I discovered in the very first chapter that this word is often a very, very ugly word in Mexico. Oh dear. Quite disconcerting. I’d envisioned a book of happy stories about "madres." I read on, nevertheless fascinated with Bakewell's stories about this word. (BTW, “Madre” does have some positive connotations. Sigh. Thank goodness.) If you love language, and especially if you love the Spanish language, you will enjoy this book.*
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin
A long essay, really. Honestly, if you are taking the time to read this book, you are probably cheering for Ulin on every page, as he shares with us, those who live to read, all the glorious joys of reading. Sadly, I just don’t see those who should be reading this book (you know who you are, you video game fiends, you tv addicts) saying to themselves, I will repudiate my Nintendo 64 and my tv and read a book about why books matter so I can vituperate myself about how I am squandering my life by spurning reading.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Loved this story told from the point of view of a young boy who must leave Berlin and go with his family to Poland when his father is assigned to run the camp at Auschwitz during WWII. Our naive main character befriends a boy who is startlingly like him (they even share the same birthday) except that this new friend is on the other side of the fence.
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
Graphic novel of a woman who discovers a bookmobile that appears sporatically and only at night and which contains all the books the woman has ever read.
The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia by Paul Theroux
A very early Theroux (copyright 1975). I had not noticed Theroux’s snarky tone until it was pointed out to me repeatedly by my fellow bloggers while I was reading this book. I like it, nevertheless.
How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal
No mistaking Ramona Gallagher’ life for that of June Cleaver. Ramona got pregnant at fifteen, raised her daughter on her own, became estranged from her family over a business tiff....Okay, you get the picture. Now Ramona is all grownup and soon to be a grandmother herself, but the problems go on and on, much like the problems we face daily in our troubled world. All of the problems are ameliorated by the delightful smells of baking that permeate these pages. Just a nice little piece of chick lit. With recipes.
That's it for me for this week. I'm off to read the day away. What are you reading today?
*Thank you to the publishers who sent me these books.