December282011
December272011

Goooooooooooooal!

Natalie Dee!

Didn’t think I was going to hit 25 books in 2011, but to my delight I did. Hooray!  Here’s the shortlist in smarmy categories:.

Few Redeeming Qualities

  • Sunny Sunday in Newport by Matt Love
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Interesting But Not Getting a Reread

  • Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury
  • Americana by Don DeLillo

A Wild Ride (In a Good Way)

  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  • Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  • John Dies At the End by David Wong
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo 

Sigh, Such Pretty Writing

  • All Over Coffee by Paul Madonna
  • Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
  • The Summer He Didn’t Die by Jim Harrison
  • Must You Go by Antonia Frasier
  • A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
  • Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston

Highly Amusing

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey

Kinda Pretentious, But Still Likeable

  • Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
  • Lush Life by Richard Price

Would Rather Have Listened To It On This American Life

  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris
  • The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
  • Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

It Felt Like Homework - I LOVED IT

  • Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha
  • Richard III by William Shakespeare
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Aborted Reads

  • Recollections of My Life as a Woman by Diane DiPrima
  • Cromwell by Antonia Fraiser
December222011
Book 25 - Less Than Zero
It’s still a wasteland out there. And yes, the book is different from the film. I’d say it’s better, however the book benefits from knowing that Julian is played by Robert Downey Jr and Rip is James Spader.

Book 25 - Less Than Zero

It’s still a wasteland out there. And yes, the book is different from the film. I’d say it’s better, however the book benefits from knowing that Julian is played by Robert Downey Jr and Rip is James Spader.

December212011

Finished with Spunk

I mentioned this to Tom the other night, but these stories were too familiar. Perhaps this was a reread?

December162011
Book 24 of 25 in 2011 - Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston
Looks like I might make it after all, phew.

Book 24 of 25 in 2011 - Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston

Looks like I might make it after all, phew.

December132011
Done with Book 22 and moving onto another David Sedaris for Book 23. It’s a mad dash to the finish line to read 25 books by the end of year. Can I do it?

Done with Book 22 and moving onto another David Sedaris for Book 23. It’s a mad dash to the finish line to read 25 books by the end of year. Can I do it?

November272011

Unfamiliar Fishes

While I think Sarah Vowell writes and researches her material well, I think her anecdotal style does this subject a disservice. It just seems too irreverent an approach to what is a story of American (predominantly) imperialism and cultural disintegration.

November212011
Book #22 of a very hopeful 25 in 2011.  At this point, I’m worried about hitting the goal. Anyone else struggling to get there?
This is my second Sarah Vowell and so far it seems more flip than the other. It is, however, infinitely more enjoyable. Has anyone else read The Wordy Shipmates and Unfamiliar Fishes?

Book #22 of a very hopeful 25 in 2011.  At this point, I’m worried about hitting the goal. Anyone else struggling to get there?

This is my second Sarah Vowell and so far it seems more flip than the other. It is, however, infinitely more enjoyable. Has anyone else read The Wordy Shipmates and Unfamiliar Fishes?

November152011
November92011

The Score

It’s November and there are only weeks until deadline. Will I cram in 25 books before it’s 2012?  I sincerely doubt it, but I will keep plugging along. Here’s the list thus far:

  1. The Summer He Didn’t Die by Jim Harrison
  2. Sunny Sunday in Newport by Matt Love
  3. Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury
  4. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  5. John Dies At the End by David Wong
  6. Naked by David Sedaris
  7. Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
  8. Recollections of my Life as a Woman by Diane DiPrima replaced with Bossypants by Tina Fey
  9. The Godfather by Mario Puzo 
  10. The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
  11. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
  12. Cromwell by Antonia Frasier
  13. Americana by Don DeLillo
  14. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  15. Must You Go by Antonia Frasier
  16. Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha
  17. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
  18. Lush Life by Richard Price
  19. Richard III by William Shakespeare
  20. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  21. All Over Coffee by Paul Madonna

The titles that have been crossed out are abandoned texts. I hope to return, but just can’t make any promises that it’ll happen. So, yeah. Technically speaking I do need to see 26 titles on that list. 

12AM
For Tom of TomBooks.
Gritty, urban cop dramas aren’t my thing. I have never seen an episode of CSI, Law & Order or any of those kinds of procedural shows so it was surprising that I took to this book. Granted, the first two chapters were a crash course in cop-talk but I kept plugging away at it. Next thing you know, I’ve got a grip on the narrative and I’m along for the ride. The story was well crafted. By that I mean to say, it didn’t feel pedantic or staged like some of the more “literary” novels that I lean toward. This felt at ease with the loose ends and discomfort of the characters. The writer has a reputation for writing killer dialogue (something that I can’t do to save my life) and Lush Life delivers. Ranging from a slammed restaurant staff to the posturing of street of hoodlums Richard Price wrote clipped conversations that covered precisely the right terrain. The man can hustle a fucking story. 
Of course, if you’d like actual articulation about this story then I suggest following the link to a real review: (via Lush Life - Richard Price - Book Review - New York Times)

For Tom of TomBooks.

Gritty, urban cop dramas aren’t my thing. I have never seen an episode of CSI, Law & Order or any of those kinds of procedural shows so it was surprising that I took to this book. Granted, the first two chapters were a crash course in cop-talk but I kept plugging away at it. Next thing you know, I’ve got a grip on the narrative and I’m along for the ride. The story was well crafted. By that I mean to say, it didn’t feel pedantic or staged like some of the more “literary” novels that I lean toward. This felt at ease with the loose ends and discomfort of the characters. The writer has a reputation for writing killer dialogue (something that I can’t do to save my life) and Lush Life delivers. Ranging from a slammed restaurant staff to the posturing of street of hoodlums Richard Price wrote clipped conversations that covered precisely the right terrain. The man can hustle a fucking story. 

Of course, if you’d like actual articulation about this story then I suggest following the link to a real review: (via Lush Life - Richard Price - Book Review - New York Times)

October182011
Preparing for my trip to San Francisco to see the titular role of this play performed by Kevin Spacey. So excited.

Preparing for my trip to San Francisco to see the titular role of this play performed by Kevin Spacey. So excited.

October72011
Fresh Air interview for the Synch Read book, Super Sad True Love Story.
(via Gary Shteyngart: A ‘Love Story’ In A Sad Future : NPR)

Fresh Air interview for the Synch Read book, Super Sad True Love Story.

(via Gary Shteyngart: A ‘Love Story’ In A Sad Future : NPR)

1PM
Book 18 of 25 in 2011 - Lush Life by Richard Price.
Tom, I’ll try to write up a review (brief though it may be) about some of the other books I’ve bumped into this year.

Book 18 of 25 in 2011 - Lush Life by Richard Price.

Tom, I’ll try to write up a review (brief though it may be) about some of the other books I’ve bumped into this year.

October62011
And done! Conversation to follow soon.

And done! Conversation to follow soon.

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