I’ve been on a reading frenzy lately. Bestsellers, weird non-fiction, old-school books from high school… you get the picture.
And when I read I take an enormous amount of notes. I highlight sections, I ask questions and I’m so keen to share my thoughts with someone – anyone – but… is it just me or do people just not read anymore? I have no one to talk books with! So you’re it. Fasten your seatbelts…
While I’d love to give book reviews on every single one, that’s just not my style. Plus, I actually hate READING book reviews because I don’t want them to influence my opinion. (And I’d rather read the book itself than waste time on a long-winded explanation of it.)
So here’s Marian’s Quick and Dirty version of a book review for the last 9 books I’ve read, loved and hated:
By William Landay
Synopsis: Boy gets accused of murder. Dad is a lawyer. Family falls apart.
- Book was not what I thought it was going to be and ended up being more royally fucked up than the Amazon description let on.
- I found myself getting really annoyed with every stupid things each character would do. Their idiocy got so repetitive after awhile I had to put the book down just to catch a breath.
- So much of the story didn’t match up. I know it’s fiction but inconsistencies force readers (back to life) back to reality. (I crack myself up)
- With so much drama, you would have thought I couldn’t put the book down but it instead took me weeks to finish.
Recommended? Meh. If you can’t find anything else to read, it’s entertaining but it won’t blow your mind.
By Eowyn Ivey
Synopsis: Couple moves to the Alaskan wilderness and they create a girl out of snow who ‘comes to life.’ A mix between surrealism and a very, very real story of hardship.
- Some authors don’t use traditional punctuation for a reason. Others use it because it looks cool. Like wearing really big headphones that make you look both retarded and uber-hip. This author used non-quotations when the snow child would talk and it was beautiful. For some reason, it implied a certain kind of voice instead of simply being stylised.
- One quote, ‘the joy and sorrow of a lifetime’ is exactly what this book is about.
Recommended? Absolutely. Even if surrealism isn’t your cup of tea, the book is a beautiful gem of a novel.
By Derk Silvers
Synopsis: A quick read about quirky entrepreneurship as told by the creator of CD Baby.
- So much juicy stuff in here!
- Start a business by looking at the industry of problem you want to solve and saying, ‘In a perfect world, it would work like this.’ Then you make it work like that.
- ‘You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.’
- The best plans start simple.
- ‘Just thrill them and they’ll tell everyone.’
- All about adding little human touches to your business.
Recommended? Very much so. It will only take you only an hour to read and give you so much business inspiration, even if you don’t plan on becoming an entrepreneur.
By Mark Haddon
Synopsis: Boy with (what sounds like, but is never confirmed) Asperger Syndrome tries to figure out who killed his neighbor’s dog and unravels an old family drama in the process.
- An easy read and compelling story. The little boy is a fantastic narrator.
- One of the few books where I didn’t take one single note, probably because it wasn’t particularly challenging or inspiring. Just ‘good’.
Recommended? Yes, but the story won’t stay with you long after you’re finished. Woorth a read if you can find it at the library and are stuck for a new book.
By Aimee Bender
Synopsis: Girl develops the ability to taste the feelings of her food and the people who cooked it. Very, very surreal.
- An actual note from my Kindle: ‘It’s like she’s trying to be edgy with no quotes and is doing it just for the sake of doing it.
- I would start to get so invested in some scenes throughout the book but instead of fulfilling the scene an telling a story, it would just peter out. Exhausting to keep up without any satisfaction.
- Lots of inconsistencies that were distracting. Why do authors do this?
Recommended? Not really. Too weird for my taste with no juicy takeaways. Nothing inspired me and I’ve barely thought about the story since.
By Laura Hillenbrand
Synopsis: Olympic runner turns fighter pilot during World War II. Has crazy unbelievable adventures.
- Gigantic waste of time. Couldn’t get past the first 100 pages and I’m glad I stopped when I did.
By Michael Pollan
Synopsis: Famous food writer tells you how to eat healthy in a number of very short chapters or ‘rules’.
- I couldn’t agree with his points more. He creates fascinating ways of explaining how our eating habits have changed over the years and how we can eat healthier.
- Easy to digest. (Heh heh.)
Recommended? Save yourself the time and money. Every single chapter basically follows this one rule: Eat mostly plants.
By Jenny Lawson
Synopsis: Famous funny-girl blogger writes about her crazy childhood.
- I had no notes. It was an entertaining read. Some bits were inspiring and thought-provoking, others were absurd and laugh out loud funny. There were some great, hilarious stories and was a fun break in my usual books.
Recommended? If you know and love The Bloggess, yes. If not, maybe start with her posts first as some of these chapters wouldn’t really make sense without her blog.
By Cheryl Strayed
Synopsis: Woman hikes 1,100 miles alone during a quarter-life crisis.
- I sobbed. Literally sobbed when I finished Wild. I have never been so sad for a book to be over (not even Harry Potter).
- The journey you go through with the author makes you feel like you did the hike with her. I could feel her relief and her blisters and her accomplishments. I’ve never read anything like it – an author who could make me weep and my heart pound. Reading this book was a full body experience.
- This book was so freaking good I ignored some weird grammar errors, repetitive words and unexplained emotions. But I feel like I should note that they were there and occasionally distracting. One of my notes was, ‘Some parts of this book are surprisingly boring. But that just goes to show how you can love a book even with its faults.’
- The plot is summed up by this line near the end, ‘There were so many other amazing things in this world.’ True dat, girlfriend.
Recommended? Yes. Absolutely. 10000% If you read only one book this year, read Wild.
Alright folks, your turn. I’ve just started reading A Discovery of Witches. What’s on your bedside table?