Just finished - in order of how much I liked them:
- Sight Hound, Pam Houston - this book was so wonderful, and so different from what I expected given it's girl-with-a-dying-dog theme, that it's all I can do not to go buy twelve copies and press them in the hands of each of my friends-who-are-voracious-readers. Sweet, funny, silly, lovely book that did not, despite its subject matter, make me weep throughout. It's told from the perspective of twelve different narrators, including three dogs, with one particularly surly and hilarious chapter inserted in the middle by the cat. Pleaseplease go read this book.
- Julie and Julia - 365 Days, 524 Recipes, and One Tiny Apartment Kitchen Julie Powell - well known blogger who spent a year cooking her way through Julia Child's entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Highly entertaining - I read it in a day, and immediately wanted to cook things with lots of butter.
- The Ice Queen, Alice Hoffman - sometimes I love Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic is still a favorite of mine), sometimes I like her less. This was one of the good ones. Weird little book, lyrical, fast read. Fascinating details on what happens to the victims of lightning strikes.
- May Contain Nuts - A Novel of Extreme Parenting, John O'Farrell - chick lit, brain fluff, but fun and an easy read. Brett bought me this. About a mother waking up from the uniquely British spin on the common psychosis about getting your child into the best school possible.
- White Teeth - Zadie Smith - I've put off reading this book for a long time; something about all the hype when it first came out put me off it. And now that I have read it - well... I liked it okay. The story was complex and yes, it did seem to be masterfully told, but I was left feeling like I'd missed something. What the heck did all the teeth imagery have to do with anything? I feel like a high school sophomore who slept through the lecture. I know there's more there than I picked up.
- A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin - I bought this, and its two following tomes, because I read in an issue of Newsweek at the doctor's office that Martin is the "best fantasy author writing today" and the heir of Tolkein, yadda yadda. Well, he writes a decent book, but it wasn't all that remarkable by my view. What it was was long. And dense. And complex. I read the rest of these books in a day or two, but this one I had to slog through for over a week.
Still working on:
- Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It, Geoff Dyer - bought this because the book jacket shouted that it was "screamingly funny" and a laugh riot, Sedaris-like, life changing. I haven't laughed yet, and can't seem to get more than halfway through it. I liked one small chapter that was a brilliant little essay on Rome (my favorite city), but aside from that it seems to be a book full of people who waltz around in a drug-induced haze speaking in such overly pretentious prose that you can't believe anything you read. "Is it the time of evensong and mellow fruitiness?" the author's companion says to him at one point. Well gee, who cares, I thought to myself. Not me.