Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reading Roundup: June 2012

The Death of a Disco Dancer by David Clark

Although I'd read nothing but good reviews of this book, I was reluctant to read it. I think the cover is lame and I didn't find the description of the plot interesting at all. But then I decided to read it and I completely changed my mind. We talked about the book The Wednesday Wars this month in my book club, and it's interesting to compare the two because they have very similar themes. However, this book is much more nostalgic. It's written from the point of view of an adult looking back and trying to make sense of his life at a later time. I think I appreaciated it in a way I couldn't have fifteen years ago because I am an adult who is also realizing that my parents are aging, that I am aging, and that life in junior high somehow managed to mean everything and nothing for my future.

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson

I really loved Jacobson's two books that I read last year and so I was looking foward to this one the entire I time I was on hold for it at the library. Anticipation often ends up dampening an experience a little too much and I'm afraid it did for this book. Compared to Jacobson's other two books, it felt really lightweight and like the plot was too thin. Shelah noted many of the same issues I had, and Melanie was gracious in responding to her post with the clarification that this had been an earlier book than the other two. Reading this as a first novel rather than a third does change my expectations a bit.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog

This book was a good nonfiction read to help balance out some of the more fluffy stuff I've been reading lately. He covers a lot of ideas from psychology and talks about a lot of diferent ways that people interact with animals, but generally in an accessible way that is easy to relate to.

Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

I keep trying to like Laura Lippman because I've heard so many good things about her. But, despite the promise of an intriguing plot, her books just haven't been working out for me. I particularly didn't like the protagonist in this book and found her hard to relate to; it also wasn't so much a mystery as literary fiction, and I think it might have worked better as a mystery. Maybe.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I have learned that I can always count on Sophie Kinsella to provide me with a funny, clever chick-lit that it easy to escape into for a few hours. I particularly like how she manages to make her books always a little thoughtful, and her heroines are always quite likeable and relatable.

Memoir of a Debulked Woman by Susan Gubar

This was obviously quite different from other things I read this month. It was an interesting mix of literary musings about cancer and illness and a rather graphic description of the complications that come from cancer treatment and abdominal surgery. As with most memoirs, I felt like I really came to know Gubar personally and found myself wishing I could someday meet her because she sounds like a fascinating person.

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

I've had this book sitting around my house for a while but never read it. Then Shelah posted a review of it and I thought I might give it a try. I have to agree with her analysis, though, that the plot tries to cover too many people during too much time and it ends up not working as well as it could. I would have liked to spend more time with the characters.

Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

It's been a while since I read If I Stay, which is the book that this is a sequel to. I remember really liking that book, but I don't remember a lot of the plot. It took a while to get into this one at first simply because of the time that had elapsed since I had read the previous book. It was a good, quick read that I think would be most enjoyed by anyone who read the first book.

Movies

Magic Mike

Yes, I went and saw a movie about male strippers. In the theater. Surprisingly, the main thing that bothered me about it was the language. I was definitely not bothered by the dancing. The plot was a little slow and I actually thought it had some potential; it did make a few points about the economy and about what it means to be a 'good person'. But, we all know that it was really about tear-away pants. That was the best part.

3 comments:

Earth Sign Mama said...

I read "Secret Daughter" last year and I really liked it, but, yes--it would be good to have lots more information about all those people.

Kristi said...

What, you didn't like how the f word was worked into each sentence at least 3 times in Magic Mike? :)

skyeJ said...

I was the only one in the theater except for two guys who'd come for something else, but weren't allowed to use their free passes for it because it was a new release. They were in front of me in line and they let me go ahead because they were fighting about whether or not to waste their free passes on Magic Mike.

I laughed a LOT, particularly when Matthew McConaughey ripped the pockets off the back of his pants. It was just too ridiculous. And I thought it ended about 20 minutes TOO SOON. All that buildup for those two, and NOTHING. Come on!