Books I Read In October and November

144.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I enjoyed it.

145. Divergent.  You know, I was prepared to hate this book, because I am SO VERY TIRED of crappy dystopian young adult fiction, especially ones where the clueless narrator just can’t figure out that making everyone eat the same lunch meat every day is a VERY BAD THING, but I liked Divergent a lot.  The characters were believable and I liked the romance aspect of it.  Recommend.

146.  Whatever that Last Twilight Book is called, I’m not even going to look it up.  I just.,,I don’t know, guys.  To this day I have no idea how everyone doesn’t see how incredibly terrible these books are.  And I’m a sucker for a cheeseball romance, I am!  I mean, I can do a lot of things. I can even do bad writing, sort of.  But bad writing AND interminably long?  I can’t do. I just can’t.

Anyway, every two years I forget how bad these books are and how much I personally don’t enjoy them, and I figure there must be SOMETHING there and I try again, and every year I’m just…confused all over again.  Anyway, I only made it halfway through this.  Once Bella turned into a vampire (OMG SPOILER) and started talking about how empty her head was, I was done.   But please rest assured that stopping halfway through means I still read something in the range of 90 million pages.

147.  Next to Love.  This was a perfectly decent and entertaining read.

148.  The Leftovers.  Man, I hated this book.  Everyone in it was an unmitigated butt face.  No thank you.

149.  In the Garden of Beasts.   Mostly I don’t do non fiction, but everyone just LOVED this book, so I thought I’d try it out.  It turns out that not only do I not like non fiction, but I REALLY don’t like non fiction when I already know how it turns out, and how it turns out is bad.

150.  The Marriage Plot. I loved this book. I still think about it all the time.  I wish I were still reading this book.   I only wish I could remember what it sort of reminded me of, but still. LOVED.

151.  How to Save A Life.  Ok, so in general, I am not a fan of Sara Zarr, even though I have tried. I really have tried.  However, this is by by far my favorite of her books so far.  I really really liked it.  A few of the abject generalizations got a bit old and cheating in YAF gives me an icky feeling, but this wasn’t an egregious case of either of those things, those are just my minor quibbles if we’re getting into minor quibbles.

152.  Lucky Break.  This was ok, but I wish it had been better.  It reminded me a boring version of Valley of the Dolls.

153.  Bitter in the Mouth.  This book was so weird and so beautiful and evocative.  As soon as I read it I reserved the author’s first book, A Book of Salt.  It was one of the most well written books I have read in a long long time.  But it is strange, be forwarned.  Although I’m about as white bread as they come, so if I can take it, it’s not THAT weird.

154.  The Death Cure.  Seriously, I hate myself for reading this whole stupid trilogy.  It was fine, I guess. Unlike the middle book, which was the biggest stall job in the history of stall jobs, at least this one moved right along and finally concluded the damn thing.  I wasn’t blown away by any of the answers we got at the end though, which is always my complaint with SO MUCH MYSTERIOUS lead in.  The ending is NEVER going to hold up to all of that.

155.  The Lover’s Dictionary.  Someone (The New York Times or Amazon) called this one of the best books of 2011.  I found it interesting, but I wouldn’t go that far, let’s put it that way.

156.  Tabloid City.  Oh my lord, no. This was like one giant overwrought cliche, set on a loop.

157.  This Burns My Heart.  I just…no.  “Poor me I am super rich and I married the wrong guy and now I live a life of misery” has tired, for me.

158.  I Think I Love You.  One chapter into this book, I was unimpressed.  It was coming across as a dippy middle reader.  I almost gave up but after the first few chapters it REALLY improved, and I ended up liking it a great deal.

159.  Half Empty.  I love David Rakoff! I really love him on This American Life.  But I got this book on loan from the library, on my Kindle, and I had to wait forever for it and I almost just bought it because that’s how much I love David Rakoff and let’s just say that I am really really glad that I didn’t buy this book.

160.  Stupid Fast.  I couldn’t get past the super weird and constant use of the word “retard.”

161.  The Violets of March.  Ha ha ha, no.

Ok, so, I have to read 19 books in what’s left of December to make my goal.  That’s going to be tricky, but I am going to try! It will help if I can finish the Night Circus which I have been reading for 100 years.

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9 Responses

  1. Thanks for a few new recommendations to get me through the rest of the year!

  2. I looked up The Marriage Plot and it sounds a lot like One Day – is it? I mean, the overarching storyline isn’t, but the characters sound very similar. If I disliked the characters in One Day, will I not like this book, either?

  3. Please never stop doing these lists. Also, I think this is the very first time that I have read NONE of the books on your list! (Oh, wait, I read that Twilight book but you know, that doesn’t count. It’s barely a book.) I am disappointed you loved the marriage plot because I was going to read it just to make fun of it. Now I’m going to rethink my library hold.

  4. I am so with you…. except on The Leftovers! I loved it! Yes, they were ALL butt faces but I believed their butt-faciness, you know? I liked the way he used the plot conceit to explore suburban angst and loss in an exaggerated way.

    Anywho. Thanks for some new suggestions. Off to the library website I go!

  5. I’m so impressed with how many books you read! I love that you give me ideas on what to read too. I just add them to my wish list on paperback swap.

    I’m reading “The Kitchen House.” Have you read that? I haven’t finished it but it has some violence in it, but a pretty good story line.

  6. I really want to read The Marriage Plot, but I have to be honest: the fact that you liked it worries me. With the exception of State of Wonder, you and I seem to have very different book tastes. Still, I’m going to attempt it.

  7. What is with all of this The Marriage Plot hate? It’s by Jeffrey freaking Eugenides, OF COURSE IT WILL BE GOOD. I’m so hoping my book club reads this next (I have a zillion books I have to read before adding anything new, but book club books get to jump to the top of the list). If it’s anything like One Day I will be royally pissed.

  8. Good heavens, that last Twilight book was bad. So so bad.

  9. I can’t wait to read The Marriage Plot, and now I just may move it to the top of my book pile after reading your glowing recommendation.

    Also, I added the Truong books to my to-read list – you have me intrigued!

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