Books I Read In December

150. This Is How You Lose Her

I mean, I just cannot overstate my feelings for Junot Diaz. He may be my favorite living author. I wished this was longer and I wished it was not short stories because I hate short stories, and yet I still loved every word.  Loved loved loved, and I sincerely hope that the fact that he won a MacArthur Grant means that he’s going to write ten thousand books because I will read every single one of them.

151. Every Love Story is a Ghost Story

The best part of this book was the title, but halfway through I made the executive decision that DFW would have hated this book and I quit reading it. It made me feel too sad and too gross at the same time.

152. Flight Behavior.  I liked this, but it took me FOREVER to read, and it didn’t blow my mind with goodness the way that The Poisonwood Bible did. I get really excited when Barbara Kingsolver writes a new book because the potential for amazingness is so great, but this was only pretty good for me.

— And then there was some rough going.—

153. Every Day. I thought this was an epic pile of poo. Awful. I strongly disliked the main character and the writing. I wanted everyone to just drive off a cliff and go away.

154. The Middlesteins. Everyone in this book was just so crabby and unlikable.

155. Not Exactly a Love Story.  I had high hopes,  because there’s been so little new YAF lately that’s not the first in a trilogy about vampire werewolf fairies trapped in a game where everyone has to kill each other, but this was also terrible. Or terriblè, as they say in France.

—But then things improved.—

156. Life Among Giants. I really really really really liked this book.  It redeemed my faith in literature AND humanity. Someone wrote a decent book! Thank Jesus. Seriously, this was marvelous.

157. Capital. 300 pages too long and way too many characters, and after awhile I just did not care. Very British, though, if you’re into that kind of thing.

158. The Death and Life of Bobby Z. Don Winslow can do no wrong in my world. This is his first (non series) book and I can’t wait to read them all. It was no Savages but I still liked it better than 95% of the rest of what I read this year.

159. Looking for Alaska.  This was part of my “Re Read all my Faves” project, and I still consider this book to be firmly in the top ten, and you know, it’s not because of the plot and it’s not because of what happens or any of that, it because these people, in this book, as they are written? They are people you’d love to know. They are people you wish you were, or that you wish you were friends with. And when you get done reading this book you feel lucky that you got to spend three days with them, and it’s my favorite, when that happens, and I will always always love this book because of that. I feel sometimes like this books is this gift I got – like someone said “Ok, you didn’t get these friends in high school? Here they are in this book.”

160. The Stone Diaries. I overlooked this book for years because I had it confused with something else, I think? Some Oprah thing. I don’t know.  Anyway, someone I trust was raving about it on her blog (although I cannot remember whose blog it was for the life of me) and it’s old, so when I requested it at the library I got it right away, and yes. It is magnificent. It is a thing of epic, magnificent wonderfulness. I haven’t like a book so much since Emily, Alone, and damn, I sure did love that book.

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3 Responses

  1. So. . .do you think I’d like Junot Diaz? What should I start with?

  2. Oh, my. So many books I’ve not heard of. I’m adding them to my library list, but they are marked appropriately and I will give you full credit when I read them and undoubtedly love (?) them!

  3. That is exactly how I feel about Junot Diaz. He loves that damn short story form, which I detest, but he writes so beautifully, I have to read it.

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