Thursday, August 31, 2006

Summer Reading Review

One of the things I do to fill my summer is to catch up on reading. I love to read. It can be hard for me to do it during the school year because I come home every day so mentally exhausted that I can't focus on reading. During the school year I tend to veg out in front of the television at night. Watching TV doesn't require nearly the mental energy of reading a book! So during the school year it generally takes me 2 to 3 weeks to read a book. During the summer, it takes me 3 to 5 days. I read over 20 books this summer. Here are a few reviews/comments.

Naked by David Sedaris - Sedaris is absolutely one of the funniest writers around right now. This book is really a compilation of essays he wrote which when put all together form a memior of sorts. The first 2/3 are laugh-out-loud funny, the final 1/3 is still great reading, and still often very funny but is a little grittier and edgier than the first portion of the book. I bought Me Talk Pretty One Day but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Light Before Day by Christopher Rice - Christopher Rice is the son of Ann Rice of Interview with a Vampire fame. I read his first book, A Density of Souls, which was dark, brooding and very powerful. So I was looking forward to his new book - plus it was being marketed as a thriller: murder mystery, serial killer hunt, betrayal and intrigue and all that. And the truth is, Rice is a good writer. The book was compelling enough that I finished it, even though there were many times when I thought about putting it down and walking away. The problem is, as good a writer as he is, Rice has gotten very preachy, very arrogant, very condescending to his readers. And this book has a plot more convoluted than anything I've read in a good long time. Definitely not satisfying.

Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey - From the sci-fi genre (one of my favorites) comes this book from a relatively new author. This book is the first in a second "Kushiel" trilogy and all I can say is, if you are a fantasy fan and haven't read Carey's stuff yet - go get it. The Kushiel books are superb. Carey is a great story teller, creating real characters and painting gorgeous detailed imagery with her words.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers - This was the second memior I read and may very well be the best book I read all summer. I picked it up just from seeing the title. (I mean heartbreaking? staggering genius? how could I pass it up?) This book has won all kinds of awards and accolaydes and deservedly so. A quick summary...guy in his early twenties loses both parents to cancer within 6 weeks of each other....guy assumes responsibility (a word I [and the author would no doubt agree] use in the loosest of senses) for 7 (or 8 or 9) year old brother. This book is uproariously funny and powerfully angry and an excellent read. Plus the book starts (first page - I kid you not) with the presentation of 6 suggestions on how to enjoy the book and must include 20 or so pages of acknowledgements. How can you not like this guy?

A Dirty Job by Chistopher Moore - Another completely off-the-wall screwball novel by the same author who brought us The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Practical Demonkeeping, Lamb (The unauthorized biography of Jesus by his childhood pal Biff), and other nutty books. This one is just as good as the previous books. Another laugh-out-loud funny read. I was reading this one at the beach and kept cracking up. I was getting some pretty strange looks I can tell you....but then again, those looks may have had nothing to do with my laughing or what I was reading....but anyway, go get this book - it's great.


At 6:48 PM, Blogger pissoff said...

All I read was The Da Vinci Code. That was it. Took me 3 days.

Glad to see you back.


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