Sunday, August 06, 2006

My 10 Books of the Summer

I recently told Arfanser that I was going to post the 10 books that I read for the summer reading program with our public library and a little blurb on each. Unfortunately, I didn't finish before him and he posted first. Not that I'm competitive or bitter.

1. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) - This was for my book club. I novel about life in the 60's in the south with a runaway girl and her black nanny that escape to a bee farm run by a family of black sisters. good book.

2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Jeans (David Sedaris) - I read the book review on an inflight magazine so got it but sadly I found no mention of corduroy or jeans in this book. The author is supposed to be a comedic writer but his musings/anecdotes on life as a gay man in a supposedly disfunctional family were not that amusing. not good book.

3. Galileo's Daughters (Dava Stovel) - This nonfiction read is based on letters written by Galileo's illegitamate daughter (written from her convent) to the astronomy genius. I was looking forward to the social and familial aspects of the book but struggled to get through the initial pages of scientific star stuff. But I did it. I thought the book would be more about the letters but the author more uses the letters to give a chronological account of Galileo's life and life in the area at the time. good book.

4. Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity (John Stossel) - I watched some 'news' show on a friday night based on this book so got it out of interest. It's only worth was that it was a quick read to add to my list. The book is set up as this is the myth and then, this is why its a myth. Simple concept but some of the myths he was apparently disproving I know for a fact to be true. If you lie about my religion I find it hard to find credibility in anything else you say even if everything else is true. not good book.

5. Not Buying It (Judith Levine) - This book had so much potential but was not at all what I hoped it would be. A lady convinces her partner that they shouldn't buy anything they don't need for a year and then chronicles it month by month. The concept sounded good to me. They didn't go out to dinner. They didn't get magazines. They didn't buy packaged food or alcohol. They didn't buy gifts. Again an interesting concept. I thought it might be thought provoking but instead the author spends a good portion of her time talking about daily life and political and social views that have nothing to do with consumer spending. There was a whole chapter on how she specifically she lobbied during the 2004 presidential elections. And there was no real conclusion. No big moment that she captured well to really solidifiy what she had just gone through. not good book.

6. The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth (Richard Evans) - another easy read with nothing too earth shattering. not a good book for me but it might be good for someone else.

7. Jpod (Douglas Coupland) - I was first introduced to Mr. Coupland with Microserfs a great fictional novel and have read a few of his subsequent books too. I enjoy his writing style and story telling. This novel was interesting but nothing spectacular. I guess after awhile I hope that authors improve and grow in their writing but I feel that this is the same old Coupland. The book is about a bunch of videogame coders who are working on a game for a big company. Its style is definately interesting. I mean what novel do you know that has 12 pages of prime numbers with one non-prime number randomnly put in for you to find (odd games that the coders played with each other). I'm going to say good book for someone who feels that a book about game coders might be interesting. and there is a lot of swearing which I was not fond of. good book.

8. Confederates in the Attic (Tony Horwitz) - Nonfictional account of the author's journey through the South (capitalized for a reason) and the people he meets particularly in relation to the Civil War and Civil Rights. good book.

9. The Second Time Around (Mary Higgins Clark) - brain candy alert. I did not enjoy this book. I was looking forward to a silly novel and was thoroughly disppointed. Stupid storyline. Stupid characters and stupid ending. not good book.

10. Magazines - so I sort of cheated a little. I needed to get my book club book read and it wasn't going to happen before the library deadline and magazines counted so they became my 10th but I read a lot of magazines this summer so I don't feel too bad. I monthly read: Reader's Digest (not as good as I remembered it being when I was younger), Parenting (probably the best parenting magazine out there in my opinion although the 2 I read this summer were not my favorite) and the Ensign (a church magazine, always a good read)


Fishfrog said...

There are a couple of suprises in there. I didn't have you pegged as smoeone who would pick up a David Sedaris book. And John Stossel??? I am, to put it mildly, not a fan of John Stossel. Out of curiosity, what did Stossel get wrong?

Squishy Burrito said...

Stossel said that women in polygamist relationships are not abused. That was the myth. Since I don't know anybody in a polygamist relationship I can't argue with that but everything else I've ever read or heard seems to contradict that idea. The part where he got wrong was how he phrased the LDS's Churchs involvement in polygamist communities. Poligamist communities are not Mormon Fundamentalist. They are not Mormon at all. I've noticed that the journalist community of late has done a really good job of separating the 2 but there is always some journalist who doesn't get his facts and writes it wrong feeling the need to attach the LDS Church with this practise.

Fishfrog said...

If there's a journalist who's going to get his facts wrong, it's John Stossel. Oh how I hate Stossel.

You know, I once got into a very heated argument with Y when he took the position that polygamist relationships are not necessarily abusive. I took the position that they are by their very nature abusive. He made me very mad.

marta said...

Ooh, you know this is the sort of thing I love to get behind. Opinions on books (or anything)? Yes, please! I will consult your list and heed your words.

Coincidentally, I did I review of Jpod for a local online arts magazine just last week. I feel roughly the same as you did. (Support the Calgary arts scene! Even if you don't live here!)

p.s. I actually really like David Sedaris, but his books always depress the heck outta me.