Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Recent Reads

1. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (Sarah's pick for the book club meeting in October). Darling little book published in the 1930s, very playful language and names. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to finish it, put it on the list of one-day-I-want-to-read-it-again.
2. Playing for Pizza by John Grisham (audiobook). Grisham's new book after his only non-fiction The Innocent Man, about an American football player playing football in Italy. Cute small towns, delicious food, lovely girls, but the fun and talent stops there. I hope one day Grisham will write the more meaty stuff again, what a waste of skills to cook up these page turners.
3. Bleachers by John Grisham (audiobook). A different Grisham page turner (or CD flipper) about a different football player. A review on Amazon calls it a light novel. In fact it's so light that I hardly remember much about the book. See above for waste of talent and skills.
4. Bonk by Mary Roach (audiobook). A study of sexual physiology, written by a fun loving scientist. Be sure your partner is in town when you read it.
5. 74 Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber (audiobook). Macomber became famous among knitters for writing fictions including knitting content. I read her first book, The Shop on Blossom Street, when it first came out a few years ago. I was disappointed -- it was a fluffy quick read and a perfect fit the image of an air head crafter. Obviously things hadn't changed other than the numbers in Ms. Macomber's bank account.
6. Smoky Rain 烟雨朦朦 by Qiong Yao 瓊瑤 (in Chinese). The Danielle Steele in Taiwan. She wrote a few dozens of novels all with similar plots and language -- pretty girl, handsome boy, rich family, poor family, sweet poems, falling in love, struggles, someone dies, loads of tears. I pick up one of them once every ten years or so, to remind myself I'm still human.
7. The Appeal by John Grisham (audiobook). The routine Grisham legal thriller. Large chemical company dumped large amounts of waste in grounds and water in small southern town. People died. Good lawyers sued, won in court and lost in appeal because the company bought the new judge. Bad guy gets richer. I still believe there is justice in this world.
8. The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell. Lesley's pick for our book club meeting in November. Story is told from a young girl's perspective about her father in Shanghai in World War II. Caldwell picked up the plot from the experience of her uncle and the book clearly shows her lack of knowledge of Chinese language and the life in Shanghai in the era. But it's a great book nonetheless.
9. Off Season by Anne River Siddons (audiobook). Siddons has not disappointed me until now. The story is strange, 11 year old girl falling in love with older teen boy (who turned out to be 12 later in the book), he dies, and her mom dies. Girl meets another handsome boy, has a beautiful family, then he dies. She finds traces of unexplainable correspondence but life goes on. I do wish from time to time though, that I have met my beloved at a yet younger age, so the teenage love is sweet and precious to me.
10. The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright. I don't usually count my knitting books as part of the reading list, since I usually don't actually read them. But this book, I actually read it, word by word, almost. The descriptions and pictures of various fiber animals are lovely. This book is a great compliment of the Wild Fiber magazine, and it's very useful to have all the information in one place.
11. Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne. Another knitting book that I actually read, albeit standing at the kitchen counter, thanks to the YouTube video that I discovered here. The ladies met in the vast online knitting community, like the way I met many of my readers (even local ones, as I found knitting groups online first and later joined the meetings). As usual, pop knitting books are just a bit too ... pop. Like I posted a long time ago here, knitting won't make you rich, talking about it does.
12. Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica (audiobook). A marketing manager turned waiter turned writer observes life around him. There is a very good review on Amazon about the audiobook that I listened to. The take away from the book is not about tipping a good waiter at least 20%, but about admitting to oneself your failure and having the strength to move on. It's easy to take shelter in the safety of a secure job, even as bad as waiting tables for the rich and working for a nasty boss. I've had my share of bad jobs, jobs that turn me into the terrible person that I'm not (is it happening today?!), but I chug along for the safety net, with the excuse that it's all for the greater good. Henry listened to this particular chapter with me, and yes, this kiddo will have more courage than his parents. To start off he bought yarn for his knitting project, while I was really hoping he would spend some time on the loom.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Sounds like you've read through quite a stack of books recently! Been a while since I've curled up with a good book. I was joking to my husband the other day and told him, "I just read blogs now"...kind of a sad commentary!