Posts Tagged ‘Elinor Lipman’

Look at me, posting this in a semi-timely fashion! I may get out of this blogging funk yet.

Last month I read . . .

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

The Pursuit of Alice Thrift by Elinor Lipman

The Giver by Lois Lowry (reread)

Miscellaneous stats:

  • one reread . . . sort of (it should be three rereads, but it’s been so long since I read the Patricia C. Wrede books I’m not counting them)
  • read one based on the recommendation of book bloggers (but I can’t remember who) (The Happiness Project)
  • read two for my 5th-8th grade book club (Dealing With Dragons, The Giver)
  • read one for my brand new, in-person book club (Dare Me)
  • read three new-to-me authors (Jenny Lawson, Gretchen Rubin, Megan Abbott)
  • all nine were library books
  • eight paper books; one ebook

Random October Awards:

The Horrifyingly Hilarious Award: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. This is one of those books that is just . . . wrong on so many levels. Wrong in that all the while you’re laughing so hard you can barely breathe you’re thinking, “I really, really shouldn’t be laughing at this.” Neil Gaiman summed it up perfectly: “The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh-out-loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser” (from the back cover). Not for the easily offended or sensitive.

The Case of the Missing Editor Award: The Mark of Athena. While I am a fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series (and think the Heroes of Olympus series vastly improved after the first book), his books are starting to remind me of the later Harry Potter books. I really enjoyed The Mark of Athena, but that sucker could have been about 300 pages shorter. (Seriously, Riordan? 586 pages?)

The Vandalism Award: The Pursuit of Alice Thrift. This is a lovely book, exactly what I’ve come to expect from Elinor Lipman, and it distresses me to give it this award. But someone (I don’t know who) went through this book and scribbled out all of the profanity. This pisses me off for two reasons: one, they defaced library property; and two, I abhor censorship. I get it if you don’t like profanity. But if it bothers you so much you feel compelled to scribble in a book that doesn’t belong to you, then maybe you should read a different book. And if you’re doing this as a public service, try using something other than a blue ballpoint pen as that actually calls more attention to the word, not less. Argh! The one bright spot in all this was that they missed a “son of a b*tch,” which pleased me way more than it probably should have.

And that was October! I have no idea what November will hold; I have such a wide variety of books waiting beside my bed I hardly know where to begin. What about you? What are your reading plans?

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Folks, I have got the blogging blahs. I don’t know what my problem is, but I hope I snap out of it soon because I am driving myself crazy.

Thanks to a blissfully relaxing ten-day vacation last month, I tore through an usually large number of books. Ahhh, to have ten (paid) days off every month . . .

Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein

I Wish I Had a Red Dress by Pearl Cleage

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman

Daughter’s Keeper by Ayelet Waldman

Babylon Sisters by Pearl Cleage

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Miscellaneous stats:

  • no rereads (first time all year)
  • read six based on the recommendations of book bloggers (Final Jeopardy, I Wish I Had a Red Dress, The Aviary, Dust Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry [too many to list])
  • read one because everyone and their neighbor’s cat has read it and because it’s caused all sorts of controversy and I cannot resist controversial books (Fifty Shades of Grey)
  • read six new-to-me authors (Linda Fairstein, Kathleen O’Dell, Sarah Zettel, Sophie Kinsella, E. L. James, Rachel Joyce)
  • read four familiar authors (Pearl Cleage, Elinor Lipman, Ayelet Waldman, Sara Zarr)
  • all eleven were library books
  • seven were paper books, four were ebooks

Random August Awards:

Worst Book-to-Film Adaptation Award: Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (read in June). This movie was so atrocious I hardly know what to say. It bore so little resemblance to the book it was appalling. Even viewed independently of the book it was a terrible movie. I think the actors did the best they could, but it felt like they were trying too hard create interesting, complex characters. I never connected with any of them. The plot itself sort of wandered aimlessly about, too, which drove me nuts. Ugh. Helen Hunt and Colin Firth, can we pretend this movie never happened?

The I Can’t Seem to Figure Out Who Wrote This Book Award: I’ve Got Your Number. Seriously, guys. Who wrote this book? I’ve looked all over the cover for the author’s name and I just can’t seem to find it anywhere! Wait . . . I think I might have . . . no, that’s not it . . . Oh! There! There it is! It’s those giant letters that take up HALF THE COVER. Whew, I’m so glad I found it. It was really starting to worry me.

Best Cover of the Month Award: The Aviary. After ranting and raving about covers a few weeks ago, I feel like I should balance things out a little and point out a fantastic cover:

This cover is a much better fit for the book than the covers I discussed earlier, and I just love the sharp contrast between the black silhouettes and the green background. Kudos to Knopf Books.

Did anyone else notice that I read only female authors last month? I didn’t realize I was doing it until August was nearly over and the books sitting on the top of my TBR were also by women. Huh. Interesting. Reading goal for the rest of the year: diversity.

How was your August?

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Okay, raise your hand if you’re tired of this heat wave. Yep, me, too. Good grief, it’s ridiculous out there. We are positively melting here in Virginia. Oh, what a world, what a world.

Last month I read . . .

Sabriel by Garth Nix (reread)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman

Entwined by Heather Dixon

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

The Dearly Departed by Elinor Lipman

Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman

Into Love and Out Again by Elinor Lipman

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel (reread)

Dear Dumb Diary: The Super-Nice Are Super-Annoying by Jim Benton

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Miscellaneous stats:

  • reread two books
  • read one for a read along (Neverwhere)
  • read one in anticipation of Utah Book Month (Entwined)
  • eight were library books, two I already owned, one I bought at Powell’s Books (Hi, Powell’s, I love you)
  • ten were paper books and one was an ebook

Random June Awards:

The Perfect Plane Book Award: A Girl Named Zippy. In my pre-Nook days I faced a huge book challenge every time I flew out to visit family and/or friends. I needed one single book that was: a) long enough to last me an entire cross-country flight; b) entertaining enough to distract me from the fact that I was on a plane and don’t particularly like planes; c) not so involved that it couldn’t weather constant interruptions, turbulence, and noise without completely losing me; and d) paperback, because a hard cover book is just too heavy to haul around during layovers, etc. The Nook solved all that. Now I could “pack” as many books as I wanted without worrying about weight, length, etc. The problem is that you can’t use electronic devices during take-off and landing, so I still have to pack a book anyway, a fact I completely forgot until right before I left for my friend’s wedding last month. Rather than grab one of the billion books I own and haven’t read, I took Zippy. Because Zippy is the perfect plane book: it’s entertaining, it’s hilarious, and its anecdotal nature allows for constant interruptions. If you’ve never read A Girl Named Zippy, you definitely should.

The Elinor Lipman Award: The Inn at Lake Devine and The Dearly Departed. I didn’t realize just how many Elinor Lipman books I read in June until I looked back over my list and found three (three!) in a row. (And to think my original plan was to read just one of her books a month so I could prolong the enjoyment. Clearly that worked.) Anyway, The Inn and The Dearly Departed were my favorite two this month, although I did enjoy Then She Found Me, too.

The That’s Totally Me Award: Dear Dumb Diary: The Super-Nice Are Super-Annoying. No, not the super-annoying part. This: “Dumb Diary, like most people I hate the alphabet. Mostly because I can’t alphabetize things unless I sing part of the alphabet song in my head when I’m doing it, and people can tell I’m doing that because it makes me bob my head a little” (9). If you’ve spent any time in a library, you’ll know that we’re all about putting things in alphabetical order. You would think by now I would have this down. Nope, still gotta sing the song to myself. So there you go. I have something in common with a fictional middle school girl. Sigh.

How’s everything in your corner of the world? Staying cool?

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