Saturday, March 01, 2008

list mania!

I've been reading a lot lately. I read for pleasure probably about 1-2 hours per day on average. So for my very first March List Blog 2008, I give you several lists in one. Sure, I could take the easy way out and stretch this out over several March List Blogs 2008, but what fun is that?

Without further ado, my recent reading lists (fiction/memoirs):

Great books I've read recently:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway*

Good books I've read recently:
Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
What Remains by Carole Radziwill
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (hated the movie)
The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Bad books I've read recently:
Bitter Is the New Black by Jen Lancaster**
Sealed With a Diss by Lisi Harrison***
Fake Liar Cheat by Tod Goldberg
But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth Flock****

Great book I am currently reading:
Night by Elie Wiesel

*Bought and read purely because the title was used for a wonderful Garbage song (The Trick Is To Keep Breathing, track 8, Version 2.0). Beautifully written Scottish novel documenting a woman's struggle with overwhelming depression and anorexia following the death of her lover.

**Did not finish. May at some point if I run out of all worthy reading material. The author's concept for the first half of the book seemed to be to make herself seem as annoying as possible, but with clever (she thinks) dialog. I found her exceedingly annoying (well done!) and the dialog not clever (oops!).

***Did not finish. It is in some sort of teen clique novel series. Determined quickly that teen cliques are just as annoying today as they were when I was a teenager. And the language they use! Indecipherable (kids today!). Mission accomplished.

****Bad may be a bit harsh. If I had a Just Okay category, I'd put this one there. It is a novel about a woman who seemingly has it all but ends up having a nervous breakdown, yadda yadda yadda. Just not as good as other memoirs/novels that cover similar ground. See, e.g., Prozak Nation, Girl Interrupted or The Trick is to Keep Breathing (on the Great list above).


Tod Goldberg said...

Can I get an asterisk for writing better books subsequent to FLC? That's worth something, isn't it?

leila said...

Wow, Tod. Now I feel bad. The power of the internet, right? Anyone can say anything about someone's work without repercussions. I'll look into your other books and give one of them a whirl. My penance. If you'd like to comment on my lack of ability as a blogger, have at it.

As for FLC, the concept was interesting (and I did finish it, so it wasn't terrible), but there could have been better character development and I personally would have liked a bit more believability (though I understand why you went the other direction with it).

Good luck to you and thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't feel bad. I wrote the book and I don't feel bad. It simply serves as proof positive that we all start somewhere. Plus, your complaints are perfectly valid. Feel good. You were right.