What I’ve been reading

So, I haven’t offered a reading update since the end of January.  Mostly, that’s because I just haven’t been motivated and mostly, that’s because reading has been about the last thing on my mind.  I’m just not feelin’ it lately.  That, and time’s been at a premium… too many things to do.  I’ve been a little lazy too.

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First off, I read The Mystery Guest by GrĂ©goire Bouillier.  It was enjoyable, but very typical of a European translation.  Much less action, much more emotion than I’m used to with the books I usually read.  Every so often that’s good for a change.  I just can’t find the words to do it justice.  If you are at all interested, do check it out, but unless you’re willing to give it a good go, don’t bother.  The publisher’s comments went as follows: This is the story of how one man got over a broken heart, learned to love again, stopped wearing turtlenecks, regained his faith in literature, participated in a work of performance art by mistake, and spent his rent money on a bottle of 1964 bordeaux that nobody ever drank.  Sound appealing?  (I even found this movie trailer parody of the book.  It’s pretty funny.)

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Slave To Fashion by Rebecca Campbell is the worst kind of chick-lit there is.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a bad book, I just hate it when good things happen to bad people.  And Katie Castle is a bad person.  I enjoyed reading it, but it just got to be too much sometimes when she is so awful and yet she still always gets what she wants.  I had to keep reminding myself that it’s the way the world turns, that sometimes karma really is just wishful thinking.  It’s just a shame, you know? 

Anyway, if you’re a fan of chick-lit, this wasn’t great, but it was fun.  If you come across a copy, it might be worth cracking the spine.

And that was February.

I was a little more successful during the month of March.  I managed to feel a better about reading, more enthusiastic.  Despite that, my reading drive was still far below what I’d come to expect it to be.  So much for the 78 Book Project.

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Angels by Marian Keyes is the kind of chick-lit I can really sink my teeth into.  It was a little long, but it was the opposite of Slave To Fashion in that bad things happened to a good person and her life changed as a result.  Keyes did a great job of gradually uncovering different personality aspects and histories in small enough increments that they served to both shock the reader and to keep them hanging.   It was somewhat predictable, as any selection from this genre can be, but it also had a few not so happy ending twists to it that I really appreciated.  This story of a Brit bird who has lost it all’s move from England to LA to heal her broken heart by moving in her screen writing best friend for a while is light-hearted and fun and totally worthy of a few minutes of your time.

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Okay, I’ll say it.  I think that book club readers’ sweetheart, Jodi Picoult is overrated.   Her novels are formulaic and after I’d read a few, I started to realize that they’re pretty uninspired.  That said, I’ll probably pick up a few more of her titles.  What can I say?  They’re usually worth reading if just for the inevitable twist at the end. 

The Pact is about 17 & 18 year old high school sweethearts involved in an incident involving.  One ends up dead.  The other is tried in court.  When a so-called "suicide pact" between their teenage children goes awry–leaving only one child dead–the parents, who have been friends for 18 years, find themselves caught up in an anguished courtroom drama.

It had the hook and I totally bit.  The one thing that it really got me thinking about was the concept of high school sweethearts.  It’s an idea that kind of grosses me out to being with and, well, this story just made the whole thing seem even worse to me.   

Imagedbcgi_5Running With Scissors was like a train wreck.  I couldn’t put it down.  I’d heard great things about this memoir by Augusten Burroughs.  It was all just so bizarre.  I really enjoyed the style in which it was written and quite often found myself laughing out loud in response to it, but the story was of the kind you just couldn’t make up. 

Augusten Burroughs was just twelve years old when his mother gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who lived in a world in which rules are unheard of and a pedophile resided in a backyard shed.

If that doesn’t sell you on the story, what will, really?

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Despite my relapse earlier in the year, I am so not into collecting books anymore.  I have copies of both The Pact and Running With Scissors that I’m looking to get rid of.  If you’re interested, just let me know and they’re yours.

Click here to win a trip to Powell’s Books in Portland.

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10 Responses to “What I’ve been reading”

  1. dawmarie Says:

    Angela – read it, not my favorite, but certinaly some fun twists.

    I looked at the synopsis of the fashion one, and i stopped reading.

  2. jan Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I took notes. I’ve just been grabbing books from “New arrivals” at the library and have read some really bad ones lately.

  3. jan Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I took notes. I’ve just been grabbing books from the library rf

  4. Bex Says:

    I love the cover of “Angels.” Maybe I’ll pick that one up. I’d take “Running with Scissors” if I wasn’t so backed up on my reading. But I’m close to finishing a book! Finally!

  5. QueenieCarly Says:

    Honestly, Bex, I wouldn’t recommend reading any of them really, but Angels was probably the best one. You can have that RWS if you want though. Let me know.

  6. Courtney Says:

    I’ve read Angels and I really enjoyed it. I have quite a few of Marian Keyes books if you ever want to borrow them. I think my friend Heather has them right now, but she reads very quickly. đŸ™‚

    I’d probably like Slave To Fashion. Is it like Becky from the Shopaholic books? Because I liked the first two, and after that I just wanted to kick her ass to the curb and rip up her credit cards.

    Running With Scissors and The Pact are both on my A-Z list. That doesn’t bode well for my upcoming reading! Odd though, I’ve heard so many good good things about Running With Scissors.

  7. SherBears Says:

    Running With Scissors is on my audiobook list so I’m looking forward to that one! Not collecting books? Here, let me send you some of mine… (TBR pile is down to 284, yay!)

  8. Jane Says:

    My mom said that you would LOVE a book called “Losing Julia.” She said it might not be your typical read, but it’s so well done that she thinks you’ll love it. I am going to try to get this one at the library too.

  9. Jean-Luc Picard Says:

    Unusual books; thanks for highlighting them.

  10. Bex Says:

    Yeah, I’ll take RWS, just because I’ve heard so much about it. Hang onto it til I see you next time. Thanks!

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