Monthly reading roundup February 2016

BOOKS READ IN FEBRUARY

20256635Black River by S. M. Hulse. Sometimes a book is so well-written it makes me a little angry. I am very envious of this writer’s style: spare, subtle, atmospheric – but never ambiguous or apathetic. Occasionally I would mutter “goddamnit,” and Matt would ask “No good?” and I’d reply, sadly, “No, it’s great.” This book is everything I wanted Ellipsis to be, and much, much more.

15757384I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman. A funny memoir of a comedian getting her shit together. A quick read, but enjoyable. When I was done I had to rewatch her Drunk History episodes, which were now even funnier.

15952899Life After Life: A Novel by Jill McCorkle. A pleasant read. Right up until that shitty plot twist.

25489453Always Too Much and Never Enough: A Memoir by Jasmin Singer. This began as a really relatable memoir about being overweight – and the “why I’m a vegan” chapters were explanatory, convincing, and not overwrought or bombastic – but the author lost me when she abandoned all reason to go on obsessive weeks-long “juice fasts” and babbled pseudoscience all over the goddamn place.

17707738The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkin. This was a fun book. Not at all good for my TBR list (I probably added a dozen titles). The “cures” are quite appropriate: Cold Comfort Farm for lack of common sense, or To Kill a Mockingbird for those who need courage, for instance.

69517The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark. I wouldn’t have finished this if it hadn’t been so very short. And I should have been able to finish it in a day, but it kept putting me to sleep, so it took me two or three. People say Muriel Spark is subtle. Too subtle for me, apparently.

18144048Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia by Su Meck. Here’s my review from Goodreads: “Hard to put down, but also sometimes hard to read. I ripped through this book even when I wanted to rip the author’s husband into tiny little pieces.”

INCOMPLETE

13609922Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar by Kelly Oxford. Unrelentingly batshit crazy. The secondhand embarrassment was suffocating. Also it didn’t sound remotely plausible – incredibly hyperbolic.

17605531Local Souls by Allan Gurganus. Just didn’t hold my attention.

23848557Time and Time Again by Ben Elton. Is it just me or does anyone else have this problem where continuous, uninterrupted action becomes overwhelming and boring at some point? After a few chapters straight of espionage and fights I find my eyes skimming the page without taking anything in. This is one of those books I would have been riveted to if it had been a TV show or a movie, but I couldn’t keep track of who was hitting who (or the politics) on the page.

COOKBOOKS

24388414My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl. There was a lot of photocopying going on before I relinquished this one back to the library.

MedVegFeasts_casewrap-051414DM_r4.inddMediterranean Vegetarian Feasts by Aglaia Kremezi. Food combinations were a little odd for me. Nothing I wanted to cook.

— Amanda

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