Tuesday, May 31, 2016
What I Read: May
After a rather slumpy reading year so far, I feel like things got back on track in May! I'm excited about reading again. As usual, click on the title for my Goodreads review.
Beezus and Ramona, by Beverly Cleary. I had no idea that Beverly Cleary was still alive, but after finding out that she celebrated her 100th birthday last month, I wanted to read some of her books. I read a couple of the Ralph books as a kid, and maybe a Ramona book or two. So I started with the first Ramona book (which I hadn't read before), in a gloriously tacky, yellow-paged paperback straight out of my childhood. :) It was simple but funny and I liked it, even as a 25 year old. But wow, that Ramona is a brat.
The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion. Last month I read The Rosie Project, so in May I picked up the sequel. Unfortunately, I didn't like it very much. It started off well, but it was way too long and I had some major issues with how the main two characters were handling things. There was such a lack of communication and I wanted to strangle them for acting so ridiculous! I liked the end, but overall it was disappointing.
Coffee at Luke's, edited by Jennifer Crusie. This is a book of essays about Gilmore Girls, which is one of my favorite TV shows. I liked some of the essays more than others...some highlights were the one about Kirk (possibly my favorite character on the show, purely for his weirdness), and one about the connections between classic films and the show. This book reminded me of a lot of things I'd forgotten and made me anxious to pick up where I left off in rewatching the show (season 3, and then I got distracted).
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. I read this book as a kid, but remembered absolutely nothing about it. (Though one scene did come back to me vividly as I was reading.) It's such a classic, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't absolutely love it like I expected to. The first few chapters were perfect and had a lovely atmosphere, but once the actual time travel started happening, I lost interest a bit. And I thought the end was anticlimactic. Still, it was interesting and I'm going to continue with the series.
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, by Susan Branch. This book...I loved this book. Yes, it's slightly cheesy and cutesy and overly gushing at times. But I can't help myself. The author is a knitter (plus a fellow classic movie/Beatrix Potter/Jane Austen fan) and she basically took my dream tour of England: focusing on the countryside and reveling in country estates and castle ruins and English gardens and quaint villages. It's written like a travel journal or scrapbook, with a handwriting-ish font and watercolor illustrations and pictures, and did I mention I loved it? I carried it around, reading a page or two whenever I had the time. I've been eyeing this book for years but could never bring myself to pay over $20 for it, considering I'd never seen it in person. But someone let me borrow it, and now I'll have to cough up the money for my own copy. :)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty. I'm not even going to pretend that this book is for everyone. It's weird and morbid at the best of times, depressing and gross at other times. But it was also sort of fascinating. It's a peek behind the scenes of the American funeral industry (and death in general) in memoir format, plus some information about how other cultures deal with their dead. The author made some very interesting points about how detached our society is from death and the artificiality of our system. Like I said, not for everyone but I actually enjoyed it (for the most part).