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February reading list

This was just kind of a meh reading month, with one notable exception.

1. The American Way of Eating, Tracie McMillan

Often compared to Nickled & Dimed, a sort-of startling (depending on how clueless you are) exposé on how screwed up our food system is in America, I guess? It's in three parts: the author spends several months picking fruits and vegetables with migrants (where she almost dies of heat stroke), then several months working in the produce section at Wal-Mart (where nothing is really that fresh), then a few more in the kitchen at Applebees (where almost no real cooking is involved and everything is squeezed out of packages and reheated, yum.)

It was okay, but no real new information, and no real solutions.

2. Alone Together, Sherry Turkle

Robots replacing people, social media keeping us closer together but in artificial ways that really make us further apart, blah blah blah. I was not that interested about the robots, and the social media stuff, while interesting in theory, was just about as dryly written as could be.

3. The Last Dragonslayer, Jasper Fforde

The exception to my streak of "meh" books! I admire Fforde's brain so much ... I imagine him looking at the world at a tilt when everyone else is looking straight on, you know? He just sees things differently, and has the writing skillz to translate that to paper.

This is YA or possibly middle grade, and it's totally wonderful. Also there are dragons.

4. A Clash of Kings, George R R Martin

Didn't enjoy it as much as the first, but I can't stop now.

5. Great Buildings, DK press

Gorgeous, really gorgeous, but I'm not sure if it counts totally as reading. Lots of big beautiful detailed pictures of architecture, floor plans, etc. But seriously gorgeous.

6. The Woman Who Died a Lot, Jasper Fforde

I find it hard to keep up with long-running series like Thursday Next; there was nothing WRONG with this book (and many aspects of it were downright mindblowingly brilliant) but it's been so long since I've read the earlier books that I feel like I'm missing some of the narrative. (In between every book I seem to forget that Jenny is a mindworm, for some reason. MAYBE BECAUSE I HAVE A MINDWORM.)

7. Anne's House of Dreams, L M M Montgomery (audio)

Needed an audio book and this was what was available for download from the library; the later Anne books aren't my favorites (until you get to Rainbow Valley, which is wonderful) but revisiting Anne is always a treat. And I'd forgotten about Captain Jim and the sweet, sweet story of Leslie and Owen.

8. The Flipside of Feminism, Benker & Schlafly

Um. Not really sure what to say about this because I don't have the brain energy to get into the topic; suffice it to say that I pretty much entirely agree with their premise but I noticed a few gaps in logic and am not wholly appreciative of the tone the book takes on.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
I admire Fforde's brain so much

I KNOW, RIGHT?! Every time I read one of his books, I am in awe (and kind of jealous) of his brain.
Mar. 2nd, 2013 11:14 am (UTC)
Shades of Grey was the one where I just went...really, how does he DO THIS?
Mar. 2nd, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
I recall not particularly caring for Thursday Next 5 - I felt like it jumped the shark and he should've stopped with #4 while he was miles ahead (I think he's since redeemed it, at least with #6, but that's beside the point), but even so, I was STILL in awe of his brain!

As for remembering that Jenny is a mindworm (if this helps...it might not, if YOU have a mindworm!), if she were real, she'd probably be named Monday or something. The name is just too normal for her to be real. ;-)
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
Somehow the fact that her name is Jenny makes her feel more real to me! Like, "if this were a book and everything was neat and organized, her name would be a day of the week. Ergo, she must be real."

Mar. 4th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
Ummm.. pretty sure I read an article yesterday that adults have no business reading children's books and YA books with 3,000 years of history of written adult literature at their exposure. --Yah, that made me want to tear out all of my hair, too.

I finished reading A Dance with Dragons and my love and hatred of the book continued to the very end. I want to strangle George R.R. Martin so fiercely but I also want to beg him to write more. So, somethings working, I guess. But does the man have no respect at all for the reader? I'm guessing not. None. At all. And no respect for the literary journey. You can't just build up these characters storylines and set them out to be the hero and prepare the reader to go on a long journey with them and them BAM! chop their heads off. (To use an example from book1 as not to ruin anything for you). IT DOESN'T GET BETTER.

Also, I bought the Flipside of Feminism and disagreed wildly with all the premises. Every few sentences I would stop and rant about it to my husband who kindly and quietly suggested, "Perhaps you should stop reading that book?" Ha! I tend to like listening to 'the other side' of things for perspective so perhaps I'll pick it up again. I can't tell you now what was so abhorrent to me.. except I do remember some line about how now that women are equal to men, we don't need feminism (which I don't agree that women and men ARE equal in our society at all). I think I had such a reaction to the book because of the tone, which you mention. Had there been a different tone or better sequential logic that I could follow, I'd be much more interested in hearing that side of the argument, yanno?

Edited at 2013-03-04 04:47 pm (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:47 pm (UTC)
Now I'm reading Clash of Swords! And I'm getting more into than than I did Dance with Dragons, yay.

I just kind of love Martin as an author though. He's so grumpy (sometimes) in interviews and I love that he just does what he does.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )