Exhausted today so this week’s post will be shorter. Not going through ALL the books I read this week, just the ones I finished.
A lot of my reading and reviews are on Goodreads anyway.
But, I read some books that I read fast because they were short books of poetry like “Waterchild” by Judith Bolinger. Pretty good book about childbirth and poems of the birth experience. I liked the pictures more than the poems. I think the red tent may like this at Rites. **1/2 (3 GR).
Or a book of Illustrated Basho Haiku poems by Matsuo Basho. The haiku are very good, but I almost think they were translated too long. And the impressionist pictures of women didn’t fit the poems at all. Will likely read again and want to compare to other translations. *** (3 GR)
And there are fun quick reads like the illustrated short chapter book “The Twits” by Roald Dahl that I talked about last week. ***1/2
Then there are the long, compulsive reads that make you want to drop what you are doing and just read. These tend to lead to lack of sleep, big recommendations and are just a ton of fun. For many “The Hunger Games” is in this category, but for me it’s on my Kindle but I am not likely to read it for a while. The book like this for me this week is Anthony Neil Smith’s “Choke on Your Lies.” ***1/2 (4 GR). It was highly recommended by another crime fiction writer who is one of my friends on Twitter Dave White (@davewhite) as his favorite book of 2011.
It’s a fun ride. Octavia is this amazing force of personality that throws her weight around literally. She has made a fortune with obesity lawsuits, and doesn’t suffer fools EVER. A friend of hers is a poet who is going through a divorce and has been wronged. And it’s just fun. I flew through all 6,000 characters, lost some sleep, and enjoyed the ride. Books like this are one of the great joys of reading.
Some I have read recently include Cat’s Cradle, Post-Human, Slammed, Wool 1, Runny Babbit …
I also finished Robert Frost’s “North of Boston” which was good but didn’t really grab me. I understand why many love Robert Frost’s work but it doesn’t speak to me personally. *** (3 GR)
And I also finished finally a book that definitely wasn’t a fast read “Duncan the Wonder Dog” by Adam Hines. This is a book that plays with the graphic novel format (much like Chris Ware) and has talking animals, animal terrorism against humans and is completely unique. I can see why Seth Hahne’s wonderful site on graphic novels goodokbad.com has it has his best graphic novel every but it didn’t hit me in the same way. ***1/2 (4 GR). I am looking forward to what Hines writes in the future.
Another slower read I finished this week was the wonderful Kindle single “Beethoven’s Shadow” by Jonathan Biss. This book is about the process involved in being prepared to perform all of Beethoven’s sonatas as a pianist. Talks about influences, performing vs. recording and a really fascinating book about the inner workings of being a classical musician. Recommended. ***1/2 (4 GR)
Going to end it there this week, I did read bits of some other books but really my big read easily this week was the wonderful fun “Choke on Your Lies” definitely worth the 3 bucks on Kindle.