Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Books I Read in August and September

I forgot to keep track of August or much of September, no doubt this list will therefore be somewhat inaccurate.

Total 7 books:

Panicology (Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams)
The Year of Living Biblically (AJ Jacobs)
Starting Over (Tony Parsons)
Songs of the Humpback Whale (Jodi Picoult)
Popco (Scarlett Thomas)
Divas Don't Knit (Gil McNeil)
Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee)

Panicology (30/09) had the potential to be a good book, the idea was pretty sound, sadly the actual writing of the book lets it down somewhat. Most notably, one of the authors appears to write coherently whilst the other rather struggles. Numerous paragraphs within the sections of this book seem to fail to make any clear point at all, usually because far too many things have been crammed into the sentences in an attempt to make 'smooth' links between points... not so smooth. I have a strong suspicion that with some simple statistics on things like sentence length, one could easily allocate the individual papers within this book into two separate author piles. I'll be listing this on BookMooch just as soon as I've finished this post.

Possibly the most intelligent thing I've read for a while (I really should make more effort), The Year of Living Biblically is a chronicle of precisely what it says on the tin. Funny and quirky, this book pointed me to some obscure bits of the bible I did know and many I didn't. My one regret is that the book wasn't terribly deep in places I might have liked it to be - I suppose they wanted people to want to read the thing though. Well-written and interesting, although I'm terribly glad I'm not his poor wife. Currently on loan to one of Hobnob's work mates, then maybe Hobnob will read it (but perhaps not) and maybe my Dad and then onto BookMooch I think.

I'm still not so keen on Tony Parson's newer books. I much preferred Starting Over to My Favourite Wife (and the truly uninspiring Stories we Could Tell) but it wasn't so good as Man and Boy, Man and Wife or One for my Baby. Reading the blurb for this novel, the plot grated a little (the whole memory effect thing seemed a bit naff - I'm just waiting for a Cecelia Ahern novel on the subject to prove me right :)). The writing was clean and easy but I don't really think I ever got over the plot. It did have some nice moments though, definitely preferable to the last two of his books I've read. Gone to Tiare (UK) via BookMooch.

I'll buy and read every Jodi Picoult once. Songs of the Humpback Whale was slightly curious as it's actually her first novel, republished for UK readers. The sad ending of this book is revealed at the start but it still manages to be almost tear-jerking in places (depending on your susceptibility to such things I suppose). Like all of her novels, the book dwells poignantly on relationships (with much success) and the controversial topic of this book appears to be age gaps between lovers (Picoult's books all have a 'controversial topic' of some kind so it's possibly worth identifying although I think this one features less heavily in the novel, when weighed against the remaining content, than in many of her others). This is a very bitty analysis of the book! Anyway, I enjoyed it. Have passed it on to MissMac (UK) via BookMooch.

With The End of Mr. Y still fondly remembered, I couldn't pass up on an opportunity to buy and read Popco when I spotted it in my local Waterstones. Like The End of Mr. Y, Popco is neatly written. I didn't find the plot quite so engaging, but it was pretty good. This book can stay on my bookshelf, for now at least.

Another knitting related book, this one totally fictional - Divas Don't Knit (14/08) was a bargain from Lillian's bookshelf as she emptied it to move house. The yarn shop setting was nice and cosy even if the celebrity friendship thing seemed a wee bit bizarre - I suppose it might happen... but never to me. An nice happy book that kept me occupied for a bit. On it's way to aganmooch (Germany) via BookMooch.

Yarn Harlot is one of a small collection (and it actually was small) of books I ordered for delivery home whilst away in the US. Cute and funny it might make a nice little gift for a knitting friend who hadn't read it already but... it would definitely make an ideal library book - I really don't see me rereading it in the near future. A good book to snack on but I'm wondering how long I can justify it sitting on my bookshelf just because it pertains to knitting.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...