ThePoliticalCat

A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Books I've read so far in 2007 (Pitiful)

Folks, to see the list of books that I plan on reading in 2007 and 2008, go the archives and click on February. The Political Cat posted my entire list ... I think it was Feb. 12.

So ... it's half the year ... and how am I doin'? Not good. I better read some more ... I better quit watching DVDs and read more.

I don't describe the book too much ... you can go elsewhere if you're interested ... but I give my reactions to each book.

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Hell To Pay- George Pelecanos
Good mystery.

My Life in France - Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme
A bit fluffy ... but there's substance too. I really liked it.

Pearl - Mary Gordon
It took a while to get into it. It was good. But I really thought it was going to be a lot better. I do admire Gordon's writing.

Chasing Redbird - Sharon Creech
Really good book for 8 yrs old and up. My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a lot of interesting stuff to chew on.

Seek the Fair Land - Walter Macken
Hard to get into for the first 25 pages because it was a little stilted or something. But it was good after that. Glad I read it.

The Alienist - Caleb Carr
Loved it. It appealed to the detective in me, the scientist in me, and the historian in me. Warning: It is gruesome and involves the murder of children.

Manhattan, when I was young - Mary Cantwell
It's a memoir about Cantwell being in her 20's and 30's in NYCity. Very good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her writing is really good.

Deception Point - Dan Brown
MYS/SUSPENSE; Unabridged Audiobook
Not recommended. Sleazy. Only picked it because my brain was mush at the time I picked it. There were at least 35 cliffhangers ... and it just got to the point where I would laugh at a new cliffhanger ... and not even care what happened to the person. That said, there was some cool/creepy technology. Cool from a purely intellectual point of view. Creepy from a human vs. Big Brother point of view. For example, mini-bots. Tiny tiny robots in the shape of bugs - literally a fly on the wall that listens to people's conversations. A person can "drive it" all over into and out of rooms, into and out of buildings ... and spy on people.

Dreaming of the Bones - Deborah Crombie MYS
Bought it in an airport. Again, brain was mush and I wanted something easy to read. It was okay. Nothing special. Although I really liked early mysteries by Crombie.

The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
Unabridged Audiobook
Great! I love this book. I read it every couple of years when I need a pick-me-up. And, the wonderful thing about this was Cisneros was the reader for the Audiobook. I just click with her sense of humor. I also like books narrated by 11 - 12 yr olds -- if they're written well that is. And this one is.

Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
Really good. Such good writing -- makes you envious the whole time: Will I ever be able to write like this?" And you keep reading for the depth and crispness.
Quote: "Of my conception I know only what you know of yours. It occurred in darkness and I was unconsenting."

"Vesuvius at Home" - Adrienne Rich
Essay in a collection called On Lies, Secrets, and Silences.
The essay is Rich's urging to read Emily Dickinson in her entirety because Dickinson's poetry is so varied ... and much deeper and darker than most people think. It's a really good essay.

Locked Rooms - Laurie King
MYS Unabridged Audiobook
It's part of her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. It’s one of the best in the series.

On Beauty - Zadie Smith
Unabridged cd
I really liked this book. Recommended.
She takes you for a very interesting ride. The writing is really good. Pokes at your brain cells, too: What’s right, what’s not? What’s evolving and in the grey area? Why do you think that way? What are your prejudices?

Angel of Darkness - Caleb Carr
Historical MYS
Not as good as The Alienist by the same author. It also has the same main characters in it. I got bored. Do not recommend. Took forever to read. Why didn’t I stop? Dunno. I do have a policy to stop reading if I’m not into it. Just don’t know why I didn’t stop. And ... I really should have ... because during this time period I encouraged The Political Cat to stop reading a book she wasn’t liking: “Life’s too short.” Why the hell can’t I follow my own advice?

The Beatles - Bob Spitz
It was approx. 860 pages long ... longer if you took time to read the notes ... I think there were another 60 pages of those. It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I think I started it in January. But I really enjoyed it. It made me see what a jerk my hero, John, was. But ... it only went up to the time that he was with the Beatles. Hopefully, he got better after that when he quit taking drugs. Also, I always felt that Yoko got a raw deal. I still think she did ... but I have a less rosy picture of her too. I thought the writing was going to be schlocky but it was pretty good. It definitely was a page-turner. Oh, and it brought back so many memories. I remember going to see A Hard Day’s Night with my uncle and his girlfriend. I was thrilled that they invited me! My parents never ever would have taken me. I even remember the theater we went to in downtown Milford, CT ... and it was a beautiful summer evening. I definitely recommend it.

We Too Are Drifting - Gale Wilhelp
a novel
This was originally published in 1935. The main character is a lesbian artist. Some of the writing is very good. And it’s interesting as a story of certain people at a certain time. But I was uncomforable with how the main character felt about herself. For example, before she started an affair with this younger woman, she warned her ... go and think about it ... think about whether it’s what you really want. I don’t think she would have said that if it was a heterosexual affair. There was another instance like that earlier ... but I can’t remember details. I’m glad I read it. But I recommend it with hesitation.

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