Saturday, April 05, 2014

Reading: The First Quarter

Ooops, not that kind of quarter.  Sorry.  Still got money on my mind.

I'm not off to a very fast start, but I'm sure things (like reading)  will pick up as more things (like books) get picked up during April, May and June.  Here's what I've read so far:


1. My Brother Sam is Dead - James Lincoln Collier. How about a spoiler title like that, huh!?  I liked this YA novel because it showed how not everyone was a revolutionary, loyalties could be divided even within families, and, in war, everyone loses. (fiction)

2. The Shining - Stephen King.  I love Uncle Stevie with all my heart, but sometimes it seems as if he's just slapping it down on the page.  Not so with The Shining.  Lots of action, lots of horror, but he reins in his prose, and that makes it all the more effective.  This is a novel Shirley Jackson would have been proud to have written. (fiction)

3. The Caine Mutiny - Herman Wouk.  The romantic subplot with Willie Keith and May Wynn was irritating.  I really hate it when I don't fully enjoy one of my Pulitzers.  Pout.  (fiction)

4. Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three - Mara Leveritt.  I'm still shaking my head at how these three boys got railroaded for a gruesome murder because the local lawmen were too stupid and lazy (and possibly inbred?) to investigate the crime properly. The judge should have been asked to step down from the bench.  (nonfiction)

5. My Name is Mary Sutter - Robin Oliveira.  It's 1861, and midwife Mary Sutter wants to be a surgeon.  She keeps getting turned away from medical schools because she's female.  Fortunately for her, the Civil War helps her get a foothold on her ambitions.  Gritty heroine, gory details.  Highly recommended.  (fiction)

6. Dolly's Dixie Fixin's - Dolly Parton.  Dolly put together a cookbook of her favorite down-home dishes.  So glad there's a shout-out to a long-time Missouri institution, Lambert's, "The Home of the Throwed Rolls".  Tasty recipes, and if there's a quicker way to do it, Dolly will tell you.  My only complaint is that there were no food pictures, just pictures of Dolly.  Luscious as she may be, she can't trump vittles.
Favorite quote: "As far as I know, any vegetable treated to cream and bacon drippings is a mighty good-tastin' one."  (nonfiction)

7. Before We Were Free - Julia Alvarez.  The last days of the Dominican Republic's Trujillo dictatorship, as seem through the eyes of  12-year-old Anita, youngest daughter of a family who is resisting the regime.  They've protected and shielded her, but as events spiral out of control, she must learn and adapt quickly. Bit of a nod to The Diary of Anne Frank.  Audiobook, beautifully read by the author. (YA fiction)

8. Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosch.  I love Allie Brosch's art.  She gives me Lynda Barry feelings, which is very very good.  And her writing!  No one has ever explained the various stages of depression more eloquently.  (graphic memoir)

I noticed that I got a little blathery when I discussed my February reads, so I was compelled to divide this post into three (January, February, March) so they wouldn't be overly long.  You're welcome. :)

1 comment:

Vasilly said...

I think looking over your reading by quarter instead of monthly is a pretty good idea. I hope this quarter picks up.