Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Ninth Month, Nine Books

 Nine books in the ninth month. I love it that it happened that way. Did I plan it? No, absolutely not. Nein.

1. Freaky Friday - Mary Rodgers. Novel.

2. What is the Story of Anne of Green Gables? - Ellen Labrecque. Nonfiction.

3. Playing for Pizza - John Grisham. Novel. Audiobook.

4. The Call of the Wild - Jack London. Novel. Book group book.

5. What was World War I? - Nico Medina. Nonfiction.

6. Yellowface - R.F. Kuang. Novel.

7. Lessons - Ian McEwan. Novel.

8. Who was Frank Sinatra? - Ellen Labrecque. Nonfiction.

9. Who was Jim Thorpe? - James Buckley, Jr.


Freaky Friday hasn't aged very well, but the mother-daughter switch is fun, and you can't beat Mary Rodgers for madcap situations and rapid-fire dialogue.

Playing for Pizza is about a disgraced football player who goes to Italy and plays there and sorts himself out and gets a serious girlfriend all while traveling around the country and eating delicious food. It feels so much like a Hallmark movie, but it was kind of soothing to listen to.

The first line of The Call of the Wild always cracks me up: "Buck didn't read the newspapers..." Didn't? More like "couldn't", but London is setting it up right from the beginning how intelligent this dog is. Whenever I read this book, I fall in love with Jack London's work all over again.

What was World War I is an excellent survey of The Great War. Nico Medina, who is rapidly becoming my favorite Who Was...? writer, packs a lot of information into 108 pages.

Yellowface is dark, sardonic, funny, and takes a fierce look at authors and social media and who has the "right" to tell certain stories, based on the author's identity. Also, authors being cancelled when personal details are revealed. Juniper Song is a slightly unreliable narrator, but her takes on all of the above are brilliant and scathing, and in a shadowy world that is determined to cancel her, she is just as determined to have the last word.

Here's what I'm working on right now:

Sharp: Women Who Made an Art Out of Having an Opinion - Michelle Dean. Nonfiction. So far I've listened to chapters about Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West and Zora Neale Hurston. Hannah Arendt is up next, as are Mary McCarthy, Pauline Kael and Nora Ephron, among others.

Child Star - Shirley Temple. Nonfiction. I'm determined to finish this book before the end of 2023.

Happiness Falls - Angie Kim. Novel. I'm enjoying this literary mystery about a father and husband who goes missing during the pandemic, and I'm drawn in by the narrator, Mia, his daughter, and also the Korea connection, but it's also driving me batshit crazy, but I mean it in the most positive, bookwormish sort of way.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota - J. Ryan Stradal. Novel. This is a reread, for book group.

And so, on to October. I'm hoping to participate in Dewey's readathon the weekend of October 21. I've got the stack of books, but carving out a huge hunk of solitude in which to read will require some crafty planning.

1 comment:

Jeane said...

I really enjoy Jack London's storytelling, even though reading his books again as an adult, I was struck with how much violence and fighting there was- among both dogs and people!