Thursday, February 01, 2024

Oh, Jan

 I read six books in January. I was on the verge of the verge of finishing two more books, but then I fell asleep and the calendar page fluttered to February. They will do that, won't they?

1. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion - Fannie Flagg. Novel. Audiobook. I read this for book group. I went in, fully prepared to dislike it, but this tribute to the WASPS and their gutsy contributions during WWII absolutely charmed me, and filled me with the deepest respect. 

2. Being Henry: The Fonz and Beyond - Henry Winkler. Memoir. Winkler's memoir is a good one to read in conjunction with Ron and Clint Howard's The Boys. Winkler is quite a bit more introspective, though.

3. Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend - Karen Blumenthal. Nonfiction. Audiobook. Written for the Young Adult set, but the author didn't write down to her audience. Every bit as good as Go Down Together, the quintessential book about the pair.

4. Who Was Salvador Dali? - Paula Manzanero. Nonfiction. I think it's really difficult to capture the full flavor of the enjoyable weirdness that was Dali, but I loved the anecdote about Dali walking an anteater in the Paris Metro.

5. The Witches of Worm - Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Novel. I do wish I'd saved this novel for October. Troubled latchkey child Jessica adopts a newborn kitten she names Worm who seemingly talks to her and tells her to act out in school and at home. Excellent dark, moody atmosphere, although Worm scared me a lot less than Jessica's feckless mother and the mother's douche boyfriend.

6. Child Star - Shirley Temple. Autobiography. So very glad to be done with this book! I've been wrestling with it since July. July 13, to be precise. Child Star covers Temple's life from birth to approximately her late twenties. Her life was fascinating, her research was impeccable, but her writing is stodgy. She wrote the book long after she had entered political life, and it definitely shows.


CLM said...

I haven't thought about Zilpha Keatley Snyder much since childhood but she is a great writer. I don't remember this one specifically but I read all her books - The Egypt Game is definitely her best known and perhaps most appealing.

I am not sure I have ever read any Fannie Flagg but I see from my notes that I gave this one to my sister-in-law ten years ago. Maybe I should have kept it! I wonder if it would be good for *my* book group. How was your discussion?

Bybee said...

Not many people showed up because of bad weather, the ones present had a great meeting! Sometimes with some books, the discussion is stilted, almost painful, but with this book, the talk flowed effortlessly. It was actually difficult to wrap up the meeting. A great book group choice!

Jeane said...

I feel like I might have read The Witches of Worm long ago in elementary school- it sounds vaguely familiar and I know I read quite a few Zilpha Keatley Snyder back then. I might have to look for a copy and refresh my memory.

Bybee said...

Jeane, I really liked her books. She seemed different kind of edgy.