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« December, 2013 »

Don’t Look Twice   book icon  
by Andrew Gross (2012)

read: 28 December 2013
rating: [+]
category: fiction

After getting the last Gross book y accident, I got this one on purpose. Another thriller, not quite as great as the last one and with a seemingly higher body count of close friends who wind up dead but still a fast-paced good read.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919   book icon  
by Stephen Puleo (2004)

read: 22 December 2013
rating: [+]
categories: best in show, non-fiction

This book was great. Well-researched and outlines with a marvelous arc that you could only think you could get from fiction, Puelo has done an amazing job reconstructing what it was like in 1916-1925 Boston in order to explain the events leading up to the molasses flood which is a thing a lot of locals make jokes about but few really understand. I particularly enjoyed the extra outlining of the political climate of the time describing anarchist activity that was going on in the area and also describing how the tank owners tried to pin the blame on political rabble rousers instead of their own cost cutting measures.

The Dark Tide   book icon  
by Andrew Gross (2012)

read: 22 December 2013
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Got this book by accident while trying to get the other book about the molasses flood (don’t ask) and it was actually a really good thriller

NFL Unplugged   book icon  
by Anthony Gargano (2010)

read: 16 December 2013
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

This book was really hit or miss. It had been recommended to me as a gritty behind the scenes look at what is really going on for all the non-star quarterback people playing pro ball today. And sometimes it was that, looking into things like spring training and what the trainers are up to helping injured players play, and just about injuries generally. But sometimes it was also a play-by-play of notable games (for some reason) and sometimes it was a historical digression into this or that. I do not know that much about football. I know how the game works and recognize some of the players, so I found some of the play-by-play stuff not just inscrutable but totally annoying since I couldn’t follow it and didn’t understand why it was in the book in the first place. So, generally enjoyed this but it was definitely a book that I skimmed parts of.

Mad Night   book icon  
by Richard Sala (2005)

read: 16 December 2013
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

Enjoyed this slightly strange mystery graphic novel about Judy Drood and her hapless pal Kaspar Keene. I missed the first installment, so there were a few things I didn’t quite get. The lettering style took some getting used to and I wasn’t prepared at all for the really high body count and some of the graphic dismemberment that happened. Overall, really good, just don’t read it before bed.

Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!   book icon  
by Stephen McCranie (2011)

read: 10 December 2013
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, ya

A super fun romp with a kid with a smart kid with a big imagination and his talking dog. I don’t read many graphic novels that are actually for kids but this one had enough to still be interesting to an adult lady while having kidlike themes (time machines! dinosaurs! science fairs!). I’ll definitely try to track down the other ones.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao   book icon  
by Junot Diaz (2007)

read: 4 December 2013
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Loved this book. Somehow missed it when it first came out. It’s the story of Oscar Wao a kid from the Dominican Republic whose family moves to New Jersey. But along the way we learn about his family’s cursed past, a lot of history about the DR and more about Oscar’s nerdy interests. Its hard to sum up this book because the different sections look at totally different characters and totally different time periods. The whole idea that there is a curse on the family is one that will be familiar to people who have read One Hundred Years of Solitude and even though this is a very different book, that theme is very familiar. I was really rooting for the Oscar character, the nerd character. You’re supposed to even though you know basically after reading the title that he is, in some way, totally doomed.

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