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« December, 2018 »

Speak: The Graphic Novel   book icon  
by Laurie Halse Anderson (2018)

read: 11 December 2018
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

This is a powerful graphic novel about high school and ostracization. I did not read the original book but really enjoyed this version of it, illustrated by Emily Carroll, though I needed to switch it to my “daytime reading” pile from my nighttime reading pile because it was too dark for nighttime. It’s a story about a terrible thing that happens and the aftermath which is, in some sense, just as terrible. I related to the character who was isolated in her own home with self-absorbed parents and friends who always seem to be after something and who are also trying to just make their way in the world. I think the story works especially well as a graphic novel because a lot of the imagery is almost better seen than read.

Calypso   book icon  
by David Sedaris (2018)

read: 9 December 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I always like but don’t always love Sedaris. I love that he talks about the ups and downs and actual weird stuff he does on a day to day basis (feeding your lipoma to a snapping turtle? Loved that story!) I have a harder time when he brings his family into it and I worry/think about the story behind the story. His sister is famous in her own right, I wonder what she thinks. Another sister committed suicide after a long period of mental illness and his last reference to her in this book is about closing a door in her face. His father may not live until the next book. It’s all super interesting, a complicated mix of thigns that are funny right next to things that are not that funny but it makes it all the more real.

How to Be a Muslim: An American Story   book icon  
by Haroon Moghul (2017)

read: 9 December 2018
rating: [0]
category: non-fiction

I struggled a lot with this book which is about one man’s struggling with his own idea of faith and how it overlapped with his physical and mental illnesses and his own desired for what he wanted in his personal life. I’m not sure if it’s just that the author is Muslim and male and younger than me, or if it’s that this book just wasn’t that well written. There were huge chunks in the middle of it which were just recounting parts of the Quran or the life of Mohammed and while this may have been meaningful to the author, it was less understandable from a reader’s perspective. In general this book outlines the author’s journey and then end wraps up maybe a bit too neatly. I wanted more details in some places and fewer details in others. Glad I read it but just barely.

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War   book icon  
by P. W. Singer (2015)

read: 7 December 2018
rating: [0]
categories: fiction, unfinished

Wanted to like this but it was already up to three different perspectives and a little too strategic for me and I’m trying to get better at cutting my losses.

Kingdom of the Blind   book icon  
by Louise Penny (2018)

read: 6 December 2018
rating: [+]
category: fiction

The latest in the Gamache series. A good one about the really corrosive effects of street drugs. That said, a little too much of the phrase “junkies and tr*nnies and whores” for my tastes even if the main character did do a good job of using correct pronouns later on. People moving in new directions and an interesting main story and side story. Read over a few long airport stays. Worthwhile.

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