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« April, 2014 »
Dwarf: A Memoir

DiDonato is a former little person who underwent bone-lengthening surgery to become someone who is just short. This is mostly a story about that, though it covers a lot of other parts of her life mainly in fits and starts. This book is ghost written (or something) by a woman from People magazine and that might give you an idea of the tone this book is going to take. I was interested in DiDonato’s story but a little less stoked about the way it wound up being told. There was a lot of drama, her parents were weird (some of it was explained, a lot was not) and it all culminates in a perfect wedding which felt like it traded off one set of stereotypes (about little people) for another (all people want is to have a perfect wedding and it will bring everyone together). DiDonato had a fairly middle class upbringing in Central Mass so there were a lot of familiar places in her story which kept me engaged and I know the bone surgery part of this is the most controversial within little person communities. I think I would have wanted to hear more about that instead of just a lot of “overcoming adversity” types of vignettes. No big deal, I’m sure DiDonato is a great person, this just wasn’t really the story I wanted to read.


Liked this one because it game me a chance to get to know more about Sammie Martens. Unfortunately what we learn about her is that she’s impetuous and frequently puts herself in dangerous situations that she needs Kunkle or Gunther to get her out of. There was also a “wow you’ve clearly never done drugs before” description of an ecstacy trip and a sort of “And that’s how it all went down” summary at the end. I liked but did not love this one though I was happy to learn more about Martens even if it wasn’t all good.

The Sniper’s Wife

This was a departure from the usual Mayor books because it takes place to a large extent in NYC. There’s still Gunther and Sammy and Kunkle but the topic is the death of Kunkle’s ex-wife under slightly odd circumstances and everyone goes to NYC at various times to figure it out. There’s some interesting juxtaposition between NYC cops and VT cops but ultimately the thing I like about Mayor’s books is the Vermont settings and the ins and outs of all the interagency stuff and this didn’t have it for me. Good cop procedural but not really what I wanted to read.

Tucker Peak

Another mostly homegrown Joe Gunther mystery, at a fancy (made up) ski resort this time testing out the powers and the diplomatic abilities of the newish Vermont Bureau of Investigation. Enjoyed it, was sorry when it was done. Falls solidly in the middle of the pack as far as the latest run of books I’ve been reading from this series but I definitely liked it.

Marble Mask

Another good vaguely international Gunther mystery. This one takes place both in Vermont and over the border in Sherbrook Quebec and concerns a dead guy found on the top of a mountain in Stowe. It’s the first real case for the Vermont Bureau of investigation and there’s a lot of inter-agency wrangling and a lot of harkening back to old Vermont. Enjoyed it.

Occam’s Razor

This one was more my style. Lots of Vermont-y stuff going on, a lot less confusing international intrigue and a lot of dorky procedural stuff including seeing the origin story for the Vermont Bureau of Investigation which I knew about but didn’t really know about. One of my favorite of the recent books.

Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All of Us

Was expecting this book to be different but I wound up liking it a lot anyhow. Bering takes us on a historical tour of sexual deviancy. I was expecting more of a contemporary tour maybe and some talk about furries and those people who like to be smooshed and etc, but I liked what the book was. Bering uses a lot of different studies to talk not just about what people like, but how we KNOW what we like and what implications do these likes/loves/lusts have for society in general. Bering is gay and so he talks about himself a lot in an offhand way. He’s able to be open-minded and funny but not TOO funny when discussing things like pedophilia and people who are turned on by rubber boots. There’s a lot of footnoting (maybe too much?) and a good chunk of resources at the back of it. Good book, will look up other stuff by Bering.

The Disposable Man

Another Mayor book! I think I am slowing down a little bit on these. I liked this one, but like the Asian gang one, there was too much non-Vermont content that was a little confusing. Also I am finally getting to the point where Gunther is always saying “Such a sleepy little town” and I am like “Dude you are getting shot at and people are getting killed around you every year nowadays!” This did have some of that interesting interagency cooporation stuff going on which I enjoyed, but a little confusing to stay on top of, though again a bunch of neat location stuff.