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« May, 2016 »

Iranian women talking in an unfiltered way. Satrapi’s memories of the discussions that happened around her where women revealed their most private stories makes for really interesting reading.

Step Aside Pops

I continue to love everything that Beaton has done. This book is possibly even better, a little funnier, fewer experimental things, than her last one. Enjoyable all the way through.

One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw

This was basically a long New Yorker essay but in every good way. Rybczynski did a lot of fun research and he shares it with us including a lot of nice drawings and some great anecdotes about the world of fasteners (no one knows who invented the buttonhole! There is only one Roman nut left in the world!)/ Fun, worth reading, well illustrated.

Not Funny Ha-Ha: A handbook for something hard

I didn’t know what this book was when I picked it up. It’s a very well done book basically about “So you’ve decided to get an abortion, what does that mean exactly” and guides the reader through the two different major types of abortions, surgical and medical. Lots of good information and Hayes is really clear that people shouldn’t rely on it for medical advice but since we know people often go to book (or their friends) before they’ll check with a doctor, it’s very good that books like this exist. My only real concern with this book is that both the women look really really upset the entire time. Not that abortion isn’t serious but it definitely makes it look like they’re feeling one specific way.

God’s Kingdom

I really love Mosher’s unvarnished nostalgia style. His characters inhabit a world that is an only slightly old-timey version of the Vermont I currently live in and watching them work out their differences, deal with grief and loss and love and day to day life is always a calming part to my day. I enjoyed this book very much.

The Purple Land

I don’t even know why I had this book and I’m not sure why I continued to read it even as I stopped really enjoying it. It’s sort of a fascinating road/trail book from the 1880s about a snotty Englishman who is in Uruguay. He meets a lot of people and has a lot of adventures. And he’s sort of insufferable. This book has a few interesting prefaces and many neat original woodcuts but I really should have cut and run earlier on this, there was no clear ending and I think maybe I was hoping there would be one.

Oil on Water

Grabbed off of the shelf of the library this book about the Nigerian Delta is as fascinating as it is heartbreaking. Lots of little micro-stories about love and hope and lack of both are scattered throughout this narrative about a white woman possibly taken by rebels and one journalist’s search for her.

Beasts! Book 1

What fun! This just arrived on my mailbox from Jacob and I enjoyed it a great deal. It’s a collection of illustrations of beasts, some of which you have heard of (vampires, unicorns, werewolves) and most you haven’t. Lots of different illustrators have created full page images next to beautifully designed text. Great for flipping through on a grey morning with a mug of coffee next to you. (and a great palate cleanser from the last book I read)

Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss

This book was almost unreadable. I stuck with it because I liked getting at the SNL anecdotes but it was a rambly non-chronological memoir piece that was mostly about drugs and women. Davis has an interesting backstory but is a terrible writer. This book appeared to not have even been edited. I’m not sure I would recommend it for anyone but the most fervent of SNL (or Grateful Dead) fans.