Saturday, December 26, 2015


I feel like chatting about books tonight.
It's been awhile since we talked about books, and books are my favorite.
As you can see from my sidebar over there > I'm on Goodreads, and we may even friends there. Goodreads gives you a challenge every year - pick a number of books to read in the year, and then read them. Last year I chose 80 and surpassed that number, easily, so this year I chose 100, and darn it if I'm not still only at 95 with only 4 days left to go. There is no way I can read 5 books in 4 days! Agh!
But let's converse about some of those recent choices...

I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn today. I have this friend L, with whom I work out, and we like to talk about books, a lot. She has been at me to read this book for as long as we've discussed books, as it is her favorite, and she reads it every year. For her part, she did end up reading A Handmaid's Tale this year, and she loved it as much as I told her she would. Anyway, I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - what an amazing portrait of youth in the tenements of early 1900's New York. I love a strong and intelligent female character, and Francie is both of those, and a reader to boot.

Last week, I read The Martian by Andy Weir. I may be the last person to read that book, but it did not disappoint. Mark Watney is such a likable character, you don't mind spending a year and a half on a desert planet with him. Mad engineering skills and a great sense of humor - Mark Watney is my fictional character crush of the year.

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews - a happy book with a happy ending. Greer is a location scout, looking for a "classic beach town" atmosphere in Florida for a big-budget, action-adventure movie. Mary Kay Andrews' books are a bit formulaic - girl meets boy, boy and girl are irritated by each other, but secretly attracted to each other, other quirky characters are involved, nasty characters want opposite things from nice characters, craziness ensues, happy ending. But the protagonists are always likable, the female characters are intelligent and strong, and I love a good happy ending. Not a brain busting book, but fun and fluffy.

Just so you don't think I love every book I read (although, let's face it, I'm pretty easy to please,) I didn't love The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman. This was my chicklit book club selection for January (chicklit book club being a bit of a misnomer, as several of the books we have read have not exactly fit that description.) Anyway, the premise is decent - the protagonist, Brett, is a young woman who has lost her beloved mother. The mother, who was a successful cosmetics company founder and CEO, leaves her children large inheritances, but Brett will not receive her portion until she completes a list of goals she wrote when she was a child. She has a year to complete the list, and the list is so far outside the scope of the life she is currently leading, that she has no idea how to begin. The relationship between Brett and her mother is heartwarming, and Brett definitely grows as a person, but honestly, the story is predictable, and the outcomes rather unlikely. The relationships form too quickly for reality, and it is pretty difficult to relate to most of the characters. I didn't dislike the book, and I did finish it, but it was really only ok.

I love lists of books, and there are a lot of "Books you should read before you die" lists out there. One book that shows up again and again on these lists is If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. It kind of reminds me of a David Lynch movie - purposefully obtuse with its novel within a novel within a novel nauseum. At the end, however, I honestly did not feel like it was really all that hard to understand, and it was kind of silly. Again, I did not really dislike the book, but I doubt I will be on my deathbed thinking, "Thank the gods I read If On a Winter's Night A Traveler."

My son is watching "The Matrix." I haven't watched this movie in ages. Keanu Reeves was so adorable in this movie. In his silly, stoned, surferboy kind of way.

We'll chat about health, and goals, and all the other fun stuff I want to focus on next time. For now, only try to realize the truth.
What truth?
There is no spoon.

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