Saturday, January 31, 2015

#3: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Comedian Amy Poehler offers a slice of life and a big chunk of comedy in Yes Please.

I bought this for my wife for Christmas at her request and was eager to read it next.  There are numerous family members who want to dibs also.

It was pretty interesting and funny, though Poehler didn't spend as much time on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation as I might have liked.  It is more a mix of coming of age story blended with outright comedy bits and insights.

Perhaps not as darkly funny as Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter, as challenging as Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl, nor as insightful as Tina Fey's Bossypants, but enjoyable in its own right.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#2: Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham

Twenty-something writer/director Lena Dunham sums up her life thus far in a warts-and-all autobiography called Not That Kind Of Girl.

Dunham comes from New York, and a background of some privilege; as a middle-aged, middle-class midwestern guy, I am probably not the audience for this book.  That being said, I enjoyed Dunham's frank, often funny, stories about her life from childhood, through a progressive college experience, and later successes and failures (that led her to the creation of the popular HBO program Girls).

I was interested enough to rent Girls from Netflix, and enjoyed it; but like her book, I can see that it is not for all tastes and in fact could be very polarizing to some audiences.

But I would recommend the book to those interested in Dunham and her current TV series.  I listened to this on audiobook, read by the author, which I think enhanced the experience.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

#1: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Private eye Cormoran Strike goes looking for a wayward author, and stumbles onto gruesome murder, in The Silkworm, the second thriller penned by Robert Galbraith.

Despite appearances, I am keeping to my promise to read only women authors in 2015.  After the success of The Cuckoo's Calling J.K. Rowling was outed as the pseudonymous author, and she stays with the Galbraith name for the sequel; a good thing for the uninitiated, as the Strike stories are filled with sex, violence, profanity, and other adult situations.

In the first novel, Strike takes on the fashion world; in this one, Rowling turns her attention to publishing, with similarly interesting results.

Rowling is apparently hard at work at a third novel featuring this world-weary, one-legged protagonist, and I am eager to see it released.

I listened to a very good audiobook version of this on loan from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 In Review

I sort of knew going into 2014 I probably would not make it to 50 books this year; with both my kids getting married, and my grandson born on the first day of 2014, it was going to be a busy year.  But I have read 348 books in seven years, and that is nothing to sneeze at.  But per usual I will list my top reads of the year:

Total Chaos by Jean-Claude Izzo

The Son by Jo Nesbo

Mapuche by Caryl Ferey

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored by Phillipe Georget

 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

A Little Lumpen Novelita by Roberto Bolano

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

I am changing it up this year, committing to reading only women writers in 2015 to see if I can become a better writer myself.  Check back in here to see how I'm doing.