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Search tags: read-other-books-by-this-author
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review 2018-08-14 04:48
Tell Me More
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say - Kelly Corrigan

It's almost embarrassing how much I love Kelly Corrigan's books; but I am comforted in my fandom by the fact that my best friend feels the same way. We are both convinced that if we all lived closer, we would definitely be friends. Corrigan's writing confirms this for me — her stories of life with two teenage daughters make me feel like she has been a fly on my walls, especially given that mine are pretty much the same age and with similar tastes. Her husband, like mine, is calm in the face of daily dramas; and their research on parenting equips them with tools only a Dad can wield — Corrigan confirms that we mothers are just in too deep. I bookmarked pages for my husband that I found hilarious, but it was lost in my translation; he begged me to let him read it on his own, without my highlighting the good parts for him. He feels a certain kinship with her too, since they are both University of Richmond grads, but he tired quickly of my yelling out names of college friends she mentions, asking, "Hey, did you know...?" There is some territory here that Corrigan has explored before, but I appreciated the way she organized the essays, with 12 things that seem so simple and yet so significant. As always, Corrigan delivers a thoughtful, moving, and often hilarious account of life in the trenches.

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review 2018-08-09 05:29
Theft by Finding
Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) - David Sedaris

I am pretty sure I've read all or most of Sedaris' books, and I can't say he has ever left me disappointed. His stories are hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes at the same time, and tend to linger in my memory. After reading this book and noting his fondness for IHOP, I couldn't help but wonder what he would have had to say about their name change controversy. Still not sure if that was a joke or not, but either way, not a good marketing strategy. But I digress, as Sedaris often does, but much more deftly than me. Of course, this book felt more personal than the others, since it was Sedaris' diary, but it is a diary unlike any I've read, full of bits of conversation and observations that are similar in tone to his essays. Sedaris is an original, his biting humor and keen scrutiny bring life into perfect focus.

 

My husband gets Money magazine, which I rarely touch, but the other day I noticed the page was turned, and there was Sedaris, talking about his new book, Calypso, and how he manages his wealth. And all I have to say about that is, go on and buy culottes and overpriced shirts for everyone, David, as long as you keep on writing. Trust me, we are grateful. 

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review 2018-08-09 04:56
House of Names
House of Names: A Novel - Colm Tóibín

When I saw this book on NetGalley, I chose it because I read Brooklyn and Nora Webster; but this book was something else entirely. A retelling of the story of Clytemnestra, this isn't something I would normally go for, but I live in a house with Greek mythology fans, and they are obviously starting to affect my choices. Not really what I would expect from Toibin either, by the way, but I am convinced now that he can write anything he wants; this story is compelling, and, in some ways, prescient. If it weren't for Toibin's name attached to this story, I probably wouldn't have picked it up at all, though it does have a beautiful cover. (I prefer the red one on Goodreads - BookLikes has its usual limited number of editions - 1 for this one, unfortunately...) I admit, absent of any other information, I do still sometimes judge a book by its cover. In any case, if you feel the way I do, stretch a bit and try this one — there are some graphic moments, but it is a powerful story, and Toibin does not disappoint.

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review 2018-06-25 04:49
The Best of Adam Sharp
The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion

When I saw this title available on NetGalley, I immediately requested it, based on having read Simsion's other books. In retrospect, I should have known that this was different, especially with the summary including the part about Adam Sharp, "on the cusp of turning 50", which, in my experience, never bodes well for the unsuspecting wife and the seemingly happy marriage. I think what I missed was the charm of Simsion's other novels, which were appealing in their breezy way, and not at all affected, as Adam Sharp seems to be here, caught up in what can only be described as a mid-life crisis fantasy. Simsion doesn't do any favors to the women he depicts here, either. Despite all this, I kept reading; because I am weak, and I needed to know what happened in the end. And no, I'm not really proud of that. The music aspect appealed to me, invoking Nick Hornby themes, but it couldn't overcome my issues with the often creepy-feeling plot twists. I still think Simsion is a terrific writer (I wouldn't have been able to finish it otherwise), so I will try to keep an open mind about whatever he comes up with next.

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review 2018-04-20 03:03
Heroes of the Frontier
Heroes of the Frontier - Dave Eggers

This was tough for me. I love Eggers' work, and so much of this is what I would expect from him, but there are parts that just left me irritated, confused, or extremely stressed out for this unprepared, ill-equipped, mother of two, who displays an almost stunning lack of judgment when she takes her children on an inspired but completely unplanned trip to Alaska. The children, of course, are perfectly sweet, beautiful, wise little Yodas, who manage to charm even when they are at their worst.

 

Despite this, I was rooting for Josie. I bookmarked my audio-book and listened to one part several times — describing how we went from 4 parent visits a year at school to 46-hours' worth of recommended involvement (in a month). So, I cheered for Josie, even when she did some super questionable things (did anyone besides Josie not figure out the jumpsuits immediately?). And I almost made it all the way through. With about an hour or so left, Josie composes some music, and the story went from completely unrealistic yet kind of sweet and brave, to you have got to be kidding me. I considered Josie's musical scoring a charming affectation, a cute little character trait, but this was completely bizarre and almost offensive (to all musicians, everywhere, and I am not a musician). It went right off the rails for me after that.

 

There are some awesome, radical, refreshing ideas here about parenting and life, and it would have been so great if the rest of it had measured up to that great promise. Based on some other comments, I am guessing the geography is not well-researched, which seems a shame, and also easily avoidable. Any Eggers fans out there? Curious to know your thoughts.

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