Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Oh boy I'm behind on book reviews.

In A Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson - You definitely want to read this book. Then you'll definitely want to come visit me and Matt in Australia, which you should definitely do (Seriously - I'm confident that not enough people will ever read this for that to become a dangerous invitation :) And when you do, you'll definitely want to move there too. Bill Bryson is the funniest writer I've maybe ever read, and every three pages I had to add another destination to my Australia travel list.

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler - Fun, entertaining. I got confused halfway through and watched the movie twice to try to figure it out, but the plots aren't exactly the same so who knows. But that's an indictment of my own ability to focus on fiction, not the book.

Only Children, by Rafael Yglesias - Oof. I loved the other two books I read by Yglesias (father of Matthew Yglesias), but this one was so uncomfortably unpleasant I couldn't even look past the subject/plot enough to be able to tell whether it was literarily well done. If you're on the fence about having kids, this will definitely make you shy away.

The Reason I Jump, by Naoki Higashida - Book written by a boy with autism who learned to communicate using an alphabet board device. Quite interesting. I have many more thoughts about it, actually, but they'd be comprised too much of ignorant speculation, so it's hardly worth the time to write them down. But, that does mean that I'd recommend it for its thought-provokingness.

Unbearable Lightness, by Portia de Rossi - Um. So I maybe perhaps have a huge enormous crush on Ellen DeGeneres, and this maybe perhaps led me to watching a bunch of old clips of her show with her wife and former girlfriends, and this maybe perhaps induced me to look up Portia's new book, which I maybe perhaps finished before I even realized what was happening. Scary story.

Boy, Tales of Childhood, by Roald Dahl - I have no idea how I didn't read this one as a kid when I read everything else by Dahl I could get my hands on. It's fantastic.

Digital Photography Just the Steps for Dummies, by Frederic Jones - I flipped through this on my flight to Berlin after getting my new DSLR with the hope it'd give me a super quick introduction to making the most of it. I don't recommend it for anyone with any preexisting technical literacy whatsoever.


ToneMasterTone said...

Actually, not following the plot in The Big Sleep is the point. Raymond Chandler himself couldn't explain the plot.

I really dislike Raymond Chandler because I suffer from needing my fiction to have an understandable plot. This is not a problem for a lot of people.

Vera L. te Velde said...

ah that's good to know :) I too usually prefer a coherent plot, although I really love Paul Auster, including the New York Trilogy, which also seemed not quite solid.