Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I've been reading this summer.... in case you care

So, I realized I never posted this lovely literary section this summer and I have no idea why.  I think I was going to go back and look to see if I'd read anything that I was forgetting in the list.  Or maybe I just forgot to press "Publish."  Either way, I thought I would update with my reading list since I put down the "Cookbook Collector" by Allegra Groodman.  I'm probably going to forget a few....

I'm reading "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
It kind of blows.  Thanks a lot for the glowing review, Mom.  I was quite surprised by my mother's recommendation of this book because it is very frivolous.  I will say, though, that the sexy scenes and sexual tension are pretty A-Okay.  I just finished this book (I've had to come back to this post twice now.... update:  this book: C.  That is all)

"Faster" by James Gleick
This is an awesome book- I still haven't finished it.... it is not like a novel, it is one of those books I pick up between reading other books, there isn't a plotline to remember or anything like that.  It is fascinating, though.  It talks about how impatient and speed-oriented our culture has become and it has all these random facts that of course, I can't remember now that I am writing about it.  One of the facts is about how many millions of floors Otis elevators go up every day and another is how using the microwave to cook food only saves people like an average of 3 minutes a day.....  totally random facts.  **Another random fact from me that has nothing to do with this book:  Don't check out a library book and not return it because you like it and figure you can just go in and pay the price of the book and the fines will hit a 'debt ceiling' if you will.  I just mailed a check to the library for $46.00!!  Yes, I like the book (not this Faster book, it is another one), but I could have bought it (and bought my dad a copy for Christmas last year) for $18.00.  EPIC FAIL, ME.  
I would also like to note that when I googled this book to find the picture to post, there is a Cliff Notes version....  for people that want to read a book about America's fascination with saving time in any way possible in a condensed, hyper shortened version.  Haha.  Silly bitches.

Has anyone read any books they'd recommend (or really hate)?  Please share!! :-)
Now, the original post that was never posted:

I just (literally moments ago set the book on the floor beside my bed) finished "The Cookbook Collector" and realized that I couldn't remember the book I read before it, so I thought I ought to document my summer reading list for my own benefit.  If anyone happens to find a book they are interested in off the list, so be it.  

I will go in reverse chronological order, starting with "The Cookbook Collector" by Allegra Goodman

"Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much.

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman has written a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays" -
Amazon.com- The Cookbook Collector

I wouldn't go so far as to call this novel "delicious," as it hardly delves into the recipes or even food that much, which is kind of what I was hoping for with the title what it is.  But it was worth my week of reading time, so whatever.  It also hit me while I was reading this last night because it goes through the time period of the 9/11 attacks- the book took a surprisingly emotional turn for me.  Then I was wondering how 9/11 effected the face of literature: if this book had been written in a nondescript time frame, would there have been sections with a title and dates given?  Probably not, because why would we care that such and such happened in August of 2011 if not for what happened that specific September?  Just something to ponder, one of the smaller thought-of and less significant things that 9/11 changed...

"If You Were Here" by Jen Lancaster

This book probably would have been way more engrossing had I been a bigger fan of John Hughes' movies.  It isn't that I don't like all those "Brat Pack" movies, I am completely ambivalent.  I've seen a handful of them, and could care less.  Woop-de-doo.  Anyway, this book was about a couple with lots of dogs and cats that move from their urban apartment to the house that the fictional Jake Ryan lived in in the movie "Sixteen Candles."  Of course, that house is in horrible shape and they try to do their own renovations, yada yada yada.  It was cute, but whatever.  (You can quote me on that last line of critique- I know it was so scholarly).

"The Last Summer (of You & Me)" by Ann Brashares

Total un-engrossing "beach read."  It was my "let's read a little before conking out because it is pretty boring and predictable" book of the summer.  Sorry, Ann Brashares.  I loved the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, but this is a no-go for me. 

I started reading "Clean" by Alejandro Junger, several books back and am still in process of reading. 
Check out the website to read a little more- there is no way I can effectively explain it other than you eat "cleaner" and detox your thinking, the chemicals you use on a daily basis, and obviously the food you eat for 7-21 days, depending on your commitment, and this cleanse gives your body the time and nutrients it needs to get rid of all the nasty gunk that has accumulated in your innards.  He explains it that our bodies were made to deal with feast and famine back in cave man days and our internal organs were made to be able to filter out a certain amount of bad stuff, but that we have so much bad stuff floating around (in the air, the food, the body products, the technology we use, etc etc.) that our body only has time and energy to get rid of a certain amount of stuff and all this other stuff accumulates and clogs our arteries and makes us fat and gives us cancer and diabetes and all that kind of stuff.  It is actually pretty interesting, even if you aren't going to do a cleanse (I haven't so far because, as I've mentioned before, I am in the thick of wedding season- emotions are running high as it is, if you take away some of my food, I might snap.  Not good.) 

I read "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood at the beginning of the summer- that was quite a sobering little story from the 80's I think it was that had some uncanny similarities to the state of our society these days.  Thank you to my friend Marie for the recommendation, although the storyline really scared the bejeezus out of me.  I don't want to become a handmaid or any other thing in that book.  Ick.  But what religion were they comparing it all to?  I have a bit of a bias and was rooting for it to be Mormonism the whole way through (I can show you proof within the story of the similarities) but there were other religions and government structures that were also evident in the author's inspiration.  Yeeks.

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