Monday, August 29, 2016

What I'm reading this week (8/29/16)

What a fast weekend! I hate it when the time between Friday night and Monday morning goes by in a flash. I went with my mother to my cousin, Kolt's, wedding. I remember holding Kolt as a baby. Sigh.

Last week I finished:

I reached the end of my Anne of Avonlea audiobook last week, and it was a sweet book. I'm not sure how the other books in the series are, but this was very much like the first book. Anne is a bit older, but she's still a dreamer, still gets into scrapes, still looks for "kindred spirits" everywhere. As I mentioned earlier, I was sometimes a bit frustrated by Anne's seeming lack of growth. There is a Peter Pan thing going on with her that sometimes irritated me, but then, I'm not really the target audience. In all, I enjoyed the book, and I really enjoyed the narrator (Shelly Frasier, I believe). She was much better than the narrator of the first Anne book I listened to (Kate Burton, I think). My rating: 4 stars.

I also finished Kim Addonizio's poetry collection Mortal Trash. Most of it was pretty...odd. I didn't follow a lot of the poems--they seemed unnavigable. There was one redeeming poem that stood out for me, but the rest were kind of dark and weird. The last section of the book was full of poems that seemed much clearer and relatable, in sharp contrast to the earlier sections. I'd recommend Addonizio's earlier works before recommending this one. My rating: 3 stars. 

My husband's favorite book experience of all-time is the Tarzan of the Apes series (24 or 25 books in all). He read and re-read them--as an adult. So I made one of my goals this year to read Tarzan of the Apes. I kind of put it off for awhile and even considered not finishing the goal. (Can you imagine?!) But having finished my main August reads with a week and a half left in the month, I decided to suck it up and just read it already. It's not a long book--my copy is 218 pages--but it really packs a punch. There's not one bit of superfluous narrative. There's tons of heart-pounding adventure. There's savagery (though it's not graphic). There's romance. There's subtle anthropologic themes. It really is a well-crafted story, masterful even. My husband and I had a discussion about whether it was intended for children, and he was emphatic that it was not. I felt that it might be, but I have nothing to back that up. It seems to be an adult novel about something children would be interested in, which is interesting. I think it would be a great read-aloud for older boys (maybe 10-ish), who wouldn't be able to understand some of the language, but would get the concepts when read to him. My husband disagrees, though, saying there's too much subtlety that would be lost on them. And since he's actually read all the books and raised children, I guess I'll back down on my assertions. I do recommend this book, which I enjoyed much more than I anticipated. My rating: 4 stars.

This week I'll finish:

Ingredienti is making me into a rebel. It seems so silly to me that someone can have such forcefully absolute opinions about something as objective as food and flavor. Did Marcella Hazan really not believe taste is subjective? I would have enjoyed her opinions a lot more had she allowed her readers to have their own as well.

Still loving Grover Cleveland, Again! Seriously, borrow or buy a copy.

This week I'll begin:

I have one more book on my August reading list that I haven't begun, and that's Dogs by Tim Flach. It's a large-format book of remarkable dog photographs. I can't wait to sit down with it.

I'll also begin:

I'll be moving on to my September reading list this week with Katharine Hepburn's Me. I have no idea what to expect. I've always seen Hepburn as kind of prickly, so her memoir might be a hoot. Although I've heard she doesn't really talk much about Spencer Tracy, which I think is odd.

And my September audiobook is a book I'm just not getting to in print, Ruth Reichl's Delicious! I think it will be the perfect thing--a longish novel about food (and romance, I think), lighthearted, perhaps. I really prefer my audiobooks to be fiction.

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