I’m getting caught up, guys. I’m not quite at 60 books yet, but I’m creeping up there. There are 6 weeks(ish) left until the new school year picks up, and one flight ahead with a long layover each way. I have good feelings about how July will pan out. Here’s what I read in June.
You wouldn’t think a book about garbage would be boring, would you? Oh, you would? I’ve read some really interesting books about garbage–no lie, they’re out there–but you would be right about Gone Tomorrow. SO boring.
I’ve been told it’s weird that I have a favorite economist. I assume it would be even weirder that I have a favorite branch of economics. It’s behavioral economics. Books like Predictably Irrational always make me think that I’m about to completely change the way I spend my money. Then I remember that the Dollar Spot exists at Target, and all is lost. It’s worth a read anyway: maybe you’re a stronger person than I.
The Sentimentalists won this big literary prize in Canada when it was published, and I guess Canadians did not love it, but I thought it was good. But then again I like books about Vietnam War vets, even when they’re ambiguous. ESPECIALLY when they’re ambiguous.
Nuclear bombs aside, I think Truman was a pretty decent president. The author of Citizen Soldier came right out and said that she wasn’t attempting to write a scholarly biography of Truman (and all but said, Why don’t you put this down and go read the biography that McCullough or Ambrose did, huh?), which, mission accomplished, but it was a decent overview. She did seem weirdly dismissive of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Leslie Knope in me can’t get behind that.
Guys, I wanted to hate The Alchemist. Books that CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES make me wary, as a general rule. But I liked it. I really did.
Someone at school brought The Disappearing Spoon to the book swap we held at our school picnic. I figured that since that swap was my idea (humblebrag: it was a smashing success and a lot of kids are gonna read this summer) I got first crack at the grown-up books. If you’ve got the kind of science mind that I have, meaning that I’m generally bad at it, a lot of this book will be confusing. But the parts about Marie Curie alone made it worthwhile. (Spoiler alert: apparently she had a rep for being a bit of a tart. Good for you, Marie!)
My boyfriend loooooves the Cracked website, so he essentially demanded that I read a book by one of its authors, How to Fight Presidents. It was pithy, and informed me that I probably couldn’t beat any of them. Especially Teddy Roosevelt, who, unlike the author, is the one I would probably most like to beat up. (The Ernest Hemingway of Presidents, says me.) Also, last time we did trivia Ben demanded that we change our team name to the Millard Fillmore Appreciation Society. It didn’t help.
As I’ve mentioned, I felt super-creepy reading Lolita on the bus. Even if no other passengers knew what the book was about, there is not a single edition that has a non-creepy cover. Lolita is my BFF Krista’s favorite book, and she pretty much never steers me wrong. Although the fact that she’s a fluent French speaker really helped her out. Did Nabokov put in so much French just to be like “Oh, just thought I’d show you that not only am I writing this entire novel in my second language, here’s some of my third, too?” Probably. (I would.)
I may or may not have sat down and read Love Life in a single afternoon at the library. It was not as good as the first, because I am so well-versed in Rob Lowe’s memoirs that I can rank them, and I was hoping for more Parks & Rec gossip, but that’s pretty much the prevailing theme of my life.
I find it misogynist that there’s no word for a guy version of chick lit. High Fidelity is male chick lit. So is The Understudy. Which, fine. Just, if there’s a book about the male version of Bridget Jones, could someone PLEASE think of a quippy, reductive name to describe it?
Burnt Offering is another one of my boyfriend’s books. It’s self-published, and by someone he knows. It made me a little nervous, because I’m an asshole, and one who studied Lit in college. But I woke up before him when I stayed at his place last weekend, and needed something to do, so per usual I went through his bookshelves. And I actually really liked it. Like, stayed-up-until-1 AM-reading-it liked it. If Stephanie Plum books have gotten too trite for you, it could be up your alley.