Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Books 55-58 of 2011's 64

58/64: How to Talk to a Widower by Tropper, 4/5 Stars
Entertained Me: High / Made Me Think: High

Am I reading a lot of books about death lately, or what? I chalk it up to another mechanism of the metaphysical universe: either I've been surrounded by too much death lately (and I have) and death beckons these books, or the books listen to my life and they present themselves contextually (ooo, there may be a short story there).

Tropper and Charles Martin have taken over as my two favorite authors, eclipsing the entertainment that Koontz and King once provided--the 4 are all stellar writers of non-fiction, but the previous 2 hit me so much more smack-dab in the heart that I can't help but love them... as I am a writer of the heart, as well. Once published, I believe you'll see how they've all influenced my work.

Anyway, this Tropper tale started slowly for me, but really came strong down the stretch and I very much enjoyed it. I'm learning that I love stories about seriously dysfunctional families; they make me laugh out loud.

57/64: The Postmortal by Magary, 2.5/5 Stars
Entertained Me: Med / Made Me Think: Med

Excellent plot. Well introduced. Reminded me a lot of recently-read Brooks' 2030, but about halfway through the book it turned to the left when I figured it would turn to the right like so many other books. I appreciate that. In fact, I think we should always appreciate it when he good guy or the underdog doesn't win; it's too often that we get exactly what we expect. That said, I wasn't that fond of the way the latter half of the book unwrapped, hence the rating below 3.

56/64: Risk by Harrison, 3/5 Stars
Entertained Me: Med / Made Me Think: Low

I enjoy reading Colin Harrison, but didn't enjoy this book as much as I've enjoyed some of his others. Still a short, quick and entertaining read. Excellent writer.

55/64: The War of Art by Pressfield, 3/5 Stars
Entertained Me: Med / Made Me Think: Med

I much preferred the previous Pressfield book that I read, Do the Work (see below), but this was still a good read for those that often find that taking the first step is the hardest part. And, I definitely struggle with doing so. Once I take it, however, I'm off and running for hours (or until I have a Pavlovian response to an email *bonk" or a Facebook Chat *ding* or an iPhone text message *bzzzt.*

My favorite passages from this book:
“The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.”

“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents, children, teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know.”


Book #36 = The Dead Town by Koontz, 2.5/5 Stars
Book #35 = Lost Souls by Koontz, 3/5 Stars
Book #34 = Dead and Alive by Koontz, 2/5 Stars
Book #33 = City of Night by Koontz, 3/5 Stars
Book #30 = The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #29 = The Fisher King by LaGravenese, 2.5/5 Stars
Book #28 = The Passage by Justin Cronin, 2/5 Stars
Book #27 = I Hope They Have Beer in Hell by Tucker Max, 0/5 Stars
Book #26 = Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney, 3/5 Stars
Book #25 = Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by Rowling, 3/5 Stars
Book #24 = Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince by Rowling, 3/5 Stars
Book #23 = Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by Rowling, 4/5 Stars
Book #22 = Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by Rowling, 2/5 Stars
Book #21 = Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Rowling, 3/5 Stars
Book #20 = Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by Rowling, 3/5 Stars
Book #19 = Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling, 3/5 Stars
Book #18 = For an Architecture of Reality by Michael Benedikt, 4/5 Stars
Book #17 = The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs, 2.5/5 Stars
Book #16 = Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis, 3/5 Stars
Book #15 = Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, 5/5 Stars
Book #14 = This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, 4/5 Stars
Book #13 = After Dark by Haruki Murakami, 1.5/5 Stars
Book #12 = Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #11 = Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster, 1/5 Stars
Book #10 = American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, 3/5 Stars
Book #09 = Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen, 4.5/5 Stars
Book #08 = The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson, 3/5 Stars
Book #07 = The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, 5/5 Stars
Book #06 = What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Murakami, 4/5 Stars
Book #05 = Existentialism by Steven Earnshaw, 1/5 Stars
Book #04 = The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, 1/5 Stars
Book #03 = The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, 5/5 Stars
Book #02 = The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani, 2/5 Stars
Book #01 = Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, 3/5 Stars

See 2010's list of 40 books.
See 2009's list of 53 books.
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