Number of books read in July: 19
Number of books read in 2012: 85
Number of books read in 2012: 85
Complete list here.
■ The Age of Miracles (Karen Thompson Walker) Fiction. I loved this quiet work of post-apocalyptic fiction, even if others didn't. There is something about summer reading for me, though: It's more... forgiving.
■ The Group (Mary McCarthy) Fiction. Robin at 52 Books challenged folks to read a NYT bestseller from the week and year they were born. As it happens, The Group was #2 during my week. It was a dated but compelling read.
■ Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Joshua Foer) Non-fiction. This was our audio accompaniment for our ill-fated trip to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Related entry here.
■ Amped (Daniel H. Wilson) Fiction. Entertaining if thin sci-fi from the author of Robopocalypse, which I enjoyed last summer.
■ Happy Endings Are All Alike (Sandra Scoppetone) YA fiction. My Chapter 8 -- "Him She Loves: Romanced, Rejected, Affianced, Dejected" -- choice for Girl Detective's "Summer of Shelf Discovery" reading project. Related entry here.
■ Falling for Hamlet (Michelle Ray) YA fiction. I wanted this to be better than it was. Sigh.
■ A Thousand Cuts (Simon Lelic) Fiction. "But trust me. Being bullied: it bites." Quite possibly the best book I've read this year. Related entry here.
■ The Tale of Paradise Lost: Based on the Poem by John Milton (Nancy Willard) Fiction. With the Misses. This abridgement has both fans and foes. I will simply say that it's serviceable.
■ The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need (Andrew Tobias) Non-fiction. Rudimentary but helpful.
■ Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age (Michael J. Gelb and Kelly Howell. Non-fiction. A repetitive retread of the same ol' "feed your mind, eat right, exercise" advice you've heard before. Neat bit of synchronicity, though: Tony Buzan, whose memory empire is featured in Moonwalking with Einstein, penned the introduction.
■ Things We Didn't See Coming (Steven Amsterdam) Fiction. I know I've heaped superlatives on this month's reading, but Amsterdam's collection of related short stories set in utterly recognizable and believable post-apocalyptic world was, in a word, brilliant.
■ Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? (Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D.) Non-fiction. Read this as "research" for a piece You know what? This book actually frightened me. Apparently, some teenagers are really quite awful. Note to self: You won the parenting lottery. Thank you, LCpl M-mv and Misses.
■ Pariah (Bob Fingerman) Fiction. Gratuitously violent and crass. Cardboard characters. A thinly explained "twist." The illustrations were the most compelling aspect of this otherwise mediocre bit of zombie fiction.
■ The Paleo Diet (Loren Cordain) Non-fiction.
■ The Primal Blueprint (Mark Sisson) Non-fiction. Others have probably already observed that these seem like a rehash of Atkins. If, like me, you're late to the low-carb discussion, The Paleo Diet was the more readable text. Sisson's presentation was repetitive and poorly organized.
■ How to Retire Overseas (Kathleen Peddicord) Non-fiction.
■ Where to Retire (John Howells) Non-fiction. I keep returning to this topic, making new and improved (tentative) plans, running the numbers with all sorts of scenarios in mind. It's not so much that I read such books as pore over them, adding notes to my "Retirement" file, daydreaming, and reading sections aloud to Mr. M-mv.
■ The Outsourced Self (Arlie Russell Hochschild) Non-fiction. Related articles here and here. The Time Bind and The Second Shift fascinated me, but this one... not so much. It may be partially my fault, though: I've been reading it in fits and starts for about six weeks.
■ Epic Fail (Claire LaZebnik) YA fiction. Loosely patterned on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this was almost painfully cute.