Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book Reports, 2008 Books 1-6

Ex Libris
Practically perfect in every way. Run, don't walk, to get a copy of your own.

The Careful Use of Compliments: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel
Lately, I've had good luck with the parent-of-small-child library method. That is to say, walking by the "new items" shelf and picking something up, almost without looking. I didnt really care about the Ladies Detective Whateveritis back when everyone was into that, but this one I enjoyed. The heroine is a single mother but rich and so she has Help! Also, she's smart and eccentric enough to be interesting. It has one of those babies you only find in books and movies who appears in time to make the plot move ahead, or to do something adorable, but otherwise causes no trouble. This was not as irritating as it sometimes is. There was a sort of a mystery to be solved and some low-key emotional turmoil, but this was accomplished with the minimum of fuss. Mostly, a gentle and enjoyable read. And quick -- for those of you trying to whiz through a bunch of books this year.

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
This book is bound to give you at least one trick for your preaching (if you do that) or your marketing or your talking to people if that is more your bag. And even if you don't need any good tricks, it's got loads of great stories in it. I know I'll turn to this one again. One funny problem I have with this book is that I can never remember the title. Which is an interesting issue for a book that is supposed to be all about, you know, remembering things.

Less than Angels
Thanks to Songbird, I remembered Barbara Pym, so I checked this out of the library. I gave away almost all my stuff to move to Seattle 10 years ago and I hardly ever regret it, except when I think about Pym, so I try not think of her. See how well repression works? Speaking of repression, some people compare Pym to Jane Austen. Will you think I'm lowbrow if I say I actually like Pym more? The characters are funny, dear, smart and compelling - they are people you'd want to know. And after reading this you'll feel like you do. Recommended.

Joe Jones
Of course, I love Anne Lamott. I've read Traveling Mercies 4763 times or so, and each time it opens new treasures for me. However, I havent felt that big a connection with Lamott's fiction. Was it Blue Shoes I couldnt get into at all? I cant even remember. Well, anyway I liked this one - ditto what I said about Pym's characters (funny, dear, smart, compelling). People couple and uncouple and get sick and get well and die and act badly and help each other and all the time drop the most amazing one-liners. Recommended.

Sanctuary Hill: A Bay Tanner Mystery
In my opinion, any book that begins the way this one does should have a big red label on the cover: Warning! Dead Baby Inside! Also, why does surviving gruesome and gory danger so often lead to sex in a certain genre of book? Wouldn't you rather have a nice bath instead? I would. Just to prove I don't love every single book I read, this one is NOT recommended.


1 comment:

peripateticpolarbear said...

I liked Joe Jones, too.