Did you all enjoy meeting Intellectual Dachshund last week?
He enjoyed meeting all of you, and is back to review two more books he (I mean “I”. This is getting confusing) read in January.
*Just as a head’s up, Intellectual Dachshund is known to be a bit of a tippler, and may be under the influence of a nice malt scotch or two while writing this. Glenfidditch or Johnny Walker Black Label most likely. He finds Lagavulin too peaty.
I bought this book at a small, independent bookstore in Thornbury, Ontario. I was there for the weekend at a friend’s ski chalet, and we decided to do a little shopping downtown. I didn’t intend on buying anything, because I knew I could get all of the books way cheaper on Amazon, but there was something about the charm of the bookstore, the lovely proprietor just chilling there with her cat, and the picturesqueness of the small town that prevented me from leaving empty-handed.
Here is a picture of Thornbury:
See. It’s f*cking beautiful. No wonder I bought something.
If you’re ever in town, make sure to hit up Jessica’s Book Nook. And don’t forget to compliment her on her singing. I think she likes that.
The Imperfectionists is a story about a struggling English language newspaper in Rome, and the lives of the journalists who work there. Each chapter follows a different member of the paper’s staff: from Herman, the cantankerous corrections editor, who terrorizes his staff with a monthly newsletter of the paper’s errors entitled, “Why?”, to Hardy, the unlucky in love business columnist, to Craig, the middle-aged news editor in romantic turmoil. Between each chapter are a few pages telling the history of the newspaper. I thought this was a nice segue and helped tie everything together.
I really enjoyed this book. I was impressed by how many individual narratives the author was able to weave together while still making each one strong on its own. He did a great job of telling a cohesive story and capturing the complexities of each character in just one chapter. At the end, I was left wanting more, but in a good way.
It’s also a great read if you have any interest in journalism. Tom Rachman himself used to be a journalist and brings a lot of his behind the scenes experience to the table.
Favourite Line: “You know, there’s that silly saying ‘We’re born alone and we die alone’ -it’s nonsense. We’re surrounded at birth and surrounded at death. It is in between that we’re alone.”
Overall Score: 4/5 Intellectual Dachshunds.
2. My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me- Hilary Winston.
Comedy writer Hilary Winston was browsing a bookstore one day when she stumbled across a title written by her ex-boyfriend, Kyle. She opened it up to reveal that this piece of “fiction” was largely about her. It revealed highly personal (and often unflattering) details of their 5-year-relationship, and referred to her several times as his “Fat-assed ex girlfriend”.
In response, she wrote her own book. Hers, however, is about much more than just her relationship with Kyle. In My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, Winston lays bare her entire relationship and sexual history. From getting her sex-ed from reading Truly Tasteless Jokes, to storming in on her high school boyfriend with another woman, to her series of gay ex-boyfriends, it’s basically one shit storm after another. Interspersed throughout, are personal details of Winston’s private life, which mostly centre around her diabetic cat who won’t stop peeing all over her apartment. It’s all very, very sad.
I picked it up thinking it would be along the same lines as Mindy Kaling’s book but it wasn’t at all. Though HIlary has written for such shows as My Name is Earl and Community, and parts of the book were funny, overall, I just found it really depressing.
Unlike Mindy, Hillary (at least for me) was not a likeable protagonist. I often found it difficult to relate to her, and caught myself thinking on more than one occasion “we would never be friends in real life”. It’s clear she’s still not over her ex – in the epilogue she mentions still texting him, which I think is sad after all he did to her.
But hey, what do I know- apparently she has signed a deal with Lorne Michaels to make this into a movie. And since Lorne can do no wrong in my opinion, I’m sure he’ll find someone likeable to play Hilary, tone down the sad and add in more funny, and it will become a cult classic. We’ll see.
Favourite Line: “I have never felt more single than the night I stayed in to apply pro-active and a warm compress to my cat’s acne ridden skin.”
Overall score: 2/5 Intellectual Dachshunds.
Question of the Day: Have you read either of these books? What about Mindy Kaling?
P.S. Keep the recommendations coming! I love it!