Books I Read in January: Part 2

Did you all enjoy meeting Intellectual Dachshund last week?

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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.

First up:

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachmanimperfectionists

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:

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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.

4dasch

2. My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me- Hilary Winston.

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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”.

ohhell

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 can’t say I was a fan of this book.

Not like this
Not like this

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.

2dashch

Question of the Day: Have you read either of these books?  What about Mindy Kaling?

P.S. Keep the recommendations coming! I love it!

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25 thoughts on “Books I Read in January: Part 2

Add yours

  1. I think the last book I actually got all the way through was about a professional wrestler and it was 2 years ago. Hilary Winston’s Community episodes tend to be the weaker ones anyway so I’m not surprised. It does seem like a great idea for a book though. I think everyone should have the attitude of “if you don’t like it I’d like to see you do it better” which she tried. At least she somewhat ruined her ex’s life until maybe someone reads his and sees he’s more talented. Poor girl.

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    1. I guess she got the last laugh in the end tho because she got a movie deal.. I haven’t read his book but people say hers is better. I haven’t watched a lot of community but interesting you say her episodes are weaker. I want to watch it though, I love Joel McHale and Chevy Chase so I think I might enjoy it

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  2. I like the new layout, girl! I’ve been wanting to read that Mindy Kaling book. Maybe I’ll get it on my iPad so I can read it on the train and be that creepy girl that laughs to herself.

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    1. It’s the perfect train book- you can read a chapter or two on the way to work in the mornings easy and then just start back up again the next day. If your public transit is anything like mine then the creepy girl who laughs at herself is pretty far down the list of crazies lol

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  3. I haven’t read either books, I need a book for work (cause I work SO hard), maybe I will go hit up the bookstore now that I have some ideas.
    Good thing people mentioned the new blog look, I didn’t even notice it,,lol.
    My BF,,just mentioned the other day how we should take a drive up to Thornbury,,,I will be sure to visit the store,,and maybe do some karoake with the owner!

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  4. Haha don’t worry I won’t break into “ballet” dance!
    I wasn’t able to get any of those books at the library (downside of living in Barrie,,not so big as T.0, less available in the library). I did however score the last book in the Boonsboro Trilagy by Nora Roberts!

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  5. I just finished The Imerfectionists–so weird. I bought it at a Library book sale. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it–there were quite a few surprises. Great recommendations–keep ’em coming.

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  6. Yikes, that second one sounds super depressing :S

    I haven’t read a book for fun in a long time. Well, except for “Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography.” I highly recommend it =P

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