Remember when I said I was going to read 52 books in 2013?
Bet you thought I quit that noise, didn’t you? Tossed my lofty stack of paperbacks to the side, and said “the hell with it”! – content to do nothing but eat peanut M&M’s and watch Teen Mom in a ball of shame and self-loathing for the rest of my life;
…..all the while wiping away my tears and spilled wine droplets with pages of my abandoned Infinite Jest.
Well guess what fools? You’re WRONG. Or at least partially wrong. The Teen Mom and chocolate are still happening, I’m just reading books too! (and they’re MILK chocolate M&Ms, so take that haters!!)
I’m currently on book 36, and since I haven’t done any reviews in a while, I thought I’d catch you all up to speed on some of what I’ve been reading lately- in 10 seconds or less! Kind of like that Nicholas Cage movie…
……….except nothing like that Nicholas Cage movie.
Iris Has Free Time
by Iris Smyles
I think a more apt title for this book would have been “Iris is annoying”. (Good one, Breezyk!) Billed by reviewers as “for fans of HBO’s Girls”, the book- which is basically a collection of thinly-veiled semi-autobiographical essays – follows 20-something “Iris” (wonder where she came up with that one), a recent college grad with dreams of becoming a writer, as she
gets drunk navigates New York City.
While some of the stories were charming and even funny, I had a hard time relating to Iris. I found her privileged, self-absorbed and desperately seeking attention (not that I would know anything about that).
Listen, I’m all for writing your own memoir as a 20-something who has done nothing remarkable in her life (hellooo.. this blog); but at the very least, find something relevant or funny to talk about besides just your “pink-outs” (which Iris calls being black-out drunk, “because she’s a girl”. Ugh.).
I give it: 1.5/5 Intellectual Dachshunds
A Hologram For the King
by Dave Eggers
After Finishing Iris, this book was a breath of fresh- albeit slightly melancholic- air. The novel follows Alan Clay, a middle-aged divorcee who has been straight up bum-rushed by the recession and can’t afford to put his daughter through college. In a last-ditch attempt to turn his luck around and finally “do something great”, he goes to Saudi Arabia to make a presentation to the elusive King Abdullah in the hope of selling him hologram technology.
[Insert 2Pac reference here].
It’s a book where not much happens, but a lot happens at the same time.. which probably makes no sense, but just know that it’s pretty great. Dave Eggers’ writing style is extremely readable, and I was hooked from the very first page. I also learned that the book is being made into a film starring Tom Hanks, which I’m excited about. This book would be great to read over the fall, or to give as a gift- particularly for the men in your life. (So I’m giving it to no one).
I give it: 4/5 Intellectual Dachshunds
One Last Thing Before I Go
by Jonathan Tropper
In a word? Meh. I had read his book “This Is Where I Leave You” before and thought it was just so-so, but I thought I’d give him another shot.
I was underwhelmed. In fact, I actually forgot I even read it when compiling this list. The story surrounds washed-up musician Drew Silver, who after suddenly falling ill, is told that without brain surgery, he might die. Rather than go through with it, he instead takes a long-ass time to “think things over”- and in the meantime we are treated to a heavy dose of his middle-aged malaise and baby mama drama. I thought when reading it that it could easily become a second-rate romantic comedy- and lo and behold, I find out it IS going to become a second-rate romantic comedy…. so we can all look forward to that.
2/5 Intellectual Dachshunds
by Jeffrey Eugenides
A.Maz.Ing. One of the top 5 books I’ve ever read. (Which I guess makes sense, since it won the Pulitzer and all). Although it’s really about a lot of things, the book at its center is about a rare genetic mutation as it moves from one generation to the next of a Greek-American immigrant family. I won’t spoil the surprise- because it’s worth discovering on your own.
Although it was long, and a bit of a saga at times (took me over a month to get through) it was well worth it. The word “masterpiece” literally comes to mind when I think about this book. Ok I will stop gushing now and pretending I know anything about literature.. but seriously, Go and read it!
4.5/5 Intellectual Dachshunds