Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Okay, I'm totally going to overwhelm you with books until the end of the year in an effort to get current. First up are Brian Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, Scott Pilgrim Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, Scott Pilgrim Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness, and Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, all of which I read at Nora and Claire's place on various occasions, usually while in my pajamas. Um, all I have in my notes is "Loved them." So there's that.

I re-read two early Sean Stewart books, Passion Play and Nobody's Son. Passion Play was his first published novel and I'd forgotten how everything I love about his writing was all there right from the beginning, if not quite as developed. It's set in a theocratic future not that far from The Handmaid's Tale and is a fantastic murder mystery in addition to being good science fiction. Nobody's Son is about what happens after the happily ever after when the hero and the princess he won have to make a life together.

So Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake was pretty much set up to fail by this blurb from Jonathan Lethem: "Sloane Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly." Yeah, not so much. Sure, there are some funny moments, but she's not at that level.

Joseph Wambaugh's Hollywood Station was a weird read. It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of the book, which is kind of chaotic with lots of characters and a few ongoing plot lines laced through. It's not fantastic writing, but often funny and by the end I was genuinely caught up in the characters, enough to read the sequel.

Next was Too Much Too Late by Marc Spitz. In this book a garage band with some limited local success gets a second shot at fame twenty years after giving it all up. They have one perfect pop song that becomes an unexpected hit after an influential blogger hypes them on her site. I liked the book although the ending feels kind of unfinished and abrupt.

Lock & Key, Sarah Dessen's last book wasn't her best, but I liked the ways she played with her usual formula.

Hadley Freeman's The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a guide to almost all things fashionable was a cute and funny, if fairly inconsequential collection of short essays about fashion.

61 to go...

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