I read a whopping 32 books in August. Though I have to admit, I am now burned out on romance-y books. I broke out the non-fiction because I read/listened to more than one, but didn’t break out the lone graphic novel (Blue is the Warmest Color) because well…it was lone. I am also qualifying that these are “Emma’s” books because I’ve been hounding Sophia to start doing this too.
I love Hyperbole and a Half largely because I’ve found someone who’s similarly flawed. While unfortunately not included in the book, the “alot” post is what got me hooked on her blog a few years ago. Bill Bryson is always entertaining, but the audiobook version of Notes from a Small Island was painful to listen to. Painful. I will never listen to another audiobook read by Ron McLarty. His inflection and tone do not work with Bryson’s dry humor. Situations that should be funny turned squidgily assholish. I prefer Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? to Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Mindy Kaling didn’t try to be funny. She just talked about her life in a relatable way. Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography was great (I’ve always been a sucker for him, in part because he is also from New Mexico).
I am going to skip over most of these books because…wow…someone spent too much time ignoring their housework. She also stayed up way too late on too many nights. I will mention Warm Bodies because it was a good zombie-with-angst book. The dynamic between all of the people/creature players was well done. I watched the movie afterwards, and while John Malkovich was a perfect cast for Julie’s father, the movie completely messed up his storyline. The movie ending was wrong. Too happy. Anna and the French Kiss was a surprising favorite. I love that both Kitchen (by Banana Yoshimoto) and Like Water for Chocolate were mentioned/incorporated. Aspects of her experience were like mine (I also went to a boarding school for high school). I can relate to her mortification at one point in the novel because a similar thing happened to me. My favorite quote: “Girl Scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys” (pg 140). No…no it didn’t. It still doesn’t. The final mention is Horrorstör. I’m not a fan of horror, but I couldn’t resist the IKEA-like setting. The formatting was humorous, the story was good (with the set up for a potential sequel, which would be worth it). I went to IKEA the day after I finished the book, and felt a moment of creepiness while walking through the fake room displays.
I read two books to Bean in August, both were chosen because of our reading of The Island of Dr. Libris. We liked both, but Pollyanna was the favored one. I enjoyed it more than I expected. It is a book I have always avoided because I assumed it was sappy and sentimental. Maybe it is, but it was done in a non-annoying manner. I would like to read the original version.