Tagged: fiction

Adulthood is a Myth

adulthood is a myth sarah andersen 2016 andrews mcmeel publishingAdulthood is a Myth: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” collection, by Sarah Andersen, 5/5

Hilarious and strangely, one might say worryingly, relatable.

Why I read it: I love Andersen’s webcomic and other book.

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Big Mushy Happy Lump

big mushy happy lump andersen andrews mcmeel publishing 2017Big Mushy Happy Lump: A “Sarah’s Scribbles” Collection by Sarah Andersen, 5/5

I love the Sarah’s Scribbles webcomic and this book is more of the same laughs.  My boyfriend looked at the first illustration, of a small girl with big eyes cozied up in a comically huge hoodie, and was like “This is written about you?”  Then he turned to the first comic, about procrastination, and was like “This is written about you!”

Why I read it: saw it advertised on the webcomic site.

Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang

chitty chitty bang bang fleming random house 1964Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming, 2/5

A strange little story, with a spindly plot and uneven tone that is sometimes fanciful and sometimes much too serious for the children that are presumably its audience.  I did like the playful illustrations by John Burningham, which are quintessentially 1960s.  Surprisingly, there is very little resemblance to the 1968 film, which I love (though it turns out that what I love about it is probably Roald Dahl’s influence, not Fleming’s inspiration).

Why I read it: my sister thought I might enjoy it.

Tarzan of the Apes

tarzan of the apes edgar rice burroughs bed book 2005Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 4/5

This is a bittersweet little story, written with the refined yet melodramatic style (and casual racism) that characterizes a lot of literature from the early 1900s.  Like most people, I was already familiar with the characters and story line, but I recognized very little of pop culture Tarzan in this original tale.

The edition is noteworthy because it is printed in landscape format, supposedly making it easier to read in bed.  I really enjoyed the novelty, but didn’t think it was any easier to read lying down than a normal book.

Why I read it: A lovely birthday gift from one of my brothers and his family.

Jonathan Wild

jonathan wild henry fielding walter j black 1932The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great by Henry Fielding, 2/5

This peculiarly depressing little satire flips traditional concepts of morality on its head by recasting infamous 18th-century thief Jonathan Wild as a “Great Man,” deriding all honest men as “that pitiful order of mortals who are in contempt called good-natured; being indeed sent into the world by nature with the same design with which men put little fish into a pike-pond in order to be devoured by that voracious water-hero” (73).  There are a few hilarious moments but overall Fielding’s satirical style is a bit strained and tedious.

Why I read it: I can’t remember where I picked this book up from, but it probably ended up in the pile beside my bed because I really enjoyed Fielding’s Tom Jones.

Four Novels of the 1970s

four novels of the 1970s leonard library of america 2014Four Novels of the 1970s: Fifty-Two Pickup, Swag, Unknown Man No. 89 and The Switch by Elmore Leonard, 1/5

I made it most of the way through the first novel in this collection and, while I admired the film-noir mood and punchy dialogue, eventually gave up because it was just too R-rated for me.  Given that I enjoy watching a lot of R-rated movies, this might seem strange, but there’s just something about books–I get a bad feeling from reading things in print that wouldn’t phase me to watch on film.

I suspect that Fifty-Two Pickup might be one of Leonard’s roughest books and I might have had better luck with some of his more comedic works, but I just don’t feel motivated to give them a try at this point.

Why I read it: Got a batch of Elmore Leonard books out of the library to read, starting with his 10 Rules of Writing.

Mr. Majestyk

mr majestyk leonard william morrow 2012Mr. Majestyk by Elmore Leonard, 3/5

This is no literary masterpiece, but it’s got a likeable good guy, a hot girl, a selection of mean bad guys and plenty of gun play, so it seems petty to complain.

Why I read it: I needed a break from some of Leonard’s darker work and I enjoyed the Charles Bronson movie which served as inspiration for this short novel.