Sunday, January 31, 2016

January books

One of the benefits of working at a newspaper is that I come into daily contact with a lot of ideas. We have a monthly columnist who wrote early in January about a book challenge she's been taking part in the last few years, which involves not only tracking the titles of the books you read, but the pages.

For someone who really hates math, I really like statistics (it's what Eric calls one of my consistent inconsistencies), so my first thought was, that is brilliant! And then because Austin Kleon has inspired me to Steal Like An Artist, I decided to make that idea mine. So I've dedicated a couple of pages in my journal for such a list. So far there are only has three entries.

Well, the year is young.

Incidentally, I read all of these books thanks to our library's ebook checkout system. It's frustrating as hell to have to wait for a book you want to read now (what a first world problem), but on the upside, the waiting strengths your character. I guess? At any rate, I am reading more books.

*** MAY contain spoilers, though I'm trying really hard NOT TO. ***

I picked this one entirely based on the author, who, as the cover suggests, wrote "One Day", one of my all-time favorite books EVER OF ALL TIME. I mean, I really love that book. So without reading any customer reviews or really looking into the subject matter, I just went for it.

After I read it, I went online to see what other people thought, and it was just a bunch of variations of Douglas is so boring, why did Connie want to marry him in the first place?, which totally bummed me out because me and Douglas? We are cut from the same uptight cloth, with the minor exception of him being a scientist and me not even understanding science.

So without giving away the entire thing, let me just say that it's an interesting look inside of a marriage, and I did not see that ending coming at all even though I should have, and it was definitely worth the read.

Um, but go read One Day first. ;)

"Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell(324 pages)

Here's another one I read just based on the author -- I loved "Eleanor and Park" -- and so, again, I just added it to my ebook list and waited eight years for it to become available. (Or two months. Who cares?)

I devoured this book in no time at all, which made me sad because I really enjoyed it. It's easy and breezy and beautiful (wait, no, that's Cover Girl make-up, sorry) and just fun to read. I mean, yeah, here's this guy who's paid to read people's emails, which even in 1999 seems a little far-fetched, but what do I know, and then he falls in love with this girl just based on her words, and the she falls in love with him just based on his face. (Crap. That might have been a spoiler.)

Anyway, I loved it. It's, like, candy for sarcastic people who love words.

I really wish I owned this one.

"Landline" by Rainbow Rowell(319 pages)

So let's just say, hypothetically, that you've been acting like a (lovable, awkward) jerk and your husband leaves you behind on Christmas with your two girls to go visit his Mom because you're just going to be working on writing your dream comedy television show anyway.

You with me so far?

And then you go to your childhood home because you're kind of having a breakdown and apparently you have a magic phone in your old bedroom that allows you to talk to said husband TWENTY YEARS AGO when he was merely your boyfriend and your relationship also needed work, and you learn some stuff about yourself and your husband and you realize you have to make a choice.

What's interesting is the wife is the successful, career-driven one and the husband is the one at home with the kids, which is totally a role reversal of what you'd normally get. And Georgie has to make some hard decisions. Are they fair? I don't know. But they are what lots of women have to make. I know my kids and husband are on the short side of my stick sometimes ... and the guilt that produces.

Well, anyway. Again, this is for people who love words and playing with words and words that aren't going to cause you any headaches but will give you a few lovely hours in some alternate universe where magic phones are possible.

I'm a big fan of Rainbow Rowell. I have "Fangirl" on my waiting list and I'm hoping that comes up in February. I would read the phone book if she wrote it. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Pages read: 1,062

Huh. I thought it would be more than that. Math and all. SO HARD.

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