Thursday, August 10, 2006

Better Read Than ...

The local library has a summer reading program for adults as well as children. Adults get to choose their own reading goals and receive a coupon for a free ice cream upon completion. It was delicious. Okay, I shared it with my daughter. All right, she ate most of it.

My goal was to read five books by five authors I'd never read before. For an added level of difficulty, each book was from a different genre. Here is the list:

Ten Little New Yorkers by Kinky Friedman
One of his most recent books (there's a trend here) and not one of his best I'd think. Not much of a mystery who done it, very profane and semi-hallucinogenic.

The Unhandsome Prince by John Moore
Light fantasy with alternative fairy tale endings (you'll find out the real story about Rapunzel!) Overall a fun read.

Rimrunners by C.J. Cherryh
I cheated a little on this one. Years and years ago I opened up a book by Cherryh, read two paragraphs, and never opened the book again. This book is science fiction that starts out well, very interesting concept, but halfway through I was wishing she would just get on with it. Here again, I didn't choose one of her more well known works and probably should have, except I had already read a fantasy book for this reading list.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Best one out of the lot. Non-fiction, mostly autobiography. Could be sub-titled 'Down And Out In New York's Kitchens'. The author is a sex-drugs-rock-and-roll cook who happily tells how badly he screwed up before emerging on the other side a decent, battle scarred chef. However, after reading this, one may think twice (or several dozen times over) before eating in a restaurant again.

The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton by Jane Smiley
Again, I should have gone with a more familiar title ('A Thousand Acres' or 'Moo') by this author. The story intrigued me (set in pre-civil war Kansas Territory) as it tied in with some info on election fraud I had read recently. It dragged quite a bit, but I got through it.

Next time I'm going for the best seller list.


Blogger Cheryl said...

How about debuts? I own a few that I'm trying to get to, but Dean Koontz has so many that I haven't read yet...

He's such a fast read. I chose "Velocity" as an outline-an-existing-novel project, and even with my note-taking, I finished it in two days.

Next up for me (all first novels):
Immoral Brian Freeman
Broken for You Stephanie Kallos
The Historian Elizabeth Kostova
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

Have you seen the Geisha movie? It's gorgeous. I watched it twice in a row. I'd say I can't wait to read the book, but since it's been in my home for several months and I haven't cracked it yet...I guess I can wait.

August 16, 2006 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Yes, first novels would have been a better way to go. I was trying for serendipity, wandering the stacks until I saw a name I wanted to read, then grabbing whatever looked good. The one exception was "Kitchen Confidential".

>Have you seen the Geisha movie?
Not yet. It's on the list (e.g. the kid is at grandma's for the night, let's rent a movie). Usually we compromise on something funny or something with explosions. ;-)

"Walk the Line" is another one we keep saying we should see.

August 16, 2006 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

"Walk the Line" is excellent! Another one is "The Producers", I LMAO through that one.

Funny, we get a night away from the kids and the LAST thing we would do is watch a movie!!! Probably explains why we have so many kids...

August 16, 2006 at 4:07 PM  

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