First, I'm still in love with Oskar from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
And...I've been reading like a crazy person so I'm just going to give you the list here and I'll write about some of them later. (a) = audiobook. Unabridged only, of course.
My Year in Iraq (a) - written by the guy who was the first head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. Pro or con, this book sheds a lot of light on why progress over there is so incredibly slow. Reminds me of things I've watched about the justice system on some of the Carribbean Islands. The protocol of being nicey-nice with the leaders of opposing factions outweighs the decisions-making, and nobody wants to actually take responsibility for making a call.
The Regulators (a) - OK this was a little weird, but I liked it. Generally Stephen King just bugs the crap out of me. Too much detail. I need him to be constrained to a short story or the short-edition format of The Green Mile. For some reason I like all the Richard Bachman books though. Maybe he didn't feel free enough under that pseudonym to make a description of a room last 14 pages. Good for me.
Lamb (Christopher Moore) - This is one I will definitely be writing about because..LOVed it! Fun and thought-provoking.
Everyman (a) (Philip Roth)- I was interested in Philip Roth because he wrote a couple of award winners. This wasn't one of them, but it was $4 or something @ B&N one day. It was ok. Very John Updike. Or was John Updike very Philip Roth?
Everything is Illuminated - Another one by Johnathon Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). LOVED this story too. It's one I could see myself reading again at some point, and I rarely read things twice. Very rarely. Maybe I'll tell you some things about this one.
She Got Up Off the Couch - Lamb kicked off a memoir jag for me. This one was the typical "my childhood sucked and blah blah blah", but it had some fun parts and was decently written.
Last Car to Elysian Fields (a) - James Lee Burke isn't a terrible writer, but this isn't something I would waste my reading time on unless in included references to places I recognize. This one didn't quite make me want to poke my eyes out, but if my other audiobooks had come in the mail yet I would have probably just dropped this one.
The Weight of Water (a) - The weight of this book must have been pretty light because when I finally, drearily, got to the very end and to the "surprise" ending, I realized I had already read this years ago and thought it was equally dumb.
Crime and Punishment (a) - Yep. I listened to the entire, unabridged book in honor of my neighbor, Whitney, who loves the author so much she named her cat Fyo. It was GREAT. I loved it. I understand why it's a classic. And I'm very glad I listened to it rather than read it because I think it was much easier for my brain to process and sort out all those Russian names. Thanks Whitney!
Driving with Dead People - Another memoir. Another oh my childhood wah wah wah.
The Glass Castle - OK now this memoir was worthwhile. I really liked it. This girl went through some STUFF. Her parents were literally nuts. This is a good read.
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove - My least favorite Christopher Moore book thus far, but still a fun read.
Three Junes (a) - Nothing like what I expected. I actually really liked it. It made me want to take daily walks even thought I'm not a book-store-owning-New-York-gay-man. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Death be Not Proud - I'm a little reluctant to write what I really thought about this book. I don't want to seem callous. But...with all the other end-of-life memoirs out there I don't really get why this is the one that is considered such a classic. It's on like every best-books list I've seen. I mean, it's moving. I was moved. It's touching. It's sort of a good depiction of a New-York high brow lifestyle in the 1940's. I just think there are better ones out there. And John Gunther's writing is both irritating and addictive to me. I find myself speaking and writing much more formally in the last 2 days, which may not be a bad thing.
So......that's the reading list for July and August 2009. I'm putting Lamb and Everything is Illuminated and Crime and Punishment high on the all-time favorites list.