Here's what I thought of the books I read, this winter.
Paper Towns by John Green – This book was nice. It’s for young adults and it’s about high school kids going on unlikely adventures. It was likeable and fun. It didn’t like… blow my mind or anything, but I’m glad I read it.
Girl In Translation Jean Kwok – Well, I didn’t dislike this book. It was a fairly engrossing story of a girl from China struggling to survive in New York. She and her mother lived in a roach infested apartment without heat and worked in a factory. I liked reading those parts. But then, she got into a private school and ended up going to Harvard, or some other Ivy League School and everything kind of turned into blah blah blah unbelievable happy ending blah.
The Magic Room Jeffrey Zaslow - I have nothing to say. This was like… the worst “book” I’ve ever read. You can read my review here.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – Maybe this book did blow my mind, a little bit. Barbara Kingsolver and her family spent a year eating local. They grew a lot of their own food and bought everything else from people in their area. It was totally gardening porn. I read it in the dead of winter and all I could do was roll around in my sheets surrounded by tattered seed catalogs. I talked before about how itinspired me to make my own cheese, once. I recommend it highly.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – I sort of loved this YA novel. It was about a bitchy girl who got to live the last day of her life over and over again, until she learned a lesson. Kind of like Groundhog day only with teenagers and the main character died over and over again. Lauren Oliver is a master at writing teenagers. This story was totally juicy and entertaining. You should read it if you like YA reads.
Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon – This book is interesting. I didn’t feel like it blasted me out of the water because I was already familiar with the tenants of the Health At Every Size philosophy. If you’re not familiar with it and you’re struggling with hating yourself because of your body… if you feel guilty for eating, if you feel like you need to be thin to be healthy, you might want to read it.
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch – This was sort of a beautiful, disgusting kind of book. A memoir by somebody honest. I didn’t always find myself liking Lidia, but I admire her way down deep, like in my pants, for writing such a gutsy, intimate book. Amazing.
Torch by Cheryl Strayed – Okay, so, it’s true that I’m in love with Cheryl Strayed. She is everything I want to be. She is SO wise and SO beautiful and SO compassionate and SO badass. She’s the author of DearSugar at the Rumpus, which is my favorite thing on the internet. I want to rest my head on her shoulder. I want her to wrap me up in a blanket and tell me about how I’m okay, even though I’m afraid of everything. Torch is a novel based on her experiences with losing her mother. It’s beautifully written, but of course it is.
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee – I wanted to hate this book. I did hate this book. Or maybe I didn’t. It is totally stupid and embarrassing, but I liked it. You can read my official review here, if you want to.
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols – Ugh. This book sucked. It’s a YA novel about a girl with blue hair who gets a sexy crush on a nineteen year old cop and then they do it. I wavered back and forth between wanting to stop reading and kind of getting sucked into the immature story line. In the end, I left it with like twenty pages left to go. I couldn’t go the distance.
Stop Time: A Memoir by Frank Conroy – This might be the best written book I’ve ever read. It’s a memoir about being a kid in the fifties and it’s so full of toughness and charm and parenting that would never fly, nowadays. The writing is so evocative of childhood, so believable and solid. I totally loved it.
What should I add to my spring reading list?