Here’s a list of what she’s been reading lately (she refuses to read any of the 50 Shades of Crap series):
- Where’d you go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple – 5 stars
LOVED THIS BOOK! Funny, creative, quirky. Read it now!
- Bossypants, by Tina Fey – 5 stars
Yeah, the Zadge is late to the party. Yes, it is as good as everyone says. She’s talented as shit. And went to the same college as the Zadge, she says with the “girlfriend” fingersnap.
- Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – 4 stars
Brilliant 50-year old Harvard professor starts to lose her mind, diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. Sounds grim – it is, but fascinating and well-written. Now, everytime I forget a name or suffer from tip-of-the-tongue phenomenom, I’m convinced I have Alzheimers.
- Defending Jacob, by William Landay – 4 stars
The 14-year old son of a Massachusetts D.A. is accused of the stabbing death of the school bully. Written by an old friend and classmate of the Zadge’s, her unbiased opinion is that this is a great read with unexpected twists and turns. She’s kind of jealous of his talent.
- Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey – 4 stars
Part mystical, part frontier-life, part love story. Unusual, well-written story of the Alaskan frontier in the early 1900s and a married couple and their “snow child” who will live or die by it.
- Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan – 1 star
SNOOZE. Look, I loved Atonement and Saturday and the dude can write, but this plot sucks! Had to stop reading 100 pages in. Unless your passion is 1970′s British politics, and really, if it is, get a new hobby, don’t pick this book up.
- Don’t Breathe a Word, by Jennifer McMahon -3.5 stars
Twelve-year old girl obsessed with fairies goes missing. Benign transport to magical fairy kingdom or creepy child abduction?
- The Good House, by Ann Leary – 4 stars
Can there be a funny novel narrated by a 60-year old alcoholic New England realtor who is in denial about her drinking, even after rehab? Yes. Written by actor/comic Dennis Leary’s wife, after she herself stopped drinking.
- Night Circus, by Erin Morganstern – 3 stars
Meh. Another case where the Zadge doesn’t agree with the rave reviews. Believes this will be one of those rare cases where the movie will be much better than the book.
- West with the Night, by Beryl Markham – 4 stars
The 1942 memoir by the first female bush pilot in British East Africa in the 1920s. The Zadge would have liked to throw a few back with this adventurous chick.
- The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obreht – 1 star
Despite the good reviews for this novel, the Zadge just couldn’t get into. Quit reading halfway through.
- Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn - 5 stars
Excellent, twisty, perverse mystery.
- The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain – 4 stars
A fictional account of Hemingway’s first wife and their life in Paris. Well-written, interesting read. Hemingway was a dick.
- Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand – 5 stars
Gripping, moving true life story of U.S. Olympian track star, Louis Zamperini, whose running career was interrupted by World War II and his horrific stint as a Japanese POW. Will inevitably be a movie. Great read.
- The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes – 4 stars
The title says it all: when you are done reading this novel, you scratch your head, ponder, and wonder what really happened. Then you want to read it again.
- The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides – 3 stars
This ain’t no Middlesex. Story of three Brown University seniors and their intertwining life after graduation. It felt like One Day mixed with a little Eat, Pray, Love topped off with a lot of obscure, elitist literary references. Not bad, but not memorable either.
- Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen – 2/3 stars
This ain’t no The Corrections. I wanted to love this book. Then I settled for wanting to like it. I didn’t though. The writing is obviously good, but the story is just not that compelling. And I snoozed through large chunks of the story, dealing with environmental and war issues.
- A Visit from the Good Squad, by Jennifer Egan – 4 stars
Winner of many awards, including the Pulitzer. Wildly creative and well-written, each chapter presents a single character, all from different narrative points of view, all connecting to each other in some way, large or small, by the end of the narrative. The “goon squad” is a reference to time and its effects on us and society, the overall theme of the book. Weird but well-done.
- Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller – 4 stars
A prequel/sequel to one of my favorite books of all time, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight.” Both are non-fiction memoirs of Fuller’s life growing up white in Rhodesia in a crazy family facing all sorts of challenges. Her latest is a tribute to her strong, crazy, alcoholic mother. A fascinating life.
- Life, by Keith Richards – 5 FREAKIN’ STARS MATE!
My favorite book of the year! I liked “Keef” Richards before this, but didn’t know much about him other than the urban legends (he did not have a blood transfusion because of the drugs). Now? I love, envy, and want to rock and roll with him! He’s a musical genius and innovator, who also happens to be funny, passionate, brutally honest, smart and, apparently invincible. From 1968 to 1972, there was no one hotter.
- The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss – 2 stars
By the author of the runaway bestseller “The 4-hour Workweek.” The author is one impressive dude, who has conducted a gajillion experiments, tests and hours of research on maximizing your body’s health and strength most efficiently. The Zadge tried his slow carb diet — wherein he guarantees that a woman will lost 12 pounds of fat in a month – and promptly gained 5 pounds in one week. ‘Nuff said.
- Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran – 3.5 stars
An unusual literary mystery novel, featuring a drug and alcohol abusing female detective, schooled in the use of omens, Chinese rituals and ancient prophecies, who travels to New Orleans, one year post-Katrina, to solve the disappearance of an infamous local District Attorney.
- Blood, Bones & Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton – 4 stars
A fascinating memoir from the bisexual female chef and owner of “Prune” restaurant in NYC of her erratic and dysfunctional family life as a kid and her journey to celebrity chef-dom.
- The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin – 2 stars
Unlike apparently every other woman on the planet, the Zadge didn’t really dig this book and couldn’t finish it. A little too painfully indulgent from a privileged, Ivy League-educated, wealthy mother/writer. And frankly, a little boring.
- A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life, By Bethenny Frankel – 4 stars
Yes, she’s a reality tv star (RHoNY) and the Zadge sort of can’t believe she bought this book, but the Zadge loves this girl. Really. She’s actually smart and a self-made woman. She just sold her little start-up biz for several mill, so she knows what she’s talking about.
- One Day, by David Nicholls – 3.5 stars
Good, easy British vacation read. Has got “movie” written all over it, but heard it will star Anne Hathaway who bugs the shit out of the Zadge.
- Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese – 3.5 stars
Book club people rave about this. Great plot, but weighed down by length and way too much medical detail.
- Just Kids, by Patti Smith – 5 stars
LOVED this memoir of the musician/poet/artist’s life in NYC in the late ’60s with her lover/muse/soul mate Robert Mapplethorpe. Stuck with me for days!
- French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mirielle Guiliano – 3.5 stars
Because they eat quality food, in small portions and they walk everywhere. And they drink wine at lunch and dinner!
- Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Shiff – 3.5 stars
She wasn’t the ho-bag everyone makes her out to be. Even if she was married to her brother
- Lit, by Mary Karr – 3.5 stars
Interesting look into a famous poet’s struggle with alcoholism and religion
- Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls – 5 stars!
Read this. Trust me.
- The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters – 2 stars
Man Booker Prize finalist – Meh. Skip it.
- Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann – 3 stars
My bookclub loved this. I thought it was only so-so for a National Book Award winner.
- Cleaving, by Julia Powell – 1 star
OMG DO NOT READ THIS! IT WAS HEIN! I’m actually kinda pissed at Julia Powell for this book, because I loved “Julie & Julia.”
- Little Bee, by Chris Cleave – 5 stars
READ THIS IMMEDIATELY!
- The Help, by Kathryn Stockett – 5 stars
Great story that is so ready for the movies. I can already see Oprah and Halle in it.
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz – 4 stars
Quirky writing and protagonist make this novel fun.
- Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout – 4 stars
Love how each story stands on its own, but is also intertwined with others.
- How to be Single, by Liz Tucillo – 5 stars
LOVED THIS!!! More substance than your usual chick lit
- Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan – 5 stars
Like “The Help” but a little darker.
- I’ll Never be French, by Mark Greenside – 4 stars
Funny, funny memoir by an American Jew who bought a house in France.
- Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin – 3 stars
My once a year journey to the non-fiction side. Informative, but felt a little like work.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – 5 stars
Great story, creative literary device, feel good book!
- The Legend of Colton Bryant, by Alexandra Fuller – 4 stars
She wrote one of my favorite books of all time “Don’t lets go to the dogs.” This true story is almost as good!
- The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield – 4 stars
Intelligent murder mystery.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson – 3 stars
I’m apparently way in the minority, but this book lost me in the last quarter. Too sick, violent, perverted. Felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards.
- Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri – 5 stars