|the books I've been reading partly because I can't find good BL to read & partly because I wanted to
||[Jan. 19th, 2009|07:45 am]
Read them, that is. I hit the max characters in the subject line and didn't feel like rewording my subject just because it wouldn't fit.
Lately I've been reading books by people I've heard (too much?) on NPR (specifically This American Life and Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me). Since I already liked them on the "radio" (podcasts for me) I liked their books. For the most part.
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell felt like one long run-on sentence. I can't describe my delight at her obsession with the minutiae of U.S. Presidential assassinations and her pilgrimages to sites associated with them (no matter how insignificantly). I love learning random trivia, especially random historical trivia. I was never much for American History (except for the Civil War, with which I had a very passionate love affair back in junior high), but I almost want to learn everything I can now. (Of course, this means having to borrow books from the library because I don't have the room in my house or the money to buy vast amounts of not inexpensive books on history.) In any case, I love how she rambles in this, jumping from narrating some bit of history to her present day adventures seeking out said history to another nearly completely unrelated (except in a massively tangential way) piece of history and back to the original bit (or somewhere in the vicinity) in a more or less smooth manner. The only thing that threw me out of the narrative were her pointed political comments on current events. Or to put it more precisely, the Bush Administration. She is a liberal with a burning hatred of it and what it has wrought, and she makes no secret of it. Not that I am unsympathetic with her views, but I couldn't help wondering if those bits will date her book in a way that will throw people who didn't live through the 00s (the naughts? or do we have to say "the two-thousands" to indicate this decade?) out of the narrative even more violently than someone like me? Or am I just weird in my reaction? In any case, 99.5% of her book feels like one breathless story told from one friend to another on a really long phone call at one in the morning, and is just as fun. I need to get her other books.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris suffers from the lack of his deadpanned delivery, but is still very entertaining. Sometimes I am repulsed by the person he presents himself to be, at other times amused and enchanted, but at all times I could not help but be fascinated. The dude is just plain weird. I adored the chapter where he described some of his daydreams in detail. I daydream a lot and mine are similarly silly and improbable (impossible), but I don't think I'd have the guts to broadcast them to the world. In any case, I think that instead of getting his other books, I just might splurge for the CD set of audiobooks of four of his books.
I've only begun reading The Book of Vice by Peter Sagal and thus have no real opinion on it. I just wanted to mention it because it was scary just how clearly I could hear his voice speak the words of the part of the book I did read. I suppose I'll end up liking it simply because I like Peter Sagal and his voice.