12 Books, 12 Months: Month 9 & 10 Round Up

The theme of this round up is rounding UP.  It seems like May and June were good months for getting caught up on reading and posting, though I can’t say I did much of either.  Since April, I’ve been working on Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. I have read other things, but nothing from my list, and that’s a dang shame, especially since I have some F A T books to get through between now and September.

Anj read Clara’s Grand Tour: Travels with a Rhinoceros in Eighteenth-Century Europe, which follows the adventures of the titular rhinoceros around Europe in an age characterized by curiosity. And what could be more curious than a rhinoceros on parade! [review]

Eva got caught up on her previous few books all in one post. She read:

  • January: Gilbert & Sullivan Set Me Free, which she described as “Think Chicago – women’s prison, big crimes, mysterious pasts and an actual musical.”
  • February: An Ensuing Evil and others. The best thing she had to say was that she read it!
  • March: Gluten-free Girl and The Chef, which she found joyful and delicious, though it has yet to become a kitchen staple.
  • April: A Sense of Where You Are – a book about sports! which is basically the last thing I’d imagine from her, though it was by one of her most favorite authors – John McPhee. The book focuses on a young Bill Bradley before fame and the NBA.

Heidi read Snow Falling on Cedars, which she concisely described as “fine”, though the movie was awful.  Short and to the point.  I love it [review].  I also apparently missed her reviews for a few previous months. In November, she read Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure. She wasn’t an Auster fan before, and this book didn’t win her over, despite her attempts to relate on behalf of her “starving artsy fartsy friends” [review]. And then in March, The American Way of Death Revisited – an expose of the sleazy American funeral industry. She especially enjoyed the quotes from industry-trade publications, and was curious about how much her edition differed from the original, published in the 1960s [review].

Jill read Dead Until Dark and Murder at Hazelmoor [review].  She speculated that she lacks the genetic material necessary to enjoy vampire novels after reading several “meh” ones – and Dead Until Dark was no exception [review].

Lanea listened to and then read Wild Decembers in May, which she seems to have loved, calling it “heart-breaking and beautiful and true” with gorgeous language describing “rural Ireland and feuding families and the strictures on women.” Irish writers are important to Lanea, and this was a welcome read as a result [review]. In June, while dealing with bad news, she read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and then found it difficult to review the book as it skirts things she was also trying to write about: “cancer and caretaking and the responsibilities kids are burdened with before they can handle them” [review].

Mark read The Mill on the Floss in the context of his Victorian Lit class – bonus! He referred to the book as a tragedy, qualifying the statement with: “It may not be epic, nor a study of grand personages, but as a tragedy of the everyday it is superb” [review].

I owe Mike an apology, as I’ve been checking his blog for reviews but missing the ones he’s posted on Goodreads over the last few months. That said, Goodreads tells me that he read but didn’t review Native Speaker, The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing, and Tropic of Cancer.  Nonetheless, he did review The Rings of Saturn, which was impressive, “sobering and dispiriting as Sebald catalogues centuries of cruelty, warfare, and decay, failed schemes and deferred dreams.”

Vanessa read Maus, and her review reminded me of the things I appreciated about it: honest and frank treatment of the Holocaust and the lasting effects on its survivors – as well as “the hefty amount of emotion the son has enmeshed into the telling of his father’s story.”

Two months to go, guys! Get reading!

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