Book Fifteen: State of Wonder

State of Wonder, Ann Patchett

Okay, this is more like it. Adventure! Moral dilemmas! An ever-present sense of foreboding! Actual science! Great writing! Thanks, Ann Patchett, for saving the day! I fell hard for this book. I totally understood Marina, her love of home, and how being sent off into a strange city in Brazil and then even further down the Amazon into the jungle was such a terrible, terrible experience for her. But I understood her drive to know more and why she did what she did. And her love and fear of her former professor. But really, what this did, was grab me from the first page and not let go until the end. I finished it while flying back home from Atlanta, and, honest to god, I was crying on the plane. In front of strangers. I didn't care, it was that good.

Aside from the non-fiction Truth and Beauty why have I never read any other Ann Patchett? I must change that soon.

Book Fourteen: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, Melanie Benjamin

At several points in this book I think I may have wished I was reading Martin Amis again. Ugh. Talk about terrible, artless writing. At least Mr. Amis can string words together in a sometimes pretty way. And occasionally he shows a sense of humor. This, on the other hand, while an interesting subject, was a total snoozefest of a book. I'm sure it wasn't written exactly like this, and yet it felt like the narrative read like, "And then she did this. And then she did that. And then she met Tom Thumb. Blah blah blah." And every single chapter ended with a sentence (in its own paragraph, even!) along the lines of, "But she would soon discover how wrong she was." I am not kidding. Every. Single. Chapter.

Book Thirteen: The Information

The Information, Martin Amis

A riddle: How can you both be finished with a book but not actually finish it? Answer: When it's as unbearable as The Information and you just can't bring yourself to read anymore so you throw in the towel half way through. Seriously, I am finished with this book, and probably Martin Amis, forever. I wouldn't actually count an unfinished book but I spent so freaking long on the 200 pages that I managed to get through so I felt like all that time I put in justified some payoff. This is the very definition of a slog.

Also, this article in the New York Times appeared shortly after I gave up, which reinforced my decision to abandon the novel. Martin Amis sounds like a real turd, if you ask me. But I suppose I didn't need this article to tell me that.

Book Twelve: Deadlocked

Deadlocked, Charlaine Harris

I discovered another great use for my iPhone, and that's reading embarrassingly crappy books on my Kindle app so A) no one knows I'm reading them and B) I don't have to spend a fortune on them or C) I don't have to wait forever to get them from the library.

Book Eleven: No Man Knows My History

No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, Fawn Brodie

So, here's what happens when you forget to write about books right after you read them. You forget them. Everything about them. I have no real recollection of any of books eleven through fifteen other than, "I liked it!" or "I didn't like it!" Apologies for this sad catch up post… but what can you do?

So, even if you're not obsessed with Mormons like I am, this is still a terrific book. It's really just a fascinating story of how an insanely charismatic and driven man created a surprisingly popular religion. Just go read it!