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warren

warren

Currently reading

Haunted
Chuck Palahniuk
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Ben Hogan, Anthony Ravielli
Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II
Joseph E. Persico
Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley
Geoffrey Ward
Salinger
David Shields, Shane Salerno

We

We - Clarence Brown, Евгений Замятин, Yevgeny Zamyatin It's possible that since I neither read nor speak Russian something was lost in the translation.

The House Without Windows

The House Without Windows - Barbara Newhall Follett This book was a bit disturbing.

A young girl leaves her parents to go live in the woods. She avoids them and society at all costs to be on her own. Later on she finds out she has a sister and tries to lure her away from her parents as well.

That's twisted on some level. Really.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars - E. Lockhart whoa.... did not see that coming.

Gone Bitch: A Parody of Gone Girl

Gone Bitch: A Parody of Gone Girl - Steve Lookner Take a book where the two main characters are completely unlikable, vile human beings. One is a cad, and the other is completely psychotic.

That's Gone Girl, and it's a great book.

In Gone Bitch, Lookner goes one step farther to make every character unlikable. Amy is still as psycho as ever, and Nick is still a manwhore.

But it's actually hilarious, and you kind of like Nick, because he's a "guy's guy".

It still follows the same format of jumping from character to character perspective, with the added bonus of one chapter from Amy's parents' point of view.

A fun quick read.

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General - Bill O'Reilly Patton, America's BADASS!
Patton, irritating the POWERFUL!
Car accident!
The end.

Why Love Succeeds or Fails

Why Love Succeeds or Fails - Wendy   Brown I won this book in a giveaway a while back, and am posting this review.

"Why Love Succeeds..." tries to help the reader understand some of the complexities of the human personality and spirit, particularly when you add the dynamic of another person. Friction and disagreement is sure to come up, and this book looks to aid the person or couple reading it by adding insight into different personality types.

The first half of the book helps establish the personality types of each partner (or even the lone reader), and the second half of the book is short summaries of "If you are personality type X, and your partner is personality type Y.", going through the different combinations. This actually makes a short book even shorter, since the average reader will probably not look much beyond the personalities that are particularly important in their situation.

Generally the book can provide some insight, but it probably shouldn't be used as a diagnostic tool if your relationship is actually in trouble. The quizzes in the first half of the book have a "Cosmo" kind of air, but can be used to get a general lead on a personality type (or at least what you're feeling at the particular point when you take the test.)

The book is probably worthwhile for young couples just establishing that they want a life together, so they can see future bumps in the road.

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson - Jeff Guinn An interesting read into the Manson Family. The guy was a sociopath, but really had the charisma.

The book looks really long in electronic format, but don't be discouraged; the last 40% are footnotes and indexes.

Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King Not his best book ever, but a good mystery-crime read. Kind of reminded me of the Zodiac killer in parts.

A Bear Story

A Bear Story - Clyde Key A lot of lead up for a joke, but not bad for free.

The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 3

The Works of Edgar Allen Poe Volume 3 - Edgar Allan Poe Truly not the best work of Poe.

Dexter's Final Cut

Dexter's Final Cut  - Jeff Lindsay This would have been three stars up until the last few chapters. Stick with it, the book pays off.
God Is Disappointed in You - Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler This review is based on an ARC of the book, although it is currently available for purchase.

The Bible seems to be a book that many start time and again only to abandon mid-read for one of several reasons. Usually the reason falls into the "too boring/dense/indecipherable" category.

If you fall into one of these reasons, "God Is Disappointed in You" is the Bible guide you're looking for! A tiny summary of all 66 books of the Bible that hits the main points from a decidedly modern mindset, the book is both hilarious and reasonably truthful to the main points of each Book (at least of the Books in the Bible that I've read, which is somewhere in the 60-70% range).

Russell does not try to use the book to win converts nor does he use it to advance an Atheistic viewpoint. The book is written from the viewpoint of each author of the Book being summarized, sometimes as an email or letter, sometimes just in straight storyteller mode. There is some coarse language, but considering some of what the Bible actually describes this isn't really there to offend, but only to reinforce the modern sensibility.

It was enjoyable enough that if you were considering trying to (re-)read the Bible, it may be a nice companion that won't bore you to sleep.

"Disappointed" includes several one-panel comics scattered throughout the text, generally about one per Book. Some of these are amusing, but ultimately they did little to increase or detract from my enjoyment of the text.

5/5 Stars
Mrs. Poe - Lynn Cullen Mrs. Poe is a compelling historical fiction about the relationship between Francis Osgood and Edgar Allan Poe, as she tries to make a name for herself as a writer and Poe struggles to be known for something other than "The Raven".

Osgood meets the Poes, and soon becomes very close with Edgar. Virginia wishes to become closer with Osgood, but at the same time appears to have a jealous streak. This becomes more apparent as Virginia's illness continues to run it's course.

The book shows what a tight-knit group writers were back in the day of Poe, and some of the battles they had. It has some very interesting "what if" scenarios that could actually have happened, although this is disputed by historians. Still, for the "historical fiction" genre, it is an interesting read, especially for fans of Poe.

4/5 stars.
Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger While I'm not one that worships Salinger's "Catcher" book, I will still admit it's fairly interesting. However, this book (especially "Zooey") seems to be a good cure for insomnia.

"Franny" is a short story about Franny Glass as she is going on a date. Reasonable, I guess. Kind of interesting. Lots of smoking by everyone since it took place in the 1950s, when even surgeons would smoke while they were performing whatever sort of heart operations they did back then.

"Zooey" is a novella about Franny and her brother Zooey, which was disappointing because when looking at the cover of the book I immediately thought of Zoey Deschanel, and never even considered Zooey would be a guy. The story covers Zooey in the tub talking to his mother while both smoke. Then Zooey has a long, long conversation with Franny while he tries to convince her (and the reader) that he is indeed the biggest douchebag in the universe. At least in the 50s, when there were only 9 planets in existence. And they (Franny and Zooey) smoke.

Salinger also makes a couple attempts to insert himself into the book, cunningly disguising himself as "The Narrator."

Unfortunately, nobody tries to tie leaves to trees or anything in this book. It's just... meh.
Road Salt - Linda  Nelson This review is based on an ARC from LibraryThing.

Poor Karla. She's got a hard life, and nobody understands her. Her friend Carol also has a hard life, and a similar lack of understanding. Logically, the smart thing to do is run off with two guys in school that are so new the girls haven't even determined if they (the guys) are bad news yet.

Luckily for the reader (and unluckily for Karla and Carol) the guys are bad news. Soon, an interstate crime spree is underway with drugs, sex, car theft and more! Bonus: an RV actually gets eaten by a tornado!

In the end there are no winners in this crazy world where some people get high on bath salts. And probably a significant amount of restitution charged to the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde kids.

The novel was a seemed a little heavy-handed to me, but I have absolutely no experience with bath salts other than seeing them at convenience stores in the past. It was a little like the book "Go Ask Alice", but only if Alice was a Debbie Downer for the entire 200 pages or so.

My biggest issue with Road Salt is that Ms. Nelson could really use a proofreader. There was a lot of interchanging of the word "waist" and "waste", a couple typos, a place where the swears were muted with apostrophes but clearly typed elsewhere, and a few other cases (that I forgot to highlight) where a phrase was altered slightly repeatedly. It was distracting for me, and ultimately took a little enjoyment away from the read.

That said, there are probably a lot of kids who are at risk that could be well served by this book. I actually will probably recommend it to some people I know in the Social Service "scene".
The Interestings: A Novel - Meg Wolitzer The Interestings follows a group of teens who went to a summer "artistic" camp in the early 1970s as they grow up and face adulthood and all of it's challenges, including careers, parenthood, and love.

The story shows their individual successes and failures on what they thought they'd be at age 15 throughout their lives to about present day. There are three main campers that the book follows: Jules, Ash and Ethan. A couple more characters are secondary, with a final set being almost McGuffin-like to keep things moving along.

By far most of the story is of the adult lives of these campers, from the 1980s forward and based mainly in New York City. There is a lot of references to news items that occurred at the specific time (Reagan, Goetz, The Central Park jogger, 9/11) that affects (or doesn't) the lives of the characters.

But for all the lushness of the book (it's very well written technically), it just wasn't very interesting to me. The characters were just sort of there, and most of the different story lines were actually kind of dull. For about the first 40% of the book (until the big plot twist) I was considering bailing, and even after that a lot of the book was just sort of OK. Kind of forgettable, certainly not horrible. Just there.

Recommended for: people who watched the movie Fame obsessively. Or maybe Behind The Music.

Not recommended for: people with a strong sense of justice, or who don't like fiction without lots of action.

3/5 stars.