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Old 01-05-2014, 03:01 PM   #361
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For example, I love Neil Young but really shrugged off his autobiography which was much less revealing than his biography "Shakey".
Oh my god, yes. I was so disappointed by his book.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #362
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Of the books I've read lately, two particularly stood out, both memoirs by Beverly Cleary: A Girl from Yamhill, and My Own Two Feet.

A Girl from Yamhill is a memoir of Cleary's first 18 years, from early childhood on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon, to late teenage years in Portland. It ends with her leaving for college in California. My Own Two Feet picks up with her college years in Ontario and Berkeley. She gets a degree in librarianship, gets married to someone her parents dislike, even though they hadn't met him, and sells her first children's book.

Cleary is such a wonderful writer; these were entertaining and delightful books to read. She was just an average person: average family, average grades, but with an unaverage talent for writing.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #363
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Beverly Cleary!
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:54 PM   #364
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I read my students The Mouse and the Motorcycle each year (this year I read all three to them), and Dear Mr. Henshaw as well.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:57 AM   #365
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(I skimmed over the Quebec separatism portion--just could not do it)
Easily the most disposable storyline of the book. My eyes would glaze over each time I had to get through one of those sections.

Perhaps on my eventual re-read I'll get more out of it but it's my one major criticism.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:45 AM   #366
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Dear Mr. Henshaw
9 year old iwb's 3rd favorite book (just behind call of the wild and tales of a 4th grade nothing).
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:24 PM   #367
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Fahrenheit 451 was really good. I seem to have a thing for dystopian future stories.

Speaking of which, I started reading Catching Fire. And I just realized the irony there.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:50 AM   #368
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Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk (Ben Fountain, 2012): Although certainly not prolific, Ben Fountain is becoming one of my favorite new writers. His short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, is excellent, with funny stories mostly about situations that people face in a foreign land. Amongst its various themes, Billy Lynn’s…, his first novel, tackles the reverse situation: what happens when you leave your country, face life-changing experiences abroad, and then come back? The novel is about a group of Iraq war veterans who go back to the United States for a victory tour after one of their battles in Iraq is televised live. Most of the novel takes place within one Thanksgiving afternoon, when the soldiers attend a Dallas Cowboys game. Fountain is masterful in showing the disconnect between those supporting the war and those who actually fought it, and he smartly uses the football analogy – where war metaphors are frequently used – to drive home his point. Really funny and insightful.

The Marriage Plot (Jeffrey Eugenides, 2012): Let’s get something out of the way: this is not as good as Middlesex, but it’s a high bar to clear. After writing an epic, Eugenides went back to more intimate territory (not the Middlesex wasn’t intimate, but The Marriage Plot is much more modest in scope). The story is interesting enough, if not particularly original (deliberately so, as he wants to model a Victorian novel), but I like the setting (post-college life in the 1980s). It’s also a touching take on mental illnesses, in particular manic depression, and Eugenides successfully manages to guide you through the ebb and flow of someone who suffers from it.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #369
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Did I mention in here that I finally read American God's? I don't think I liked or was enamored by it as much as I was supposed to be. His sentences infuriate me.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:30 PM   #370
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Him talk too long. Him talk pretty. Dalton no like.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #371
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Time to go re-read Catch-22 in an attempt to bleach the movie from my brain.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:57 PM   #372
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Him talk too long. Him talk pretty. Dalton no like.
Mainly I'm angry that all the powerful gods were Anglo imports. Racist shit.

Seriously though. He gets incredibly lazy in a lot of paragraphs with poor sentence structure and pronouns that are attached to nothing. I found myself relying on post context clues to figure out who said what 2 paragraphs before. Lame.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:36 PM   #373
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Have you read Neverwhere? It's the only thing of his I've read outside of his comic writing.

I may have American Gods lying around somewhere but haven't cracked it open yet if I do.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:20 PM   #374
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It's on my bookshelf, but I've never read anything of his. Probably should get around to that.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #375
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Time to go re-read Catch-22 in an attempt to bleach the movie from my brain.
I just watched that movie for the first time last weekend. It was... very, very odd. I didn't know if I should laugh or be horrified. I've never read the book and had no idea what it was about. For some reason I always assumed it was some kind of spy story.

I finished Catching Fire and it was really exciting, even more so than The Hunger Games. I might read The Book Thief next.
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