Read It or Leave It
I just finished reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, at the behest of my fellow bookworms on Facebook. My consensus: eh, I could take it or leave it. Not what I was expecting, and it got me thinking about what makes a book blow up. Recommendations from friends and Good Reads are where I get 99% of my book suggestions. Or Buzzfeed; you know if there’s a Buzzfeed post about it, it’s about to blow up.
Some books are worth the hype; ie: Hunger Games. Some are better left on the shelf. So you don’t make the same mistakes I do, I give you dun dun dun…my list of read it and leave it. Written from someone who grew up on Roald Dahl and Baby-Sitters Club books; take w/ the proverbial grain of salt, hokay? They’re not all recent, but a good book is a good book is a good book, no matter if it’s currently on the NY Times Bestseller list or not.
Gone Girl: So worth the hype. This book had maybe the biggest twist I’ve ever encountered and totally blew my socks off. I’m dying to read more Gillian Flynn, right after I get through the five high stack I’ve got going on my bookshelf at the moment.
Water for Elephants: Maybe my love of the pachyderm is clouding my judgment here, but I remember really liking this book. Can’t speak to the movie (which looked like a bust) but the story was well told and riveting.
Life of Pi: Don’t give up on the first few
boring chapters, it’s gonna pick up and be worth the read. Just like the author says, “It’ll make you believe.” (I’ll omit the rest of the quote in case you’re not into that sort of thing).
A Million Little Pieces: Absolutely fascinating. If a drug addicts’ journey through rehab and recovery fascinates you (yup, that shit intrigues me). Read it and love it; just don’t tell Oprah.
Anything by Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, The Tipping Point, Outliers): If you love thinking about things critically, or in a way you’ve never thought of, his books are really interesting.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: I didn’t hate it, but I was never really invested. I was hoping for some Night Circus type magic and intrigue, but it was more like a giant advertisement for Google. Nothing worse than the ol’ bait and switch.
Eat, Pray, Love: Not only was I bored by half of it, but the girl just came off like a selfish bitch. Taking a dream voyage across some of the coolest countries is hardly the foundation for a pity party, but this chick is whiny and self-centered the entire time.
The Wolf of Wall Street: I don’t even know how this became a book. Sure, some of the anecdotes are pretty wild, but it was so poorly written I lost interest halfway through. Obviously these antics are better suited for the big screen, so while I wouldn’t recommend the book, I still plan on seeing Leo and Scorsese do their thing.
50 Shades: Blech. I won’t waste any more time on this, but if you’ve been around these parts you know my thoughts on this trash.