Fourth Five Books of 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009 by Audrey
16. The Biggest Klutz in Fifth Grade, by Bill Wallace. Finished February 16.
This is another one I really loved in elementary school. I even wrote the author a letter to tell him about it, and he wrote a personal letter back. I still have it--in fact, that's why I re-read the book. There were a few books I asked the 100 Hour Board about, to see if anyone could remember the title, and this was one of them. A few days after the Board told me they had no idea, I was going through my files before moving and I found the letter. Hooray! This book was actually as good as I remembered. It's about a boy who makes a bet with friends that he can't go a whole summer without getting in a huge accident, and the punishment for losing is kissing the school's "fat" girl. Who--spoiler!--turns hot over the summer. That's really all there is to it. But I still loved it.
1 hour.

17. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich. Finished February 19.
The author of this book decided to see how people earning minimum-wage really live on the small wages they get. She stayed for one month in three different U.S. cities, working minimum wage jobs at each, getting housing, trying to eat on a budget--all the things millions of people do every day. She found out (surprise!) that it's really hard. People in this demographic group don't go to the doctor or eat well because they can't afford it. While I felt that the book leaned to the left and was a little more pro-union than I am, it was still interesting to read her story.
3 days.

18. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Finished March 3.
This YA book was a really quick read. But it was also depressing. It's the story of a girl who killed herself, but before she did, she made tapes describing the 13 people whose actions led her to decide that life wasn't worth living. I would recommend it if you don't mind following this girl as she sinks into overwhelming despair. I do mind. Not my favorite.
2 days.

19. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says about Us), by Tom Vanderbilt. Finished March 9.
I really liked this book. There's a good interview with the author about some of the things in the book here. It's about traffic. Not drug trafficking, just traffic. One fact I found interesting is that ancient cities like Rome covered an area of about 7 square miles because that was the distance that could typically be walked in one hour (basically, a 30 minute commute to work and 30 minutes back). Studies today show that satisfaction with one's commute begins to drop off at around 30 minutes each way. I sure find that to be true! When I moved, my commute went from about 45 minutes each way to 25. And now I don't hate my commute anymore! Hooray for that. Anyway, this book was very interesting and I highly recommend it.
5 days.

20. Deadline, by Chris Crutcher. Finished March 13.
I've like everything I've ever read by YA author Chris Crutcher (namely, everything he's ever written), even though his books tend to revolve around sports. But this one...meh. It was okay. It didn't move me like his others. If it were any other author I would have liked it more than I did, but I expect more out of Chris Crutcher.
2 days.
Posted in | 2 Comments »


The Boob Nazi said...

Oooo I totally want to read that traffic one. I was thinking about why we drive the way we do today! how funny!

Casey said...

#17 and #19 sound really interesting. I read about 19. But 17 I might have to pick up and put on my ever-expanding list of things to read once I can find some time to just sit! Thanks.