Fifteenth and Sixteenth Five of 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009 by Audrey
71. The Ruins, by Scott Smith. Finished 8/23/09. 4 very suspenseful hours.
Evil plants. Horror. Pretty basic formula, but I liked it. Gross, though, as all good horror books are.

72. The Beautiful and Damned, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Finished 8/24/09. 1 week.
All of the Fitzgerald books I've read have been bleak, and this was no exception. Unsympathetic, selfish, undisciplined characters. Waiting to receive money from a will and wasting themselves with alcohol and laziness. No purpose in life except to wait on money and then spend it. Well-written, of course. I liked it, actually.

73. Crunchy Cons, by Ron Dreher. Finished 8/25/09. 4 days.
I should start by giving you the entire title of the book: "Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-Loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and Their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America (or At Least the Republican Party)". So, yeah. That's the book in a nutshell right there.

Dreher's main thesis was based around this 10-point manifesto:

1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.

2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.

3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.

4. Culture is more important than politics and economics.

5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.

6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.

7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.

8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.

9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.”

10. Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.

That sounds about right to me. I really enjoyed this one.

74. Under the Duvet, by Marian Keyes. Finished 8/25/09. 4 days.
My period of Marian Keyes love ended a few years ago without me realizing it. I've loved her novels in the past, so I was sure I would love this collection of short non-fiction she has published during her career. But I didn't. It chronicles the type of life--drinking, sexing it up, etc.--that I can't really get behind. Too bad--she's a good writer.

75. Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson. Finished 8/29/09. 1 day. 310 pages.
A really enjoyable mystery novel about three intertwining murders and their belated investigation by a private detective. Beautiful language.

76. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut. Finished 8/29/09. 3 days. 302 pages.
Honestly, this book was so forgettable to me that I'm having a hard time remembering what it's about, and it has only been a week. I didn't really enjoy it.

77. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan. Finished 8/29/09. 3 hours. 310 pages.
Zombies! Doomed romance! The challenging of a closed-off, authoritarian society!
Plus, a YA novel, so, easy to read. Nothing more must be said. I loved it. But, bleak. Lots of death. Highly recommended if you like that sort of thing, which I do.

78. Song of the Sparrow, by Lisa Ann Sandell. Finished 8/30/09. 2 hours. 394 pages.
I requested this book from the library, not really realizing that it was a novel in verse. I don't really like that sort of thing--if you're going to write a novel, write it in prose. If you want to write poetry, label it as poetry. Stop being pretentious, people! However, once I realized that it was simple to read as prose if you could just ignore the line breaks, etc. Also, it went by quickly because there was so much white space. If you like stories about King Arthur's court + YA protofeminism, this one was pretty great.

79. The Children's Hospital, by Chris Adrian. Finished 9/3/09. 4 days. 615 pages.
Love, love, loved it. The story of a apocalyptic flood and the story of the survivors in a children's hospital (how about that for a title?) for kids with really rare problems. Beautfully written, great medical scenes, descriptions of rare/gross medical problems. But again, lots of death. So much death. I was unprepared for the extent of it, I think. That seems to be my type of thing, I guess. One of my favorites of the year, I think.

80. Scoop, by Evelyn Waugh. Finished 9/4/09. 1 week. 321 pages.
Eh. I wanted to like it, I really did. I decided to pick up a second Waugh book because I still trust the reviews of Sheila O'Malley so much, but it didn't really get to me in any meaningful way. Funny, I guess. That's not really the reaction I was looking for. Once I read Brideshead Revisited and see the movie (Netflix Queue #45-48), I think I'm done with Evelyn Waugh.
Posted in | 0 Comments »

No comments: