the books less traveled

Books I didn’t finish:

Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story  by Leonie Swann 2006 (341/read 30)

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Sheep. Solving crime. When they find their farmer skewered by a spade, the sheep resolve to solve his murder. Strangely fun and funny, with comical misunderstandings resulting from sheep vs human thinking.

The Emerald City of Oz   by Frank L. Baum orig. 1910, read 93 ed- wonderfully illustrated by John R. Neill(300/read 80ish)

While visiting family, I figured I’d revisit my childhood as well. I thought I’d read all the Oz books, but I didn’t recall this one. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em come to live in Oz as the Nome King is plotting to invade. Didn’t read far enough to get to the action, it was mostly set up but I was impressed with the quality of writing. I’d forgotten how rich and challenging Baum’s writing was. He didn’t condescend or dumb it down, he wrote genuinely interesting stories with vivid vocabulary.

Einstein’s Monsters  by Martin Amis 1987 (149/read 31)

Read two stories: In “Time Disease” everyone cowers under a nuclear ravaged sky. Vitality is a fatal disease and the only protection is inactivity. In The Immortals, a man reminisces about witnessing the dawn of life and mourns the end of humanity. He watches sadly as the last few survivors labor under the delusion that they are immortal. And he shrugs off his delusion that he is mortal.

Right Livelihoods  by Rick Moody 2007 (223/read 72)

Of the three novellas, I read the second and a bit of the third. In “K & K” a woman is stressing by the increasingly threatening notes left in the office suggestion box. When half of New York is leveled in “The Albertine Notes,” the survivors’ drug of choice is albertine which makes you relive memories with crystaline clarity. The only catch is you can’t choose the memory.

The Apocalypse Reader  edited by Justin Taylor 2007 (318/read 250ish)

A bunch of great short stories. Authors I’d like to read more from: Stacey Levine, Jared Hohl, Lucy Corin, Allison Whittenberg, Kelly Link, Steve Aylett, Colette Phair, Terese Svoboda, Theodora Goss, and Joyce Carol Oates.

My favorite was the hilarious “These zombies are not a metaphor” by Jeff Goldberg, where a man tries in vain to convince his imbecilic roommates that the zombies outside their door is NOT a metaphor, but are in fact literally zombies.

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2 responses to “the books less traveled

  1. that sheep one sounds funny. is it adult or juvenile fiction?

  2. It’s an adult mystery. It was entertaining enough that I might return to it at some point. The author has a fresh and humorous voice.

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