What I’ve Read – July 2017

The Last Four Things – Paul Hoffman (Kindle TBR)

The Beating of His Wings – Paul Hoffman (Kindle TBR)

So I said last month that in the Left Hand of God, it was hard to see the story because of the author’s voice. For these two books that was even more of a problem. I know that life doesn’t often give us concrete happy endings and I have no objection to a story that doesn’t, some of the best stories I’ve read leave situations unresolved. But this was an anti-climate mess. At the end of the story, some people are dead but there has been no real change, the characters we met at the beginning of the story, if they are not dead are pretty much the same people. The world has not really changed either, although the narrator is pretty pleased with himself. The story has so many threads that are picked up and then dropped for no reason, other than to sound clever. I kept thinking that something would happen but nothing did. There was a really interesting story across the three books but Hoffman failed to tell it.

She’s The One – Erin Nicholas (kindle free)

It was free and easy to read and there was a proper ending. I really needed that. Also the first couple of pages for “Babysitting had gotten a hell of a lot harder since she was 16…….Of course she couldn’t drink mojitos at any of her teenage babysitting jobs. So there was that” It just made me laugh and carried me through the book.

Hillbilly Elegy – J. D. Vance (library book)

I read this pretty much in a day, and I think it’ll probably require re-reading. I don’t agree with all the conclusions he comes to about how to change or even exactly what the problem is but it was his life, culture and observations. He doesn’t really offer answers to how you change it and doesn’t claim that his experience is the only experience. What I got from it, is that somewhere as a community, they lost their resilience and started blaming outside forces, he thinks it was the handouts and the Democrats, I think it’s something more cultural, something about a culture that doesn’t know how to control itself. I don’t think that this book is the one you need to understand Trump and Brexit, but I think it is one of the many books, we all need to read and think about to understand what’s going on in the Rust Belt and for the UK in the Brexit voting working classes. Also, I linked to this post, last week and I think its also worth considering. Because Vance and the author have very similiar mothers and that speaks to something, although right now, I’m not sure what.

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare (Kindle TBR)

I just finally go around to reading this as part of my clear the TBR list. It’s very Cassandra Clare and I’m enjoying it as I have the others although as I get older, I find the angst more amusing than anything. However, one of the things I’ve always found interesting in the Shadowhunter’s books is how rigid the Clave is and how Clare’s heros want to change things and how they struggle to change things. This book is set five years after the last ones and Jace and Clary did not change the world, people are still narrow minded and rigid. It’s more interesting to me than the romance. I like politics, I guess…

Plot 34: Blood, Sweat and Allotmenteers – Mark Keenan (library book)

I go to the library for one book, which I can’t find and come out with something else. This was funny and interesting. Keenan talks about his allotment experience, general allotment advice and the reasons he’s continued to grow as much of his own food as he can. He’s not advocating starting ‘a Good Life’ thing and doesn’t believe that he’ll be able to survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse but he makes a really compelling argument for growing some of your food. Worth a read.


About nicdempsey

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