Book List (81-100)

by evanrosefowler

Here is the continuation of the list of books I have read since I got here, and a couple of notes on each. I’ve underlined the ones that I think you should DEFINITELY READ. I’ve put an asterisk by the ones I wouldn’t spend time on. The rest are somewhere in-between. Obviously this is all completely subjective and based on my own personal taste.

81-100

  • St. Maybe, Anne Tyler
    • If you like Anne Tyler you will probably like this book. Interesting characters, memorable sense of place and tragedy.
  • Pandora’s Star, Peter Hamilton
    • Sci-fi book with a lot of storylines and characters that get a bit hard to keep track of, but I liked it.
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin
    • A refreshing collection of short stories revolving around a couple of relatable themes. Highly suggested.
  • Purity, Jonathan Franzen
    • I didn’t like this book much. It left a bad taste in my mouth—because of its cynicism I think. This book has gotten a lot of press, but I don’t agree that it was one of the best of the year.
  • The Harder They Come, T.C. Boyle
    • A book that touches on mental illness and violence in a way not many novels I have read do. Interesting and unsettling.
  • Crazy for God, Frank Schaeffer
    • Very interesting, although written with the vestiges of evangelical preachiness (about how “the good old days” used to be, etc.) I suggest it if you are interested in the emergence of the religious right.
  • Welcome to Braggsville****, Geronimo Johnson
    • This book is fiction, but the whole thing was unbelievable to me. I didn’t like the writing style and I didn’t like the plot. I think that it could have been done well, but in my opinion it was a chore to read.
  • The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
    • Toni Morrison has a way with words. I love to read her descriptions of feelings because she always captures the essence of what she is trying to say in an unusual way. I find myself turning her descriptions over in my mind long after the book is finished. I love a book I feel compelled to savor.
  • Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa
    • Surprisingly beautiful, a bit heart wrenching. Tells the very human story of a historic event, which I didn’t know much about beforehand. Highly suggested.
  • Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans, The Best of McSweeney’s Humor Category ****
    • I did not like this book. It seemed to be a compilation of things that should have been funny but were not. I think, perhaps, my sense of humor just didn’t mesh with it.
  • Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher
    • An interesting take on fiction, tries out a new style without dragging on for too long. If you are a professor or write a lot of letters of recommendation I think you would like it. I think you would like it even if you don’t fit that description.
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
    • Everyone I know who read this book loved it, and I agree. As someone who loves art history, I particularly enjoyed the premise. The character and story development are spectacular.
  • Honeydew, Edith Pearlman
    • A mediocre collection of short stories, in my opinion. I just read it and nothing stuck with me. I can barely recall any of the storylines other than one particularly good story about an antiques dealer.
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith
    • A very English book, while also managing to be very multi-cultural. It touches on race, beauty, colonialism, science, and socioeconomics while feeling like a novel and not a lecture. Very well-done.
  • The Story of My Teeth, Valeria Luiselli
    • I feel like if I read the epilogue of this book before I read the book I would have really liked it. As it was, I wasn’t too impressed. If you read it, skip to the epilogue, then start. You’ll thank me.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
    • A wonderful adventure story about comic books, real life heroes and tragedy, and everyday life in New York City. Read it!
  • Food 52, Genius Recipes, Kristen Miglore
    • Generally I wouldn’t put a recipe book on this list, but I read the thing cover-to-cover. A lot of great ideas that I’ll use even though I haven’t actually made any of the recipes except for some fried eggs.
  • Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
    • A wonderful read that ties together many stories from a momentous day in NYC history. All of the characters feel human, all of the stories are interesting. I highly recommend it.
  • Dietland, Sarai Walker
    • A novel that may be trying a bit too hard to tell the patriarchy to go screw itself (you never feel completely like you are reading a novel, more a piece of propaganda.) That being said, it brings up a lot of serious issues and is pretty empowering.
  • Ghettoside, Jill Leovy
    • A bit dry, but highly informative. If you are interested in gang violence, Los Angeles, policing, or how race plays into our justice system, read it.
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