August Reviews- I Know, I Know

I should be packing right now, but I need a break- the last three days have consisted of car load after car load of boxes, when I'm not hanging out with my favorite 180 teenagers. So, sticking with the motif, here are the August reviews, a little late (I know, I know):

Book 1: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
343 Pages

A Box Of: Dead bodies

Yes! Dead bodies! Let's start it off bloody and violent, just like the crime novel In Cold Blood. This was for my AP students and chosen by our English Chair, but I enjoyed it as well. For those who aren't familiar, it's the story of how a midwestern family is brutally murdered... in cold blood. Get it? Get it? Anyway, I could lecture you on ethos, pathos, logos and a plethora of other rhetorical strategies employed by Capote, but now is not the time. If you like mysteries than give this a try (warning: a little slow to start).

Book 2: Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie
432 pages

A Box Of: Dead bodies

Yes, another box of dead bodies- these killed by the even more brutal mysterious Indian Killer that plagues Seattle in Alexie's novel. This was for book club, and like always, I appreciated the opportunity to discuss literature with intelligent people that don't answer questions with "idk." I must say that the story itself was better than the actual writing, but it was a quick, entertaining read that I enjoyed. Another mystery for those who love to guess "whodunnit."

Book 3: The Accidental Athlete by John Bingham
216 pages

A Box Of: Fat, clogged arteries, and tennis shoes

I keep going back and forth about whether or not I liked Bingham's memoir; when I wrote the review for Amazon I was about to run the Disneyland Half Marathon and was pumped about running, so I was kind. Now, I'm not sure. I appreciate the message that it doesn't really matter if you're fast or slow, talented or a klutz, as long as you try and enjoy yourself while exercising, but I felt somewhat bored at times. It can be read in an afternoon, so it's not like you're plowing through War and Peace, but there are definitely better running books out there.

Book 4: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
352 pages

A Box Of: Yearbooks and other nostalgic inducing memorabilia

I'd been looking forward to this book for quite awhile, even before Egan won the Pulitzer for it. It was a solid read; the narrative was so obviously crafted, the characters developed, and the language perfected. The novel begins with two characters, Bennie and Sasha, and then winds through their past to give the reader a better idea of how they end up they way they do. While the plot may jump around through time with different narrators, the underlying current of punk rock, identity acquisition and choosing your own path remains constant. There were a few slow spots, but as a whole I definitely recommend it.

I hope to get through one book in September. Two if I'm lucky. Twelve if I break my legs and am bed-ridden.

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