September Reviews- Here I Go Again

I promise, this will be the last title with a reference to an eighties song in it. I actually did it on purpose this time. The only things I really did "again" was post twice in a day. But please, who doesn't enjoy some good Whitesnake?

This month was a little unimpressive, with only four books, but, like I tell my students, I do try to have a life that involves me leaving my house. Go figure. 

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle
240 pages
First of all, I must admit to the fact that, thanks to Amazon's super helpful product update, I ordered this book in February of 2007. Oops. The fact that I waited five years to read it is pretty pathetic, considering that it's a really decent read. Doyle writes the story of Paula Spencer, the Irish, alcoholic wife of an abusive man. Finally, enough is enough and she beats him over the head with a frying pan. He should be thankful that she didn't burn his bed.

Verdict: A quick, emotional read that is written very well.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
120 pages
I've read this before, back in ninth grade, but I did again this month so that I could teach it at work. I've made my love of Marquez and magical realism known before, so I won't gush anymore. For those of you not familiar with the story, it's all about what happens when you can't keep your legs together before marriage- basically, people die and you end up embroidering all day. The end.

Verdict: It's 120 pages and has magical realism- get on it.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
224 pages
Yay Junot! I rushed out and bought this the day it came out so that I could start it before I went to his reading a few weeks ago. This is a short story collection that mostly focuses on his reoccurring character, Yunior, and his inability to keep his legs together too (see above). Infidelity, family, and growing up are thematic components that run through each of the equally fantastic stories.

Verdict: You won't regret it.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
288 pages
I snatched this off of Amazon Vine last month and was glad I did. The novel is about Benjamin Benjamin, a man who has lost everything and has turned to caregiving in order to stay afloat. He ends up working with nineteen-year-old Trevor who has MD and has never been able to truly experience much of anything. As the novel progresses we watch their relationships grow and learn more about the tragedy Ben was a part of (it will break your heart). Eventually a road trip brings a new cast of characters that continue to add to the plot.

Verdict: This is definitely not a perfect book; there are some flaws (like the pacing at first). But it pretty solid and is fairly quick; once I got fifty pages in I read it over a weekend.



  1. If you like Gabriel Garcie Marquez, you might want to check out one of his other books, "100 Years of Solitude". It is one of my all-time favourite reads.

  2. "it's all about what happens when you can't keep your legs together before marriage- basically, people die and you end up embroidering all day. The end."

    I just laughed so loudly! You pretty much hit the nail on the head there!

    P.S. I too am nuts for magical realism and Marquez. I never could get through Autumn of the Patriarch, though. Have you read that one?