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Monster by Walter Dean Myers My rating: 3 of 5 stars Short novel… - coupersetique denpa
Sun, Dec. 16th, 2012 12:33 pm
Monster by Walter Dean Myers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Short novel about the trial of an African American boy accused of murder. Written mostly in screenplay format. I feel like this book covers a lot of important themes, but I really wasn't into the format. The segments written in a first person style seemed less distant and more engaging to me.

You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice by Eric Spitznagel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Famous funny people answer letters in a literary magazine with fake advice. Considering HOW well known most of these people are, it's surprising how not very funny and kind of mean the book is.

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lewis's take on the financial crisis in Europe (Iceland, Greece, Ireland, and Germany) and California, from a series of Vanity Fair articles. The articles are apparently available free online. There are a lot of generalizations about the cultures of each country. It is not really that in depth on any one topic. Also, a lot of the information I had also covered via NPR's Planet Money podcast. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy knowing a little more about Mount Athos and finding out about the book "Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder" which is apparently a whole book all about Germany's fascination with poop. It was fun to read, but not my favorite of Lewis' works.

Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ronson's book on what we are willing to believe in. Insane Clown Posse, The Alpha Course, Indigo Children, interviews with robots, Stanley Kubrick's rooms full of boxes (my favorite by far), SETI, cheating on Millionaire, child molesters, not so picky euthanasia advocates, what people in various income brackets believe about themselves and others, how companies target mailings/calls, and how things go desperately wrong for ordinary people. This is more loosely themed than my favorite Ronson books, but it is still an interesting read.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacobs, who is a compulsive mostly secular Jewish person, decides to live (literally) according to the Old and New Testament. He asks religious leaders to help him decipher the rules of the bible. They (and he) don't agree with each other, but his journey highlights the place where religious rules come from and how religious people think and live. I learned about how there is a spectrum of interpretation, how hard it would be to follow every rule, how much variety there is among fundamentalist views and communities (Jacobs says people portray fundamentalists as pretty crazy, but mostly they are pretty normal people), and a little bit about Hasidism. It's fun to read about Jacobs' struggles with the rules, how he deals with his family (and job), and other people's reactions to him.

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