If that sky doesn’t say, “Stay inside, drink coffee, read, and write” I’m not sure what does. We’re under a freezing rain advisory until 6 or maybe 9PM tonight (they keep moving it) and the weather is just not good for anything but staying in and staying warm. I’ve been doing a bang up job of it today. Sure, it’s probably a good day to do some housecleaning, but the mess will still be there tomorrow, and I have books to read today. (OK, I suppose you could say that the books will be here tomorrow as well, but who knows, they might not be! And if the mess is somehow not there tomorrow, well, I really win.)
I’ve finished two books since Christmas (I feel like that number should be far larger) and now you get to hear about them!
The first was Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir – I am not an avid reader of her blog, (I’ve read some bits and liked it, I just seem to have too much to read already) so I don’t know how much of it is pulled straight from her blog postings and how much is new. (I did recognize one section that I had read online.) Overall it is very funny, but I think you have to have a rather skewed sense of humor to appreciate it. I consider myself pretty warped and there were moments I was cringing and thinking, “She is funny, and also kind of awful sometimes.” (I’ll admit I kept waiting for a chapter entitled, “And then my husband left.”) The funniest thing was when I hit the end of the book, there is a picture of her in the bathroom with a cat on her head. (That’s not really the funny bit, but it is amusing and not an easy thing to do.) What was funny (at least to me) was that I looked at it, and actually said out loud, “Holy fuck, how did I not know SHE was the woman with cats on her head?!” Seriously, I’d seen that picture all over the place on the internet and never realized it was her. If you like her blog, you will probably like her book. If you are horrified by her blog, you should probably not read this book. Also, I really want the Hamlet mouse.
The second, which I just finished last night was Phillip Kerr‘s March Violets. It was written in 1989 and I found out about Kerr from Craig Ferguson when he started talking about Kerr one night and the Berlin detective stories he had written and I thought, “Well that sounds interesting, I should give it a whirl.” If you like mystery/detective/noir, I think you’ll like this – I know I will be reading more of his work. It’s set in Berlin in 1936 following private detective Bernie Gunther and while the story is going along, you’re also seeing the rise of the Nazis in Berlin at the time. (It’s not a weird Nazi fetish thing either, really just more this guy is trying to do his job with the added complications of a totalitarian state being part of the day to day life.) There are several more in the Bernie Gunther series (six more!!) and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next with this guy. (As well as reading Kerr’s non-Gunther work, too.) Best part is that Kerr is still alive and still writing. (I can’t be the only one who finds a new author they adore only to find out that they went on to the great reading room in the sky 10 years earlier.)
I think Mario Livio‘s Brilliant Blunders will be next. But first, more coffee. And maybe some chocolate.