I gave up on these after reading lots or a little of them.
- 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them. Somewhat interesting but the library book smelled like perfume and I couldn’t ever quite enjoy picking it up.
- 4 books of poetry by Matthea Harvey. I thought I’d like her writing more than I actually did.
- Flash Count Diary by Darcey Steinke. A book about menopause seemed packed with filler about how other animals (whales, primates) also go through the change. I couldn’t get on board with her “so with no real plan I flew down to Miami from New York” to watch a postmenopausal whale flop around her tank.
- Van Gogh’s Ear by Bernadette Murphy. I made the mistake of watching the BBC documentary based on this book before opening the book itself and couldn’t stomach the re-enactment of Murphy’s “astonishing” discovery. The quibble over whether he cut off his lobe or the entire ear is not enough to sustain my interest.
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes. I like the premise of this book and it’s been done before which is fine, but the execution of it made it seem like it was recorded as an audiobook first and then transcribed for text. Lots of one and two word sentences. “So.” “Ok.” “And yet.” “Deep.” “Rude.” “I’m happy.”
- How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson. Super catchy title and pretty great in parts, she melds feminist theory with philosophy and makes it fun the whole time. Only it’s a bit wandering, I don’t need to read pretend text messages or lists of things that are or aren’t flirty; basically this is her comedy bit written down in book form. Meh.
- Josh Gondelman’s Nice Try, as discovered on his wife Maris’s podcast. I like Maris, with her intensely bookish conversations. Josh’s book had no good writing, nothing of merit to recommend it beyond its connection to her.
- Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s by Malcolm Crowley. I stumbled over Crowley twice in an afternoon (in an intro to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, in an interview with Jack Kerouac who was complaining about Crowley adding unnecessary commas) so grabbed this and promptly fell asleep at the dull prose.