Monday, May 12, 2014

Crying Over Books

For some reason, Traci-the-librarian and I were talking about books that have made us cry. I told her that there are only two books that have ever brought me to tears: The Last Unicorn (I'm sure you can imagine the massive eye roll that elicited from Traci), and Rumblefish by S.E. Hinton. (Two books I hadn't read since high school.)

Despite the memory of such strong emotion around Rumblefish, I couldn't actually remember what it was about the book that had made me cry. In fact, I couldn't really remember what the story was even about. I figured it might be a good idea to read it again.

So I did. And not only did my eyes remain dry, I didn't even think the book was that good. I wondered if it was really That was Then, This is Now that had made me cry. So I read it. It wasn't. Maybe it was Tex. Nope. Next thing I knew, I'd re-read Hinton's entire catalog. Nothing.

Luckily, there's other great stuff out there to read (even if it doesn't make me cry). Here are some the books I've enjoyed lately:

One More Thing: Stories and More Stories - BJ Novak
Who knew that Ryan the Temp from The Office was also such a strong writer? Not all of the pieces in this collection of short stories are winners, but there are more hits than misses.

Boxers & Saints - Gene Luen Yang
I never thought I'd enjoy a graphic novel about China's 1898 Boxer Revolution, but I loved Boxers & Saints (especially the Boxers half of the collection). Right after I finished it, I moved on to Yang's American Born Chinese, which was also excellent.

The Visible Man - Chuck Klosterman
I love Klosterman's nonfiction, but this very fictional piece really drew me in. I followed this up with Klosterman's nonfiction I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villans, which was only so-so. I'm curious to see where Klosterman's fiction will head next.

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke - Rob Sheffield
Sheffield's Love is a Mixtape is still near the top of my all-time favs list, so I was very excited to check out his latest book. As someone who doesn't karaoke, I almost gave up on Bright Eyes after the first two chapters. But then Sheffield did what he does. Suddenly, a book about karaoke wasn't really about karaoke anymore. Two thumbs up.

Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile - Nate Jackson
Former Denver Bronco benchwarmer Nate Jackson gives a very behind-the-scenes look at what the NFL is really like for guys who are always on the verge of getting cut from the team.  Infinitely interesting.

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