01 September 2016

Here's a book (or two) to skip...

Ever find yourself reading something and you can't quite put your finger on it, but before too long you notice that you don't actually care about the characters? I like to think that I am very careful with the books I read, that I can sense terrible books before I even accidentally pick them up. 

Well. I used to think that. 

I kinda messed up and found myself 133 pages into The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan. It wasn't until one morning in late July as I was drinking my coffee that I realized I didn't really care about the story. It was an easy read, as far as I was concerned. But it was the content that didn't really make sense to me. If I can say this without being mobbed, the secondary characters (Mike's dad and Orpheus) felt more well rounded and richer than our two main characters, who felt rather like cardboard cut outs of stereotypical Hollywood producer and lawyer. 

I was tempted to turn to the end just to see what happens. I mean, I can tell you that Richard and Elizabeth probably fall in love after having a gigantic fight (probably about Richard's best female friend OR over a book/movie they disagree about) and everything just "clicks." 
If I cared about this book any more, I would probably go on a rant here about how Elizabeth's colleagues call her "La Máquina" because she is 1) a Latina so her nickname obviously has to reflect that and 2) she logs the most hours of billable time at the law firm. If she was a man, people would congratulate and generally be jealous, but still be cordial. In this novel, she doesn't seem to have any friends and the fact that she excels at her job is a teaseable offense at the office. But I'm not really going to talk about that.
I was very excited to read this book, I promise. But I just can't and won't waste reading time on a book that hasn't captured my interest and feels like a cliche at every turn.  

The other disappointment this summer was Welcome to Night Vale. I am a HUGE fan of this podcast. Seriously, ya'll. If you aren't listening to it, go find it and start. I was in love part way through the very first episode.  I love listening to the dulcet tones of Cecil, Night Vale Radio host, talking about the dog park (which is decidedly not for dogs), the many press conferences of Mayor Pamela Winchell, and the agricultural news from John Peters, you know, the farmer. 
I was thrilled that they were making a physical thing that could be read (since I love to read) but honestly, I was disappointed. Much of the charm of the podcast lies in Cecil Baldwin's exquisite comedic and dramatic timing, painting you pictures that look a certain way (but probably not the way you JUST imagined) and fit in this glorious desert town. I'm strangely proud and excited for the creative team behind this podcast and book. It takes a lot of work to 1) create and 2) create a new thing out of a pre-exisiting thing. I just wished I loved the book as much as the podcast. 

I might have skipped other books this summer. In fact, I'm sure I have. These were the ones I tried the hardest on, though. And honestly, ever since, I've had a hard time finding good books to read. 
Help a girl out?
What are some of your favorite go-to authors? Summer reads? Any time reads? 

(And as a note, we've got 4 more months left in the year! How's your reading challenge coming?)