Saturday, December 31, 2016

Five Star Books 2016

QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground
This book was the first book in a long time to make me laugh out loud. The lessons are a good reminder of what it is to be the gatekeeper of social media for an organization. Marketers who have been doing this for a while will laugh, while those are new to social media will learn.

Saga, Vol. 1
There is nothing I can say about this series that hasn't been said. Amazing artwork and an incredible story. These authors can do no wrong.

The Realist
This won the Eisner for a good reason. This book is modern despair in art form.

You'll Grow Out of It
I have been a Klein fan for a while, but was upset because I rarely get to see her perform. This book scratches that itch. You will laugh out loud.

Paper Girls Volume 1
More great work by Vaughn. I need to catch up with this series. This one is not for the kiddos.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Read this now, it will open your heart. If you were at all outraged by Making a Murderer, you need to read this. Stevenson discusses the state of our criminal justice system with compassion and bravery. If you are in any profession where the goal is to help people, he will be an inspiration. He uses a mix of true cases and statistics to portray what is wrong with our criminal justice system. I cried more than once reading this, but Stevenson is a true hero and will be an inspiration in my career.

Mislaid: A Novel
An author I discovered through book club. Zink's characters are strange and real at the same time.

The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin
This book has great tips, but it is also an interesting cultural lesson. She actually has gotten me to do the double-cleanse.
Much like Korean skincare, this book is cute, but don't mistake it for being all substance.

The Handmaid's Tale
This book is more relevant than ever. My first Atwood and I will definitely be reading more.

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction
Awad is very skilled at making the reader inhabit Elizabeth's world. This book is about her relationships and how her weight has affected those relationships, whether it's her mother, husband or a shop clerk.
One particular highlight of the book is Awad's description of the late 90s early 2000s and her ability to write about not just the important relationships in Elizabeth's life, but the passing relationships.

The High Mountains of Portugal: A Novel
Martel is no stranger to writing about long journeys. Though some of the story feels similar to the journey in Life of Pi, the connecting thread for each of these stories is grief and how the characters live with it.
Thoroughly enjoyable with surprise after surprise.

Be More Chill
This book is so cute and just a fun read.
Jeremy is a high school nerd; no car, too much porn and no girlfriend. Then he finds out about squips, a computer program that will run in his brain constantly and tell him how to be cool.
Some of the conversations Jeremy had with his squip made me laugh out loud. In a lot of ways, you feel that it was almost written to become a movie, and that's not necessarily a horrible thing.

The Girls
I am actually not finished with this one yet. However, I know it will be on the five star list whenever I finish it.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Four Stars Books in 2016

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess
This comes out next week. Originally I gave it three stars, but then I looked around my house and how clean it is, and I had to add a star.
If you are a fan of Hoffman's wonderful tumblr page, you will love this book. This book is more of a how to manual on how to get unstuck rather than how to clean up. There is great advice on how to overcome obstacles that get in the way of your cleaning rather than a cleaning manual itself, that along with the language may turn some readers off.
The highlights of the book are the various chapters on overcoming procrastination, perfectionism and mental health issues. The asking for help chapter seemed to go on far too long.
Overall a quick fun read but there are more in-depth resources available.

The Invoice: A Novel
Karlsson writes weird, short novels about the minutiae of life. What if you got a bill based on the quality of your life? I know that some of us sitting at home in our first world countries would be scared right now.

Library Lil (Picture Puffins)
I liked the story in this kids book, but I don't really care for this kind of illustration. It's just a personal preference though.

Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop
More adventures from this comic.

Sex Criminals Volume 3: Three the Hard Way (Sex Criminals Tp)
And here is where it started to go bad. It didn't help that I read it after catching up on Saga. I probably won't continue with this series because the joke is getting kind of old.

Nicotine: A Novel
New protesters squat in houses and try to save the world while using smartphones and social media. Probably my new favorite author of the year.

Disgrace: A Novel
A book club read about a sociopath. It was nice to read something about South Africa but I am afraid some of the politics of the region may have been lost on me.

The Stranger Beside Me
Fueling my new interest in True Crime, I had to go back and read the classics. This is an interesting tale of how sociopaths work.

Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial
This book seems as much about followers of Islam as it is about the crime, and that's not a bad thing.
I was worried because I felt that Ms. Chaudry would be too biased to write a great book about this subject. Even if you feel that she is biased, there is no denying that Adnan did not receive a fair trial. Chaudry raises a ton of concerns about the case including that the prosecution lied to get a conviction and push credible testimony that would help Adnan away, Jay received compensation for his testimony (and is downright uncredible) and the State was gunning for Adnan and put on a case that was straight up racist.
A must read for fans of Serial.

Bread and Jam for Frances (I Can Read Level 2) This series was the first I can recall that had plot twists when I was a wee reader. It kept me coming back to that spot in the library.

In Cold Blood

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder
This was the most chilling book I have ever read. A medical thriller, but it actually happened. Cullen probably killed 400 people during his career as a nurse. The scary part was the way the hospitals covered everything up.

When Breath Becomes Air
Heartbreaking, honest and occasionally hard to read.

Sweaterweather: & Other Short Stories
Cute read. I will definitely check out more from this author. She talks about the creative life. I had not read the original edition however.

The Girl on the Train
I am not above a traditional book club read.