Friday, September 16, 2011

Yay and Nay Friday: Round 2

I can't believe an entire week has come and gone, bringing us so rapidly to another installment of "Yay and Nay Friday." Summer seems to have finally begun in San Francisco, meaning lots of hang-outery and assorted forms of chilling.  Resultantly, it's been a bit quiet over here, but now I'm ready to forge on and share some more excellent reads.  


After my disappointing experience with memoirs last week, I wanted to put forth a book of the same classification that really does things right. Everything you've heard about "Chronology" is true, especially if what you heard is that it is breath-taking. Lidia's recounting of her writerly journey is an intricate blend of dark humor and poetic prose, inviting us into the nasty predicaments of her life with a friendly panache.  Of course, she is a former Kesey companion and acolyte, an enlightening relationship that constitutes much of the later part of the memoir. This book is an absolute must-read for writers:

“Out of the sad sack of sad shit that was my life, I made a wordhouse.”

I admittedly picked this book up looking for a quick read in between bigger literary ventures, and though I went in with pretty low expectations, I still found myself sizeably disappointed.  This book shifts between past and present, exploring the lives of a Jewish family in France during World War II and an ex-pat American woman in today's Paris.  The story-line has so much potential, but de Rosnay's attempt to tie up loose ends makes an incomprehensible tragedy into something too neatly-packaged to be believed. Moreover, the characters came across as lusterless and two-dimensional, something that often occurs in over-researched historical fiction, in which more attention is given to environmental details (time, setting, etc.)

Finally, I've been doing a bit of prose-writing myself (!!!), thanks to Sarah's writing group at Desirous of EverythingMetronomes is a piece I started back in my undergrad days and have recently begun to renovate.  After years of exclusively focusing on poetry, I'm a little out of my element, but having a delightful time nonetheless.
What are you reading right now? There's always more room on the "To Read" list!


Meghan said...

I just finished My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston. It's the real account of a woman who goes to Barnes and Noble, sees a book on the new fiction table by her ex-boyfriend, picks it up and reads the first page and realizes it's about her. Hilary is a HILARIOUS writer herself and was the writer for My Name is Earl and currently writes for Community. I highly recommend it!

Meghan said...

Oh, also, along the same topic (the memoirs of comedy writers)I read I Know I am, but What are You? by Samantha Bee, pundit for the Daily Show.

BEAN said...

getting my poetry on with a classic .....Green Eggs and Ham!

punkychewster said...


maybe i should stop hanging out with my computer so often.

Danny said...

Can I borrow that first book? Sounds great, and what I'm reading is off to a *really* slow start.

Word verification: werat. As in, werat the movies in a matter of hours!

♥ Nadine said...

Oh, I just have "Sarahs Key" sitting on my shelf. Didn't find time to read it yet, but a former colleague recommended it to me... :/