Scott Douglas’ Terse Bloviation

Book(s) Report, Part 1

For no compelling reason, I maintain a list of completed books every year. I give each a one-word review of no, meh, or yes, the criterion being if I’d recommend it to a friend with similarish tastes. NO and YES means emphatically so. Of the books I read in the first 49 weeks of 2018, here are the six that got a YES:

  • The True Deceiver, by Tove Jansson
  • The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau, by Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Bullshit Jobs, by David Graeber
  • The Overstory, by Richard Powers
  • The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, by Kristopher Jansman
  • The Echo Maker, by Richard Powers

A note on Richard Powers: I hadn’t heard of him until this year and the release of The Overstory. It was one of the most engrossing reading experiences of my life. I was psyched to see he has a huge back catalog. So I soon after read The Echo Maker, and was similarly enthralled.

Since then I’ve started two of his other novels, and stopped. Not because they’re bad, but because reading them in such close succession was simply too much, akin to going to a lavish, hours-long dinner four out of five nights. Sometimes you just want a big salad while watching a movie. I reshelved the two I started for when I’m hungry for something overwhelming.

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