This year, I’m trying really hard to make goals and actually follow through, keeping myself accountable for things. Another goal for 2018 is to read at least two books a month and so far I’m on track. Though okay, I may have cheated a bit because I started Coming to my Senses back in December. In February, I’ll be doing to Ngapali beach in Myanmar for Chinese New Year, so I’m looking forward to getting a good amount of beach reading done then, hopefully with a frozen margarita in hand. Here are the two books I finished the last month!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This book was such an unexpected page-turner. I started off doubting whether I was into it or not, because of Cline’s simple style and tendency to overtly state descriptive facts about his characters and not letting the narrative speak for itself, but then the more I read it, the more I couldn’t put the book down. What makes the book so special is the absolute attention to 80s pop culture, which is something you don’t appreciate until about halfway through the book you realize that Cline is the biggest nerd out of all the characters he writes (and I mean this as an incredible thing).
This is an ode to everything ridiculous, memorable, and delirious about the 80s and by the time I realized how well the story was crafted together, I was almost done with the novel. There are some technological plot holes in the story, but it’s easy to look past them, because the novel is a delight.
Rating: – 👾👾👾👾👾 five space invaders
Coming to my Senses by Alice Waters
Memoirs about food are seriously my favorite kinds of books. I love learning about people through their relationship with cooking, because it really calls me back to my time spent on my grandma’s farm or growing my own strawberries in a small garden when I was in middle school. I had been looking forward to reading Alice Waters’ memoir for so long, because she is a personal hero (not only because of her love of garlic!), but because she started a counterculture movement in the 70s doing something she loved so completely.
Coming to my Senses was not a badly written book, but it felt as if Ms. Waters was forced to write it, not a story she wanted to be told. Her passion for food is immense, but I felt so little of it reading the book. Memoirs have such a potential to evoke and inspire, and this felt like a summary much more than an experience, like reading an immersive menu, but never getting to taste the food.
Rating: – 🥣🥣 two empty bowls
Also published on Medium.