Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 reading: Catch-up (Part 2)

 In an effort to catch up on my reviewing for this year, I'm writing a series of short review posts for every book I've read this year. I'm so far behind!

Title and author: 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
Source: Library
Rating: 7 out of 10

Whew! This was a slog, but a good one. I wasn't sure, for most of the book, where the story was going, but I think that can be the mark of a good novel. Murakami certainly is a master of the craft. here was something ephemeral, though, that made this difficult to really get behind. I liked it well enough to finish and say that, generally, I enjoyed this book, but not enough that I would read it again.

Title and author: Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things - Randy Frost
Source: Kindle
Rating: 8 out of 10

I find hoarders equal parts fascinating and disturbing, so I read this book with a mixture of curiosity and horror. I liked that Frost was able to really get into the heads of some of his subjects and pull out the reasons behind their hoarding, yet others remained enigmas. This was an easy, interesting read that I powered through in a few sittings.

Title and author: Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal - Conor Grennan
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: 9 out of 10

I'm not usually one for memoirs, or nonfiction for that matter, but this year has been the year of really good nonfiction, and this book is just one of that group. Grennan has not only a talent for writing, and writing well, but also an obvious love for the children he met while volunteering in an orphanage in Nepal. I found myself wanting to meet each of the children and cheering along with Grennan when he had a small victory in his quest. Highly, highly recommended!

Title and author: The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less - Barry Schwartz
Source: Kindle
Rating: 4 out of 10

I really liked the concept behind this book: That having more choices in our everyday lives actually creates much more stress. Unfortunately, that's about as far as this book went. It seemed to repeat all the ways we have choice (OK, I get it. There are TONS of different products in a grocery store! I don't need a whole chapter listing numbers of brands of breakfast cereals) over and over again without really drawing any useful conclusions. It just seemed to me that someone read an academic article on having too much choice, thought it would make a great book and didn't really look at the finished product.


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