Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book Report from Paradise

As you all know, my job on vacation is to read up a storm.

Here are this year's results:

Citizen Vince by Jess Walter- I picked this up from the bargain table at Barnes & Noble. Not the type I'd usually read - intrigue and murder, but I was trying to diversify my choices this year. OK, story. Probably a reason it was on the less than $5 table.

Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs - I have now read all his books. Hurry up and write some more Augusten! He is so bad that he's good. I don't mean bad, as in a bad writer, but in all his stories. He makes me laugh out loud, cause he does the things that I wish I had the guts to do. This book is more fiction than his others, which are memoirs, but I'm sure this book came from bits and pieces of his life. This book has no redeeming qualities. But I would read anything Augustine writes.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger - I actually listened to this on the plane. It got me through the seven hours of flying so that I wasn't grumpy when I arrived. It was sort of like People Magazine for my ears. I have heard that this is based a real life. H-m-m-m, I would have lasted about two seconds at that job.

Atonement by Ian McEwan - Whew! I almost threw this down more times than not. And I only continued cause I had several more days of vacation and only one more book yet to read after it. Finally after 148 pages it got good. But good grief, Ian likes to string out lots of flowery phrases and repeat himself. Sometimes I wondered if I'd fallen asleep and was reading the same paragraph over again, but no, it was a new paragraph, just rehashing a previous paragraph. I don't usually like reading about war stories, but the writing of the time where the Brits were retreating to Dunkirk (during WWII) was skillfully done. I'm glad I didn't let this book get the best of me, but I must admit that I'm a little hesitant to read anything else by this man.

Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga - Well, it was okay. I liked the whole premise around the story; antique book conservation with a sub-plot of religious political in-fighting, but the story was too tidy. I kept expecting some twist or turn or surprise to happen, but it was pretty straight and narrow.

What's this all have to do with networking. Well, any good networker shares knowledge with others. But in addition, I thought about how an author through his or her writing can establish a relationship with the reader...or not!

In the case of Augusten Burroughs, I want long term and conversely, Ian McEwan, I am leaning towards no relationship at all.

Who is your favorite author and why does that person engage you?

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