What I Read in July | July 31, 2020

Okay, so I don’t have as much time to read as I thought I would. When we left on this trip, I imagined parking in one place and staying there for a week or two, without service or internet or a family that needs to eat to distract me, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. These guys still require dinner, and we’ve pretty much packed up and hit the road every single day, except for one. It’s kept me pretty busy (more on how this is not really a “relaxing” trip, coming someday) but I’ve still squeezed in a little reading before bed and on exceptionally long and boring highways. Side note, Ryan’s reading a book for what I believe is the first time in the 12 years I’ve known him.

The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb

I’ve mentioned Wally a few times here, with good reason. He’s very hit or miss for me, but when he’s on - he’s on. I thought I read this book, maybe a decade ago, and I still think I at least started it, but it was so unfamiliar to me, that I don’t believe I ever finished it. 

It’s a long winding road, okay. Our protagonist isn’t necessarily likable, but he is understandable. He’s a teacher at Columbine and his wife is in the library when the massacre takes place. Seems like a premise that could be built out into an entire novel, but that’s not good enough for Lamb. It snowballs into addictions, more tragedy, a web with the local prison, questions about paternity, and a quick dip into 60’s era beer marketing. It’s quite good - worth the read, though I probably wouldn’t read it again. Once you know the twists, I think it’s just a really long marathon. 

Chop-Chop - Simon Wroe

This felt very Anthony Bourdain, and since it was written more than a decade after Kitchen Confidential, I can’t believe it wasn’t at least a little inspired.

This one is weird! I liked it, but definitely strange. It’s course, so brace yourself and FYI, the protagonist here is definitely not likable. 

Monacle recently graduated with an English degree and like all of us with a BS degree, he assumes he’s just purchased himself a one-way ticket to a dreamy job in the arts (drinking coffee and writing novels from my attic office while it rains was my personal version.) But not so, and the rent still needs to be paid. That’s how he finds himself working the shit jobs in a kitchen. 

There’s a psycho chef, another psycho chef, an even psycho-ier customer, and brief indications of bestiality (I’m obviously not rooting for it - just giving you a fair heads up. It’s one sentence.) Worth a single read, then leave it in a Little Free Library for the next person to be appalled. 

Chop Chop Novel | https://www.biblio-style.com

The Girl Who Played with Fire - Steig Larsson

Okay, last fall I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Great book, very jarring. Lots of sadism, lots of violence. I needed a minute to recover from that, but the writing - chef’s kiss. So good. 

I have the two remaining books in the Millennium Series and I grabbed them before this trip figuring I’d have plenty of time to read them. Folks, I will MAKE time to read these books. Fire was still intense, but a bit less indulgent on the descriptions of rape. 

I couldn’t put it down. Seriously, cruising through the Cascades and a million other incredible sights, but I’m in the middle of Lisbeth Salander using her keys like brass knuckles. I can’t close the book now! But I’m also actively savoring it because it’s one of those rare books. You know what I mean? I’m SO into it, but I can never read it with fresh eyes again, so this voracious consumption of wondering what’s next is a one-time thing. 

The Girl Who Played With Fire| https://www.biblio-style.com

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