June Reads Recap: Douglas Adams, Tragicomic, Historical Fiction, The Smiths

June Reads Recap: Douglas Adams, Tragicomic, Historical Fiction, The Smiths

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Reading recaps are mini-reviews of the books I’ve read each month.


I covered a little bit of everything in this month’s books. In fiction, Douglas Adams continues to be hilarious in his Hitchiker’s Guide books. The story of William Stoner should not be nearly as interesting as it is. Williams’ writing is perfection. Western The Son toes the line of confusing multiple-storytellers but never crosses it. It’s just as captivating as any of Cormac McCarthy’s westerns.

For non-fiction, Longitude & Descent both covered ocean travels in different way. While the main story of both is fascinating, extra historical details are revealed that are equally interesting. Descent, specifically, tells a lot of old New York City.

The two duds of the month for me was How Soon is Never?, a High Fidelity wanna-be book, and Fun Home. The latter seems as confused about it’s identity as the author was of hers. Is it a literary criticism? A coming out story? A family history? Reading an autobiographical story not in chronological order spoils a lot of later reveals for the reader. The main character, the author, is so guarded that it is difficult to ever empathize with her.


Pick of the Month

Stoner
Author: John Williams
Genre: Biographical Fiction
Source: Own
Rating: 4/5
Summary: The story of an average man written beautifully enough to keep your attention.


And All The Rest

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Humor Science Fiction
Source: Own
Rating: 4/5
Summary: More hilarious antics of Ford Prefect and the rest of the crew.


Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time
Author: Dava Sobel
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: NYPL
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Popular-non-fiction story of the invention of chromometers & modern time-keeping devices during the peak of merchant trading via ocean ships.


Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss
Author: Bradford Matsen
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: NYPL
Rating: 3/5
Summary: A bit verbose at times but overall the story of the first deep sea explorers is intriguing.


Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Author: Alison Bechdel
Genre: Autobiographical Graphic Novel
Source: Own
Rating: 2/5
Summary: Weird storytelling. Nothing is chronological and everything is an allegory to literature you probably aren’t familiar with and the author will never stop telling you how well-read she is. Part personal-therapy sessions, part literary-criticism.


How Soon Is Never?
Author: Marc Spitz
Genre: Rock Fiction
Source: Own
Rating: 2/5
Summary: A depressed 30-something guy is in love with The Smiths. And a girl. Read High Fidelity instead.


The Son
Author: Philipp Meyer
Genre: Historical Fiction Western
Source: NYPL
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Stories told from three different generations of the same family from late 1800’s through mid-1900’s.

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