Books

Book 461: A Pirate Looks at Fifty – Jimmy Buffett

buffett-jimmy-a-pirate-looks-at-fiftyThe first and only book I didn’t finish in time for this year’s autobiography book group. I did finish it, but only about a week late. I wasn’t the one that picked it, and honestly was probably the one who enjoyed this most out of the group.

I grew up listening to Jimmy Buffett thanks to an aunt who has been to many of his concerts. I’m not going to lie though, when I re-listened to Songs You Know by Heart (Amazon link) right after finishing the book I did have to question why I was given that album couldn’t have Jagged Little Pill (Amazon link) until another aunt bought me a copy and said don’t tell your mother. Some of the lyrics are down right questionable! Without reading the book I never would’ve connected Cheeseburgers in Paradise with Buffett’s party days and he ACTUALLY talks about staying skinny doing speed. If you’ve never listened, I’ve dropped the video in at the end of this post.

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Books, Quotes

Book 164: The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Chbosky, Stephen - The Perks of Being a WallflowerI’m so disappointed I didn’t discover this book in High School, but at the same time I really doubt I would’ve appreciated it as much as I do now. Although I was an incredibly straight-laced kid in High School and couldn’t relate to some parts of the novel as a high school student (sex, drugs, partying, Rocky Horror?!?), I could definitely relate to many other parts.  I haven’t seen the film but will definitely see it soon. I’m still shaking my head wondering what took me so long to read this book!

The scene where Charlie gave out perfect Christmas presents to each of the people in his immediate circle of friends, just from having listened to them was great! I mean that is the same thing I do. I listen and suck in all the details about people and then awkwardly regurgitate facts to them later about what they’ve said at that party or at previous parties. It’s a great party trick, but at the same time it often makes me come across as anti-social or creepy (so I assume, no one has ever reinforced this thought).

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Books

Book 162: The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

Rowling, J.K. - The Casual VacancyI felt this was a brilliant follow-up to the Harry Potter series. Well done J.K. Rowling, well done. However, I will say that it wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t easy to get into, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and it closed with a BANG!

I have to start with an admission that I have a heavily biased opinion about UK politics. While living in Leeds I was heavily involved in student politics and all of my friends and acquaintances were heavily involved in politics (local, national, activism). And while there, many people I knew stood for local elections, and since I left the UK more have stood and even more now hold office, so reading The Casual Vacancy was like a joyful return to Leeds and listening to the countless, often repetitive, debates about local/national politics.

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2012 Challenges, Books

Book 104: People in Trouble – Sarah Schulman

So far of the books my boss lent me last September this is by far my favorite. Although I enjoyed Donoghue’s Hood and Schulman’s first novel After Delores was good, this one just stands out as a moving piece of the time and serves as a great commentary. This goes towards my Mount TBR Reading Challenge putting me at 11/25 (44%).

What was great about this novel was from the opening line you knew it was going to be about voyeurism (or I realize that looking back). Schulman opens her novel with one of the greatest opening lines I’ve read in a long time. If it’s from something else PLEASE let me know! She opens with, “It was the beginning of the end of the world but not everyone noticed right away.” and from that point on takes you on a fascinating journey threw the AIDS underground of New York City.

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