Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Literary Life: A Second Memoir
by Larry McMurtry

What a disappointment! His first book Books (reviewed in Book-a-holics) was fascinating reading, about his serious book collecting.
Literary Life is what you should read if you can't get to sleep at night. So boring. He writes about the people he met while at college (all literary figures), but his style is blah with no life in it.
I hope there is NOT a third memoir.
Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years
by Laura Skandera Trombley

Having recently read a terrific book on Mark Twain (reviewed in Book-a-holics) this book caught my eye and I thought it would be interesting. Well, it was for the first chapter for Twain's early life and how he met Isabel Lyon who would become his secretary and manager of his household. I didn't actually finish the first chapter. It became long and meandering and boring.
On the back flap, it says that biographers have deliberately omitted the mere mention of Isabel Lyon, which is just not true.
It also says the book is riveting. Another lie.
Don't even bother reading this ho-hum tale.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Street Without A Name : Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria
by Kapka Kassabova

No, this book is not stunningly and beautifully written as reviewers have said. It certainly doesn't appear as if it was proofread. Between the numerous amounts of metaphors and misplaced punctuation, Street Without A Name should be sent back to the publisher.
The most interesting sections were growing up under communism in a country most people never really hear about. Unfortunately, though, as noted above, the errors detracted from what could have been an enjoyable read.
Leave this book on the shelf.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge
by Edward Kritzler

I thought that this book would be intriguing. I should have known better with such a long title.
The premise is in order to avoid persecution in the Old World, Jews took to the seas.
In much better hands, this book could have been promising. The author is a historian and a journalist and it shows. He writes as if he's a reporter. It's very boring, with too many characters thrown at you at once, and he's repetitious.
Needless to say, I didn't get too far.
Don't bother with this one.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Backing into Forward : A Memoir
by Jules Feiffer

I probably should have checked Publishers Weekly's review of this book before I requested it from the library. I never agree with PW. They gave Feiffer's book a Starred Review. So did other professional journals.
I could not get beyond the first chapter. Feiffer is probably a much better cartoonist than a writer of books. I was bored and I found the writing stilted.
Back to the library it goes.