Notes on Not-Reviewed Books: March 2014

I never read a book twice. It has only one chance. And my brain’s not good at retaining information – even with my favourite books I struggle to remember the characters’ names.

These are the books I read in March that I didn’t review because I couldn’t be stuffed. Let’s see if they’re memorable.

Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale: Creepy kids doing creepy things, and begetting creepy children. Family secrets. All the elements of the stuff I usually like reading are here, but presented in a way (oral history) that just doesn’t appeal. This is probably one of those books that everyone else loves, but I think it’s…middling. 3 stars

Nic Pizzolatto’s Galveston: The hero refers to specific women (his ex, and his new acquaintance) as “sluts”, so he’s more of an anti-hero – not as bad as “the bad guys”. But he is violent to people, and kills them if it suits his purpose. Eighteen-year-old Rocky may legally be an adult, but she is still a teenager, and older guys perving on teenagers are creepy. Even though Roy rejects her advances. 3 stars

Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half: I knew I would love this book, and good news – I did! My first 5-star read of the year, and it was just what I needed. Starts off with a cracker of a tale about an old letter young Allie wrote to her future self. If this book teaches us anything, it’s that kid-logic and dog-logic are both terribly flawed. Unfortunately, the collection doesn’t include one of my favourite stories – about how little girls playing “wolf” are mean to a teenage boy. Kids are scary, y’all! That poor lad 😦 5 stars

Madeline Ashby’s vN: I said it at the time, and I stand by it: BEST PROLOGUE EVER! The author’s experience with strategic foresight shines through in the richly detailed world-building, and the carefully constructed characters – both synthetic and organic, and their interactions. It’s fascinating, heartbreaking, and all-out entertaining…until the epilogue, which is bonkers, but not in a way that works for me. Nevertheless, vN is a must-read! 4 stars

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