Category Archives: Funny

The Rosie Project: What to read while the world burns

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I’m comfortable with the ‘compulsively readable’ label oft attached to  Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project. Originally envisioned as a screenplay, the novel has cinematic pacing and a powerful sense of scene (including here both a sense of the setting and a well-defined plot focus for a particular chapter). Taken together with the warm and lighthearted romance plot and you have yourself a perfect stay-up-late, read-on-the-beach, pass-the-time-while-waiting-for____ kind of novel. There is much to enjoy in the characterization of Rosie and Don, the certainty of the romance genre’s happily ever after and the unapologetically optimistic take on the world and the ability for individuals to do right. Continue reading

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Filed under Bestseller, Fiction, Funny

Today Will Be Different: Rich, white people are unhappy.

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Did I hate Maria Semple’s Today Will be Different? Did I love it? Did I love-hate it? I can’t tell. Maybe writing this will help me sort it out. Or book club on Thursday.  Continue reading

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Filed under American literature, Bestseller, Book Club, Fiction, Funny, New York Times Notable

The Nix: This 600 page novel is 400 pages too long.

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A lot of people liked Nathan Hill’s The Nix. And there are a lot of reasons to like it. There are moments of laugh out loud humour; the writing is sharp and immersive; the range of fully realized characters is impressive; it has something to say about American political activism, partisan politics and the role of an impartial judiciary (*cough* nothing relevant about those themes).  Some of the scenes of academic life (and the corollary days spent absorbed by video games) resonated pitch-perfect. Continue reading

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Filed under American literature, Book I'll Forget I Read, Fiction, Funny, New York Times Notable

Behold the Dreamers: We need fiction today. (and every day)

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You’ll enjoy Behold the Dreamers. Except for the references to the coming Obama presidency and how it has the potential to turn around Wall Street and rekindle the American dream. That part you’ll find a painful reminder of where we are in the American political-civic moment. But if you can put aside your current historic moment (ha) and slip into the novel’s time period – just before, during and after the financial collapse of 2008 – you’ll find yourself in a fully realized, fully human exploration of income inequality, privilege, race and nationality in America. And occasionally laughing about it. Continue reading

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Filed under American literature, Fiction, Funny, New York Times Notable