Friday, January 2, 2015

Books I read in 2014, part II and theater

Books I read in 2014, part II

I posted the first half accidentally 6 months ago and even though it is the most boring post ever, it worked, so here is the second half of 2014.  Also, adding in some of the shows we went and saw, you usually can't take photos so they often don't deserve a full post.

-by Oliver Potzsch
The Hangman's Daughter:  a mystery set in the late 1600's.  The background is interesting, but I felt there was a lot of repetition and could maybe use some editing.   Also, even though you think you will see a lot of the hangman's daughter, you don't-phooey.

-by Elmore Leonard
Maximum Bob:  I've always meant to read Elmore Leonard and yup, he is a good writer.  Fast paced and draws you forward.  I read this just after The Hangman's Daughter and here you think it will be all about Bob, but you actually get a lot from the female detective.  I should read more of these!

-by Janet Evanovich
Notorious Nineteen and Takedown Twenty:  These are total fluff.  Enjoyable, but don't read them back to back because they are pretty much the same book.  Though 20 does have Kevin, the giraffe....

-by Kurtis J. Wiebe (story) and Roc Upchurch (art)
Rat Queens, volume 1:  fun twist on classic RPGs, I'll want to read the rest of these.

We went to NYC to see our friend James in Aladdin-super amazing!  Go Google James Monroe Iglehart  tribute to Robin Williams or his Tony acceptance speech.  We also had tickets to see NPH in Hedwig.  Also amazing, it is almost a one-man performance, so much effort EVERY show.  And we had time to see one more thing and James said for pure entertainment, go see Rocky The Musical.  Holy Cow.  So right and soooo wrong.  The dialog is....not awesome. One of the songs is But My Nose Ain't Broke.  But the finale was unique-they pull the boxing ring out into the audience and the first 20 rows of viewers go up onstage and sit at the back.  And then they put on a great show.  There were girls in the bathroom who had seen it like 10 times and were so sad it was closing...glad we saw it because I don't think anyone will ever stage it again...maybe in Vegas....

-by Denise Kiernan
The Girls of Atomic City  This was excellent, history via personal stories.  About Oak Ridge labs where they enriched the plutonium for the A bombs.

-by Ruth Rendell
Harm Done:mystery

-by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl:  excellent, read it just in time to go see the movie, which was also excellent.  You don't really need to do both.

-by Jennette Walls
Glass Castle:  saw her speak last year and found it fascinating and the book was almost as good.  A real page turner, but not in a mystery way-it is just about their troubled family life.  I came away from the book kind of angry...but in person she has no resentment whatsoever, so I am super impressed with her.

-by NYC Bike Snob
Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling:  I read this on my bike ride :)

-by Nathan Hale
One Dead Spy:  This is the first book that introduces Nathan Hale who is going to be the story teller for the series.  I feel like l learned more about the start of the American Revolution in this one book than in all of my high school history classes.

Donner Dinner Party:  Graphic historical novel-target audience is elementary/middle school, but what a great read!

-by Max Barry
Lexicon: a great mix of thriller and novel.  Someone will want to turn this into a movie

-by Ralph Ellison
Invisible Man:  I picked this up during banned book week and read it mainly on my train commutes.  A lot of the books you are 'supposed' to read can get boring, but this has both character development and an interesting story all mixed up together.  The writing is great-poetic but still readable.

This one weekend I saw three different productions, all great in their own way.  Frog and Toad was by the Youth Theater group and was totes adorbs through and through.  Some people really do have a stage presence even at a young age and some kids are just destined to be leaves. 

The opera was lovely and in retrospect was the last time we saw Irene Dalis...maybe I should have bought her book while she was there, darn!

Finally Merchant on Venice by Shishir Kurup is and adaptation of Shakespeare, set in the LA area within the Indian-American community.  This was brilliant!  He keeps the rhythm of Shakespeare but modernizes the situations and language AND fixes the ending.  We just stumbled upon this and it happened to be when the author was in town and talked to us after the show-what a great treat!

-by Diana Leafe Christian
Creating a Life Together:  This is a how-to book for building an intentional community, something I am looking into.  Super helpful.  Nothing earth shattering, but it lays out all the steps, what to plan for, and gives examples.

-by Jo Nesbo
Redbreast:  one of the first in the series that follows Harry Hole.  I've read a bunch of the later ones already, so it was good to read this one with the full background story.

Finally made it to Beach Blanket Babylon.  Just wow.

-by Denise Mina
The End of the Wasp Season:  mystery-one where you the reader know the basic story and follow as the detectives figure it out.  Good set of characters.

hmmm, not as much as I would like to have read, but better than 2013.  I will strive for even better results in 2015!

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