Category 35, Set in the summer: Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
The main event of the book happens during the summer, I think. Or it could be fall, but it felt like summer when I was reading it. There's also a lot of winter in the book. It's really good. Set in Idaho. Part mystery, part family drama. Very well-written.
Category 36, A book that will make you smarter: Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour
Well, I think it made me briefly smarter, anyway. It's hard to remember what I learned from it when confronted with a bratty teenage girl. Not that any of my teenagers are bratty.
Category 37, Bestseller: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
This is a very good book, but it didn't move me like others have. I always wonder how much my response to a book depends on my current place in life -- maybe it would have been more moving and meaningful at a different time. It is worth reading.
Category 38, Reader's choice: My Nam…
I thought it would be fun to read this series, since there is a British TV show based on it that looks interesting. But after reading the following, I'm done:
Hildegard Staunton was paler than he remembered from her husband's funeral. Her short hair was blonde and curly; her eyes were large and green. Her eyebrows were pencil-thin and she wore no lipstick; as a result, her face looked as if her feelings had been washed away.
So, it's only possible to read feelings on a woman's face if she's wearing lipstick? I had no idea!
If the book had been written in the '50s or something, I probably could have overlooked this, but no, it was published in 2012. I may be overreacting, but there's a lot of good stuff to read and this time, I choose not to spend my time on something that implies that women absolutely must wear makeup or they can't get along in society.
Category 18, Short Story: "Novostroika" by Maria RevaThis was quite an entertaining story published in The Atlantic in December of 2016. (We had a subscription to The Atlantic for a year around then and have kept the old issues around for leisurely perusal. It's a good magazine with well-researched, good writing.) The story is about a man in Ukraine who tries to get the heat turned on in his apartment only to hear from the official that his building doesn't exist. I'd say it's funny and tragic in a way similar to A Confederacy of Dunces.Category 19, Graphic novel: El Deafo by Cece Bell
I like that these memoir-type graphic novels kind of expose the immaturity and self-centeredness of the pre-teen/early teen protagonist. This one's about a deaf girl and was interesting and fun.
Category 20, About an animal: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket or The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo 🎧
The first has various reptiles in it, including a falsely accuse…