What I read in 2012

Karen's books

Olive Kitteridge
3 of 5 stars true
When it was good, it was very, very good And when it was bad, it was horrid.
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
3 of 5 stars true
Great for some Little House insights, and read like a fun conversation you'd have with Alison over beers. A quick, easy, enjoyable read.
The Paris Wife
4 of 5 stars true
Loved the perspective on the story, learning bits about EH and the Paris scene in the '20s that I hadn't known before, but none of the characters are very likeable at all. Not sure how many more 'the woman behind the man' stories can be ...
On Writing
4 of 5 stars true
Excellent primer for contemporary writers, as well as an interesting peek into some of King's more personal moments. Even if you're not a fan of King's oeuvre, there's no denying his gift for storytelling and this book, while somewhat te...
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
3 of 5 stars true
DNF. Just couldn't get into it.
Everybody Has Everything
2 of 5 stars true
Even though Onstad is one of my favourite journalists, this book did not do her talent justice. It just felt hollow. Hollow plot, hollow characters, hollow motivations. It chugged along, but I was never really sure where, or why. I have ...
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
4 of 5 stars true
Loved the parallel stories in the book, but found the narrative to be a bit redundant. How many chapters can end with something like, 'They had no idea just how bad it was going to get?' Apparently, many. Nevertheless, fascinating stor...
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession
1 of 5 stars true
If you like self-absorbed, delusional protagonists, poorly written missives, desperate, hollow attempts to move the narrative along and Buffy the Vampire Slayer allegories in the place of real thought, symbolism or self-discovery, this b...
Gone Girl
3 of 5 stars true
Well-developed characters and an engaging writing style (despited some maddening modern/hip/trendy language that thankfully peters out about a third of the way through) didn't really save this book from being predictable and ultimately, ...
3 of 5 stars true
I definitely had a hometown advantage reading this book, having grown up in Thornhill and having attending both the same elementary and high school as Jian (granted, a few years later). Nostalgia played a huge part in my enjoyment of t...
The Family Fang
3 of 5 stars true
I was not entirely keen on reading this bookclub pick, though in the end I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The story moved on at a good clip, and while an interesting concept - a set of parents fully integrates themselves and the...
The Casual Vacancy
3 of 5 stars true
Hmm. Tricky one, this. And this was my first experience with J.K. Rowling, so no howling about Harry Potter here. Three stars because it was a fast and engaging read and I can't deny that. Three stars because Rowling is great at charact...
2 of 5 stars true
The woman can write, that's for sure. I'm just not a fan of her style in this one. It was like one long piece of slam poetry. And as I often criticize male authors for the way they write women, I have to apply the same standard here - th...