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cthoop has commented on (5) products.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

cthoop, September 9, 2015

This is as classic as Franzen as you can get.

In a similar vein to the Corrections and Freedom, the novel weaves between 5 main characters over the course of time and throughout the world. The book also delves deeper into the political than some of his other novels, and requires a little bit of suspension of disbelief, but without going fully over the top.

It is another large endeavor, but it is a very "fun" read that you can get through in no time at all. In fact, if by the first chapter you aren't hooked, you definitely will be halfway through chapter 2.

As much of a love/hate relationship people have with Franzen, I don't see how anyone can dismiss his writing as anything other than amazing.

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The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh
The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins

cthoop, February 4, 2015

This is another great book by Irvine Welsh. What makes this one a particularly easy read, for long time fans, or an introduction to the author for the first time, is that is not written with the Scottish dialect that has been found in his other work. Bonus points for that, and of course, the title.

The story is a very dark comedy. The story is told through two characters, Lucy - a personal trainer who becomes a celebrity due to her participation in an event that gets media spotlight, and Lena - a person in need of a physical trainer to be kind. Without delving into spoiler territory, the character you empathize which switches over the course of the book.

I believe this is the first of Welsh's books to take place in America, Miami to be exact, and touches on vanity in a perfect way.

Welsh's reputation must proceed him by this point, so if you haven't liked his other work then this one likely won't sway you. Otherwise, I'd say this is classic Welsh with a new American twist and you'd be hard pressed to go wrong.
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The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin and Elio Garcia and Linda Antonssen
The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire)

cthoop, October 29, 2014

This is a gorgeous book! Beautiful binding and tons of amazing art.

As for the content, it is told through the eyes of a maester, written by him for King Tommen in the description (although you can see Robert and Joffery's name clearly erased!). So it is presented as something you would find in the current cannon of the series, read by one of the characters.

This is essentially full of entries that provide descriptions of events or people mentioned throughout the series. There is nothing here that really moves the saga forward, but does flush out some of the events of the past to get to the point where the series starts.

I would say that if you purchase this book that you need to be a pretty big fan of the series and want to explore the world Martin has created in greater detail. A casual fan may not want to sift through these 300+ pages if you are only interested in the main plot of the series.

What is nice about this is that you can clearly read it over time, or in almost any order. This was my approach, using the index to get to the topics I was most curious about first.

Definitely worth some of your time!
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A Load of Hooey (Odenkirk Memorial Library) by Bob Odenkirk
A Load of Hooey (Odenkirk Memorial Library)

cthoop, October 27, 2014

Hilarious. I usually shy away from comedy books but picked this up when attending the Powells event with Bob Odenkirk. Glad I got this one.

It is a very quick read, including a hilarious manifesto, "unabridged" famous quotations, comics, and so forth. This is basically a sketch comedy show in book form, and as per usual, Odenkirk is the king of those sketches.

Be wary of reading in public, you will laugh out loud.
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Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Tenth of December: Stories

cthoop, March 20, 2013

I'd been hearing the praise for George Saunders for years, and with the release of Tenth Of December I became a convert!

This collection of stories is fantastic. A look at some modern issues through such a unique lens, busting into the hilarious and absurd so quickly you can't help but wonder if you've missed a page or two. I know this phrase gets thrown a lot more than it should, but I am honestly of the opinion that Saunders has a voice unlike any other.

After finishing this book, I've devoured everything Saunders I could find, and he quickly has jumped the rungs of my favorite writer ladder almost overnight.
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