Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
All American Boys

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Madness so Discreet vs More Happy Than Not

which left us More Meh Than Anything Else

Not sure if the holes in Dia’s Auntie’s afgan are bigger or smaller than the holes in my brain. The Hillcrest team met over a week ago for a lovely Smackdown Dinner. There was quite a bit of catching up (I’ve been on leave recuperating from knee surgery) and a few disagreements over our books. Katrina kindly wrote down everyone’s comments regarding both books and our reasons why we chose one over the other. Perhaps the holes in my brain are larger than the holes in the afgan - not only did I forget to blog but I have now lost the napkin Katrina wrote on. It could be that the holes in my brain have nothing to do with old age and I forgot to blog because the books were both rather forgettable. I would say this first round was "More Meh Than Anything Else". 

Although the beginning of A Madness so Discreet, an historical thriller we were all looking forward to reading. was compelling and perhaps even disturbing, the rest of the book left you confused and wanting more. The gripping description of the insanity of Victorian asylums was horrific and the author portrayed it well in the first part of the book. The madness of the beginning, alas, did not carry through and the book turned into a boring detective story with an abrupt and confusing ending. Too graphic and too disturbing at the beginning or just too boring were our reasons for dropping this book.
That left us with More Happy Than Not and our vote to go through to the next round. The book dealt well with relevant and serious issues of self-discovery around homophobia, sexuality, depression and suicide. The main character, Aaron, considers a memory altering procedure to try and change who he was. This was a good read and at times more sad than happy but it wasn’t a jump up and down, oh my goodness, you need to read this book. We liked the twist in the middle but also felt it was a book that didn’t quite excite us. Let’s see what the next round thinks.

Suanne for the Hillcrest Team (Katrina, Judy, Linda and me)

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