Sock by Penn Jillette: The tale of a lovelorn cop finding a murderer told from the point of view of the cop's sock monkey. There's a lot of narration in this book, but it's well-written narration, so you don't miss the lack of dialogue much. I liked it (didn't love it, though). It was nice to read a crime story from a wholly new point of view.
Starter for Ten by David Nichols: I didn't know what this was about when I bought it, but it looked funny. It was. It's about a very dorky guy who goes off to university. Although it's very British-y, it's still funny because he does a lot of the same stupid things that
I most people did in college, including making a complete fool of himself at every opportunity.
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke: This book gives hope to those of us who write because we have to (but it would be nice if some cash drifted our way). The author wrote the book just because he wanted to share all of the stupid crap that happened to him while he was in France. He self-published 200 copies for friends, then a publisher read it, and viola. He's a published author. It's really funny, especially if you've read that Peter Mayle stuff about living in Provence. Plus the protagonist gets a fair amount of action. And the French look bad and snotty, except for the ones he sleeps with.
The Big Blind by Louise Wener: A caper story about a poker-playing woman who gets tutored by a fat shut-in. It's better than that description would lead you to believe, but it is a pretty standard caper. At least Dan Brown's not involved. Airplane read.
His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman: This is a trilogy, so I get extra credit. I bought these books for my monkey, but he just flung poo at me, so I read them myself. I loved this story. I want more. So to accomodate me, because I am very, very special, Pullman is writing one more in a very Douglas Adams-fourth-story-in-the-trilogy way. These were very, very good in a Lord of the Rings/Narnia way. A lot of adventure.
Timolean Vieta, Come Home by some guy I'm still mad at: I read this book months ago, when I was still living in the Loser Hostel, and I'm still steaming about it. Why? Because it was beautifully written, full of tragic tales, but the bastard went for a cheap sucky ending. The moral of the story was that people suck. Well, screw you, bastard whose name I can't remember, because I already knew that. I know that people are selfish. I don't want to read about it while I'm living it. I'm pounding the keys because I'M STILL VERY, VERY ANGRY AT THIS BOOK.
These are the ones I remember, but there might be a couple more. Does Vanity Fair count as a book? Now that I've finished all of the GOOD books, I'm back to trying once again to read Catch-22, which according to the Greggers is the best book ever (said in Homestar voice). I have tried twice to read it, but I get very frustrated by the experience. It doesn't flow. There are too many characters. People appear and disappear without rhyme or reason. Things happen randomly, with no explanation. I get it. I know it's a big, fat metaphor for life. But there are things I like in my fiction, and a plot is one of them. I'm not saying the Greggers is wrong because reading is an extremely personal experience.
And if I say he's wrong he might get me a crappy Christmas present.