02 April 2006

March 2006 Books

March was full (well, not that full) of non-fiction nonsense. I wish I could power read and get paid for it. Alas, reading doesn't pay my bills. I wonder if people would pay money to view me on a web cam, curled up on the couch (fully clothed) and reading? Hmm.

1) A Venom in the Blood - Eric Von Hoffman
So after reading the thick collection of selected stories by Truman Capote, I decided my brain needed cheese. I picked up a couple of true crime serial killer books from the nearby used bookstore. This one was about Gerald and Charlene Gallego. It's poorly written, but these kind of books aren't designed for the literary elite. At the beginning, it was as though some cliche 80's movie cop was narrating. The kind of narrator that uses the word "gritty" and "grisly" too many times. Then it kind of just trailed off and left the cop's narration behind. I began to read this book when the better half went out of town. Needless to say, that night I slept with a baseball bat. On another note, later in the month I had a dream of Charlene Gallego. She was getting it on with the male membered Murial Hemingway.

2) Henry Lee Lucas : The Shocking True Story of America's Most Notorious Serial Killer - Dr. Joel Morris
See above, sans cliche 80's cop narration. I did learn, however, from reading these two books that both males had severe issues with mommy. This book passed time, but didn't really give me a scare. Too many technical details and not enough gritty/grisly (heh).

3) Them - Joyce Carol Oates
My lovely friend Nicole told me a while back that I should pick up this writer's novel called Zombie. Due to my absent-mindedness, I picked up this one. Them, zombies...there was a bit of confusion in ye olde noggin. This was one of those, "don't judge a book by it's cover" deals. Judging by the bad artwork, I was convinced that this was going to be a heap of dump. Much to my surprise, it was not. It was actually a decent read. Very detailed characters and situations. She really captures the essence of a messed up family. It was depressing and grey, the patterns of problems handed down from one generation to the next made the story bleak. She apparently adapted this story from a girl she actually met, through teaching a writing class. Not a bad read!

4) Paddle to the Amazon - Don Starkell
I've never been in a canoe. I don't know how to swim that well. And wilderness adventures don't appeal to me. However, I like to read about them from the comfort of my couch. I found this at the used bookstore and I couldn't resist it. I have a weakness for stories from home and writers from the prairies. A true adventure, Don Starkell and his son broke a Guinness World Record for the longest canoe ride on this journey. They started from the Red River in Winnipeg and ended up at the mouth of the Amazon. It took about two and a half years. This book is written in journal form, which appealed to me even more. It was very interesting, what he saw and what they encountered on their watery travels (including many South Americans holding guns to their heads). I'm now fully convinced that the cast of LOST should honestly be stricken with sea salt wounds, patches of dry, sunburned skin on their lips, and bug bites. Also, someone should have malaria by now and/or eat some fruit full of worms but only to be realised after it's been half eaten. Or maybe I just want the episodes to get more interesting, haha.

5) The Vegetarian's Cookbook - Nicola Graimes (editor)
One might say, a cookbook is not worthy of a mention. However, I disagree. Any book that inspires me to make soup should get a nod. This was a gift from my sister, who happened to be a month late in wishing me a happy birthday. I haven't put this book down! Almost every day I seem to discover some new and non-intimidating recipe. Potato leek soup! Naan bread! Fajitas! Ole! The recipes are easy, the photographs are helpful, and it's a smaller book (I like small hard cover books, like the nerd I am). There are chapters on the nutrition values on certain food, introductories to different veggies/legumes/fruit/spices/etc. I'm so lazy and often intimidated by cooking and I actually feel inspired to make a fine meal. And I will, oh yes!

Favourite Book of March?
The Vegetarian's Cookbook - Nicola Graimes (editor)

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