2012 Goal Recap - Books - Part Two - The Dainty Squid

2012 Goal Recap - Books - Part Two

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

At the beginning of the year I made a goal to read 15 new to me books and back in July I did a mid-year recap of what I've read this year. I've been cruising along on my goal so I thought it was time to do another little recap of what I've read. I surpassed my goal by six so far. I've still got a few months of the year left and a whole lot left in my to read pile.

I'm still reading the same sort of things. Before you read on about what I've been reading perhaps the little disclaimer in the previous book recap post would relevant. ;)
 Since June I've read...
Strip City by Lily Burana
Let's Go Play at The Adams' by Mendal W. Johnson
Confessions of a Working Girl by Miss S
A Day In The Life Of Death by Ryan Lee
Mortuary Confidential by Todd Harra
Secret Diary of a Call Girl by Belle de Jour
Bonk by Mary Roach
Stiff by Mary Roach
Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? by Robert D. Webster
Down Among The Dead Men by Michelle Williams

I enjoyed all but one of them. (A Day In The Life Of Death - I thought the author had a really sassy tone, I didn't like that). These ten are a great mix of the things that I enjoy reading about. My top three from these were Bonk, Stiff and Down Among The Dead Men.
If you've never read anything by Mary Roach you should probably pick up one of her books immediately. After Stiff I fell head over heels in love with her writing. Not that's it's saying much since there's only one author whose books I buy no matter what but she's now number two in my very short list of favorite authors. I've currently reading her book Spook and next on my list is Packing for Mars, it's already on my desk waiting for me to crack it open. It feels so awesome to find a new author to love.

It's not in my top three but Let's Go Play at The Adams' really really sticks out in my head. When I looked back at the pile I've read since June I actually was confused for a second because my memory of Let's Go Play at The Adams' is SO vivid I thought I had watched a movie not read the book. I was sad to see that the author has only written one book, I'd definitely be down to read another.
What have you been reading lately? Got any recommendations you think I would love based on what I've enjoyed so far this year?
xoxo


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59 thoughts

  1. I have never read any of those xD My reading tastes are a lot different though, I prefer urban fantasy -anything with supernatural/paranormal stuff.

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  2. I just love your book reviews. I've loved the ones you have recommended previously, so when I see a book review of yours pop up in my reader, I automatically open my GoodReads, and library homepage. That way I can either add them to my "To Read" list, or check them out right away!

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  3. I love Mary Roach, Stiff made me cry. Off to amazon confessions of a working girl.

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  4. How perfect.. I have been endlessly searching for a new book. Just read over "Does this mean you'll see me naked?" and am definitely going to read! Thanks :)

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  5. I don't have any recommendations, but I did want to note that I totally agree: Mary Roach is a fantastic writer. I read Bonk a while back and there were so many interesting facts that I would never have imagined, all presented in a very readable way. I have Stiff and Spook on my wishlist, but I've never got around to getting them. Maybe I should change that soon?

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  6. A friend and I loved Stiff so much that we've joked about going on a "vacation" to visit the body farm. Spook was great too. I just finished Julia Child's memoir My Life in France and it was amazing.

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  7. i've just read 'little miss strange' a novel set in the early 70s which i really loved. now i'm reading (for the second time) 'daughter of smoke and bone' which is really fun and magical.

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  8. I absolutely love your book reviews... you choose a lot of books I would never grab (for not other reason than I often just feel lost outside of the fiction section)... so I LOVE getting these recommendations! The only thing I've read that might even come close to what you read... in so far as being non-fiction... is Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson... which I absolutely recommend... but to see if her kind of writing is your cup of tea, you can check out her blog first here: www.thebloggess.com
    (and no, I don't work for her, LOL, I just think she's pretty funny... but be warned, she is not afraid of profanity)

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    1. I loved Lets Pretend This Never Happened! I read it back in the first half of the year.
      :)

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  9. Thanks for the selections. I still have some left over summer reading to finish but now that classes have started up again I have two lit classes and two stacks of required reading to read before I get to a book of my choosing. XD

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  10. I absolutely second that Mary Roach recommendation! And you will LOVE packing for Mars. I think it may be her best yet.

    -BekahDrey

    http://bekahdrey.blogspot.com

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  11. I've never read any of these, but I'm going to have to pick up something by Mary Roach now :) I'm currently reading IT by Stephen King.

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  12. Those books are unfamiliar to me, but a friend suggested The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers once, I might actually read it! It looks interesting. :)

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  13. Oh awesome! I am going to check out Stiff ASAP! I'm currently reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I don't know if you like non-fiction but this book is absolutely mesmerizing! He explains history and science in such an easy-to-read and funny way :)
    -Madi

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  14. I love Mary Roach! You should read Packing for Mars before Spook. I thought Spook was her weakest (even though it was still a great read), but the Mars book was fantastic.

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  15. Mary Roach! <3 I love her the same way I love Bill Bryson and A.J. Jacobs, who also write sort of... comedic, well-researched, personal experimental nonfiction. Jacobs' "A Year of Living Biblically" is totally my favorite of those, due to the mix of absurd hilarity and educational value (for me, a hippie child whose barefoot-in-the-woods upbringing did not provide a lot of bible study!). If you haven't read it, it's worth a look!

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  16. Isn't Mary Roach wonderful!? I absolutely loved Stiff. It seems like it would be super morbid but is actually incredibly interesting. Love your book reviews Kaylah!

    http://www.thrifted.ca

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  17. I share your enthusiasm for Mary Roach. Continuing in the morbid theme, have you read _The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade_ by Thomas Lynch? It's humorous in its own way and almost poetic in its descriptions. A fan of Roach and the it's-all-jolly-fun approach to science would enjoy _The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms_ by Amy Stewart. The chapter on the Giant Earthworm of Oregon that Smells Like Lilacs would seem to be your sort of read.

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    1. Oh! Those both sound great, I added them to my wishlist and will definitely be grabbing them when I deplete my current to read pile! :)

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  18. I've been reading the book 3 from the saga a song of ice and fire by George R.R. Martin, and the lost symbol by Dan Brown, but this year has been crazy about what i read, all fiction which is my fav category.

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  19. Have you read "Helter Skelter" by Vincent Bugliosi? It's a true crime book about Charles Manson. Also, "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote (yes, the author who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's) is another great work of true crime. Both books are total page-turners!

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    1. I sure have, I went though a big serial killer phase a while back where that's what a lot of time went into reading about.

      I haven't read In Cold Blood though, I'll look it up though!

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  20. I'll have to check out Mary Roach, I've never read her but sounds great!

    Jon Ronson's book The Psycopath Test is one I think you'd enjoy. It's a quick and interesting read!

    Also, not a book, but something I think you would love is the HBO series Six Feet Under. One of my favorite shows ever.

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  21. I think you might like Skippy dies by Paul Murray and And this is true by Emilie Mackie. Have you read any of these?

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  22. I've been wanting to read a lot of these books. I recommend "Written on the Body" by Jeanette Winterson. My all time favorite book! So beautiful!

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  23. Please, please read anything by Haruki Murakami. "Kafka by the Shore" and "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle" are my favorites, but in all honesty, I haven't read one of his novels I haven't liked.

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  24. Mortuary Confidential looks like my sort of book!

    I'm pretty interested in serial killers too. Haha, I'm such a weirdo!

    Becky
    xx

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  25. Thing is, I haven't read any of these, but I've had a lot of people insist to me that this one is really good: http://www.amazon.com/The-Elegance-Hedgehog-Muriel-Barbery/dp/1933372605/ref=la_B003BN57RO_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347395701&sr=1-1

    It's originally in french, I don't know if you can read in it though! I just bought it today via the net, so I can't yet give you my own opinion. But this one http://www.amazon.com/Narcissus-Goldmund-Novel-Hermann-Hesse/dp/0312421672/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347395892&sr=1-1&keywords=hesse+herman+narcissus is by far one of my favourites ever. So yeah :) I hope you like them if you do decide to read them!

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  26. I'm also a huge fan of morbid books. I adore Mary Roach and Stiff is definitely one of my favourite books. A few of these I haven't read yet but I've been wanting to read Let's Go play at the Adams' for quite some time.
    I can recommend Cemetery Stories by Katherine Ramsland, Execution by Geoffrey Abbott, Final Exits by Michael Largo, and Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden. All brilliant books! Also the book I'm currently reading: Molecules of Murder by John Emsley.

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    1. Sweet! I'll definitely take a look at those. :D

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  27. I love when you do post like this! I have been reading the "younger set" genre. Think something you could read in high school, but not actually in English class. I have been reading "The Perks of being a Wallflower"...Good stuff...

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  28. I absolutely LOVED Stiff! It was so funny, yet so informative at the same time.

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    1. That's exactly what I love about all of her books!

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  29. Have you ever read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"? Good stuff.

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  30. Judging by your review and all of these comment, it looks like I'll be getting to know Mary Roach!
    I just read "Baxter" by Jessica Hamilton, it was....disturbing but really really good. Hard to find though. Right now I'm working on "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt, though I'm not far into it. I'll definitely be adding some of these books to my wish list!

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  31. Mary Roach is SO GOOD. Spook is on my bedside table just now! Recommendations: Gracefully Insane, by Alex Beam ("Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital"), Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius, by Colin Dickey, and Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You've Never Heard Of, by Harold Schechter.

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  32. Mary Roach is my friends stepmom! Super cool that you like her books!!

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  33. Oh God, Stiff...the body farm...why did you have to remind me?!? I read it a few years ago and being the big baby I am, had to stop half way through. It was so interesting yet so freaking morifying!

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  34. I recently read Stiff, too. I loved it and look forward to reading what you think of her other books.

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  35. If you haven't read it: All my friends are superheroes by Andrew Kaufman. And while you're at it read Tiny Wife too. He writes so wonderful and whimsically. The books are about 100 pages each, so if you just count the books they are good for the statistics too!

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  36. I'm reading "Skipped Parts" by Tim Sandlin. It's enjoyable, and funny so far. I'd recommend it! I'm interested in checking out his other books.

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    1. Oh! I loved that movie, I'll have to check out the book for sure.

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  37. Ahh I could talk about books forever! I'm all about the weird, strange, unusual, dark and hilarious - especially for books! I absolutely LOVE Mary Roach (Stiff was my first and Packing was great, Spook - not my fav) and Chuck Palahnuik as well (which I see you have ALL of, yay!) so I woud recommend another of my favorite authors - Christopher Moore. His book, 'A Dirty Job', is about a man who becomes Death. It's definitely one of my favorites although I just finished his latest and possibly new favorite 'Sacre Bleu' which was more like historical fiction, they're all great! Christopher Moore is fairly light (when compared to C.P.), but completely hilarious often in a off beat way. Otherwise I would recommend Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors, made into a movie, still a great book!) as another dark but humorous author. For more strange and disturbing I would recommend Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

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    1. Wowee, thanks for all the recommendations! :D

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    2. Hee, sorry for writing so much! What's your favorite Chuck book?! Mine's Rant : )

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  38. Oh, I remember Stiff!!! I remember this one part where the author met a lady who prepped heads for students to work on, and she was trying to maintain her composure, but all she could think was "you cut off head! you cut off heads!" I'm excited to see if I can find some of your books at the library. I just read The Fault In Our Stars and I have no idea how a book about teenagers dying of cancer could make me laugh, but it did--and cry too, oh my. Also liked "The Imperfectionists". I highly recommend The Elements: A visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray. I literally read it cover to cover, even introductions and everything, because he's so hysterical and his pictures and anecdotes are soooo cool.

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  39. I'm a librarian and read lot of books. I couple months ago I read Rotters by Daniel Kraus and totally thought of you liking it based on books you've previously posted. It's fiction about a high school boy that's brutally bullied at school and introduced to the world of grave robbing after his mother suddenly dies and he's sent to live with the father he'd never meant. It has some factual science stuff mixed in with solid narrative that will leave you guessing (and sometimes totally grossed out) til the very end. It's marketed to teens, but it's the most graphic teen novel I've ever read.

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  40. Mary Roach - YES! She is the best nonfiction writer I've read and I adore her tone and wit and humor. Who else can make a field of bodies decaying in various ways seem like a decent place to visit?

    I'll have to check out Down Among the Dead Men :)

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  41. I'm a high school librarian. I'm in an adult book club. When I come across lists of books people read all the time and usually I find a few in common. This cracks me up. Stiff is one my list to read but that's about it. So thanks for once again being an original.

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  42. Just popped back again to suggest A Matter of Life and Death: Conversations with Pathologists, by Sue Armstrong!

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  43. Great to see other people love Stiff as well! I got so many strange looks in high school when I read it, and I have yet to meet another person that has read it! Surprisingly enough, I haven't read any of Mary Roach's other works, but I'll definitely get around to it. You and I seem to have incredibly similar book tastes, so I'm sure I'll love all of the ones you mention (:

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  44. Would you happen to have a goodreads account? We seem to have similar tastes in books, and I'd love to read your recommendations. It's also great to see so many other people loved Stiff! I got so many strange looks in high school for reading/loving it, hahaha.

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  45. I really enjoyed Stiff, read it years ago. The tough thing about it is it's such a hard book to pitch to people, just the other day I mentioned something I learned from it over lunch and everyone looked at me all horrified. I found it fascinating.

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  46. You have an amazing taste in books! On both this list and the mid-year recap you did I have loved most of the books you have listed. Some suggestions for you: as far as fiction goes, if you like Chuck Palahniuk (who's my favorite author also!), you should read something by Bret Easton Ellis. Kind of dark, but all good reads.

    As far as non-fictions go, you should check out Diary of a Sex Fiend, Sex with Kings, and I'm with the Band...

    Can't wait to see what books you read next!

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  47. I suggest checking out Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin. It's a super quick read, gets pretty raunchy (in a good way), and is super cute.

    I'm gonna check out lots of these books! Thanks!

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