Another goal of mine is to log all the books I’ve read this year. So often I’ll read a book and totally forget that I read it. I’m going to preface this by saying that while I won’t put in blatant spoilers, I may make references to the plots, so please read at your own discretion!
1. After the Music Stopped, Alan Blinder
I do a lot of economic/political reading when I look for non-fiction, and when I first started this book I nearly put it down as usual fluff but I kept reading and ultimately got a lot out of it. I don’t agree with a number of Mr. Blinder’s conclusions (he’s awfully soft on the Fed and the Clinton administration, but then you read his bio and see why) but the chronology of this book is really super and I did learn a lot. He assumes a basic knowledge of macroeconomics as well as derivatives which might make this book too much for someone without a finance background (if that sounds like you, I highly recommend Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia) but I really like how he includes 2006-2012 in this book–so many stop after 2009 or so. My biggest takeaway was a clearer understanding of how the various players in the game–the Fed, the Treasury, Congress, big bankers, etc– worked with each other during the fiscal crisis.
2. The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer
I couldn’t put this book down, but I do have mixed feelings on it. It’s about six teens who meet at an arts summer camp in the 70s. It follows the lives of four of the youth up through their 50s (aka through present time) with the occasional mention/appearance of the other two. Something happens between two of the teens which has implications on them for decades to come. To be honest I feel like it didn’t need to happen. In another plot, one the other teens ends up being wildly successful (creates a show that sounds an awful lot like The Simpsons) and the concept of evaluating your choices in life, as you get older, and wondering if you did the right thing or if you were ever truly meant to be anything but ordinary could have been expanded rather than the confrontation which splits the group. The confrontation is never comfortably resolved, though, I suppose that’s rather realistic in many cases, but it makes me have less respect for our protagonist. Did anyone else read this book? Would like to hear your thoughts on it!
3. Allegiant, Veronica Roth
this has been a hot series in the YA fiction realm so I’m hoping I’m not the only one who has read this here. I HATED the ending. HATED IT. I felt massively uncomfortable experiencing the last few chapters along with Four. But the more I thought about the series as a whole the more I find fault with it. To note:
1. What’s up with all the factionless people? Why is this OK in the eyes of the factioned? Wouldn’t you think the Abnegation would do something about this? Based on how the Abnegation culture is described, they wouldn’t permit a world with this vast factionless population. The factioned people all seemed pretty naive/ignorant regarding the factionless.
2. Not buying how things end with Evelyn and Four. Sorry not sorry.
3. Why did Ms. Roth name the romantic lead Tobias? How am I supposed to buy into a romantic scene when this is all I can picture:
The name Tobias is forever tainted.
Anyways, that’s what I’ve read in January. I’ve started another non fiction book called Dollarocracy, which I’m not too far into, but now that I’ve plowed through Louie on Netflix maybe I’ll be reading more.
Total books read for 2014: 3