January 26, 2015

3 Books That Don't Suck (and 3 That Kinda, Sorta Do)

The nice thing about making approximately nothing for blogging (give or take the $1.19 I rightfully earned this month with those BlogHer ads on my sidebar) is that I really have no obligation to post if I, for example, would rather clip Zach Galifianakis's toenails than touch a keyboard.

If I don't want to blog or get out my nail clippers, I don't have to do either. But I bet you're wondering: when I'm not writing blog posts or tending to Zach's toes, what exactly am I doing?

Well, the answer is that I'm mostly working, spending a bit of time being emotionally dramatic, spending even more time in DC traffic, dabbling in a happy hour or two, trying out as many free DC group fitness classes as I can find, and tending to my own toenails.

And when I'm not doing that? I'm reading books. Because unlike people, books don't care if you're wearing pants and you can just close them up if they start getting annoying.

Yes, I like books.

But I don't like all books. Which is why today I'm going to run through a short list of my favorite books of all time*, and books that I think are really unreasonably overrated. And just to spice things up, I've given each book my "4 Zach Head" rating. (I'd explain exactly how that scoring system works but it's very complicated and full of, like, exponents and stuff. You know, science.)

*I just want to add this disclaimer that I did not include the Harry Potter series on this list because I don't consider them books; I consider them more of a lifestyle choice.

My Three Favorite Books of All Time
(Or at least this month)

Three Books I Think are Annoyingly Overrated
(These don't get their own graphic.)

1. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. An otherwise healthy 24-year-old inexplicably starts going crazy. Seizures, hallucinations, catatonia... the whole bang shoot. Turns out, she has a rare autoimmune disorder that's causing inflammation in her brain. It's pretty interesting, which makes it weird that I got so bored with the book that I stopped reading halfway through. Just goes to show you that not every medically fascinating ailment gets a place on my bookshelf.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read this in college, before it was a "thing" and before I knew I was supposed to like it. The reason I disliked it was mainly because it is sad, but not in a hopeful, uplifting kind of way. It is more just a depressing sort of sad. You know, the cruel and unfair "real life" sort of sad, which isn't something I really want in a book. (Real life has already got the "cruel unfairness" thing covered.) Also, I thought Hazel and Augustus's "wittiness" was forced at best and just kinda annoying at worst. Overall, I didn't hate it but also don't understand the hype. I also don't understand why Shailene Woodley makes her own deodorant... but that's for another time.

2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It's a story about a "Sheldon from A Big Bang Theory"-like professor who falls in love with a very non-Sheldon-like lady. It sounds like it should be funny and cute, and I actually really don't have a legitimate reason for not liking it. It was sort of entertaining, sort of charming... but mostly, I was bored and just stopped reading 80% of the way through. Because if you're going to do something boring, you might as well make it productive, you know?

So that's that, my highly expert, often unsubstantiated review of a few books I think you should read (and a few that I don't think you should bother with). But like always, I'm not trying to tell you what I do.

Except that I kinda, sorta am.

Next on my reading list is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. But after that, I'm free as a bird. So tell me: what do YOU think I should be reading?

Also, I wanted to throw in this probably unnecessary disclaimer that I haven't been compensated to review any of these books. Surprising, based on my blog's revenue, I know.