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Book of the Month Club

March 10, 2009

As you may or may not know, I currently consider June 30, 2009 as my release date. The official end of my graduate assistantship and the day that I will be free to move back to the West Coast and/or go on a 48-72 hour bender (thank goodness they serve alcohol in airports/on planes).

Sure, maybe counting down the days (112) until I no longer have a job is bad karma. And maybe I shouldn’t be excited to be coming to the end of this thing, especially when so many people out there can’t get a job. But, I never said I was a nice person so you can forget about that. Besides, it’s not like I don’t feel bad for the people who have been laid off or fired as a result of the economy. I mean, me finishing my assistanship just leaves an opening for someone else (unless they cut my position to save money, but that’s neither here nor there).

Anyway, back to my point. At Christmas I asked for mainly books and gift cards to places where I could purchase books because I decided that one of the best ways to count down my final six months while also becoming literate cultured or something. Plus, who doesn’t love to read? People from Alabama. Nobody, right?

So I set out in January with Cheddar’s Awesome Book of the Month Club. Can you still call it a club if there is only one member? I’m gonna say that some know-it-all would say no and quote the definition of a club, but since I think that’s elitist and wrong I’ll continue to refer to this as the book club. Plus then when I tell people back in California about being in a book club, they’ll be jealous and impressed at how social I am. She must have tons of friends if she’s started a book club! And that’s the truth. Right.

Anyway, my countdown book club is going swimmingly so I thought I’d give you a quick run-through of the books I’ve read so far with some word association/file-unders (an idea, I stole, because I’m a thief) as my review because, let’s face it, all five of y’all a good portion of my readers aren’t actually fully literate, so I’m keeping these reviews short and sweet.

Also, before I start, if any of you knows the person who ripped the last section before the acknowledgements out of the copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns that I purchased, please tell them that they can eat shit. There’s nothing like not being able to read the author’s thoughts on the last 50 years of history in Afghanistan when you’ve just finished their novel. I mean, seriously, who does that? It’s like the opposite of leaving your secret in a PostSecret book. You know what kind of people rip pages out of books? Oppressors, terrorists and Death Eaters (I’m talking to you Malfoy). Anyway, if you happen to see a dude/chick walking around with pages 417-418 of my book in their hand, or if you receive a note from someone written on the back of page 417 of my book, please give them a hard kick in the shins and/or teeth for me.

I digress. On with the show…

January: Travels With My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago

By Tim Moore


My thoughts: Donkey, hee haw, long walk, stubborn, funny, Spanish, journey, blisters, British

File under: Things that sound fun when you read them but aren’t as fun to do; What I want for my next pet; That donkey better be bilingual; He said ass! snicker:snkicker

Grade: B

February: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

By Barbara Kingsolver with Steven Hopp & Camille Kingsolver


My thoughts: outstanding, yummy, food, chickens, make your own cheese, farms, squash, mmmmm, recipes; farmers market

File under: “Food” for thought (pun intended); Our country fails at food; Can I live on a farm; If only I didn’t live in East TN; I need a garden; That burger meat came from where?

Grade: A+

March: A Thousand Splendid Suns

By Khaled Hosseini

My thoughts: quick read, oppression, scary, sad, compelling, well-written, history, Afghanistan, dumbass Americans

File under: Fastest I’ve read a book since Harry Potter; Reasons why people hate America; Books that make me want to do something good in the world; Charlie Wilson was right – we fucked up the end game

Grade: A

December (pre-book club): The Constant Gardener

by John Le Carré

My thoughts: well-written, spies, British, Africa, foreign aid, TB, evil, inspiring, deceit, strength

File under: Ralph Fiennes is in the movie; Books that make white people look bad; Amazing; Books that make you want to do something good; Better than the movie

Grade: A+

September: Stiff:The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

By Mary Roach

My thoughts: interesting, dead bodies, body farm, cadavers, donate, organs, formaldehyde, crash testing, fun facts

File under: Info to share with friends at parties; Info to share if you want to get kicked out of bed; Reasons why no one dates me; Books I wish I’d written; Things not to discuss at funerals or with the ill

Grade: B+

Since I’ve already finished my March book, I’m getting ahead and starting Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. Should be interesting. I already read her book Stiff (above). Yes, I am creepy and weird and like reading nonfiction books and learning. No, you may not give me a giant wedgie. Thank goodness for the internets and their lack of wedgie-giving capabilities (for now).

Anyway, that’s all from the book club at this time. Feel free to share your thoughts or tell me what you’re reading right now. I’m trying to think of a cool giveaway to help me get rid of stuff to ship home make people enjoy my blog more. So stay tuned if you want to win any of these books!

  1. Caitlin permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:53 pm

    I LOVED THE CONSTANT GARDNER!! Matt just got another book by Le Carre and Im going to read it as soon as I finish my literature review. School is sucking away my reading life. However, one cool book that I read for school that I think you may enjoy is “We the Media.” Its about grassroots journalism, and is quite interesting.

  2. Tiffany permalink
    March 11, 2009 3:24 pm

    Kelly, you make me smile. I’m also in a book club…sort of. My friends at work and I just trade books a lot and I read waaaaay too much. I’m currently reading “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” plus a few more. I really like it. Next on my list is “Lovely Bones.” You make interesting book choices…I really don’t think I could read a book about cadavers, but I’m not a nerd like you….obviously (says the chemistry geek). MISS YOU!!!

  3. Madi permalink
    October 23, 2009 5:35 pm

    I have no idea how I found your site, but I’ve gotta say, I love how you write. (reading about next door neighbors as drug dealers entertained me) and I want to write in defense of Stiff, I agree with you. i LOVED it. it was so engaging and everyone that hears me saying that i was reading a book about human cadavers gave me the same look.. “whaaa..t?” but it really is such an interesting read.

  4. Cheddar permalink*
    October 26, 2009 12:51 pm

    Madi – Seriously gracias! I’m glad I can entertain a few people and also fly my freak flag for all the internets to see. Likewise, Stiff was AMAZING. I also read Spook which is equally as entertaining but this time about ghosts. Love it. Mary Roach rules.

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