Friday, August 19, 2016

100 Books: A couple more books I started, then stopped.

Someone Could Get Hurt is an unnecessary book. Drew Magary (whose shtick I still somewhat enjoy when I read his Deadspin sports writing) begins this book of parenting essays with a pretty good story of his third child being born, and then having complications with his intestines and needing surgery immediately, but it goes way downhill from there. The opening story is stopped at the point where the doctor is about to give Drew and his wife news on their son's likely survival after the surgery, a cliffhanger that is obviously meant to give the reader a reason to slog through what comes next.

"What comes next" is the standard set of parenting stories that have been told and retold a million times. I made it through Drew & his wife can't sleep because the new baby wakes up a lot and through Trick-or-treating for the first time and ballet school for the first time before giving up. The essays might as well have been computer-generated: new dads miss partying. Moms are great at crafts. Little kids wear cute costumes and get into princesses even though their parents didn't want them to!

Magary subtitles the book "A Memoir Of Twenty-First Century Parenthood" but there's nothing here that's particularly 21st century, or worthwhile.

I skipped ahead to find out how the surgery went. He survived. Now you don't have to read the book.

The Bridge Over San Luis Rey is a book I've wanted to read for a long time. It begins with the unexpected collapse of a footbridge, and five people fall to their deaths. A priest who was near the bridge decides to investigate the lives of those people to see if there is a reason they were all there, or if it was random chance, in hopes of bringing scientific proof that everything happens for a reason. Exactly the kind of book I should like, except it was written in 1928 and is rather oblique in its writing, jumping back and forth from perspectives and the like. I had it on audiobook and couldn't follow the first chapter despite retrying three times. I may give it another go sometime, possibly when I haven't gone sleepless for an extended period of time.

1 comment:

Andrew Leon said...

I think I heard something about the first one on NPR? I'm not sure, but I'm also not interested.

I read Bridge in high school. I don't remember liking it.