A little pre-reading (December progress report)

Happy New Year! I’ve had some time off recently and have been able to get cracking on my 2017 book list before the year even officially started. I finished these books on the list in December:

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir, by Chris Offutt

My grade: B. Compelling, well-written, but certainly not to everyone’s taste.

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach

My grade: C. Normally I really enjoy Roach’s books, but I felt with this one she was reaching too hard for humor, which seemed particularly jarring given the subject matter.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

My grade: A-. Thoughtful and full of details, this book told the stories of families in poor areas struggling to get by, and the economic policies that affect them.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family, J. D. Vance

My grade: D. My dad recommended this to me, and I got to discuss it with him over the holidays. He and all of my extended family on both sides are from Appalachia, so I’ve spent a lot of time there. Vance’s family story certainly is dramatic, and he told his personal story effectively. But he didn’t convince me that the experiences that he had were particularly emblematic or representative of the area. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of problems there, some culturally self-inflicted, but I didn’t think his particular argument held water.

I just realized that all of these are non-fiction. Whoops. I’ll add in some novels next month, I promise!

Progress:

Books read this month: 4

Books read so far: 4

% of year complete: 0%

% of challenge complete: 16%

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