This was charming, and I liked the illos (by the author himself) especially - but I had somehow tricked myself into expecting a big, adult, incredibly elaborate retelling a la Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Wicked, etc. And I got a short 3 chapter children's story. Albeit one I would happily read to children. Still. I am in a state of yearning for the Matchless I thought I was getting.
The History of the Snowman, by Bob Eckstein
Funny and kept my interest, but boy could it have used a more thorough fact-checking / typo-edit. But it was interesting enough that I'd recommend it anyway, just don't get irritated when the same numerical fact is restated 2 or 3 times with a different number used each time on the same page. Or you know, distract yourself from your irritation by cooing at the many many fascinating historical illustrations - that's what I did.
Finger Lickin' Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich
Meh. This was a "B"-lister, not an "A"-lister, for this series. It was still fun and all, but I felt like Grandma and Lula were not up to their usual levels of hilarity - and since the book focused on them to an unprecedented degree, this was a problem. Plus the Ranger/Morelli thing was awfully by-the-numbers. And Stephanie spent too much time explaining stuff I already knew about. Who on earth would be starting the series with the fifteenth book and needing all these explanations?
Love, Loss, and What I Wore, by Ilene Beckerman
Surprisingly poignant little book that was nonetheless fluffy enough to keep company at a VERY LOUD Red Robin where I couldn't concentrate on any of my "real" books. I know just the person I will be purchasing a copy of this for, though. Nifty and copiously illustrated series of recollections about the outfits worn at various times in the author's life (starting in the 1940s). The recollections are quite short and matter-of-fact; the poignancy sneaks in sideways.
The Way Out, by Craig Childs
I was not as in love with this as I was with The Animal Dialogues, but it was still very good. At times it was just too lyrical for me; I had trouble keeping up with the author's train of thought. But there is a strong narrative through-line (well, actually a few of them) that pulled me past the bogged-in parts. If you're interested in survivalist hiking/climbing, dysfunctional families, and Denver cops, it's definitely worth a read. Or if you just really really like people waxing rhapsodic about rock formations.
La Perdida, by Jessica Abel
Bought this because Sherman Alexie said it was "funny, politically astute, and heartbreaking" and I can't really put it better than that myself. Got silly amounts of pleasure from not needing the English subtitles in the subtitled parts, but even without that I would have found this totally absorbing. At times the plot is kind of obvious but I felt like the reader was supposed to feel tension about the main character not having seen these blindingly obvious things yet, so I didn't mind.