Brilliant, writerly, pulled me along despite all the little tricks like present-tense and strangely modern-thinking characters and flipping back and forth through time that can drive me up a wall in a lesser book. Mantel makes everything work, everything SING, everything pull at one's sense of how much LIKE us the people in the past were and simultaneously how completely NOT LIKE US they were... and turned my tiny little sympathetic flame for Thomas Cromwell into a big old oil lamp. Highly recommended.
Sisley in England and Wales, by Christopher Riopelle and Ann Sumner
Saw a Sisley painting at a traveling New Orleans Museum of Art Impressionist exhibit a couple years back. Loved it. Wanted more like that and finally got around to finding some. The early stuff (first half of the book) didn't do much for me but some of the stuff he painted in wales, in his late 50s, is GORGEOUS and perfect. Plus I enjoyed the biographical context in the catalog essays.
Dogs with Jobs, by Merrily Weisbord and Kim Kachanoff
A bit clunky in places but the stories are great! Sometimes I just want something like Chicken Soup for the Soul only with more dignity. And more pictures:P. This book more than delivers.
Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants, by Jill Soloway (reread)
So on the one hand my first experience with this book was so non-memorable that I actually forgot I read it AND forgot to put it in my master list of books I've read. On the other hand, it was entertaining enough that I kept rereading it even after I realized that was what I was doing. If you liked Six Feet Under you would probably be interested in reading this book since it's by one of the main writers for that show - I know I enjoyed thinking about what parts of her story were similar and dissimilar to various characters on the show. Or if you like Sandra-Bernhard-type comedy. I'm a bit conflicted myself. Good: feisty, feminist, obviously doesn't take herself too seriously. Bad: I am never fully comfortable with the "HA HA I AM SO POLITICALLY INCORRECT AND OFFENSIVE BUT NOT TOO OFFENSIVE AND BESIDES IT'S OK BECAUSE I AM ACTUALLY A GOOD PERSON" type of comedy... and I am not sure if some parts of this book are that, or if they're actually a self-aware parody of that (which has another set of issues), or really I think it's maybe both at once. I didn't notice that thread of the book as much the first time through.