02 January 2014

Best Books of 2013, Part 2

Saddest Ending: Herman Wouk, MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR. The dangers of Shirley-ing are not to be understated.
Most Depressing Nonfiction
Personal: THE JOURNALS OF JOHN CHEEVER. You know how some people joke about a certain pop star who writes songs about all of her exes, and how maybe she's the problem? John was the problem. He was also so talented, and it's such a shame.
Political: Helaine Olen, POUND FOOLISH. One in a series of books this year to convince readers that they will never be able to retire, because either they or the system are flawed. (Or both, I suppose.)
Scariest Book: Chad Kultgen, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MALE

Best Books With The Worst Endings
Kate Atkinson, LIFE AFTER LIFE
Marisha Pessl, NIGHT FILM
Least Necessary Comeback
Helen Fielding, BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY. I really liked and will gladly defend BRIDGET JONES' DIARY as an artful piece of work, imitated to inferiority. I didn't mind BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON. But even Fielding's surprises on re-encountering the character who made her famous couldn't save this book from being a slog. Bridget's lucky cluelessness just doesn't wear well any more.

Worst Nonfiction: Drew Manning, FIT 2 FAT 2 FIT. A moratorium please on all of the "I did X with my health, which means it's easy and anyone can do it" books.

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