But anyway. I finished two more books this week, which makes 36 for 2012. And which, frankly, is the most books I've ever read in my life. That's like 3/4 of a book or something, per week. Or whatever. I don't believe in math. I could figure that shit out but it would take too long and I am not going to deal with that rainbow of crazy right now.
Here's what I read, my two last reads of 2012, completed after the world was supposed to end. Suck it, Mayans.
The Myth of Solid Ground by David Ulin
Short review, because I'm afraid I'll accidentally write something to embarrass myself when discussing a book that was written by a professor in my program (who also happens to be the LA Times' book critic). Luckily, I loved the book, so I don't think I'll say something stupid, but you never know. The night is young.
The Myth of Solid Ground is an examination of what it means to be a Californian, to make our homes on top of the crisscrossing fault lines that run beneath our state. The book is a wonderful mix of science, history, and reporting. It's about the people who think they can predict earthquakes (yes, including the total quacks) and the experiential part of earthquakes that makes them a bit ineffable and hard to pin down. Ulin uses the term "geopoetry" and it fits well. I really enjoyed this book, especially the passages when he describes his drives around the state to meet with people of all different ilk. Ulin has a wonderful style that moves freely from personal narrative to interview to historical face.
My recommendation: A great read for people from the Golden State. Or anyone else who wants to know why we would be crazy enough to live here.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Whoa. This book.
Here's what I'm going to do--this first paragraph won't have any spoilers in it, so if you haven't read it yet and you don't want to know anything, don't read anything after this paragraph. Short version: It's a good book, and it's the book that everyone is and will be talking about. You should read it. It is definitely a page turner. But honestly I didn't really like the characters or the author or the whole idea of it. It made me feel kind of hopeless and angry and frustrated. And I felt like I was deliberately deceived, by the author through her narrator which I am not a fan of. But since I'm 100% sure it will be a movie and it's already a part of the zeitgeist, just read it. And then we can complain about it together. Or perhaps you will think I am nuts, and that's okay too.