The Unfinished Angel: Review Haiku

Cherubim and
seraphim meet Roberto
Benigni. Sweet but twee.

The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech. Harper/Cotler, 2009, 176 pages.


Buyology: Review Haiku

Two parts scary brilliance
to three parts School of Duh.
All hail marketing!

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom. Broadway, 2008, 240 pages.


Shop Class as Soulcraft: Review Haiku

Sort of like Plimpton
writing on football: oddly

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford. Penguin, 2009, 246 pages.


Stitches: Review Haiku

Holy shite. The lithe,
winsome line of his work masked
the heart in his throat.

Stitches by David Small. Norton, 2009, 320 pages.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Review Haiku

If only they had
gotten Anna K. and
Emma Bovary, too.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. Quirk Classics, 2009, 317 pages.


Fire: Review Haiku

Rip-snorting, brutal,
graceful, and steamy. A worthy
prequel indeed.

Fire by Kristin Cashore. Dial, 2009, 461 pages.


Bad Mother: Review Haiku

Equal parts cringe-worthy
and stand-up-and-cheer -- which
is, I think, the point.


Front and Center: Review Haiku

D. J. makes me want
to move home and be sixteen
again. Except not.

Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. HMCo, 2009, 272 pages.


When Details Fail

So I just finished reading Martin Lindstrom's Buyology, a pop-business book about the ways our unconscious/subconscious mind affects our behavior and buying decisions (review to come in a couple weeks). It's a mostly interesting read, with some moments of surprising insight amid a fair amount of "well, yeah. Duh."

I really enjoyed the first few chapters, but then about halfway through, the author totally lost me. In a chapter about superstition and ritual, he made two statements that irritated me. First he said that, after two airlines experienced crashes on flights numbered 191, the airlines discontinued that flight number out of superstition.

Well, duh. Don't all airlines do that after a crash, out of respect? Can you even find a flight 11 or 93 or 800 on any airline today?

Then, in talking about sports superstitions, he said that Michael Jordan always wore his Carolina jersey underneath his "yellow Chicago Bulls jersey." Ahem. The Bulls do not wear and never have worn yellow. I get that you're Danish and may not know all the nuances of the NBA, but come on -- it's JORDAN. If anybody's a sports brand, he is.

Anyway, the author lost tons of credibility for me with those two little statements, and I finished the rest of the book more out of obligation than pleasure. Has this ever happened to you?


Personal History: Review Haiku

She seems like a stand-
up dame, but holy heck, the
MONEY! Staggering.

Personal History by Katharine Graham. Knopf, 1997, 656 pages.

#50 on The Frakking LIST.


Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters: Review Haiku

Alvin, I'm with you:
Camping is not for the faint
of heart or backside.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Schwartz & Wade/Random, 2009, 170 pages.


When You Reach Me: Review Haiku

Damn, it really is
that good. A mind-bending, time-
shifting tour de force.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Wendy Lamb/Random, 2009, 197 pages.


The Potato Chip Puzzles: Review Haiku

Tasty brain candy
and a winning moral lesson
to boot. Good fun.


Vacation Roundup, 2009 Beach Edition

Books read: 7 (appalling)
Pages read: 2297 (respectable)
Books from The LIST brought: 3 (ambitious?)
Books from The LIST read: 1 (pathetic)
Days until next beach vacation: 357 (sigh)