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Half-Empty -David Rakoff
Rakoff is my favourite melancholy essayist. I also love his appearances on This American Life. These personal essays are darkly funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and always wonderfully written. The essay on "Rent" alone had me laughing my head off and reading it out loud to people. The essay on his cancer diagnosis and treatment is powerful and raw.

So Much For That -Lionel Shriver
Well, I can't say that I 'enjoyed' this book, because man, was it depressing. It was really interesting and well-written, though, so worth a read if you're not too sad already! The protagonist has been planning all his life to retire to a small island nation, where his nest egg would let him live like a king. The night he's about to leave, his wife reveals that she has terminal cancer, and will need his money for treatment, as his work insurance has recently been slashed. It's a pretty damning statement on the American health care system, that's for sure!

Mary Ann In Autumn -Armistead Maupin
Yay, new Tales of the City book! Unlike the last one, which wasn't great, this book was a pretty great return to the old school TotC style. Funny, sad, weird, awesome.

The Hunger Games -Suzanne Collins
I finally succumbed to the (imagined) pressure, and read the first book in the popular series. And......I liked it! I don't want to overuse the word 'compelling', but that's how I'd describe it--once I started, I didn't want to put it down!

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January 2011

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