Literature: for me that means "books that don't seem to fit anywhere else."
Review method--totally subjective and my personal opinion.
Five Stars are for life-altering books that I think you should keep and read again and again.
Four Stars are for great books.
Three Stars are for good books.
All of the above I recommend reading. You will very rarely see me give a review of One Star (awful) or Two Stars (not worth reading) because I usually don't finish books that I don't think are awful and/or not worth reading. Sadly, sometimes, I do get tricked into wasting my time.
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig **** (Four Stars)
This book reminded me of The Satanic Verses. It's a modern take on Hamlet and you'll see the similarities throughout the story. But is the boy right? Is he being haunted by his father? Was his father murdered? Intriguing and thought-provoking, this one really got under my skin.
Insane City by Dave Barry **** (Four Stars)
This could only happen in Miami. A great read.
Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman ---Galaxy Award---Defies categorization
Wow. In hindsight the shocking ending is perfect. I will remember this book forever and, after all, that's the only form of immortality any of us can hope for.
Nuns with Guns by Seth Kaufman ***** (Five Stars)
It's a reality show where nuns compete to buy back guns. Sadly, yes, it is completely believable. Smart, funny,
thought-provoking. Read this.
The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran
*** (Three Stars)
Someone paid these two comedy writers to race each other around the world. Definitely worth reading.
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan ***** (Five Stars)
These fictionalized stories about the children of Africa was shocking and eye-opening. They fight for survival in a world that most of us can only imagine--not that we'd want to imagine it because then we'd have to think about it. It's easy to dismiss their daily horror when it's far away; it's harder when it's on the page in your hand.
The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle **** (Four Stars)
This story of illegal aliens and the Californians who live with them was touching and terrible. You can argue any which way you like, but "illegals" are people, too, with hopes and dreams, who deserve to be treated with compassion and humanity.
When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris **** (Four Stars) 2008
A series of essays that will make you laugh and cry with the author. Beautifully crafted.