“Malaise,” by Nancy Lemann gave me severe case of malaise. I couldn’t figure out what in hell the author was talking about for the first ten chapters and by Chapter 11 I didn’t care. And oi vey–the repetitive narrative—as if the heroine was senile! Maybe Lemann was trying to be funny by using redundancies (a trick I often employ when writing humor) but it was annoying. Damn annoying.
I enjoyed Alice Steinbach’s “The Miss Dennis School of Writing: And Other Lessons from a Woman’s Life,” a golden oldie book of humorous essays that premiered in 1996. However, I quickly became bored because Ms. Steinbach covers the same material I’ve written about for years in my “Udder Nonsense” column and “Madcap Mary” books. The only difference: she’s a world famous, wealthy Pulitzer Prize winning writer. And I am not.
“Lost in Shangri-La” by Mitchell Zuckoff is a breathtaking true adventure story set in Dutch New Guinea during the waning days of World War II. It involves a plane crash, handsome daring heroes, warring cannibals, and a beautiful party girl. Meticulously researched, “Lost in Shangri-La” is a great read. Can’t wait for the movie.