This Month’s Books – January 2016

First month of 2016, almost in the bag. Yikes. I feel like an old lady, the way time flies by now. (By the way, I bought aluminum foil yesterday and there were like 412 varieties, and I actually did the whole WHEN I WAS A KID THERE WERE TWO KINDS OF ALUMINUM FOIL AND YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE THIS MANY DAMN DECISIONS thing.)

Anyway. Here are the books I read! There’s a lot of ’em!


Ok, this first one is actually from December, and I forgot to include it last month. Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill.


This was a good one, if you are one of those people (like me) that thinks Scientology is… 0_o. The author is the head of the church’s niece, so it makes for interesting reading.



Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. This was a fast read. It’s filled with reminders to see the beauty in life, and was written after the author was diagnosed with breast cancer. These were the things she did to get through it. If life sucks at the moment, this might be a good read for you.
Not My Father’s Son. Okay, I have to admit, firstly, that I love Alan Cumming and think he is fantastic. As Eli Gold on ‘The Good Wife’, he gives me life. Okay? Okay.
Case in point. Anyway, this was a good one! This is a memoir about his childhood, his abusive father, and finding out a big family secret when he went on the TV show ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ This was a really good read, and his writing tone is very conversational, and funny, so it’s not one of those dry, navel-gazing memoirs.
Up next is Geronimo, by Geronimo and S.M. Barrett.
This one has me a little conflicted. It’s short, easy to read, and is in Geronimo’s own words. S.M. Barrett is the man who edited the story, and he was the man that had to appeal to President Roosevelt to get permission for Geronimo to tell his own damn story.
It’s light on fighting white people (not a bad decision on Geronimo’s part, obviously, as he told this story while on the reservation at Fort Sill, Oklahoma) and heavy on fighting Mexican soldiers. (The story about losing his family will give you feelings.) The entire thing, aside from a few sidenotes, is just Geronimo telling stories about his life, and I think that’s what makes it both good and bad. You get the story right from the man himself, but it’s not a comprehensive accounting.
And now…the last two, which I shall list together.



Tarzan of the Apes and The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Allow me to explain. Every so often I attempt to read a classic, and most of the time this turns out to be a bad, bad decision. ‘Frankenstein’ was the worst. ‘Dracula’ was meh. DO NOT make me talk about ‘Wuthering Heights’ or ‘Doctor Zhivago’. Oh man, in Doctor Zhivago I was hoping the Reds would come in and murder everyone just so the frigging book could end.
So I was nervous about Tarzan. And then I started reading, and…I loved it. Like…loved it. No one ever told me that Tarzan was just straight up pulp fiction pandering, and it is awesome. It is batshit crazy, in the best sort of way. Ape man! Swinging from trees! All muscular and attractive! Is actually a titled English lord! Teaches himself how to read! Kills lions with a knife!
It’s largest fault is the racism. It’s not pretty, and I skimmed those parts, as they were obviously not integral to the story.
But I can understand why, after reading this, Tarzan became so popular. This was written in 1912, and I can only imagine that women were reading this and busting out of their corsets.
The second book, ‘The Return of Tarzan,’ is not nearly as good. It’s all right, but not as good. There are over 20 volumes about Tarzan, and I can’t imagine reading all of them, but this is the only book I have read in years where something happened and I *literally* clutched the book (or in this case, Kindle) to my chest and whispered this book is so awesome. 
Go forth and read.