BY NICO VREELAND
[In this feature, we highlight a handful of the best book reviews appearing over the weekend in major newspapers.]
Arm still broken. Dictation program annoying, returned. Thus: brevity.
Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked, by James Lasdun. Reviewed by Jenny Turner in the Guardian.
This crazy nonfiction account of an ongoing stalking has been in a bunch of papers recently, but this was my favorite review of it. Unfortunately for Lasdun, his book is one whose prizes can be spoiled by such a review. Turner gives us the juiciest bits of craziness that Lasdun’s stalker evinces. Then Turner recounts Lasdun’s slide, as the book progresses, into self-pitying victimhood, and ends by pitying the stalker more than Lasdun, as the stalker probably suffers from mental illness, while Lasdun just has, it seems to me, an overpowering need for attention and importance.
This Is Running for Your Life, by Michelle Orange. Reviewed by S.J. Culver in the Star-Tribune.
Culver’s review is a short, even-handed rave about this collection of essays. Culver calls it “great fun,” but quotes a few of Orange’s worst lines along with her best. In the end, Culver says “It’s a good book for readers who like to think as they read, and an excellent corrective for those of us who may have fallen out of the habit.”
Other reviews I noticed but am too sick of typing to write up: A rave review of the new Karen Russell story collection, after which I am still not sold. … Reviewer calls the new Jess Walter collection “pungent.” … Not a review, but– Dave Berry won a Pulitzer? … A book about subconscious biases. … Ron Charles calls this book “the year’s best sex comedy about nuclear war between India and Pakistan.” … Doubt about the veracity of a Truman Capote masterpiece. … Maybe the best book title this month.