“Flat Broke with Two Goats” by Jennifer McGaha
I stumbled on this one via the Big Library Read. “Flat Broke with Two Goats” was purported to be a charming memoir about a life in Appalachia that doesn’t go as planned. The author is surprised to learn that they owe a large amount of back taxes to the government, so McGaha and her husband let their house go into foreclosure and wind up living in a “rustic” three-story cabin at the base of a waterfall, where they proceed to make a series of even more questionable financial decisions. I didn’t find the story all that charming.
“The Paradise Snare” by AC Crispin
I don’t think I’ve read a paperback sci-fi yarn since high school, when I found out that Rockford liked “Dune” so I decided to read it so I’d have something to talk to him about (and then before I knew it I’d read the whole series and was looking for all the sci-fi to consume). But then awhile ago someone on Twitter was talking about AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, and it sounded intriguing. I requested a copy of “The Paradise Snare” from a library in a galaxy far, far away, and once it finally got here I read it in just a couple of days. I love Han Solo, and I enjoyed this origin story enough to read the next one. “The Hutt Gambit” should be arriving any day now. I’ll be curious to see whether “Solo” takes any cues from Crispin’s stories.
“I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death” by Maggie O’Farrell
I think I originally read about “I Am, I Am, I Am” in the New York Times Book Review. I was expecting to be moved, to cry and to emerge with a greater appreciation for life and all its frailty. But the essays really just left me a little more paranoid than usual about life and all its frailty. This shouldn’t have surprised me, knowing me as I do.
If you’re interested in seeing everything I’ve read this year — and why wouldn’t you be? — you can check out my 2018 Reading Challenge at Goodreads.