Summer Reading: Beach Books

Since I went to the beach, I plowed throw a number of books. Rather than do several different posts (and because I am lazy), I’m just combining those in this one post with abbreviated reviews.

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

Every time I crack open another Fforde book, I get ever so slightly nervous that I somehow won’t love it as much as I loved the last one, and every time those fears are completely unfounded.

The most recent book in the adventures of middle-aged-semi-retired-book-ninja Thursday Next, Fforde delivers his usual servings of hilarity, drama, mystery, nonsense, and subtle social criticism. There really isn’t much more I can say, without possible spoilers for earlier books, but I cannot recommend The Thursday Next series or Jasper Fforde enough. He writes books for people who love books, and succeeds fantastically.

Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

Another series! Summers are for series apparently.

I read the previous Odd Thomas books last summer, and found this to be a satisfying end to the saga. The pairing of Odd’s light comical narration with the sinister occurrences of the book, makes categorizing this book difficult: very suspenseful, rather endearing, momentarily hilarious, and mildly tragic.

Overall, the best book in the series is the first, and while not the most Literary (whatever that means) read, they are engrossing books.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield

Ever since nabbing a calligraphy set from an antique shop several years ago, I have had a growing interest in the form of the written word. This book fanned the flame. Now I can’t drive down the road without attempting (and failing) to identify what typefaces where used in company signage.

As a type novice, Garfield made entering the word of font design accessible and intriguing. Littering the work with anecdotes about modern companies and tales of our favorite fonts, the book remained free from alienating jargon and mind-numbing tangents.

I highly recommend the book to any person who deeply enjoys a well-designed ampersand, or ponders the merits of serifs in modern design.


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