non-fiction round-up

It seems that I’ve been on a bit of a non-fiction kick lately.  Also, a non-writing kick — so here’s a quick attempt to catch up a little bit.

Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, was my most recent e-book venture.  This book is nothing more or less than a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at the strategies, personalities, and relationships of the 2008 presidential election: the tense clashes of the Democratic primary, McCain’s roller coaster ride to the Republican nomination, and the drama that led up to the historic election of Barack Obama.

Though largely non-sourced, the descriptions of the private meetings and behind-closed-doors relationships ring true with what is publicly known about the candidates, their advisors, and spouses.  And it’s fascinating to be able to slide behind those closed doors, to see the campaigns in action.  For anyone who’s been a fan of The West Wing, or who turns daily to a news site’s political blog for campaign gossip, this book will be an irresistable draw.

When I started listening to Kristin Chenoweth’s memoir on audio, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get all the way through the chirpy, rambling narrative.  And then I started giggling along with her — and didn’t stop long enough to think again about turning off the book.  A Little Bit Wicked wanders up and down an indefinite timeline as Chenoweth, a Tony award-winning actress, tells stories of success and struggle, stage and screen — with faith, friendship, and even a little bit of romance and heartbreak thrown in.  And while the years, or even the general order of events can be hard to keep track of, Chenoweth shares the lessons of her life with such humor and heart that it’s impossible not to enjoy the ride.

I have one problem with Sloane Crosley — she’s no David Sedaris.  I imagine most essay writers have a love-hate relationship with David Sedaris’ writing.  Love, because he shows what their chosen medium has the potential to be.  Hate because it has to be so hard to try to live up to that potential.  Crosley’s collection of essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, is often funny, and even witty at times.  Her essays revolve around the quirks of her suburban childhood and New York City life.  They’re reasonably entertaining, and Crosley has done a nice job of recording them on audio.  But while there’s nothing wrong, exactly, with her work…well, like I said, she’s no David Sedaris.

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~ by Molly on March 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “non-fiction round-up”

  1. […] non-fiction round-up […]

  2. […] way through Sloane Crosley’s second book of essays, How Did You Get This Number?   I had my reservations about her first collection, but either this is a stronger outing or her voice is growing on me, because I’m appreciating […]

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