The Reader by Bernhard Schlink was a difficult story to digest. The book starts out as a sort of The Graduate-esque coming-of-age love story and then morphs into a courtroom drama that challenges the most open of minds. There are bad crimes and then there are Really Bad Crimes, and I resented the author's plea to have me walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes before I judged Mrs. Schmitz's role in a crime that was truly monstrous. I didn't even like Mrs. Schmitz from the beginning so I wasn't all that invested in the outcome.
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. This book was utterly annoying. I Usually like a good recovery story but this -true to its title- was more of a love story. After rehab and becoming sober, the author wrote an entire book recreating her life-long love affair with alcohol, almost as if it were a lover she was fondly remembering, nay, obsessing over after the end of an affair. Wonderfully reminiscent for her but booorring for everyone else; after a chapter or two I just felt exasperated. Enough already with the magnificent and glorious qualities of your lover! It was like hearing a teenage girl gushing about her first crush. Or grandma going on and on about her exceptional, beautiful, talented grandchildren, pulling out pictures and everything, for hours and hours. Or hearing about someone's fantastic and amazing pet and would you like Fido to demonstrate some tricks just so you can see how phenomenal he is.
See what I mean? Tiresome.
*geh* The whole book was like this until the very end when even the author finally had enough of herself and checked into a rehab facility. I would have been more interested in just how she overcame such an addiction than to hear, ad nauseam, about the addiction. Reader beware.