I feel back in the swing of life, which is hilarious since this is probably the hottest weekend since I moved here and even with the temp in my apartment set to 75F, the a/c has been on the whole time. (Which makes me feel like I'm melting and is awful, yet has not stopped me from running around.)
Solipsist by Henry Rollins. It's the last of the books I read this weekend, but I'm putting it first because I didn't finish it. It's depressing as hell, a stream of consciousness narrative about suicide and depression and murder. It's supposedly fiction, but it reminds me of nothing so much as Grey by Pete Wentz, which I still haven't read more than 10ish pages of. So much fiction is really autobiography or wishful thinking in disguise, in my experience, and this (and Grey) moreso than most. Grey even has passages I recognized easily from PWentz's online journals (yes, I'm an aficionado, ahem); I'm sure that if I were more familiar with HRollins's journals from the late 90s, I'd recognize passages from those in this.
Anyway, I had to give it up about 1/4 of the way through, because there's not even a narrative, it's just fantasies about killing animals and suicide and murder and hopelessness the whole way through.
Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. I read this when I was... seven? I loved it back then, and it stuck with me all these years; Minnehaha especially. Two kids, exploring the woods, hanging out in a secret clubhouse, meeting cool adults. It was great to reread it. Not so great was the stuff that I realized I did not even remember being in the book -- I remembered the girl character and boy character doing the same things and having basically the same thoughts. But actually there is a whole thing from the male characters about how curtains are for women, and only girls are interested in fashion; the girl characters squeal at bugs and mice and run away from scary things while the boys are brave, blah blah blah.
I did not remember that being in the books at all. It made me wonder if I absorbed it without realizing as a child, or if I immediately discarded it as ridiculous and rewrote the book in my head. Probably a bit of both, but more the latter? I hope more the latter.
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek MD and T.J. Mitchell. Loved this!! An account memoir-style of Melinek's first year as a forensic pathologist. Despite all the murder and suicide and 9/11 stuff, it was a really light read. I read it Friday night all the way through, and really enjoyed it. (Totally recommended for people who are doing research for characters, too; there is a lot of detail.) However, I was not thrilled with her chapter on how much she hates people who commit suicide. Her dad committed suicide when she was a child and she has a lot to say about people who do that, and lingers on the subject in a truly obnoxious way. Suicides are threaded throughout the book, but there's a whole chapter devoted to some bullshit. Skip that, and the book is fantastic.
...and, of course, I am reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie as I said I would do, but I keep putting it down. I'm finding it a slog, even though it has bits that shine.