I got a lot of reading time in this week. Finished up three quick ones and then started in on a long one.
First up, I finished Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I’m still not really sure what to make of this. I really liked her Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and Spoon is my son’s favorite picture book. In general I find her quite funny and charming. Having said that, this feels like a vanity project. A semi organized collection of anecdotes and observations is pleasant enough, but in the age of social media, does it really merit a book? Apparently it does, so, good for her.
Slightly funnier, but much less charming, next up was Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I was very proud of myself for getting my library hold in early enough to get it the week it came out. Last I checked there were 1,500 holds so this was quite an accomplishment. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing I enjoyed about this. It’s like people took Where’d You Go, Bernadette? as an affectionate lampooning of Seattle and she wanted to clarify, “No, seriously, I hate it here.” She’s very witty, I’ll give her that, but it feels like she’s just daring the reader to hate this character, and, well, it worked.
Miller’s Valley was next on my list. I kind of rushed through this one a little because it was due back the day after I started it. (TFW all your holds come up at once.) It wasn’t grabbing me at first but it won me over about halfway through, and I loved the direction it went in. Anna Quindlen is always pretty reliable in my experience; this gets a solid recommend from me.
After zipping through these, I was ready to sink my teeth into something big. I’m about halfway through The Nix right now and loving it. Early on, there’s a passage about Samuel, a disillusioned college professor who stopped teaching his students the difference between “lay” and “lie” etc once he realized that the nearest gas station was called the EZ-Kum-In-‘n-Go. I feel your pain! Hang in there, Samuel!