The week in review

Got a lot of reading time this week. Lucky me! I’m trying to get as much in as I can since I don’t know how much time I’ll have while the kids are on winter break. And as always, my library pile is about a mile high. I think I’m out of my slump though!

Finished Mister Monkey over the weekend. I’ve read several of Francine Prose’s books over the years, and I’m not sure I’ve ever thought she was great, (though Blue Angel is a standout) but she’s pretty reliably good. So this was good, but I just really think it could have been a lot better. Multiple storylines, great setting, the subject was great, it should have added up to more. Maybe my expectations were too high but it just didn’t land for me.

Next up was The Drowning Girls. Why do I keep on with the thrillers? Do I ever like them? I think I end up liking one out of every ten I read. This one was for me, exceptionally bad. The writing was good but that’s about all I can say about it. The bulk of the story is about a (super hot) teenage girl’s dangerous obsession with her friend’s middle aged stepfather. This seems to be a much more common problem in pop culture than in real life. Much of the story hinges on the stepfather making a bunch of dumb decisions and trying to cover the whole thing up and it makes no sense; he didn’t do anything so has nothing to hide. If he was just upfront with his wife from the beginning there’s almost no story. The point of the book seems to be how terrible it is that a false accusation of assault can ruin a man’s life, which, sure, fine, but is that really the cause you want to take up?  There’s also a weird pointless subplot about a mountain lion. Pretty terrible book all around.

After these two disappointments, I needed something I knew would be good so I read Tiny Little Thing. Man, I am really crazy about this author. This is a fairly simple story, very elegant and cool characters, great 60s Boston setting, I didn’t love it quite as much as A Certain Age, but this was a solid hit and I’m excited to finish out the Schuyler sisters trilogy.

Next, I revisited an old favorite, The Westing Game. I’ll have a longer write-up for Does It Hold Up? soon, but in short, I read this when I was in fourth grade, and it’s the first book I really remember falling in love with. I read it several times back then but never as an adult. Oh wow, I can’t even express how much I loved it. I LOVE THIS BOOK. The joy of this book is that it feels like a child’s idea of what being an adult is like. Perfect for ages 8-11 and why hasn’t Wes Anderson made it into a movie? I can’t imagine anything more perfect.

Last night I started The Unseen World. This one has been on my TBR list for quite a while, and I actually had to return it to the library unread twice, a victim of “all my holds came up at once” syndrome. I loved Heft by the same author and I’m about 100 pages into this and loving it so far. I think this is going to be a very emotional one. I have such a busy weekend coming up but I’m so excited about this book, I may not be getting much sleep. Happy reading! And running and baking of course. Going to be doing all three this weekend!

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