The week in review

Calling him Roger hasn’t really stuck, but “Bubsy Malone” is starting to catch on and I love it.

bubsy malone
He can charm you with a smile, and a style all his own…

The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky was very enjoyable for me. I could relate to a lot in it, and I loved that it was just kind of an ordinary story about an ordinary person. I could see why someone would hate it, so I don’t know, read it, but don’t complain about it to me if you don’t like it.

One of my favorite genres is now, “stuff that’s similar to or inspired by Handmaid’s Tale, but isn’t Handmaid’s Tale because I secretly don’t care for Margaret Atwood.” Sorry, I don’t know the exact Dewey# for that, but I do know that Red Clocks is in there. Oh man, Red Clocks. First of all, the cover alone is Pulitzer-worthy, or whatever awards go to book covers, and I know there are some. I love the premise of this: it’s the not too distant future, and the personhood amendment has been passed, making abortion illegal in every state. Great premise, and mostly stellar execution, although it’s a little uneven in spots. There are four main storylines that all intersect, and a very detached writing style that works well with two, not as effective with the other two. My other quibble is that she’s going for realism, and I just didn’t buy that Canada would work to enforce our stupid abortion ban in their country, and I don’t think she made a convincing case.  But otherwise this was great and I couldn’t put it down.

Also unputdownable for me was You Think It, I’ll Say It. So I might be a Curtis Sittenfeld superfan at this point. Seriously, she’s had an amazing career and she’s only 42, which is very very young. I was interested in how a short story collection of hers would be, since she isn’t exactly known for brevity. Happy to say, she nailed this. She can really really capture awkward. Some of these stories are seriously cringe-worthy. I loved every story in here, and my favorite was Bad Latch, which was funny and relatable and also surprisingly poignant. I’m not crying, you’re crying, shut up.

So since I loved Tom McAllister’s recent novel so much, I had to go back and read his first one. I don’t know how much The Young Widower’s Handbook will really stay with me, but it was funny and compelling and touching, so not too shabby. I really like this guy’s writing style. It’s no fault of its own if it doesn’t stick with me, it’s just that I read a lot, but I promise to at least not get it confused with that Jonathan Tropper book with a similar title.

Right now I am zipping right through The Gunners. I love it so far. It’s kind of a Secret History that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Throw some Big Chill in there too. I have about 52 million books out from the library right now, so it was a big decision reading this right now, and so far I’m feeling like I made the right choice. Going to get back to it right now!

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