Last night we went to this 80s themed Homecoming dance thing. It was fun. I may have forgotten about the theme, or I may have not cared about the theme, who can really say? The point is, while I am aware that Harley Quinn first appeared in 1992, sometimes your strong personal brand comes first.
I really wanted to love The Caregiver, but in the end, I only liked it as a friend. This had dual storylines, one in the main character’s childhood and one in adulthood, and that’s a device I typically love. But I felt like both of them were underdeveloped, especially the adult one. I liked this character a lot, and I just wanted so much more of her. I’m usually a sucker for an epilogue but this one was a total bust. I did not care at all about her and some minor character and was so disappointed by the turn it took at the end. This felt like the kind of thing authors like more than readers do.
I had very high hopes for Tell The Machine Goodnight. I’m kind of sold just on the title alone. I love stuff that takes place in the slightly distant future, and anything that sounds kind of like Black Mirror but isn’t Black Mirror is usually my very specific cup of tea. This mostly lived up to my expectations, but it could have been better. Sometimes connected short stories can feel more like a disorganized novel, and that’s where this landed. This is billed as a novel but it was a little too disjointed for me. The author almost had too many good ideas, and just as something is getting interesting, it’s virtually abandoned. There was a lot more time spent on Rhett, who I thought of as the least interesting character, than Val, who was to me the most fascinating. I did really like this, and will definitely read her next one, but I could have loved it. (I could have loved it if only a whole bunch of stuff was different applies to a lot of things in my life, tbh.)
It’s almost Halloween, so that means time for something scary! I learned a while ago that I am criminally late to the Shirley Jackson party, so I finally got to The Haunting of Hill House. Oh man, did I love these characters. I could read about Eleanor and Theodora forever. I thought this would be a little scarier than it was, and I didn’t love it as much as I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but this is great, and Shirley is great, and why am I so late in realizing this?
Right now I’m trying to keep an open mind through Sheila Heti’s Motherhood. I’m always interested in this subject, but I’m a little annoyed that it’s billed as a novel, because it sure feels like a memoir. I’m sticking with it because a lot of people love it, but so far it’s pretty heavy on the navel gazing and not much else. The upside is, if I don’t like it, I’m just going to reread After Birth, because that’s a novel about motherhood that I know I love. Kind of a win/win I guess, now I don’t know what I’m even hoping for!