Quick takes- July 2017

Made for Love. 5 stars. Super twisted and weird. Strangely touching at the same time. I think I'll probably read everything she writes from now on.

Swimming Lessons. 2 stars. Ugh, where do I start? So tedious and badly done. I feel like I love epistolary novels, except that so many of them are bad.

Eat Only When You're Hungry. 5 stars. I loved the writing, and loved how it let things be complicated. I don't know who I liked or who I was rooting for. This is a little gem.

The Seven...

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Hamster love story

What can you say about a 2 year old hamster who died? That she was cute and furry? That she loved corn, her wheel, and Lucy?

Poor Lucy was born into the wrong family when it comes to pets. She would own a zoo if it were up to her. Her ideal home would have seven cats, four dogs, three rats, and maybe a couple guinea pigs. Dash is skittish about most animals, and has always been especially scared of dogs. Rich likes dogs, but Dash's phobia gives me...

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When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange…

"Marriage doesn't hurt the cuddling or even change the sex all that much, but it does do something very bad to kissing."

I could pick about 52 million relevant quotes from Sarah Dunn's amazing novel, The Arrangement, but I think this one sums it up best. I was not prepared for how funny and how deep and how thought provoking and how meaningful and how poignant this was going to be. This is a story about a couple, Owen and Lucy, who, after many years and one child...

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Yep, still there

Jenny opened a plastic compact, looked into it, and then snapped it shut, as if merely making certain that she was still there.

That little bit from Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant has stuck with me for about 30 years now, and it flashes through my head every time I catch a quick glimpse of myself in a mirror. Still there! Little moments like this are just one of the 52 million reasons I love Anne Tyler like no other. My first Anne Tyler was The Accidental...

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The week in review

My best friend had a baby this week! It was otherwise uneventful. Next week my kids are on spring break, and it's my birthday, AND Jami Attenberg is doing a reading here, so I'm not sure how much reading time I'll get in. But I love birthdays and school holidays and visiting new babies so the trade-off will be worth it.

I finished Little Deaths, and even with low expectations, it was a disappointment. I had been wondering why it was set in the 60s but then I found out it's based on a real...

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With some luck and love life’s gonna be so sweet

I was making a bunch of desserts recently, and I wondered why it is that I hate to cook but love to bake, when it's just as much work, if not more. I didn't wonder very long though because the answer was obvious. Duh, desserts are delicious. Kidding, sort of, because I suppose there are some savory items that are also delicious, although the only one that comes to mind is a tuna melt. The actual answer is that cooking is obligatory, baking is celebratory. I mean, sometimes I'm just...

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You know who you are

A week after finishing Truth and Beauty, I'm still mulling it over. Something about this book really brought me down; I mean, other than the fact that it's a really depressing memoir about someone plagued by terrible health problems for most of her life until eventually dying of a heroin overdose. What also saddens me about this is that it's a story of this very important, decades-long friendship between two women who barely seem to like each other. They have so much animosity and...

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The particular sadness of Warriors cake

warriors cake

Tuesday morning, five days before Christmas, about five million things on my to-do list. (Or maybe it was 52 million.) I was in total mom martyr mode, my stupid warts were hurting me so much, and I had made three separate trips to the hardware store, searching in vain for the right light bulbs for a hard to reach light fixture in the house. (The guy in the hardware store told me if I got the wrong kind, the light would explode, so that was comforting.) The light thing had really sent me over...

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