This month I read:
We are Called to Rise by Laura McBride. I love a story with multiple narrators when it's written well. In this case, it's done beautifully. Set in Las Vegas, the cast of characters include a young immigrant boy whose family is barely scraping by; an injured soldier struggling with memory loss, pain and depression; a middle-aged woman whose husband recently confessed his infidelity; and a CASA volunteer trying not to get too involved with the children she advocates for. Although they are worlds apart, their lives intersect on one fateful, heart-breaking day. My only complaint about this book is the ending. I felt like the writer was ready for the story to end, so she just bundled it up and tied it in a bow, and that was that. It felt abrupt and a little unrealistic, which felt like quite a departure from the rest of the story. If you read this book (which I still recommend!) I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ending.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. This book, although narrated from the worst of circumstances (the death of a father, the dissolution of a marriage), was a joy to read. Judd Foxman loses his father, whose dying request was for his entire family to sit Shiva all together, for the duration of the 7 day mourning period. This goes about as well as you can imagine for a dysfunctional family who tries to spend as little time together as possible. On top of that, Judd's wife, whom he recently discovered in the act of adultery with his boss, told him that she's pregnant. With Judd's baby. I thought this book was hilarious. I made the mistake of reading several Goodreads reviews right after I finished it, and was surprised at how many people found it terrible and misogynistic. I disagree; I thought it was well-written and funny.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I felt like the whole Internet was telling me to read Rainbow Rowell lately. Alright already, Internet! I read Eleanor and Park in a matter of days. Maybe because it was a YA novel, but mostly because I didn't want to stop. I loved these two misfits and how they found each other in the drama-filled, judgy world that is high school. I loved Eleanor and her bravery to be herself despite her terrible home life. I loved Park and how his personality came to life as his relationship with Eleanor deepened. So Internet, thank you. I think there will be more Rainbow Rowell in my future.
I recently learned that February is Love Your Library month (thanks Bob at Webucator!). All three of these books were checked out from my local library, and I'm a frequent library user and supporter. Libraries have SO much to offer, and their resources go beyond books. I can't recommend enough taking the time to familiarize yourself with your local library and all it has to offer!
How about you, read anything good lately?
From the archives:
- 5 years ago: wearing a statement necklace with shades of berry.
- 4 years ago: wearing a floral skirt, polka dot tights, and a bow.