The week in review

Very productive and busy week with the kids back in school, and I am not going to complain about the weather, even though it’s almost April and I’m still so cold.

I have a ton of books out from the library right now, and having that creeping awareness that something will go back unread. With so much to choose from, I finally settled on Idaho. I am not sure what the fuss is about this one. There is some good writing and I do really like the structure, but the plot and characters leave a lot to be desired. My main gripe is that most of the action centers around an event that makes no sense at all, either in motivation or execution. They keep going over and over it, and I kept expecting it to make sense eventually, but it was a real wtf moment. My second gripe is that the primary relationship here, between Ann and Wade, really romanticizes a woman sacrificing so much of herself for her man. I know lots and lots of people love it when women don’t matter but that’s gotten pretty old for me. Having said that, it’s an interesting debut and I’ll keep my eye on this author.

Next, I reread Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant as my throwback of the month. I’ve already written about it here, but I will say again that I love this book, and I love Anne Tyler, and this was as good, if not better, than I remember. I love family sagas, and complicated characters, and sibling rivalry stories, and this is just all so perfectly done. The sibling stuff is even extra enhanced by the fact that my own sister hates Anne Tyler; we differ on this one but I always appreciate strong opinions.

Next up, I read Instant Love, since I’m still fangirling all over Jami Attenberg. This read like kind of a precursor to All Grown Up; interconnected stories, very engaging writing, quick, enjoyable read. She has only gotten better over time, but this is still worth picking up.

Now I am about halfway through The Circle. I resisted this one for a long time even though it seems right up my alley. I just always feel like I don’t like Dave Eggers, despite the fact that I’ve really liked everything I’ve ever read of his. So maybe that’s unfair, but I firmly believe that love/hate is the appropriate feeling to have about the person who started McSweeney’s. So far it’s very interesting and readable; I’m curious where it’s going and also pretty sure that it’s longer than it needs to be. But it’s definitely getting its message across much more smoothly than that Black Mirror episode. Don’t tell me how it turns out!