The week in review

I kept myself very busy this week, but I managed to get lots of reading in. This weekend I am going to stop complaining, and embrace my least favorite season* and make pumpkin bread and watch football. Happy now, fall lovers?

A Piece of the World was perfectly solid historical fiction. I might be damning with faint praise a little, because this didn’t especially stand out for me, and I doubt I will remember it all that much in a year. But I’d still definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something good, fast but not too light. If you like this kind of thing, pick it up.

I absolutely loved Little Fires Everywhere. This is exactly the kind of thing I always want to read; suburban family drama, lots of siblings, yes yes yes. I may be the oddball here because I didn’t really love her first book, and most of my reader friends are having opposite takes on the two. This one definitely had a couple problem areas with plot, but I just didn’t care because I loved it so much.

Before Everything had ups and downs, mostly a disappointment for me. This is another example of the kind of thing I love to read: a group of lifelong friends gather together late in life when one is dying. I’m always going to read something that’s about female friendship and/or older women, so this kind of coasted on my general fondness, more than anything specific to this book. The writing was just very weak, and the structure felt lazy. I didn’t end up caring about any of the characters. I do have to give credit for some matter of fact references to abortions in their pasts; it always bothers me when novels act like that’s not a thing, so I like to acknowledge the flip side of that.

I just finished A Kind of Freedom and it’s going to be in my head for a while. It’s very fast and compelling. I loved the structure of this one; multigenerational family saga, and it kind of takes turns among three time periods. I appreciated how she didn’t shy away from difficult topics, and she let her characters make some really bad decisions. This is kind of heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Very interesting debut and I’m looking forward to whatever she does next.

Today I started The Golden House and I’m already having second thoughts. It’s been a very long time since I read anything by Salman Rushdie, and I don’t remember his writing style being so overbearing. Maybe he’s always like this and I blocked it out? The jacket describes this as Great Gatsby meets Bonfire of the Vanities, which should be a home run for me. So far it feels very overwritten and like it’s taking forever to get started. I hope this gets better because I have a ridiculously big stack out from the library right now, so I don’t have time for a dud!



*three way tie with winter and spring