The week in review

This was Dash and Lucy’s first full week of school. It went well but it felt like it was about 11 days long. If the first eight days of middle school are representative of the whole experience, this will be a breeze. (Don’t listen to the narrator.) Anyway here’s a picture of our cat reading Garfield.

Bubba reading Garfield.
I definitely take more pictures of him than I do of my kids. 

The Summer Wives was a perfect end of summer novel. You really can always rely on Beatriz Williams to deliver. This jumps around among three different time periods and I was equally absorbed in all of them. The reveal toward the end was somewhat predictable but the very very end was so charming, it was worth it.

Recently I came across someone’s ‘five best books so far this year’ post on Twitter that contained four books I loved, plus one I’d never heard of. Obviously I had to run right out and get Fight No More and I’m so glad I did. I love love love connected short stories when they’re done right like this one. All of these could work well as standalone, but the connections really enhanced the experience. I could have gone on reading this forever. I’m definitely going to read more from her, and stop getting her confused with a different Lydia whose book I hated. High recommend on this one.

I feel like I am the very very last one to the Never Let Me Go party. Like, has literally everyone I know already read this? Well, whatever, I never hesitate to jump on a bandwagon, but I must point out that I was slightly ahead of everyone else on the Oscar Isaac train. This book was a little bit spoiled for me by Better Book Titles, not ruined, but I like to know very little about things going in, and that aspect wasn’t completely spelled out until about halfway through. So I wish I hadn’t known so specifically what was going on here, but I still loved this, and it would be an amazing book club pick and is something that will probably feel relevant and topical forever. I can see why everyone loves this.

Right now I’m bouncing back and forth between two books, and they are both a little frustrating. For the most part, I’m enjoying The Sparsholt Affair, but I feel like it’s practically daring the reader to give up. Every time it starts to get going it’s like the author decides, hey let’s do a bunch of really boring overly descriptive scenes that go nowhere for 30 pages, that’ll be fun. I’m sticking with it despite its best efforts to repel me. I’m making it sound worse than it is; I am very interested in these characters and in finding out what happens, but it’s taking a very long time to get there.

I needed a break from that one, so in between sections I’ve been picking up The Bed Moved. I’m trying to read more short story collections because I love them. Most of these are very good; she’s got a great style and terrific dark humor. But once in a while there are some real throwaways that feel too self indulgent. I almost didn’t read beyond the first one because it was so nonsensical and pointless. I’m glad I kept with it, but it feels like she didn’t have enough material to merit an entire collection. So, two books to finish before next week, I hope at least one is worth it. We shall see!