The week in review

So hi, I kind of forgot about this. I’m going to try to get back on track to posting every Friday. I forget to post but I never forget to read. I also didn’t forget to go to San Francisco for the Napa Ragnar. Gotta say, that race was pretty disorganized and the course was ridiculous, but I’ve never had so much fun at a running event before.

napa ragnar
Look at these beautiful smiling faces.

I’m really intrigued by Patrick DeWitt. I loved his first book, and I also loved French Exit, and they are so different. I can’t wait to see what he does next. This is a modern story of rich people in distress, which is one of my favorite genres, so it was very much in my wheelhouse and did not disappoint. This book had one of the most beautiful death scenes I’ve ever read, and also one of the funniest lines I’ve read in a long time. Jealous guy hears his ex wish her new boyfriend good luck, and he asks, “What are you wishing him luck for? A dick sucking contest?” That line is about 17 pages worth of character development right there. I loved this one.

I know a lot of my friends love Tana French, and I’ve tried with her, but I think she’s just not for me. I’m not big into series which is why I haven’t read her in a long time, but since The Witch Elm is a standalone I decided to give it a shot. Man, this is all over the place. There’s a great book in here but it could have used a serious trim, at least 100 pages could be cut. It dragged in the beginning and dragged in the end, but the core was a real page turner. The resolution to the main mystery wasn’t very earth shattering, but I didn’t mind that. What wrecked it for me was the weird out of nowhere turn it took at the end. Main character does something pretty crazy that I didn’t find believable at all and it kind of ruined it. This one was a swing and a miss for me.

Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite authors and for me she can pretty much do no wrong. I totally inhaled Nine Perfect Strangers, and there is so much to love here. She is amazing at complex characters and insight. I don’t think there’s anyone who can handle very serious topics as deftly as she can. Anyway, this is about a bunch of people doing a spa retreat, so it’s more of a situation than a plot, and there was one thing that happened at the end that was a little overly dramatic for my taste, but who cares. I love every character and I’ll remember them like they’re old friends. So good.

I had high hopes for Severance; it’s been on so many lists, and I am always drawn to the dystopian near future genre. This one was a very mixed bag for me. It jumped back and forth through time, and that was done well. All the storylines were about equally interesting so I was never anxious to move on or anything. The writing is really good, but the world building is pretty lazy. There is a segment where the main character is practically the last living person in New York City, and the scenes do not make sense or hold up under any scrutiny. And there is a whole thing with an “omg how did this happen?” unplanned pregnancy which is always a pet peeve for me. Everything related to pregnancy in this book felt totally inauthentic to the point where there may as well have been a flashing neon sign: THIS IS A HAMFISTED METAPHOR AND I AM NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH IT. There was plenty I liked here, but that on top of a dud ending made it overall a disappointment.

Now I’m about halfway through Boomer1. A novel about the tensions between millennials and baby boomers? Yes please! Extremely relevant to my Gen X interests. I’m mostly loving it so far, but the millennial character’s online rants aren’t all that well done. I’m really interested to see where this goes, so I’m going to get back to it. See you next week!