I read far, far more than I blog about it.
If you follow my Goodreads profile, you’ll know that I’ve read 44 books this year and I’m in the middle of a few more. And I’ve blogged about perhaps 4 books on the site. Last year, I cleared 95 and blogged about perhaps 10 of them, if that.
On the bright side, I guess I’m doing better this year.
I’m apparently terrible about actually keeping this up to date. It’s a weird tangle of events that lead to this, I think.
One, I’m terrible – terrible – about keeping a journal or notebook in which to keep track of my thoughts and book quotes. I tend to read when and wherever I can find the time. I’m often reading during lunch at work. Last year, I carried about a book journal and I was determined to take notes on every single book I read. That lasted for about perhaps 3 months.
Secondly, I read a lot of literary fiction and classics and it seems that people just don’t get excited about reviews of those things like they do for YA. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. My enjoyment of YA seems to be waning, for the most part, and the classics and literary fiction are seriously my wheelhouse.
Also, there’s a general malaise which sets in and affects me. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from depression. I also suffer from anxiety and a personality disorder. It’s difficult, at times, to get things done – even if I may actually really want to get it done – as the energy simply isn’t there. When it’s there, there’s typically also a healthy dose of doubt. This is one of the reasons I have yet to finish my novel and why I have about 5 screenplays in various stages of completion. The lack of energy makes everything super difficult to complete – basically, it takes all I have to get out of bed and go to work each morning.
But I want to do this. I don’t really have a lot of joy in my life – there’s that depression! – and books and reading a few of those things that give me joy. I want to talk about books; I want to share my love of them with others. I’m want to do better about updating this – I have to do better. I’ll be better.
Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments is completely, utterly ridiculous. I loved it away.
Attachments also happens to be the first Rowell novel I genuinely, wholeheartedly love. I’ve read Fan Girl, Eleanor & Park and Carry On. After a pretty rocky start, I ended up liking Carry On well enough. On the other hand, I found both Eleanor & Park and Fan Girl completely underwhelming.
Attachments, though? I love, love love it!
I’ve seen many folks make the argument that the novel’s premise is basically creepy and unrealistic. And they’re completely right!
The plot centers around a guy (Lincoln) falling in love with a woman he’s never met (Beth) via snooping through her work emails to and from a friend. Of course this is creepy. It’s slightly less creepy because monitoring emails is his job, but still. It’s creep-city.
It’s also, honestly, exactly the sort of screwy, nonsensical plot that lives in the romantic comedies of the 90s and early 2000s. While I don’t seem like it, I adore a good rom-com and one of my truest film related despairs is that there hasn’t been a truly wonderful romantic comedy in years (and, no Love Actually does not count, people.) I also love a good screwball comedy – heck, if computers were a thing in the 30s, I could see this sort of ridiculousness going on in a Katherine Hepburn-Cary Grant movie. You cannot tell me that the plots of Bringing Up Baby or Holiday make any more sense than this book does. In Bringing Up Baby, Katherine Hepburn’s scatterbrained socialite randomly meets Cary Grant’s paleontologist on a golf course, convinces him to help her take a leopard named Baby to her home from Connecticut, becomes enamored with him, tries to keep him from leaving said home in Connecticut to prevent his getting married and they eventually end up in jail. And in love. I have not even described half of the crazy of that beautiful film. You can’t tell me that this plot makes any more sense than Attachments. You can’t because it doesn’t. But Bringing Up Baby, as well as My Man Godfrey, Holiday, Woman of the Year, His Girl Friday and all those other wonderful, insane, screwy screwball comedies work because they lean into the crazy. Continue reading
A while back, I read Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star.
By “a while back”, I mean I finished it in the first few days of January.
It’s been a while.
I enjoyed Yoon’s debut Everything, Everything – it was a bit too sweet and a bit too syrupy and so not me, but eh, I loved it anyway. Everyone needs the literary equivalent of a diabetic coma every now and again, right? Well, Everything, Everything was mine. When I read that Nicola Yoon was releasing a new novel dealing with immigration, I was pretty sure that it’d be up my alley. When The Sun is Also a Star turned out to be one of Book of the Month Club’s picks, I thought it was simply kismet and made it my selection.
To my sadness and frustration, I didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped.
Yoon is a competent, strong writer and she’s got great ideas and knows how to carry them out – I didn’t feel as though the novel were half-baked or un-done in some strange fashion.