Apparently, I’m determined to ignore all kinds of guidelines this week. First, I posted my reading habits two days late and only now am I going to attempt a November reading recap. Suffice it to say it was a hell of a month. I know for some people out there the election was a non-event, but I also know more people who got completely knocked off the track by the result. There was a lot of rhetoric out there about what happened, but these two blogging friends best summed up my feelings: River City Reading and The Steadfast Reader.
Honestly, I was stunned. Literally. For several days after the election I was not able to read. It took me that amount of time to get through a 200 page book, something that I would normally finish in an afternoon. My reading comprehension mirrored my reality comprehension. Thankfully, it’s a slow time of year for new releases so I was able to insulate myself with comfort reading. Beyond today’s list I re-read books by some of the authors that I trust for complete immersion and escape—Philippa Gregory, Nelson DeMille and Elizabeth George. It helped, but hiding won’t. This is not a political blog so I’ll stop there.
The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan
Publication date: January 22nd 2013
Light reading about a Harvard school reunion. The characters tend to fall into well-worn stereotypes, some of which were amusing and some that made me feel stabby.
Published by Scribner
Publication date: April 13th 2004
Joan and Joe Castleman have been married for forty years. They met when she was one of his students. With her help and loving support he leaves teaching and becomes a famous author. Wolitzer seasons The Wife with the kind of observations about marriage that ring true to anyone who’s experienced it. My problem with the novel is that the plot closely mirrors Lauren Groff’s Fates & Furies. This is unfair because The Wife came first. If you haven’t read Fates & Furies you can judge this one more objectively than I did.
Dara Torres, Elizabeth Weil
Published by Three Rivers Press
Publication date: March 2nd 2010
I was a competitive swimmer in high school, which even thought it was a LONG time ago, means that I will consider myself to be a swimmer until I die. I was interested in this book because I think Dara Torres is awesome and am inspired by the fact that she competed in the Olympics when she was 41. The problem with the book is the subtitle: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life. I saw that and thought Torres would be providing specific information on how to stay fit longer. And if those tips involved swimming, then I was going to be even happier. Didn’t happen. Basically, the book is a memoir, not self-help. It is Torres’s story, which, while interesting, does not translate to anything usable for non-competitive fitness.
Miss Jane by Brad Watson: Review to follow
Victoria by Daisy Goodwin: Review
Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss: Review
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: Review to follow
I know it’s already December, but how was your November reading? Did you fare better than I did?
Sarah's Book Shelves says
Man, I wish you’d read The Wife first. I really think you would’ve felt differently.
I know! I did give credit to Wolitzer for her writing, though!
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf says
LOL Is it awful that I can’t remember if I’ve read The Wife or not?
Oh wait… Goodreads says I did. Last year. And I gave it 3 stars, just like you.
It just wasn’t as memorable as Fates & Furies. Great comparison!
Monika, the same thing happens to me! We have simply read too many books. Not complaining at all, but it does mean people will mention one to me and I’ll have no idea if I’ve read it only to find out I did and I loved it.
Yeah the election stopped me dead in my tracks — for quite a long while — especially hindered my reading, ugh. Do you still swim? I swim laps about once a week which I enjoy. It seems the publisher mis-marketed Dara Torres’s book from what you’re saying. Making the Olympics at 41 is unreal. She was insanely fit, eh? Quite an inspiration. (and yes I did get to Fates & Furies, but not The Wife.)
I do still swim- twice a week for exercise and my sanity. It’s not working so well with my sanity since the election. A part of me doesn’t want to know what’s happening and another part feels it is our duty because what’s happening is crazy.