Monday again and May already?! Mentally I’m still in March and while I’ll be happy for some sunshine I’m not sure I’m ready for summer. What I am ready for is a solid streak of great reading. Currently, I’m stalling out and DNFing most new releases or finding them OK at best. Here’s hoping today’s picks will be game changers!
I’m taking a break from historical fiction and going with contemporary themes this week. Tracy Chevalier has been a favorite author for awhile (I loved Falling Angels, her take on the suffragette movement in England) so something new from her is an automatic yes for me. New Boy is a retelling of Othello, set in a suburb of Washington, D.C., amongst 11-year-olds at school. Osei is a diplomat’s son befriended by the most popular girl in school. From what I can tell, Chevalier condenses the timeline to one day which makes me even more intrigued.
The synopsis of Fake Plastic Love was chum in the water for sharkish reading brain: debut, millennials, NYC, finance, female protagonist not interested in romance. C’mon?! How can I resist? That is low hanging fruit. Or it could be really bad. I’m going all in on the optimism.
Having said that, even though it’s very early in the month here are a few novels I’ve already attempted and let go.
No One Can Pronounce My Name: Another book that sounded like it couldn’t miss. Set in Cleveland’s Indian community it was supposed to be a funny, but serious and touching look at assimilating into American culture. I was stoked for this because I’m a huge fan of Thrity Umrigar who actually lives in Cleveland and writes amazing fiction about the Indian-American experience. Sadly, I only made it to about 60% before setting this one aside. It felt like riding in a manual transmission car with a student driver, jerking between comedy and pathos before stalling. Author Satyal never seemed to get it into a high enough gear for an effortless ride.
Before We Sleep: Another book that seemed as if it would be in my wheelhouse—generational family saga set in Vermont (my entire family is New Englanders) and spanning WWII to the 70s. Basically, this comes down to a mother-daughter story, but the author’s style was not a good fit. I did not enjoy his writing nor was I pulled into the story enough to keep reading.
Onward and upward! What are you reading this Monday?
Sarah's Book Shelves says
Interested to hear your thoughts on Fake Plastic Love…I gave up after literally 5 pages. Something about the style that I couldn’t quite put my finger on….but tell me if I should give it more of a chance!
Oh No!! This does not bode well.
I had 5 books from my hold list at the library come available at the same time. So I’m trying to read as fast as you do:
The Shadowland – finished
Behold the Dreamers – mostly done
The Paris Apartment
The Kommandant’s Girl
and one other I can’t remember right now
All to finish before May 18!
Oooo…what did you think of Shadowland? I read it over a month ago and still haven’t put together a review. I thought Behold the Dreamers was a marvelous look at lives I don’t often have to consider.
The subject of The Shadow Land was something I wasn’t at all familiar with, so from that point of view, it’s an important book. The first half of the book went around in circles too much and it was hard to remember all the places they were, but I liked the second half more. I also had a hard time with the setting — what young woman goes off with a cab driver she’s just met?
Behold the Dreamers also has an important message for those like us who don’t face these immigration issues daily. The historical basis during the Great Recession was very compelling. I feel compassion for the immigrants and sorrow for the employer and his family. I wish our country did a better job at immigration management and of balancing our financial system.
Next up will be The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter.
I think I read about 10 pages of Before We Sleep before I gave up… That writing… Not for me 🙁