Continuing the chronicle of my re-employment, it seems appropriate that I examine the future of my blogging life. Having a job that has me writing eight hours a day, do I really have the mental energy to come home and write a blog?
I know some of you love a naval gazing blog post, and others loathe them. I'm kind of in the middle, I kind of like them but I also feel like some bloggers take it all way too seriously. If you aren't having fun, pack it in. No one is paying you (and, I hate to break it to you, probably never will).
Rather than blather, I can sum it up it up pretty quickly: I am not going to stop blogging. I like the social network blogging provides too much to let it go. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and The Readers podcast just aren't enough.
So you are stuck with me. And, since I have a pile of books that I really need to say something about, I am going to say something about them.
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
British woman moves to New York to get a Ph.D at Columbia. Gets job in used bookstore. Gets pregnant. A somewhat mediocre but also somewhat enjoyable read. I found myself having to suspend my disbelief a bit too much for such a non-fantastical, everyday sort of story.
|contrary to this cover, I didn't listen to this book|
I was forced to read this by Simon Savidge and his Booktopia-induced peer pressure. I didn't hate it but would have put it down at 20 pages had it not been for the aforementioned peer pressure. I'm not sure I can describe what I didn't like about the writing, it felt a little too something. Clever isn't the right word. Forced. I think forced is the word. Flynn had a great idea and honestly comes up with twists and turns that are fascinating and compelling, and perfectly anxiety inducing. But it felt kind of forced. No interest in seeing the film at all.
The Bookseller by Mark Pryor
I enjoyed this book-based mystery way more than I thought I would. I'm not much of a mystery person. I hate murder mysteries. They are too often too pat and more disturbingly, I don't like the casual way they treat murder. This one was low on violence and high on book-related intrigue in Paris. The first of the Hugo Marston mysteries. I wonder if I would like any of the others?
An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
I chose this one so I could participate in Aarti's A More Diverse Universe event she hosted on her blog Book Lust. My reading tends to be pretty white and Anglo-American so I welcomed the chance to branch out a bit more. Plus I had read two Adichie novels this year and loved them so I was interested in reading more great fiction by authors of color. Unfortunately my new job kind made it somewhat difficult for me to get my stuff together in time to participate. I did, however, really like An Untamed State. The story of a Haitian woman, married to an American and living in the US who gets kidnapped while visiting her wealthy parents in Haiti. She suffers unspeakable acts for 13 days while her father tries to out macho the kidnappers. Then the novel follows her trying to come to grips with her life once she is free and back in the US. Pretty compelling reading and Gay's writing has me wanting to keep my eye out for future novels.
I had two other books I was reading for this challenge. One was a graphic novel written by a Chinese woman which I found tedious and didn't finish. And one is a slightly boring story of an Indian chef during the time of partition. That one I still intend to finish. I guess when all was said and done Aarti's event was good for me. Got me to expand my horizons a bit and remind to continue to make a bit of an effort to be more diverse going forward.
The Shadows of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Another bookish mystery, but much more complex than the Mark Pryor mystery. This one has a bit of everything. Lots of old books, secret libraries, a fire-damaged villain, a masochistic policeman, connections that will make your head spin, and all set in Franco-era Barcelona. I really enjoyed this book. It was like Alexandre Dumas meets Wilkie Collins meets someone a little more modern.
Sarah Morris Remembers by D.E. Stevenson
This may fall in the bottom third of all the Stevenson novels I have read. But I still loved it. It was the perfect comfort read as I started my new job and needed something to unwind with. I won't bother with any plot description. If know me and my blog, you know the general gist of her work. If you don't just use the search window to see what else I have written about her.
My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt
Story of a provincial French woman who wins the lottery and keeps it secret until she figures out what to do about it. In some ways I loved this book. It had a touch of Mrs Harris Goes to Paris about it, but deeper and more thought provoking than that. And the overall message of the book I found interesting and comforting. But there was a twist, that really annoyed me. I didn't want it to be that book. Now that I know that twist, I think I would enjoy the subtleties of the story more than I did the first time around.