I’ve recently finished three more books: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, and Bruno, Chief of Police: A Mystery of the French Countryside by Martin Walker.
A Wizard of Earthsea just wasn’t my cup of tea. I would have probably liked it more as a teenager. There were parts I liked, but I guess I am over fantasy books. Which is sad.
Now, Nine Perfect Strangers, on the other hand, was my cup of tea. That Moriarty woman just doesn’t write books fast enough for me to devour them. This one was not quite as good as some of her others (Big Little Lies, for instance), but fun to read. That’s okay right? If I read for pleasure?
Bruno, Chief of Police: A Mystery of the French Countryside is a book that I would have gladly never have heard about. I didn’t like it when I read part of it for book group, but liked it somewhat more when I picked it up again as an audio book. Then I got tired of it once more and it was almost painful to listen to it after a while — not that the narrator was bad — he was pretty good, but I had no interest in the story — especially after Bruno and the other detective hooked up. I finished up reading the book last night and I will never revisit Bruno’s countryside again. What a waste of time.
Our book group selection was an easy read: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I cannot say I thought the book was well-written, but it kept me interested through to the end. I’d seen that it was also a Masterpiece Theatre production and planned to read it (in fact I’d bought it in December) anyway. The book dealt with homosexuality, unmarried pregnancies and interracial relationships in 17th century Holland. I think it could have been more effective if only one of those topics had been addressed. As it was I grew weary of the angst caused by the fear of being caught whenever a new then-outlawed activity was revealed. It will be interesting to hear the various comments. I am sure one friend will announce this book should never have been written.
Yesterday morning I finished The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. It was a bookgroup read back when I was still using my Nook instead of a Kindle — a long time ago. I started reading it but could not get into it. I think I skipped book group that month. I imagine reading it will give me more ideas of books to read — just what I need. I enjoyed this book, except for one thing. It seems that everyone in Schwalbe’s family is extraordinary, especially his mother. It made me feel like I’ve done nothing with my life.
Also yesterday, I finished Lemony Snickett’s The Penultimate Peril. I will be pleased when I am done with these books. They are very much the same, witty and clever, but also repetitive. I can now watch a few more episodes of the Netflix series.
The new addition to my list of books I am reading is the newest Liane Moriarty, Nine Perfect Strangers.
My sister-in-law asked me how I kept the books straight. I don’t have a problem with that — and they actually help me sleep because when I get to a point where I cannot get to sleep I go through the books I am reading and remember where the characters were when I last saw them.
I finished The Sympathizer yesterday and Chocolat today. The Sympathizer is exquisitely written, but highly disturbing. It’s going to be difficult to talk about it on Thursday with my book group colleagues. I usually feel inferior to them, intellectually, anyway — so if everyone gushes over the book, I might lose it. I know one friend liked it and seemed surprised that I didn’t. I didn’t need to read the rape scene to live a more fulfilled life though. And of course there are the descriptions of torture. And the squid.
Chocolat, on the other hand was lovely to read. It is quite different from the film — enough so that I was often able to not picture Johnny Depp as Roux. It was, of course, a much lighter read than The Sympathizer and contained no more torture than a devout priest’s self torture. No rape, but definitely physical abuse. And no squid.
I think the next book that takes the place of Chocolat (an unread eBook) will be The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe. It was a bookgroup read back when I was still using my Nook instead of a Kindle — a long time ago. I started reading it but could not get into it. I think I skipped book group that month. I imagine reading it will give me more ideas of books to read.