Let's Talk About Books Baby!

October

Books Bought

Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes

Books Read

Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt by Yasmine El Rashidi

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

The year is winding down! Seriously, where did it go? It's November!  But that means we are talking about books read in October (and mostly bought in September).  Here we go!

Chronicle of a Last Summer- this one is written by Yasmine El Rashidi of Cairo and you can tell. This book makes a lot of assumptions that the reader knows a lot about Egypt and the politics of the last 30ish years.  Now, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing- it definitely stirs up an interest to know more.  What it does give you is a feeling of what it has been like to live and grow up in Egypt.  There are three different sections; the first is when the narrator is a child, the second is when she is in college and the third as an adult reflecting on what has all happened.  The author gives a beautiful interview on NPR about how specific streets (Tahir Square) can have so many decades of history and memories.  I recommend this book, and I look forward to seeking out and learning more about this beautiful country's more recent history.

Milk & Honey- Rupi Kaur is a writer/artist in Canada and she is SUPER talented.  Short poems, that pack a punch and sometimes with an accompanying drawing.  My favorite poem was:

     you must enter a relationship

     with yourself

     before anyone else

I also really liked......

     the thing about having

     an alcoholic parent

     is an alcoholic parent

     does not exist

     simply

     an alcoholic

     who could not stay sober

     long enough to raise their kids

Good stuff, eh?  Check her out!

Next up... John Irving and his Avenue of Mysteries. I am not exaggerating when I say it took me a year to read this book.  I would read 10 pages and set it down for a couple weeks, read a few pages, set it down for a month.  I could not get into this book whatsoever.  I finally forced myself to finish reading it (reading the last 200 pages in the last couple of weeks of October).  I told myself I absolutely could not read the new Ian McEwan until I finished this book.  I normally love John Irving but this one missed the spot.  I do have to admit, it was much better when I actually committed to reading big chunks at a time.... I was able to find the flow of the book finally and there was one really redeeming chapter... so I'll say this book is average.  For another author it could have been their masterpiece, but with someone like a career John Irving has had it's just meh.

Paris for One & Other Stories Oh goodness, it appears I am firmly in the JoJo Moyes cult... it's definitely the year of JoJo.  I was reflecting with a friend the other day who brought up this author as someone she finds to be stereotypical chick lit and a total snooze fest... she even said predictable; which is funny because I think I touted Me Before You as being exactly the opposite of predictable.  Although, I can see where my friend is coming from.  Which begged the question... If JoJo Moyes is her version of my Sophie Kinsella's and Jennifer Weiner's then who is to say what is crap? Or what is true chick lit? All I know is that after the year in the romance department that I've had (not much happened actually, just more than has happened in a decade or so), but after this year I think I was just craving some romantic, girl falls in love with boy type of stuff.  I like the characters that Moyes creates so I guess that's a bonus too.  Anyway, if you are looking for something charming (and slightly predictable) then read Paris for One

Ian McEwan you dark soul, you!  Where to begin?  This book was intriguing.  It is written completely from the perspective of a baby inside the mother's belly.  This baby is hearing the plotting of the murder of his father.  This isn't exactly my type of thing, but Ian McEwan pulls it off!  He writes beautifully, as usual.  Here is one of my favorite little nuggets from this crazy book:

"It's already clear to me how much of life is forgotten even as it happens. Most of it. The unregarded present spooling away from us, the soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts, the long-neglected miracle of existence."

Anyway, it's good... if you've read him before and you know how weird he is, you will probably like it.

What have you been reading lately?