I’ll be frank–this was a weird month of reading. I picked up a book from a genre I don’t read often (or perhaps ever?), and one book was not at all what I anticipated. Read on below for details!
Come with Me by Helen Schulman
I read about this book on another blog, and the subject matter was intriguing–what if technology were available to allow you to access “multiverses” where various life choices could be explored and experienced? Based on the book’s description, I thought that perhaps multiple characters would be experiencing all these multiverses, but in fact it’s just the book’s protagonist, Amy Reed, who works as the PR agent for the tech company inventing this algorithm. I thought that was kind of disappointing; I would have loved reading little vignettes of different characters comparing reality with “what could have been.” This book was still interesting enough; I read it in about 48 hours (while I waited impatiently for Nathan to arrive), but it just wasn’t exactly what I was in the mood to read, if that makes sense.
Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith
I heard about this book on one of my favorite podcasts, and based on the title alone, it seemed like an aesthetic I could get into. I immediately looked for it at the library, but I had to wait months before it was available. I don’t typically read home improvement/DIY/decorating books, but I figured I could use some education in this department. If you look around my house, you could say that I’ve got the “minimalist” part of the equation down, but the “cozy” part? Not so much. I’m not sure one book is going to transform me into an interior designer overnight, but I will say this author did provide several helpful tips on the sequence of choosing pieces for a room and how to determine the appropriate size/length of rugs and curtains (spoiler: bigger is always better). Overall, it was worth the afternoon I spent reading it, but I’m not sure I’m likely to pick up another book in this genre anytime soon; I would much prefer to listen to John & Sherry!
Was She Pretty? by Leanne Shapton
When I reserved this book, I was under the impression that it was a thoughtful rumination on past relationships and how they shape future ones. And that is what this book was about…just in a far different format than I imagined. Each page had a sentence or two summarizing some quirk about one member of a given couple, along with a drawing. Even with careful consideration of each mini-love story, it took me maybe 45 minutes to read through it. Maybe I’m just not deep enough to “get” this book. Next.
Home Land by Sam Lipsyte
This was another weird one. The premise is that Lewis Miner is a, shall we say, under-achieving alumnus of his high school who decides to write a series of honest life updates for the class bulletin. There’s no real story to this book, just a collection of odd characters who get even more eccentric with time. I will say that I laughed out loud a couple times at the author’s phrasing ( e.g., “Each of us walks to the beat of a different drummer. It’s just that some of these drummers suck”). However, there’s entirely too much discussion of masturbation in this book for my liking, and I found several passages to be rambling and hard to read. I don’t think I’ll be seeking out this author again anytime soon.
What did you read in January?
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