I have been busy reading. Really! Usually I cruise the library-and I still do this-until I find some random books I like. These last few months, I have also made a list of all the books people have recommended to me and have put many of them on order from the library (it is interesting to learn of what others you know like). Some will take months before they are available to me and others came within days. Currently, I have a stack of books yet to be read by my bed. Some of the stack as well as some of those below are the recommendations and some are not. Regardless, here is what I have been reading:
China Dolls by Lisa See-This book is very interesting and is about 3 Asian American women who become close friends in pre-WW2 San Francisco. It follows the ups and downs of their friendship during tumultuous times. All three are entertainers in Chinese nightclubs. A very enjoyable book set in a unique setting.
Cars from a Marriage by Debra Gallant-This novel follows a couple as they meet, get married, and long into their marriage as careers change, their family grows, and all sorts of things get in the way. The author also brings into the novel the vehicles the individuals drive at different points in their lives as their attitudes and lifestyle changes. It is during a California drive along the Pacific 101 that the couple comes face to face with a scandalous secret that changes everything for them.
All the Finest Girls-Alexandra Styron-This book is about a woman who goes to the Caribbean to attend the funeral of her former nanny. All kinds of things come up during this novel but a large part of it is also about relationships with one’s parents. I think everyone can related to this topic on some level. A quick and easy read. The best parts, I thought, were the ones connected to the main character’s childhood.
The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear-This book takes place during WWI and is about a few characters from a village in the UK. Someone recommended this novel to me so I read it but I do not think I will listen to this person again as I do not think we have the same style. It was not a bad book and I did enjoy some of it but I felt, though the potential was there, it did not have enough depth. Good for a light read, though, and I am now going to adopt more of a British “get on with it” attitude from now on. Ha ha ha.
The Last Weekend by Blake Morrison-In this novel, two couples take a long weekend together at a cottage on the coast of England. The story is told from one of the men’s point of view and is about his complex relationship with the other three. As the story goes on, it is more and more difficult to like this character. Old obsessions die hard and can ruin everything if you do not get over them. Not my favourite book but worth a read…preferably in the summer.
The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstien-I thought I would enjoy this book (and some parts of it were okay) but generally I did not. It turns out this book is a bit all over the place as it peeks into the lives of different people at different times in their lives and into the lives of their children at different points. It is not a bad book but just not my type.
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams-This book should be read in the summer for sure but I still enjoyed 100% in the Fall. Basically, it is a bit of a trashy love triangle type of novel but it takes place long enough ago that it is not full on trashy. You get some atmosphere, at least. In fact, I thought it did a good job of transporting me to another place and time. A peak into the rich and elite lifestyle of leisure was interesting. The money and easy summer living seems endless. I would go mad with boredom if this was my life. It did not go much into depth with many things (such as Antisemitism or conversations between characters) but it brushed across them which leads you to realize it was a bit of a trashy novel after all. But, it is an entertaining one in which all miraculously seems to work out. Must be that socialite luck!
Where`d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple-I picked this book up because it takes place in Seattle. It is about a wealthy Seattle family who, after all kinds of things leading up to it, have to deal with their situation. A very entertaining book about some wacky characters that we have all seem elements of in people we know. Kind of fun…and they go to Antarctica!