Rainy Sunday afternoon reading
Excited to receive a signed copy of Smoke and Mirrors today from The Golden Notebook today! #bookmail
This is an interesting and fun collection of short stories all focused on time travel and romance. 14 of the 16 stories are original to this anthology, and most are solid. While it's hard to pick a favorite, Cat Valente's is the one that really stood out the most to me so it's only fitting I use this picture taken from her Instagram post highlighting it.
The author's note starts, "Bird and Margaret's world isn't exactly our world, but it isn't not ours, either." In this story wrapped around a stark warning about the present day‘s racial divisions, political conflicts and inequality, Ng explores the power of art, the role of the artist, and the question can art make a difference? Ng's writing is brilliant. I adored the poetic description of libraries; they were almost another character in the book.
As with book 1 of the Neopolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's writing drew me in immediately and I devoured the majority of this volume in a day. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing with the story.
Today's cooler weather called for some Brazilian tomato soup and a quiet afternoon of reading. I was a bit afraid to read this book with all of the hype surrounding it, but it did not disappoint. Bonnie Garmus' writing style and dry wit was perfect to portray the calm determination of the novel's protagonist, Elizabeth Zott, who refused to be anything less than herself.
This book is a poem in dialect that tells the tale of children's anticipation of a Christmas Eve visit from Santa Claus, which turns into a comic-opera when Santa backs into a lighted candle on the tree, setting his suit on fire and is then pushed out into the snow to damp the flames.
I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with Jennette McCurdy prior to reading this. The title and cover immediately caught my attention and piqued my curiosity. It's a beautifully written memoir, and I appreciated Jennette's candor and directness in telling her story.
While often described as one of his weakest works, I've always enjoyed Kazuo Ishiguro's writing, and I found this novel satisfying in the end. Initially the first several sections felt slow but really helped set the more interesting latter portion where things ultimately came together. This story is a reflection of what one remembers and what one forgets; it's an exploration of memory and how it can be used to shield oneself from reality.
"I always believed there would be a point where I would definitely know if I was happy - when I would become myself, if you see what I mean, instead of just impersonating what I thought I should be. And now I feel as if I've suddenly woken up and things have gone by without me seeing them."
Sarah Thankam Matthews does a brilliant job of creating real, raw characters dealing with themes of shame and guilt and inability to ask for help. This was an immersive story that emphasizes the ever-evolving nature of our lives in the unaccountable, antiknowable future.
"We create our lives saying one small yes to one small thing at a time. We create the world that way."
"We feel so much, most of us, and different layering things, like you can't feel only one thing ever, you know? Can you think of a time when you've felt only one thing at one time? I think crying allows us to midwife our more intense, more complicated emotions, get them outside of our bodies, and then our body feels light and free again."
The cover of this book was a huge draw. I owned that phone; I'm part of the Oregon Trail generation, a subset of millennials who literally spent half their adolescence without the internet and half with it. Parts of this book were quite interesting, but other parts felt kinda meh or just drug along. (I couldn't resist using the 1998 Cam app for some authenticity 😂)
This was an interesting and thought-provoking book.
Took advantage of the gorgeous weather this afternoon and had a late lunch/walk to the park for some reading time.
I went through my TBR and requested all the ones my local library had at the moment (bottom 5 in stack). And then I remembered it was pub day for Celeste Ng's new book today so, of course, I had to swing by my local indie bookstore and snag that. Now I have no idea where to start 😂
"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill-several thrills?"
I always enjoy spending time rereading favorite poetry collections and always find new poems that resonate on each visit.
"Poetry is the language of human emotion. It is air and fire and water and soil. Poetry is the breath in our lungs. The sighs. The stutters... Poetry is hunger. The words hanging in the space between... The journey. The story. Running and laughing. Laughing and running. Poetry is the might of one person, and the echo of billions. Our survival is poetry. Our lives are poetry. the final act is writing it down."
Beyond excited to find this poetry collection on Thriftbooks in like new condition at a great price! Now I'm looking forward to spending some time in its pages this evening.
Randee Dawn uses a unique combination of pop culture, fantasy, and humor in Tune in Tomorrow, reality TV by aliens where the contestants are human. It's an absolutely fun book that explores "reality" and how it might mean different things to different people.
Chambers' world-building is phenomenal as usual and through it she creates a safe space to explore who we are, what a better world would look like, and how we can work towards one. She allows us space to be human; to realize it's ok to be human, ok to be confused, ok to make mistakes in the ongoing process of becoming ourselves and figuring shit out. Also, Mosscap is such a delight; I love it more every moment. (Feifei Ruan's cover art is perfect)
Ready to tune in to a new book this evening ✨
I lingered over the pages of Rachel Cusk's subtle essays - a blend of memoir, social commentary, and literary criticism. Her writing is absorbing... monsters inside of cars, being sent to Coventry, rudeness welcomed as a false god. The title essay, Coventry, was the finest in my opinion.
Rachel Cusk's essays kept me company while I waited for my dinner companions yesterday evening. It was absolutely gorgeous; the perfect weather quite a contrast from the previous day! I've read the first couple of essays in this volume so far and have so many underlined passages. It's proven to be a great book and travel companion so far.