I'm all over the place! Here is my blog that I should've posted on Sunday, but am now posting on Wednesday. But who cares! Nothing is going to make sense until Monday anyway, when our work weeks are five days and all of the kids are back in school.
I did manage to finish two more books before the 2018 ended, meeting my goal of 80 books by the skin of my teeth. This year, I'd like to focus a little less on quantity, although I did set a Goodreads goal of 90 books this year and a general loose goal of 2 books per week (so that I can blog about them on SUNDAYS!) As mentioned previously, I'd like to read a little more nonfiction this year and I would like to do a better job of avoiding books that suck.
Last week I finished just such a book and I should've known better. I also finished a fantastic book that I almost avoided because I heard it was depressing. What's wrong with me? Depressing books can be the best!
The Excellent: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Yes, this book is depressing right off the bat. 1950's: A little girl living with her big family in a crappy shack in the marsh has her family abandon her one by one. She's still pretty young once she's all alone, and has to learn how to make a life. When she does make the trek into town, everyone treats her like crap (except the black people, which feels like a bit of a tired plot point but yet makes sense, as everyone treats them like crap too so they are sympathetic. Plus I was very pleased that none of them were beaten or murdered.) We flash back and forth between her growing up and making a friend and becoming pretty badass to 1969, where the town's beloved son, a former star football player, is found murdered and guess who is the main suspect?
I don't even like mysteries, and since I usually go into books blind, I didn't realize there was a whodunit aspect, but I really enjoyed trying to figure out who killed the guy and I was wrong, wrong, wrong! Which is great, because I get mad at authors when I'm right! Throw me a curve ball that I should've seen all along but didn't!
Anyway, read this book, because although it can be sad in parts, it's mostly awesome and the writing is beautiful.
Pair with: Grits! Which is literally all she ever eats.
The Suck: The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
I love Meg Wolitzer, usually! So this one isn't really my fault. But I haven't been loving as much the endless books everyone churns out about 30something 40something mom friend groups and how they navigate marriages, parenthood, friendships, and life. I live that anyway, so unless that's handled just brilliantly, which it can be, those types of stories usually fly out of my head the minute I turn the last page.
The Ten Year Nap does explore the decision: to be a stay at home parent or to be a working parent? I find that topic pretty interesting in general, although again I can have that conversation with any number of real life people anytime. Also, this book made one option look way better than another, in my opinion, which surprised me.
What didn't surprise me was the pretty standard theme of moms doing anything and everything and trying to balance all of these aspects of life and doggone it, just how do they do it plus handle all of those crazy men with their crazy men antics?!? Then again, Wolitzer did bring in the dad perspective from time to time, which was refreshing.
I just had this "so what?" feeling throughout the book and never did figure out why it was titled The Ten Year Nap, so that's a big question mark. Then again, I could've gotten bored and blacked out for a few pages, which might well have happened because I'm a mom trying to do all these mom things and I'm just so tired and overwhelmed from all of the BALANCING.
Pair with: Coffee, Have an espresso for me, I miss it lots!
Well, I look forward to blogging again on SUNDAY about the phenomenal new David Sedaris book and another hilarious book that I didn't realize was going to be about God. Sometimes I go in too blind.
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.