Well, that was another low-key weekend.
Parts of Oregon are starting to open up (not the Portland or Salem areas, but everywhere else). I’m sure that things will close down again in 2-3 weeks as people are being idiots. As stir crazy as we are, we are planning to stay put for the foreseeable future, no matter when our area opens up. I don’t want to add to the dangers for others and I certainly don’t want to get sick. My friend had this and it was absolutely brutal. I wonder if all these people who seem to think their freedom is being threatened actually know what it is we’re dealing with.
Chris has only 2 weeks of school left. He does have one more partial week after that, but there won’t be any assigned (by the teacher) work. Lillie finishes the week after that, which is sooner than originally planned, but they’ve shaved some days off the school year to try and make up for the money they won’t be receiving next year.
Other than that, nothing is really on the docket for the week. The weather isn’t supposed to be great until next weekend so the motivation to try to find something fun will be low. But, the good news is that Memorial Day weekend looks like it will be nice–but then, I’m not sure what we can do and still social distance now that most of the state is open.
Anyway, it is now time to turn to my weekly reading. As usual, I am linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? Blog hop.
What I Finished Last Week:
I’m going to continue to include my Goodreads reviews (when I have them), but someone requested my ratings as well, so I’ll include them as well. While I use “whole” stars on Goodreads and Instagram, I actually give them fractional ratings for my own use, which I will include here.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Tara Jenkins Reid
I feel like I’m the last person to read this book, but that is somewhat intentional. There was so much hype about this title when it was released that I wanted to to put some space from that before I gave it a try, and I’m glad I did. Frankly, I don’t think it would have lived up to the hype for me.
This is not to say that I thought it was a bad book. It kept my interest and I was all in to find out where the story was going. I just didn’t think that it was as flawless as many others did.
I won’t spoil this story but I will say this book is not about what you might think it is about, and that is a good thing. I appreciate it when authors can surprise me like that and it is rare that it happens successfully. There are two plots–a very dominant A plot and a clearly secondary B plot and, honestly, I felt like the B plot needed a bit more development or needed to be removed. It did have potential but as it was written it didn’t seem to fit in with the A plot.
The story is probably not unique, but that is what made it work. The characters were strong–Evelyn is not likable, but she makes it clear that she doesn’t care if she is likable. She is, however, captivating. My main problem with the book is that there were parts where I felt like things just started to idle in place for a while. I wish that those sections had either been better edited or written in a way that kept the momentum going.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read but I don’t feel that, for me, it was a memorable one. Still, there are worse ways to spend a few hours.
Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin
Sometimes you just need something fun. This book is not something that taxed my mental capabilities, which was exactly what I was looking for. At first, I thought I would be turned off with the Mommy-drama. I remember my days with babies and mommy groups and I’m not eager to relive them. However, this is so over-the-top that you just want to pop some popcorn, drink some wine, at let it take you where it takes you.
Yes, this is a Bravo channel kind of book.
I don’t say that with derision, it is what I liked best about this novel. It’s outrageous and unbelievable, with just enough of a nugget of truth to hold it together. It actually felt like a television show in that it’s pacing seemed very episodic and I could see this being developed into some sort of show with a pack of too-pretty-for-reality starlets pushing strollers around Manhattan.
However I did have one sizable, at least from my point of view, complaint. In the fictional mommy group, there are six women, but we only get to know three. We get to know bits and pieces of the other three, but their underdeveloped presences was a persistent distraction for me. I wish they had either been fleshed out with their own story lines or taken out of the novel altogether.
This is not high brow literature and it isn’t a book club sort of book (unless your book club is really just a wine club), but it is a good brainless read when you just need a mental rest.
What I started this week:
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
This is one of the oldest unread Book of the Month books on my shelf and I decided that this was the time to read it. I also wondered if maybe this isn’t the time to read it as the language requires a lot of mental energy and I’m not sure I have that in me right now. I was talking to my friend about this and decided to push through, mostly because I was far enough into it that, if I were to pick it up at a later date, I’d be tempted to skip important parts in the beginning of the book. So, I’m plodding on and hoping that I will have it done before next Sunday so I can share my thoughts.