It’s been a particularly bookish month for me, thanks to a healthy dose of library books that were suddenly no longer on hold (and a couple of non-holds I found myself picking up), plus a few books on my to-read shelf. I find myself trying to find a decent amount of time away from the internet when I’m not at work lately, so books seem to have become a perfect refuge. The photo above only shows a smattering of what was read this month. If you want to know more — you’ll have to read on!
This Perfect Day (by Ira Levin) – So I’m admittedly a little tired of dystopian fiction these days but since I like some of Levin’s other (arguably more famous) works like Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, I decided to check out this book which I only heard about sometime in the past year. Set in a so-called utopian future, this novel is pretty unsettling. I ended up enjoying it — as much as you can enjoy a dystopian story — and would suggest anyone familiar enough with the genre check it out.
Big Little Lies (by Liane Moriarty) – So I was one of those people who fell in love with the HBO adaptation of this novel, but I’d never read the book before. Like many people out there, I put it on hold at the library and when it finally arrived, I picked it up and completed it within a handful of days. Moriarty’s writing style is a breeze to read, even though the story tackles difficult subjects like domestic abuse. There’s an interest balance of humor with the darker stuff and like the TV show, it is very much a women’s story (and there’s nothing one should find guilty pleasure-like about that fact). Interestingly, while some elements of the book were definitely different from the show, I ultimately felt the show remained pretty faithful to the book too. This didn’t spoil my enjoyment of either and I do recommend this book.
All the Missing Girls (by Megan Miranda) – This mystery book seems a little in the style of the Gone Girls of the world, but it didn’t quite hold my attention the same way. Sure, it’s a little spooky and another quick read, and it does have a slight narrative quirk — the story unfolds backwards for the most part. But I found it a little middle-of-the-road.
Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film (by Mel Brooks, etc.) – This book was a gift I received because I’m a fan of the movie. It’s a really fun read that delves into how the concept came to be and the making of the film itself, with recollections from the cast and crew. It’s not the most in-depth book about a film (it feels somewhat like a picture book, though it is more detailed than that), but I can’t imagine a fan of the film not enjoying it.
Difficult Women (by Roxane Gay) – When I saw this recent short story collection I’ve been meaning to read on the “new” shelf at the library while picking up my other books, I had to pick it up. The writing is pretty solid, as I’ve come to expect from Roxane Gay, though I will admit that some stories are stronger than others. The women we meet in this collection have been through some “difficult” situations (some much much more difficult than others) and there was one story that seemed awfully autobiographical that really hit me as I read it. Ultimately, I’d recommend it, even with a couple of uneven stories here and there — but I would suggest taking some breaks between stories.
The Lottery and Other Stories (by Shirley Jackson) – I read my first Shirley Jackson by reading The Haunting of Hill House last year. I liked Jackson’s style, so when I spotted this collection at a neighborhood bookshop recently, I picked it up and dug into it pretty fast. This collection was packaged somewhat like a scary story collection — not all of the stories are scary, but there is something deeply unsettling about them (as evidenced by the title tale). Jackson’s writing style was very simple, but there’s something about her stories that will make you think and think… it’s a collection worthwhile for her fans or anyone simply curious about her work.