I know the frequency of my recipe posts has really gone down since the summer — first, because it was hot and I was less motivated to cook; and second, because the gas in my building has to be out for repairs. That’s still ongoing, though I’m still planning to update with recipes at least once a month if not more, so don’t write me off completely just yet.
Meanwhile, recent inconveniences haven’t gotten in the way of my reading, so here’s the usual look at what I read this month!
The Husband’s Secret (by Liane Moriarty) – Ever since I watched and read Big Little Lies, I’ve been helping myself to Moriarty’s other books at the library. This one was another combination of enjoyable, witty… and dark. I figured out the husband’s secret pretty early on, but Moriarty’s characters — who were pretty well fleshed out as always — compelled me to keep reading. It’s a good read when you’re just seeking out a solid story to immerse yourself in.
The Murder on the Orient Express (by Agatha Christie) – Yes, there’s a new movie out. No, I’m not planning to see it (unless it hits streaming and I’m sitting around and being lazy). But as someone who went through a massive Agatha Christie phase in middle school and high school, I felt like digging out my 20-year-old yellowing copy and revisiting this story. It’s a classic whodunnit and was still a lot of fun to read this time around, though I’ve become more aware of Christie’s tendencies to have characters throw around massive generalizations about various nationalities. I suppose that’s just what people did back then. Really fun to read while cozying up with a cup of hot chocolate.
The Days of Abandonment (by Elena Ferrante) – Like everyone and their mother, I’ve read Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels, so I wanted to check out other things she’s written. This slim volume is the story of a woman abandoned by her husband. It’s a very good book that doesn’t hide the unpleasant nature of such an experience, and while you really feel for the narrator, you don’t necessarily like her. She becomes vulgar and cruel while trying to sort through what has happened to her and definitely doesn’t fit our idyllic notions of how a woman and mother should behave. But that’s OK. While I can imagine a 500-page novel about such a character, written as intensely as this one is, grating on the reader, I do think this story is a worthwhile one. And while it may not match the scope of the Neapolitan Novels, I do think Ferrante’s writing and storytelling chops are just as clear here as they are in her more famous works. It’s worth a read, as long as you really understand that it isn’t necessarily pleasant.