Saturday, October 28, 2023

Reading Update

Book #67 of 2023 was The Trackers, by Charles Frazier. I will always read whatever Frazier writes, and I have reviewed some of his other books on this blog: Cold Mountain, Thirteen Moons, Nightwoods, and Varina. This latest book is about the Great Depression, the New Deal, art, and marriage. It's not as good as Cold Mountain, but really, what is? It's still plenty worth reading.

Book #68 was Must Be a Mistake, by Fiona West, who is a friend of mine. I've read several of her books, some in draft form. I appreciate how West includes characters who are neurodivergent, chronically ill, and otherwise quirky. They are always fun and they always lead to lovely happy endings, which in these times are certainly welcome.

Book #69 was Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is the story of a party, but we also get the back stories of many of the hosts and guests. I don't love wild parties in real life or in fiction, but I did like the realistic presentation of how trauma changes people's responses to the world.

Book #70 was Kate Bowler's latest book, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days. I read a library copy, but I'm seriously thinking I need to buy this one. Here's a taste:

You who are grieving losses, too many to name,

too complex or unbecoming to speak aloud.

Blessed are you, dear one,

searching for someone to understand,

to see your wounds and your hope for healing.

You are seen, as you walk this hard

and lonely road.

Book #71 was Composed: A Memoir, by Roseanne Cash. I read this because it was recommended to me. I didn't know anything about Cash, her family, or her music, but this was an interesting portrait of her life. Especially vivid was her writing about recovering from brain surgery.

Book #72 was Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, by Katherine May. This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, being a little more of a personal story than a study of the idea of wintering, but there were some gems in it. "Once we stop wishing it were summer, winter can be a glorious season in which the world takes on a sparse beauty and even the pavements sparkle. It's a time for reflection and recuperation, for slow replenishment, for putting your house in order." 

Book #73 was a reread, Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. Here's what I wrote about it in 2019. Here are Gottlieb's words to a mom of grown children, from whom she's estranged: "'Maybe,' I say, 'instead of worrying about them, you can love them. All you can do is find a way to love them that's about what they need from you and not what you need from them right now.'"

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