I kind of hated this book, which I bought when I saw it in a used book store because I figured my beloved Thrill Kill Kult were influenced by either the play, the novel, or more likely the movie when they wrote my favorite song, The Days of Swine and Roses. Joe is a swine. Basically, Joe meets Kirsten. Offends her before he even knows her name. Convinces her later to accept his apologies. Is already a drunk when he meets her, pretty much forces her to become a drunk after insisting time and time again that she offends him by not drinking with him. Their relationship was already in the gutter before they marry and have a kid. Joe gets clean. Blames himself for making his estranged wife a drunk and then…. abandons her at the end. Yes, yes, I get it: she needs to take personal responsibility for her actions and he also wanted their kid to grow up with one sober parent. But Joe, I still blame you. I don’t buy your line of bull that she would have become a drunk on her own eventually. A fast read, if annoying.
I will read this short book of wisdom whenever I need to feel hope again. A series of interviews between the Dalai Lama and Franz Alt discussing everything from Trump to Tibet. Right now I think the Dalai Lama is the only person who can inspire me to feel hopeful and for that I will forever be grateful.
Disclaimer: I love everything Jeffrey Eugenides has ever written, starting with <i>The Virgin Suicides</i> which I read in high school long before it ever became a movie. The stories in this collection span from 1998 to 2017 and all examine the human condition, particularly regarding love, and cover very real situations ranging from adultery to divorce to aging. Very well done, as usual.
CONTAINS SPOILERS: Although very well written, I thought this book was bleak and depressing and I don’t get the blurbs on the back that claim it has a hopeful ending. Unless I completely read it wrong, an abused girl dying with her abuser is not hopeful, even if it does free her in the end.
A love story and mystery sprinkled throughout with tales of atrocities in Latin America. Classic Allende, although less robust of a story than her earlier novels in terms of character development and details.
A fast-paced gem: I read this in about 24 hours because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done this morning if I didn’t finish (although I did talk a walk before part three, on a cold bleak day: very fitting to set up the last part of the book). Set in a dystopian future that was indeed reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale as well as several other novels – check out the December issue of Elle, where Margaret Atwood interviews Louise Erdrich: swoon! Two of my favorite authors. Cedar, adopted and beloved daughter of two progressive liberals in Minnesota, becomes pregnant right at the cusp of the change, when society starts moving backward and babies stop being born healthy, if they survive at all. After traveling north to meet her Ojibwe birth mother and family, Cedar returns to a home already different and goes directly into hiding. An amazing story of courage, love, and resilience in the face of adversity, a fitting read for today’s uncertain time.
While the authors and writing in this essay collection are excellent, I could only read this book in small doses due to the subject matter. Honest, inspiring, and necessary reading.