Son by Lois Lowry

heavy sigh…… Well, we just finished listening to this. It was wonderful to spend the past couple of months (longer) listening to all four books right in a row. And, like with others, I can’t believe how much I did not remember about this book. It was as if it was all new to me*. So there was a lot of shock and delight and surprise. And again, listening to the e-audiobook more than once I thought it was done or wrapping up only to find that the book just kept going.

I don’t even really want to say anything about the content or plot. There is A LOT in this one. It’s a very fitting and wonderful conclusion, pulling all the strings together of the previous books, giving time and place to everything.

It truly was a wonderful story and we loved every minute of it. Reading them all together like this made the experience even better as we really felt immersed in this world of the story.

*Though this is my second time with this book. Here’s what I had to say about it the first time., which was eight years ago.

Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

I loved this. I think the last book I read by Zigman was Animal Husbandry and that was a solid 20+ years ago.  I don’t remember a thing about that book, but I do remember liking it. And if it was anything like this I can see why. First of all, this was really well written. I know I say that a lot and what do I mean by that? I mean finely crafted sentences and great word choices. Sometimes I mean amazing structure.

It was also quite a feat to create a character who is wearing a dog in a baby sling and NOT have the reader think “oh my gosh this lady is crazy” but instead “aw, I get it.” Judy might be a little odd, but she was relatable and likable and not a bad person. A person who had a lot of stuff going on.

There were a few different themes going on here, but I could Relate with a capital R to the one about her teenage son growing up and away from her. It was so spot on the longing she felt for years past when her child was little. That combined with the discomfort of being separated from her husband, Gary, but still living together, and her best friend dying, are what lead to Judy putting the dog into a sling and wearing it most of the time.
There was certainly a lot of sadness here, but there were so many funny details–Puppet People and secret Pooper at her son’s somewhat ridiculous Montessori school; the absurd creativity life coach she friends with (and by friends she means follows on Instagram.) I especially enjoyed (which made it even sadder) how she and Gary didn’t hate each other. They were still so connected and had inside jokes and nonverbal communication, yet did they have a future together?

This was terrific.

Siri Who Am I? by Sam Tschidi

Finally. A book that sucked me in that I just plowed right through. This was so funny, and fun, and fast, and light. Just what I needed right now. It was enormously satisfying. I love a story where a character has amnesia and has to figure things out. In this case she tries to piece everything together from Instagram, which was hilarious. Mia seems to be big in the world of high profile boyfriends and influencers, but she really doesn’t know what’s real or not, who her friends are, or what.

Absolute fun and very recommended.

Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee

A pretty short graphic novel I bought for school and  took the opportunity to take home and read while we’re closed. I love Meg Cabot’s writing so def had high hopes for this. Indeed, it was funny and fast. Reminded me a bit of Squirrel Girl. In fact, I would like Black Canary to meet up with Squirrel Girl, but alas DC vs. Marvel. No way are they meeting up in Gotham City.  This is definitely an origin story as teenage Dinah Lance is just discovering what her power is (and trying to keep it a secret and then discovering her own backstory secret.)  Looking forward to more of these because it would be satisfying to read a bunch together.

Wishing I Hadn’t Read All those Post Apocalyptic Novels Now…

Strange times my friends. I’m no stranger to pandemic themed novels (esp. trying not to think of that one)so I’ve reacted as one might expect to the fact that we are literally in the midst of a pandemic now. I’m pleased to say that now that I’m safely at home I’m pretty chill about it. And super psyched to have a nice big stack of books to devote myself to. But..over the past few weeks I just haven’t been able to concentrate on getting through a single full novel. I finally started something I liked and then I lost (?) it. Day 1 of “Distance Learning” for all of us was yesterday and I decided to do a reading reset. Start with something short and fun that I knew I could finish. So I’m ready with two kid’s graphic novels and yet again starting yet another new adult novel, but I think this one will stick this time 🙂

Wishing you all a safe time of isolation filled with lots of reading! What are you reading?

Started Early Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

After Big Sky I was itching to read another Jackson Brodie. Even though I was pretty sure I’d already read this, it’s what was available at the library at that moment, so I took it. Even while I read it I still wasn’t sure if I’d read it or not, but just now I see on Goodreads that yes, I read this once before, in 2011.
Even though there are a lot of terrible things that happen in these novels, somehow it is not soul crushing to read them. I liked the way the point of view went back and forth, I always like peeking into Jackson’s personal life, and the setting was fascinating to me.  Best of all, Atkinson is a fantastic writer. I found myself reading for about 45 minutes one night and just solidly enjoying so many lines and the way certain paragraphs were written, never mind the story itself. These books are a pleasure to read.