Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff.
I am halfway through this one, and it’s hard to put down. I love Groff’s style of writing, the colorful way she lays the groundwork for a marriage: first focusing on the husband, Lotto, and his story through 20 years of their marriage (though so far I really don’t like his character or even feel any empathy toward him), then the focus shifts, during the second half of the novel, toward Mathilde, the wife (I haven’t reached that part yet, but I have some ideas of who she is, and it’s not so pretty). This book has been all over the place, and when I read the reviews, I knew I wanted to read it. So far, so good!
I also finally read Home Grown, by Ben Hewitt, while on vacation in Asheville. It was great, a quick, light read with many insights and challenges to the way we parent and school our children. If nothing else, it opens the mind to new ways of thinking of education, which I thoroughly appreciate! It’s easy to read the whole thing in one sitting, too.
And on to two books I really didn’t like. I realized that I only ever post books that I like or love here, and that is deceiving, because there are many more books I read that I dislike or even give up on. The first, I was so excited about! The title alone promises such great things: Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad, by Richard Stephens. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. Stephens basically spun certain things (like sex and moderate drinking) as being bad, which, last time I checked, couldn’t be further from the truth. I think we all know the benefits of sex (it feels good! it releases endorphins! it makes babies! it’s awesome!), and obviously, spoiler alert, drinking in moderation can be good for you. Nothing new here, and that was where the disappointment lies for me. I was really hoping for some insight into real “black sheep” types of things, like being on the fringes of society, or disagreeing with the status quo, or even how children testing the boundaries of naughtiness can be a good thing. And that’s why I had to laugh out loud when one of my boys accidentally tipped over a glass of water on the table next to this book and didn’t bother to clean it up. I found the book, sopping wet, hours later, and thought, how perfect. Oh, well.California, by Edan Lepucki, had so much promise. It was an instant New York Times bestseller, for goodness sake! Though I have no idea why… it is so poorly written it seems like a draft, or an idea, of a novel. I was hoping, from the description of the novel, that there would be some excitement or real post-apocolyptic issues, but absolutely nothing happens. The characters seem shallow and petty, and the worst part is that Lepucki built up certain events so much that the reader comes to expect a huge revelation, that, unfortunately, never comes. All in all, I was completely underwhelmed by this book.
What are you reading these days?