Books I read this week: Jan. week 1

One of my goals this year is to buy less books (isn’t it every year?) and I’m going to achieve this goal by reading what’s already on the Haunted Kindle and utilizing the library. I’ve missed the library so much. This week’s reads include two from the library, woohoo goals!

Dear Thief by Samantha Harvey is a dense book. I’m not quite sure why, but it took me 5 days to read its 272 pages where it took me a day to read all 455 pages of The Silkworm.  The book is in the form of a long letter from a woman to a friend she has known since childhood, a friend who has betrayed her. As the letter continues, the words flow in a stream of consciousness way until the full truth of all of the relationships are revealed. It’s a very “slice of life” book; not a lot happens that anyone would deem world changing, but the whole world is in the details of these people’s lives. It’s a very interesting, poetic read.

  We are all looking for miracles and small mercies. I mean this. Who are we to decide on another’s behalf what is miraculous, what is merciful?

All life is a joke and falling for it is the best we can do. Better than refusing to laugh along, which I sometimes think is the route to madness.

Time is a drug that wears off.

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Book 2) by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) is a solid followup to The Cuckoo’s Calling. It doesn’t quite have the same glitter- I didn’t enjoy the cast of characters as much- but it’s a twisty, enjoyable mystery. Strike is hired to track down a writer and bring him home by the writer’s wife, when he can’t do that, it turns into a missing person’s case. And when a manuscript by the missing man is leaked and it contains thinly veiled caricatures of almost everyone he knows, it’s not long before it turns into a murder case. As with Cuckoo’s Calling, the clues are all there, there’s no cheating, and there are plenty of plausible suspects and red herrings. The background stories of Strike and his ex-wife, and Robin and Matthew move along nicely.

The Daughters: A Novel by Adrienne Cole was an impulse library pick up. I rarely go to the library with particular books in mind (I did with The Silkworm), I usually just let books yell at me from the shelves, and this one did. It’s the story of Lulu, an opera singer who has just had a baby. She comes from a line of women who believe that, due to an ancestor’s “deal with the devil”, when they give birth to a daughter something they love will be taken from them. Lulu fears that her daughter’s birth will cost her her voice, as her own birth cost her mother her singing career. It’s a beautiful look at what motherhood costs, the sacrifices made, and the hopes we hold for future generations. It’s also a meditation on the role of stories in the formation of our identities, and how the past influences us. I really, really liked this one.

I could tell Kara a story. She has a lot to learn about me, about the past. Where she comes from, where she’s going. And anyway, isn’t that the function of stories? To teach our brains to dream? It would be daunting to fall asleep into the noise of complete darkness, infinite probability. Wihtout the guide of a little narrative, a little magic, how would we know where to go when we closed our eyes? 

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