Thursday, October 20, 2016

Today Will Be Different

Quoting the review I read in Goodreads with my own: TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, (No, NOT hilarious) heart-filled story about reinvention, (NOT heartfilled, crazyfilled) sisterhood, (They hated and disappointed each other) and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living. (You call this living?)

I dreaded writing this review after loving Where’d You Go, Bernadette years ago. The narrator is middle aged, Eleanor Flood. She is an animator, mother (Timby, age 9) and wife of Joe. They live in Seattle. She is a miserable cynic who loves her family but can’t stand them at the same time. She had a rough but somewhat interesting childhood, and seems to have really lost her mind. She is not just a little quirky, her manic behavior is kind of scary. The story takes place in one endlessly long day. The ideas come and go, scenes left dangling with little or no meaning. The numerous characters are equally bizarre and their stories -even the meaningful ones, like the scenes with her sister -leave the reader bewildered. The one and only element I enjoyed was her drawings (animations) that depicted her childhood. Maybe it should have been a graphic novel as Eleanor was meant to be working on in the book. I am not a writer. I am a reader. As a reader, this was an unenjoyable experience. I still recommend Bernadette. And I look forward to more work from Maria Semple, with my fingers crossed.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Man Called Ove

Ove (In English it’s ooh-ve. ve as in "vegetarian" and ooh like the expression of dismay, not the oo sound of "glue") Ove is a man, 59 years of age, that wants to kill himself. After suffering a rather unfortunate childhood, Ove surprises himself by falling in love with Sonja. She is beautiful, smart and kind. They are married for over forty years and albeit with much misery (he never outgrew,) Sonja was his only sunshine. But now Sonja is gone, Ove has been asked to “retire” from his job and Ove is done. In his small row house, in an average sized village, Ove tries every day (unsuccessfully) to end his life. With each attempt another annoying neighbor knocks on his door to bring a bit of meaning to his miserable days and purpose to keep on living. A job to do. And Ove figures another day can’t hurt too much. The writing is beautiful and translation well done but I struggled to keep turning these pages. To put it simply, I was bored. I managed to stick with it for the sake of my book club and at 70% the pace and story brightened (a little) with a somewhat meaningful ending to finish up the task. All in all, this book was not for me and although other reviews out there raved, I cannot.


Call me crazy but after bingeing 2 seasons of Younger @tvland, I had to read the book to confirm my obsession. Alice is a New Jersey housewife with a grown daughter that has just finalized her nasty divorce. She has spent the last year licking her wounds, losing weight and figuring out what to do with the rest of her life. At forty, Alice - who has always looked younger than her age - is convinced by her lifelong friend Maggie to move to New York and reinvent herself. Dishearteningly, she learns it is not easy to jump back into the workforce after being a stay at home for the last two decades. Enter the new Alice, late twenties, wise, talented and equipped with a funky new wardrobe. She gets the job at her old publishing house and meets tattoo artist Josh who just can’t take no for an answer (or his hands off her.) Alice gets to live the dream. A repeat of your twenties with the “if I only knew then what I know now” mentality. She quickly learns to enjoy Josh’s attentions and can appreciate her job, friends and even her daughter on a whole new level. The book is as delicious as the adorable/hot tv show and I am looking forward to season 3, and of course reading anything else delightful author Pamela Redmond Satran writes in the future! If you want a one day, fun escape from reality, this is it.