Well, hello! Things are pretty mad over at Thompson Towers. I’m entering the last six months of my thirties, which is frankly unbelievable. My career has quite suddenly accelerated, which is very exciting, but a little scary. Anyhoo, there’s always time for reading!
Only a mere 99 years after publication, I finally read The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and it was absolutely amazing. A woman has to take up work after her husband loses the use of his legs, and finds her true calling. It raises points that are still discussed today, such as mom guilt, and the ridiculously sexist expectation that men are expected to be the bred-winners in heterosexual relationships. I’ve read one of Canfield Fisher’s short stories before, but I am now fully obsessed.
Woohoo, a new Catriona Ward novel! Looking Glass Sound isn’t out in the US until August, so I had to order it from Blackwell’s Books in the UK (I suggest you do the same!). This is a highly ambitious, unique novel, which I gobbled up in a matter of days. One tip if you’re planning on reading this book: make sure you make a note of character names. There’s a lot of fantastic wordplay in this novel, and things can get a little tangled up.
I finally read Misery by Stephen King, and yes, you were all right, it’s amazing. Annie Wilkes is such an incredible character, and King’s description of her is now one of my favorite quotes ever:
“Like an idol she gave only one thing: a feeling of unease deepening steadily toward terror.”Stephen King, Misery, 1987
I also watched the movie; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it. Kathy Bates is obviously amazing, but I preferred the book. I would also not pass up the option to write a new, more faithful adaptation.
I finished Agustina Bazterrica’s Nineteen Claws and a Black Bird (translated by Sarah Moses). You can read my full review here. I don’t think it will stay with me the same way Tender is the Flesh did, but that’s probably a good thing.
Some of you know this, but I used to be a theatre critic. I miss watching plays, so I’m making an attempt to read at least one script a month. I managed two in April, The Welkin, by Lucy Kirkwood, and John, by Annie Baker. Both fantastic, and I’m incredibly jealous of anyone who has seen either of these plays on stage.
I had never read a Lorrie Moore novel before. Yes, I know, I should hand back my library card. But now I have remedied this. Moore’s new novel, the wonderfully titled, I Am Homeless if This is Not My Home, is hilarious and moving. My full review is here; the book comes out in June.
Phew! That’s a lot. I’m currently reading And Then She Fell, by Alicia Elliott, which has one of the best opening chapters I’ve ever read. I’m also reading the anthology, The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan. The opening story, What I Remember of Oresha Moon Dragon Devahrata by P. Djeli Clark, is absolutely amazing, and hits all my buttons of witches, coming-of-age stories, outsiders, and giant mechanical beings.
Once again I’m reflecting on how fortunate I am. I have a wonderful family, hugely supportive friends and colleagues, my dream home, a really great therapist, and more books than I could ever hope to read. I’m leaving my thirties on an incredibly high note.
Hope you’re all doing wonderfully! Let me know what you’re reading!