Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Fredrik Backman, new fav author?

I think I have a few favorite author. Maybe that's getting too far ahead. I've only read two of his books and I think you need three for it to be a trend. So we're on the cusp. But if you haven't checked out Fredrik Backman, might I recommend that you remedy that? 

Let me step back. I hadn't heard of him until recently though he seems to have books going back about a decade. Now I will admit to being far less up on book trends since the little monster came around but I was pretty active during that window and he didn't come across my radar. It's a nice reminder just how many books there are. Anyway, I hadn't heard of him till recently when a friend recommended A Man Called Ove. A few times. And I said "yeah yeah yeah" and put it on my TBR list, which is currently 470 books long. And it may have sat there for a while. Except this friend and I are in a (currently virtual) book club together and another book by that author was picked (Ove having already been read by a couple people). So, by virtue of the fact that it was an assignment, I read Anxious People. And oh man.

Have you ever read a story where partway through you realize how invested you are? And just how much you're enjoying it? Because that was my reaction here. I started out a little skeptical. Which is silly because the book starts out saying "This is a book about a lot of things,  but mostly about idiots" and really, that should have done it. But then part way through I remember thinking "Ooooh no. I think...I love this?" And I did. I did love it. I loved the tone of the story. The dry humor. I loved the characters and how they transformed from pure caricatures to people that were more complicated than first impressions would suggest. The plot, insomuch as there is one, is a bit confusing and the story tells itself and retells itself from different perspectives with different information each time. But in simplest terms, it involves a failed bank robbery and an accidental hostage situation during an apartment open house.

Loving this book, I decided to give A Man Called Ove a try and once my reading schedule and my library's hold schedule lined up, I started reading (or listening, as the case may be). But I was again worried. I mean, there's no way I'm going to like this one as much, right? That's ridiculous. And again, I started it a bit skeptical. Even though it had a very similar tone. But just like before, part way through the book I found myself thinking "Oooh nope, I was wrong before, I love this one too, just as much". It was a slow burn that won me over just as strongly. The plot is a bit odd. It's basically a curmudgeon wants to kill himself to be reunited with his wife but keeps getting interrupted by his neighbors and I swear, it's funny and sweet and not dark. Not too dark.

I will definitely be reading more of his stuff (Beartown next, perhaps?) and I'll probably go into it thinking "Well I mean, this can't be as good as the other two" and hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, October 11, 2021

September Reading Wrap Up

Hey guess what? We are several days into a new month and I have yet to update my September reading. I can blame a lot of things. And I will. Work was especially busy this past week with a workshop up lots of time. Last weekend the little monster got a cold which has been a fun game of is it COVID? IS IT? And having a toddler cough in your face an entire weekend isn't great for your health, so then I got sick. It's just been a lot, is what I'm saying. But suddenly I realized that post I meant to write last weekend ne'er was writ and I am way, way behind. Moreso than usual. 
Here's the germ monster, practicing his chopstick skills

Anyway, stats, shall we?

Number of books read
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Number of pages read
Almost the same as August (1,485) Weird.


Female authors

BIPOC authors

US authors

Gideon the Ninth as a fun readalong with online book friends
This Is How It Always Is as a book club choice with IRL book friends

Book format
audiobook: 100%

Where'd I get the book
Library: 100%
My library card expired on me this week, which also meant none of my library apps worked and thus necessitated a trip to the library Saturday morning. But all is fixed, all is well.
Also, tbc, I own P&P as an audiobook as well as physical covers. Yet I still just got a copy out of the library. I dunno.


Published decade
1810s: 25%
2010s: 50%
2020s: 25%

Resolution books
Gideon the Ninth - New Zealand author
Pride and Prejudice - UK author and first published a bit before the year 2000
The Other Black Girl - Black author
Special mention for This Is How It Always Is which is a story about a trans child

So there you have it. Not a bad month, even if I am way behind. Will October be any better? Who knows! Not me