I read four books IN December (finishing the 5th on January 1st!). This brought the 2012 total up to 48 books, which is two more than 2011. I don't really have a goal to read more than that in 2013, but my friend Ann W. inspired me to consider more nonfiction. Maybe even one book a month! We'll see how that goes. It's slower reading work for me, so I'd have to give up on my big numbers goals a bit.
This is How You Lose Her was a finalist for the National Book Award and no joke. I mean, parts of it are pretty light, but it has as much cussing in it as most HBO television shows. Sometimes I read these books because I want to know someone else's life story, and that's what happened here. I have no idea what is like to grow up with Dominican and Puerto Rican backgrounds in New York. So I read it. I think if it were assigned reading, I would have had to read parts twice. Sometimes I got a little confused, and it's definitely intense. This NPR story is good if you are interested in reading the book, and it's worth listening to because Diaz calls Steve Inskeep BRO.
Holidays on Ice was supposed to be our "light" follow up to Gone Girl for book club. Some parts were laugh out loud looks at the holidays, and David Sedaris's stories from Santaland are my favorite. I've heard him perform it on This American Life, and it is classic. But it's a mixed bag. I think the important thing to remember with Sedaris is if you don't like the story, skip to the next chapter. It may make you giggle.
Mrs Queen Takes the Train was recommended to me by my grandma, Virginia. I love all things Great Britain, and I thought this book was just fine. We agreed there may be one too many characters because all of their back stories get overwhelming. But we liked the premise. What if the queen just decided she was done with the drama and got on a train out of London? It's sort of an ensemble piece, the queen uses twitter and does yoga, and it made me want to go back to London. Tomorrow maybe?
Caleb's Crossing is by Geraldine Brooks. If you haven't read anything by her yet, PLEASE read Year of Wonders. It is by far her best, and a book club book that everyone loved. Yes, it is about the plague. But read it anyways. Brooks does a good job with Caleb's Crossing about a Native American who leaves Nantucket Island and graduates from Harvard in the 1600s. A long long time ago, and it is based on some historical truth. She tells a good story, and I enjoyed it. But you should still read Year of Wonders instead.
The first book of 2013 is really the one I wish I was telling you about. My friend Ginny already did. Oh dear, it's just delightful. I loved it to pieces.