The Tournament of Books kicks off in a week. I am currently NOT reading a ToB entry (gasp!) because I am waiting for holds to come into the library and orders to come at the bookstore. Poor planning on my part to have this lull at crunch time. Here are some quick thoughts on four more contenders for the Rooster.
No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. And I don’t really want to talk about it. It has an unusual construct; it is written in a stream of consciousness style, but with the stream being internet posts. The first half is rambling, the second half is deeply moving. The whole thing made me feel awful, mostly about myself. I gave it five stars, can’t say I liked it, and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
All’s Well by Mona Awad was not all well. A former stage actress, sidelined by an injury, is the unhappy, nay, miserable, theater director at a small college. With students in revolt, she has them put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well. There are mysterious benefactors. There are curses. There is weirdness both real and imagined. I gave it three stars. It had promise, but after my second try now, I think Awad is just not the writer for this reader.
Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge was excellent, but in an especially persnickety mood, I gave it four stars. It was SO close to being a five star read for me. Libertie is the daughter of a black, female doctor in New York in the late 1800’s. Growing up, it is assumed that she will follow in her mother’s footsteps, but medicine is not her calling. Loosely based on one of the first black women to earn a medical degree in the US, this book had me diving into the internet to fact check and learn. I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing; the ending? the shifting focus from mother to daughter? wanting someone to be right or wrong? something to actually be resolved? I dunno, but I am really looking forward to the ToB discussion on this one.
Percival Everett is a force. The Trees is everything that usually doesn’t pull me into a book. It is not especially character-driven (tho the characters are marvelous.) The chapters are very short making the book pretty choppy. Nothing/no one in the book was very relatable for me. All that being said, this was a five star read. At turns hilarious and horrendous, Everett left me speechless. Should be another excellent discussion at the ToB.
And on the non-book sport front… My beloved Boilermakers show flashes of excellence and glimpses of meltdowns, so the norm for a college basketball team. The NCAA tournament is going to be a doozy this year! My hockey team (the Stars) has climbed into a wild card spot (for now), and MLB is in disarray. March Madness, indeed!