One of my counselling lecturers said something that has stuck with me – “When someone is telling you a story, always listen for the rub.” I knew exactly what he meant. It’s the bit where things don’t quite add up, where someone suddenly reveals more than you expect or conversely, less than you expect. Or the bit where someone reveals a little guilt or anxiety or anger or shame. There’s always a giveaway – the story is told with a ‘but’ or an ‘although’ – however, you have to listen for it.
Curtis Sittenfeld’s You Think It, I’ll Say It, is a collection of short stories, each with their own rub. The stories are about ordinary relationships and situations – a woman runs into a high school frenemy; a volunteer at a women’s refuge takes a disliking to a new, overly enthusiastic colleague; a lonely college student is befriended by a charismatic classmate; a single mother tries to combine work and parenting. Continue reading
Commitment to reduce the TBR stack…? What commitment?
Here’s my year in books (with thanks to the Goodreads record keeping tool): Continue reading
It’s time for #6degrees. Join in and see where your book chain takes you. Continue reading
There’s pride, there’s prejudice, and there’s also text break-ups, reality tv, ‘hate sex’, Bitcoin, jogging, and Ivy League schools in Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld’s fabulous, frothy take on the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice.
The brilliance in Sittenfeld’s rendering of Pride is that she stayed absolutely true to the story (a ridiculous social-climber plots to marry-off her five daughters to suitable, wealthy men), and yet made it very much her own.
All five girls had then gone on to private colleges before embarking on what could euphemistically be called non-lucrative careers, though in the case of some sisters, non-lucrative non-careers was a more precise descriptor.
The story is set in Cincinnati (Sittenfeld’s hometown) and we find Liz as a magazine journalist; Jane, a yoga instructor; Mary doing her third online masters degree; and Kitty and Lydia gadding about eating high-protein meals and attending CrossFit. Continue reading
Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading
It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up! Get into it!
We begin this month with Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (as picked by Jenny). I haven’t read it but my husband has – this is significant because my husband rarely reads novels. Continue reading
I have some April and May ARCs in my TBR stack – which one should I read first? Continue reading
1. I have a new* book and it’s superb. Actually, beyond superb. Continue reading
2016, the year of buying no books, does not mean the year of no new releases for me. Bless you and your generosity, publishers.
Here are ten ARCs hovering near the top of my staggering TBR stack –
1. Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma – twentysomethings in New York. Brilliant. Continue reading