Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Post Valentine's Day Reading Update

We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day much around here. I gave my husband a funny card, and he brought me a beautiful bunch of tulips. I gave the kids chocolate, and forced them to share.

I finished the anti-Valentine book on Valentine's day. I bought The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, by Brian Moore, because I was looking through the recent releases of NYRB classics and the description was intriguing--and the NYRB Classics catalogue is a great resource for interesting books. This is a novel about a spinster in 1950 Belfast, and her sad and steady decline, and while I enjoyed the writing, the book was a little depressing for the traditional day of love. So I ate some chocolate.

I also recently finished Jennifer Egan's novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, for my book group, which meets next week. This is the first of Egan's work that I've read, though I've been meaning to read The Keep forever. I really enjoyed her writing. This book is a linked group of short stories that make up a novel, centered around two characters, record producer Benny Salazar, and his assistant Sasha. The book skips around in time and place, among loosely-linked characters, and the writer deftly switches up styles and voices. The big theme here is growing up, getting old, facing mortality--as time is the goon mentioned in the title. I wish I liked the characters better, or rather, was more able to immerse myself in their lives, but I found the book to be an enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to discussing this one with my book group. And eating more chocolate.

Did you read anything special for Valentine's Day? Did you eat any chocolate?


Ti said...

I've not read Good Squad yet but I read The Keep when it first came out and liked it very much.

Gentle Reader said...

Ti--I think I'll read The Keep, I keep hearing good things. How's Chloe? Hoping that's going well :)

Susan said...

I want to read A Visit from the Goon Squad! I like your anti-Valentine reading too! That and eating the chocolate made me laugh.

Gentle Reader said...

Susan--I ate so much candy on Valentine's Day I can almost say I'm sick of chocolate, but not quite!