Tag Archives: set in NYC

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Thoughts by Ottessa Moshfegh, Penguin Press 2018, 289 pages

Challenge: n/a

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit

Type/Source: Hard cover, Library

What It’s About: A 20-something female devastated by both her grief and the lack of emotional response to the death of her parents tries to sleep her way back to a sense of self. She finds the best and worst of psychiatrists whacky enough to prescribe her any assortment of drug cocktails to allow withdrawal from her life. She has one friend she treats miserably, an ex-boyfriend who she allows to treat her miserably, and a miserable job at an art gallery. She loses that job by taking too many sleep breaks in the broom closet. This job does introduce her to some interesting people, one of which sparks her to the one idea: an art project that just might restore her to the fresh start she seeks.

“Like dropping a pie on the floor as soon as you pull it out of the oven.”

Thoughts: I am glad to have read this. One of those books that you are glad to say ‘yep, I read that’ maybe more than the enjoyment of actually reading of it. The character’s decisions sure made my heart race – like watching someone stand on the edge of a cliff, or on the railing of a high bridge, then doing a pirouette.

Thoughts: Moshfegh is a talented writer. VERY talented.

Rating: Four slices of pie.

“I tried to picture Anthony Michael Hall making an appearance, maybe as the neighbor’s kid coming to pay his condolences with a pie or a casserole.”

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

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If Beale Street Could Talk

Thoughts by James Baldwin, Vintage 2006 (orig 1974), 197 pages

Challenge: 20 Books of Summer, Book to Movie

Genre/Theme: Civil Rights, Love Story

Type/Source: Tradeback, Indie Bookstore purchase

What It’s About: I’m rusty. I was on SUCH a good roll of writing/posting/sharing my book thoughts and now, I can’t think of thing to say.

This is the story of first love and family love. And heartache. Both for the young couple and because of the tragedies they are swept up in, for whatever family is and should be. The way Tish’s family supported her and Fonny, contrasted with how Fonny’s family (exception, his father) was not able to do the same. Sad and unfair. Nothing was fair.

“The only way anything gets done is when you make up your mind to do it.“

Thoughts: I was gutted at the end. I’m not sure I can recall a book that quite did what this one did AFTER the last page was read. I closed the book and sat and just welled up, welled over. And felt almost a physical sensation, shock-like.

Rating: Five slices of pie.

Sweetie pie.

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Detransition, Baby

Thoughts by Torrey Peters, One World / Random House 2021, 340 pages

Challenge: TOB Summer Camp, Women’s Lit Prize Long List

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit, Trans Women, Motherhood

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library 14 day loan

What It’s About: A well-told well-organized humorous and sympathetic no-holds-barred look at a triad-parenting question. We meet Reese, a trans woman who desperately wants to be a mother, her ex-lover — originally James then Amy now Ames, and Ames’ boss/lover Katrina who in discovering herself pregnant, considers much more than just her future as a parent. What does it mean to be a family? What does it mean to want to be a mother? It’s all quite complicated.

Thoughts: A fascinating look at sex and gender and transsexuality and the human condition. The writing is vivid, it’s very readable – meaning that I didn’t want to put it down. Reese is a very unique multi-faceted character; prickly, wise, troubled and tender.

I only had one quibble about “women” wanting to be mothers or not and saw my own experience briskly dismissed – it’s not worthy mentioning. Of course, we tend to believe things that present as absolute and just are not. Tendencies to make grand statements and quip stereotypes; but that is probably just a reflection of society and reminder that we just can’t make grand statements about what certain people might think and believe. It’s damn complicated.

Rating: Four slices of pie. Lots of pie.

“When they moved to New York from Seattle, they did this thing where they invited other married couples over to watch Cheers and eat pie.”

page 21

 

 

Copyright © 2007-2022. Care’s Books and Pie also known as and originally created as Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.