Happy Easter Monday, to my friends who were celebrating this weekend, and happy new week to those who weren’t. We had a quiet weekend at home – on Saturday Peanut and I attended a birthday party for one of her school friends, and on Sunday we celebrated Easter with a family hike, and later a trip to the playground. The Easter Bunny didn’t go too crazy on the kids’ Easter baskets – he never does – but they each got something to read and a few small treats. Peanut received a paper-mache egg painted with Peter Rabbit, with some candies inside, a chocolate bunny, and a boxed set of four of the Brambly Hedge stories. Nugget got Camp Rex (sequel to Peanut’s old favorite Tea Rex) and a dinosaur sippy cup and bowl.
Not much reading this week and weekend – it’s been particularly busy. I finally finished The Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee, which took the better part of a week. It was very well-written, but I was underwhelmed in light of the hype surrounding it. I loved the imagery and the gorgeous set writing, but I found the characters a bit wooden (even the heroine, although she less so than the others) and the central romance seemed slightly forced. There was a big twist that I predicted a mile away, which always puts me off a book slightly, although there was a smaller twist that I didn’t see coming. In all, a rather mixed bag on The Queen of the Night – I’d recommend it, but I’m not waxing poetic about it as others are in the blogosphere. Another one that has been a little underwhelming is The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. It’s a huge bestseller and I’m seeing it everywhere, so perhaps my expectations were unrealistically high. But about 130 pages from the end, I’m finding it hard to care about the characters or believe the story. I’m also – and this may be a lawyer thing, so those of you non-attorneys may not care about this – distracted by Sara’s immigration situation. She travels to the U.S. on a tourist visa and even says early on in the book that she can’t work – but she opens a bookstore selling the books of her deceased pen pal. Questions, I have them all. Where is the money that she brings in from the bookstore going, since she can’t work on her tourist visa? Why isn’t ICE asking questions? How can she sell her pen pal’s books? Was there a will? Did her pen pal die intestate? There are ways of disposing of people’s property when they pass away, and it isn’t to let some random stay in their house claiming to be their pen pal, and then start selling their stuff. What is happening here? I’m afraid I’m too distracted by these questions to really enjoy the story.
Up next on the reading stack is What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, the new collection of short stories by Helen Oyeyemi, and then more digging in the library stack, which keeps growing. I’m not expecting to have much reading time this week, so we’ll see how it goes.
On the blog: early spring adventures here in WNY on Wednesday, and back to Colorado on Friday. See you around!
What are you reading this week?