I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fuckin’ tired. Like, why am I awake and attempting to think tired. I spent all weekend in the company of some fabulous women, talking all things romance. The Emerald City Writers’ Conference was an awesome time, and I may or may not do a recap post in the next few weeks, once I’ve digested everything. Suffice to say, I’m bit overwhelmed at the moment, and I’ve got my work cut out for me. I wouldn’t take back a minute of it.
But on to books. Books, books books. I finally got around to reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Amy disappears on Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary, and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect in what the police eventually come to believe is a murder. If you’re looking for a book with some Fucked Up characters (with a capital F and capital U), look no further than Gone Girl. You feel some sympathy toward Nick, because he’s just your typically bumbling husband: lazy, often forgetful, oh, and he’s cheating on his wife. But Amy…Amy is the definition of crazy. We’re talking sociopathic crazy here, and it’s sad, because we see Nick eventually rise to her level. But I loved his response to her at one point, on why he was being so nice to her-“Every morning, you have to wake up and be you.”
I have this thing about prison books. I’ve read a few of them (Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Live From Death Row and Jack Henry Abbot’s In the Belly of the Beast being two of the best) and I had high expectations for J. C. Amberchele’s How You Lose. A series of short stories interlinked to tell the story of Mel and how she survived a gunshot wound to the head, the result was ultimately disappointing. The first few stories helped further the journey Mel and Alex, the shooter, both take, but by the time you reach the middle, it’s just a collection of short stories. They’re well written, but not all that interesting.
To balance it out, I picked up Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas. Set on San Juan Island, Alex is haunted by a ghost who can’t remember who he is. Because this is a romance, Alex is drawn to Zoe, a woman who’s the complete opposite of his ex-wife. Alex is rude, tactless, and a drunk. Zoe is sweet and innocent. The story is engaging and fluffy, but what kept me reading was all the descriptions of a) the food Zoe prepares as a chef at Artist’s Point, a bed and breakfast on the island, and b) all the remodeling work Alex is doing. Seriously, the book is food and house porn. I’m an interior design junkie, so reading all the stuff Alex got to do to fix up Zoe’s cottage and his brother Sam’s house had me clamoring for more.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reacquaint my nose with the grindstone.