Books I Am Not Reading

I requested The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion from the library. I really like her writing about living in New York, and hadn’t read this one, I thought this was going to be a whole novel about that… it turns out that this is a terribly sad memoir about life after her beloved husband dropped dead at dinner one night. She writes about how lonely and weird she felt without her husband writing in the next room, and that’s when I put it away and went to go bother my husband, who was writing in the next room.

Later, I went to pick up dinner from the shwarma place my husband likes, although I did not exactly tell him that the reason he got his favorite dinner is that I’m just so, so happy he’s not dead.

I got First Comes Love from NetGalley, but ugh. I mean, I hated The One and Only, because it was gross, but I gave Emily Giffen another chance because I really liked Something Borrowed. I finished the book, got to the end where exactly zero of the novel’s plotlines have resolved in a satisfying and realistic way, and wished I had quit to read something else. I guess Something Borrowed is the exception, not The One and Only.

In Twenty Years is a old friends reunion novel. If that’s not a fiction genre, it totally should be. I love this kind of story, and if you do too, you should go read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. You should not read In Twenty Years. In this novel, five college friends reunite for a weekend just before their turn forty, because their sixth friend, Bea, bought their college house before dying tragically. The remaining friends spend the weekend working on their issues, which are basically having too much pressure to be perfect on TV.

The only really interesting source of tension is that two of the friends are so famous that their weekend escapades become internet sensations, while one of the friends is Instagramming her life in the hopes of gaining followers. This isn’t really explored, though. Too much of this book is the thirty-nine-year-old friends thinking of the Wise and Insightful things Bea always said to them back in college, to the point where I kind of hated Bea, and I was starting to expect a reveal in which Bea was still alive and just mindfucking with everybody. Actually, that would have been a lot better…. I made it to the end, but wished I hadn’t.




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