Monday, March 19, 2012

Working and books

I've begun to work more, which has turned out to be a good thing for both the bank account and my sanity, but as a result I haven't written here much lately. I'll have to work on that! After March is over I will have a bit more time, as I took a temporary chair massage job just through March. My other job is at a gym, with child care (!!!) so Anton comes with me. That's been fun so far. And I'm still commuting to see clients in New Orleans twice a month.

I read two books recently that had some wonderful elements, but that ultimately I found disappointing. One was by my favorite author, Joyce Carol Oates. I've read several of her novels, and liked them all, but some more than others. This one, I'll Take You There, had an interesting premise, great characters, and was, of course, written in her wonderfully perceptive and evocative prose...but the plot? Meh. I kept waiting for something really big to happen, and it just didn't. Or actually, there were some events that could be considered "big," yet something about the way they happened lacked the impact I anticipated. It's hard to describe. I have another of her books "on deck," so we'll see how that one is.

The next book I read was Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters. I picked this one up at a book store because it looked awesome. And lots of things about it were awesome: a quirky family with a Shakespearean scholar dad, an ailing mom, and three adult sisters who all happened to be at crisis/turning points in their lives - all back together under one roof. The exploration of birth order dynamics was quite interesting. There were some beautiful scenes. And yet, all three sisters' problems, which seemed at the outset to be very complex, were basically neatly solved by Perfect Men. Ugh. All of the elements that were NOT about romance in this book were so great, but the romance plots seemed really stale (one of the sisters literally runs into a man she likes...gah, will people please retire the accidental physical collision device???) and predictable. Having said that, I would read more by Brown in the future, because, as I said, there was a lot I liked.


  1. Hah Nola, If you do not like accidental meetings than you probably don't like Charles Dickens. I wonder what the latest, cyberspace, equivalent of the accidental meeting should be. A mis-dialed number on a smartphone with camera perhaps. Something like " Her palpating heart quivered as the image appeared on her screen-- Strong face yet sensitive and somehow vulnerable.
    I heard a great interview with Eleanor Brown on The Book report radio show with Elaine Charles. The book sounds great, if only for the Shakespearian quotes. You can listen to the interview on

  2. I can tolerate some accidental meetings, but it's tricky to do them well. I thought John Irving's The Cider House Rules was an interesting modern take on the Dickens style of novel - including some major coincidences.