I finished a book last night and it felt a bit weird.
I just havn’t been reading much lately (we moved, I work a lot on computers, netflix is just pretty darn good).
I enjoyed it – The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels, with lots of literary references and a well written dual timeline. I liked the main character and learning more about her and her journey but I did feel a bit, I don’t know, either lost or bereft when I finished it. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the ending, or maybe I just wanted to keep enjoying a book.
So tonight, Maundy Thursday, I thought I’d start a new book, actually I’ve started two and I’m disappointed with both.
Page 6 of the first …”She liked to look her best, of course, and she had not, like some other mums she knew, let herself ‘go’. What does this even mean?!? Are we Mums so judgemental about other women’s post birth bodies?!?! I guess its culturally normal for women to talk/think like this, but do the books we read need to utilise this trend. Am I (most probably yes!) overreacting?
Then the second book I pick up page 1, …”Not that Carly’s hair was bad, it just wasn’t naturally blonde….no one would have guessed how many extensions, pieces, pins and lacquer sprays were holding it all up.”
Now maybe it’s just that I’m not a very visual person. Personally I don’t need a physical description of my book characters, in my mind they are really just shadowy shapes of a person so there’s that side (and maybe it’s the only side), but do books really need to describe their characters physical features full of comparisons of what they are or arn’t, using what I consider negative societal body image norms? I want to know who they are as a person – their values and personality, not their looks. No doubt (?) these books will get to that but with a start focussing on looks and judging other women’s looks I’m not sure I want to go any further.
Am I just in a funny mood?
Despite my earlier claim I havn’t been reading much I will recap a few other 2021 reads.
Last week I finished Hamnet by Maggie Farrell for bookclub. It was well written from the start but took awhile to get into, I relished the second half ( plot looks at William Shakespeare’s family).
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty wasn’t what I expected and a good read but I do find her books all have a similar feel which is great but after a few a tinge unoriginal .
The Survivors by Jane Harper was an easy buy based on her previous novels but although another good read not as good as the ones I loved before.
The standout was easily Honeybee by Craig Silvey – this was an absolutely brilliant read which I highly recommend, even if you’re not immediately struck by it’s blurb. Another must read from last year is What the Dog Saw by Mark Worthing, written for children/siblings with experience of suicide in mind but just beautiful for anyone.
What have you been reading lately? Hoping to get into a good book over the long Easter weekend? Have you let yourself been put off of a book because of a mood/insensitive wordings?
Happy Reading and a reminder that I believe Jesus died on a cross for me and you and loves us all very very much.