Goal #47: Read 52 books in a year.
How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti
I started out liking this book, with its emphasis on female friendship–something all too rarely depicted in literary fiction, especially the kind of literary fiction that generated as much buzz as this book did. Then I started disliking it, once I realized that the characters weren’t so much sweet muddled 20-somethings but just obnoxious hipsters with way too much time on their hands. And then, towards the end, I liked it a little bit again. I hesitate to criticize it too harshly, since most of the reviews I’ve seen that did clearly came from people who just Did Not Get It, and I’m afraid that there were definitely parts of this novel that I just didn’t get. So I’ll leave the verdict up in the air, for now.
Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
I read an interview with Jeffrey Eugenides where–in the midst of some sexist drivel–he mentions that every writer in the world wants to be Alice Munro. That much, at least, is true. Reading an Alice Munro collection is like getting a free master class in how to write a short story. I’m pretending it’s research.
Insurgent, Veronica Roth
These books are so bad. I don’t know why I keep reading them. The characters have all the emotional depth of cauliflower, and the protagonist, Tris, has an IQ to match. I got about 100 pages in before I started rooting for bad things to happen to the main characters. As soon as I put this book down, I swore up and down that I wouldn’t go near the third book when it comes out. But let’s face it, I probably will.