MARCH BOOKS WRAP-UP
Another month has ended and it's time for a quick look-back on which books I was able to read. Also, this is becoming a regular thing and that's good, right? Not everyone has the time these days (but we're still in quarantine, you say? heh) to actually sit down and blog, so here's a pat in the back for ya, self.
In addition to the book club's read for March, I was able to squeeze in two other titles, making up a grand total of three. YAY! Without further ado, here they are:
- Elena Ferrante's "My Brilliant Friend" - 3/5
- Matt Haig's "The Midnight Library" - 3/5
- David Mitchell's "Utopia Avenue" - 5/5
- "My Brilliant Friend" was an interesting enough read, but it didn't hook me enough to pursue the subsequent novels despite the cliffhanger ending. I found the dynamics in the relationship between Lila and Lenu commonplace, hence the detachment from their characters, I guess. Character-wise, the novel was rich and well-thought out. I never would have imagined Naples to have a poor neighborhood such as that described here, so that's a real eye-opener. The rest of the characters were also very fascinating; throw them all together with the main protagonists, Lila and Lenu, and the dramatic saga of the Italians begins.
- "The Midnight Library" was a "whim read" because I only picked it up when one of my reader-officemates requested that we read together. He was curious as the book supposedly earned stellar reviews and ratings (I haven't checked) so I agreed, and it was a quick read anyway. Quite readable, but I felt like it struggled too much at explaining life philosophies and such, there were times I ho-humed and shook my head at the attempts. Possibly this was written with a younger audience in mind, not sure, but you gotta hand it to the author for trying. I liked it, anyhow.
- Three-quarters of the book in, and I thought for sure that "Utopia Avenue" would be the first David Mitchell novel I'd give fewer than 5 stars to. Then I finish it, and my heart constricted, and I thought, why did I even think this book doesn't deserve 5 stars??? I haven't felt so book hungover in a long time, probably the reason why it's so hard for me now to get into the groove of my current read (a John Le Carre, if you're interested). "Utopia Avenue" is about a British rock band of four members formed in 1967, the era of LSD, rock and roll music, Janis Joplin, and the Beatles, among many others. Loved the respective and collective travails, hardships, and experiences of Elf, Dean, Jasper, and Griff -- I think I already fell in love with them. And the best thing about a David Mitchell novel is a ton of Easter eggs in it. Hello there, my favorite literary doctors! (You have to read the book to find out who!)