Reads, Lately

Remember when I used to take pictures of Russell’s outfits with what I’ve been reading? Now our hands are always full of baby and we’re too busy taking pictures of him.

But I wanted to share what I’ve been reading recently.

PicMonkey Collage

The Nest: I’m in a book club again! In New York I was in a Supper Book Club but I hadn’t found time or people to start a new book club with since I moved back to California. But my mommy group just started one up. We’re meeting every 8 weeks in the evening, away from our babies and with lots of wine. Our first pick was The Nest. The core of the book is about how “money- and the entitlement that often accompanied just the idea of money – could warp relationships and memories and decisions.” Lots to discuss!

The Piano Teacher: Hong Kong in the 1940s was a glamorous setting for the moneyed until the Japanese occupation disrupted their idyll. I had a hard time believing any of the characters but I loved the sights and sounds of Hong Kong. What an interesting history.

The Expatriates: I got sucked into this one from the teaser at the end of The Piano Teacher. Same author but this time the setting is present-day Hong Kong and the story follows 3 American expat women. One of them is a Korean-American recent grad from Columbia who in all her extreme flaws, felt very real to me.

Wolf Hollow: The YA Book Club at work is reading this so I checked it out. It had such a strong start (The year I turned twelve, I learned to lie. The year I turned twelve, I learned that what I said and what I did mattered), and it’s critically acclaimed, but I just felt disappointed at the end. Maybe it’s because I finished it on a long, delayed flight back from Boston.

H is for Hawk: Such beautiful writing! A tribute to falconry and bereavement. But I have to be honest, I had a hard time staying interested and didn’t manage to finish it, which is what happens with most non-fiction books I read. Lots of underlined passages to linger over though: “Looking for goshawks is like looking for grace: it comes, but not often, and you don’t get to say when or how.” “Here’s a word. Bereavement. It’s from the Old English bereafian, meaning ‘to deprive of, take away, seize, rob’. Robbed. Seized. It happens to everyone. But you feel it alone. Shocking loss isn’t to be shared, no matter how hard you try.” “To me she was bright, vital, secure in her place in the world. Every tiny part of her was boiling with life, as if from a distance you could see a plume of steam around her, coiling and ascending and making everything around her slightly blurred, so she stood out in fierce, corporeal detail. The hawk was a fire that burned my hurts away. There could be no regret or mourning in her. No past or future. She lived in the present only, and that was my refuge.”




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