It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/13/19

On the blog:

Three things I need more of right now (includes very cute kitten photo!)

In reading:

I don’t think I’ve ever met a Barbara O’Connor novel I didn’t love, and Wonderland has plenty to recommend it. It’s told in three voices, including Henry’s, a greyhound who has run away from a dog track and is hiding out in the woods near the gated community where new best friends Mavis and Rose live. Luckily, they’re on the lookout for a dog–well, at least Mavis is. Their good friend, the elderly Mr Duffy who works as the gatekeeper for their community, has recently lost his dog and is suffering from depression. Mavis is convinced that all Mr. Duffy needs is a new dog. Rose is less sure, but Mavis has a way of sweeping everyone up in her big plans. I do wish there had been more good adults than just Mr. Duffy (the mothers are especially irritating through most of the book), but this is a thoughtful, well-written novel, and Mavis, Rose, and Henry (and Mr. Duffy) are good characters.

I ended up really liking Saving Marty, but Paul Griffin novels are a bit like Christ Crutcher for the middle-grade set: there is SO MUCH going on. Somehow it never feels rushed, which is a testament to Griffin’s skill as a writer and the rich and interesting characters he creates. But there really is so very much going on in terms of theme and plot, and some of it is so, so sad–much sadder and ultimately much darker than what I expect to find in a middle-grade title.

Save Me the Plums is food writer Ruth Reichl’s most recent memoir, this one about her time as the editor of Gourmet magazine. It’s a quick, breezy read, with many gorgeously written passages about food, and a few interesting things to say about Gourmet, which used to be my favorite magazine to read. It wasn’t the book I was expecting, however, as it takes her nearly half the book to transition from her job as restaurant critic to editing Gourmet, and it seems like most of her work as editor consists of going out to lunch and being surprised by personnel changes. But there’s something endearing and charming about Reichl’s writing, and she does a good job bringing some outsized characters to life here. There are a handful of recipes as well. I don’t read a ton of memoir, and what I do read tends to be heavy and hard, so even though I don’t think this will stick with me, it was a treat to read something fun and entertaining.

12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 5/13/19

  1. I wasn’t familiar with Saving Marty before your post — just had to go do some reading up on this title, so thanks for sharing! I also wanted to thank you for turning me on to The Murderbot Diaries. Really enjoyed All Systems Red this week and hope to find copies of future books in this series. Have a great week, Elisabeth!

    • Be prepared! It’s ultimately uplifting but there are some tearjerky kind of moments too. (And an upsetting animal scene!) But worth the read. So glad you enjoyed All Systems Red. I love Murderbot so very much.

  2. Wonderland is on my list, but Saving Marty is new to me, & I’d love to read Ruth Reichl’s new memoir, love her other books. Thanks, Elisabeth!

    • If you’ve read and enjoyed the other Reichl memoirs, I’m sure you will enjoy Save Me the Plums. I want to read her cookbook that she wrote after Gourmet closed. I’ve got it on my shelf somewhere!

  3. Saving Marty is a book I meant to get to a couple years back and just never did. Thanks for the reminder! Wonderland was a fun book. Wish still is my favorite but I will definitely read every book she writes!

  4. I am saving Wonderland for this summer because – well, just because summer is down time and treats and I expect it to be a treat! did you know I got to introduce Barbara at Western Washington? Such a highlight of my year!

    • It will be a perfect summer read! How wonderful to get to hear Barbara O’Connor speak AND to get to introduce her! I think I still have a couple of her backlist titles to read so that might be MY summer treat!

  5. Loved Saving Marty and Wonderland. My partner keeps telling me that I should read Ruth Reichl. We even have a couple of her books around the house. I just don’t know when and how I will ever find time!

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