Reading · West Wing stuff

Claire’s Week in Books, 10th to 17th July

The last few months have been a bit crazy, and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat as, to be honest, has reading. But it’s summer – aka Claire’s High Reading Season – and I’ve been revving up again.


The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning to Deal, by Kathleen Smith

fangirl lifeA while ago, Kathleen Smith liked one of my tweets – I don’t remember which, but it probably has something to do with my love for The West Wing. I clicked on her profile, went down the rabbit hole, and found out that she is also based in DC and that she runs the website I have these daydreams about being friends  with her and doing joint book appearances in which we discuss different aspects of fandom and how it can change your life (have I mentioned my book?). In the meantime, though, I have her book to peruse, and I’m looking forward to it.


Love That Boy, by Ron Fournier

Ron FournierThe Book of the Month Club sponsored the Book Riot podcast a while back and they lured me in. At $9.99 a month, It’s essentially a way to get discounted hardbacks of books just out without lining Amazon’s coffers. The drawback is you have to be organised – the month’s five selections go up on the 1st of the month, and you get sent a default pick unless you choose one of them by 7th. Last month, I wasn’t fast enough, and I got Before the Fall, which looks good, but might not be helpful for flying anxiety levels. This month, I wasn’t fast enough either – but that’s okay, because I have a friend whose son is autistic and this one can be a gift for her. It’s not that I’m not interested – there’s a picture of the Lincoln Monument on the front, for goodness’ sake – but, not being a parent, I’m just not interested enough in the topic to have any illusions I’ll get to it soon when I have approximately 100 books sitting around already waiting to be read. (I haven’t counted, but it feels like at least that many.)



The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud

I love books about college friends later in their lives, and rich-people-in-New-York the emperor's childrennovels. I also met Claire Messud at the National Book Festival last year, and she was lovely. We have a lot in common – from mothers who were born in White Algeria and resulting bilingualism on our parts to, obviously, our first name. I loved her reading of The Woman Upstairs there – which I’m determined to get around to reading sometime. In the meantime, someone mentioned this earlier book in passing at book club and I advocated for it to go on the list of books we vote on. It won, and I’m so glad! It’s that rare thing: literary fiction which is an effortless read. I often have to go back and re-read sentences or just be slow if I really want to take in lit fic, but not here. I read it on one of my favourite beaches,  Coronado Island’s, which predisposed me to like it, but my goodness, how I liked it.

In the Queue

Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub

modern loversI really enjoyed Straub’s The Vacationers last year, and I’d heard a lot about Modern Lovers. I won the paperback advanced review copy on Goodreads, so I threw it in my bag for my trip to the West Coast – since I’d read The Vacationers at the Tin House Writers’ Conference in 2014, it felt right to be reading the new novel back at Tin House. I didn’t get to it to the plane ride home, though. Review to come…



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