Claire’s Week in Books, 28th August to 4th September

This was my bookish week. How was yours?


whos-that-girlWho’s That Girl, by Mhairi McFarlane

I loved Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me At Hello  a couple of years ago, not least because she is British and roughly my age, so a novel set partly in the university years of her characters brought back happy memories. As happens sometimes with authors whose book I have enjoyed, I’ve been nervous of trying anything else by her, but I got approved for the digital review copy, so I’ve added it to my virtual library. I’m also a bit nervous it’ll be overly Americanised – I like my Brit lit to be actually, well, Brit.

am-i-alone-hereAm I Alone Here: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, by Peter Orner

I was waiting anxiously for the episode of Liberty and Rebecca’s podcast, All The Books, in which they were going to discuss some big fall books that are coming out soon. This one was listed in the show notes, so I requested the review copy, and got approved. I at least in theory love books and books though I’m always secretly afraid they’re going to spoil novels i haven’t read yet.

a-life-in-partsA Life in Parts, by Bryan Cranston

Very lucky to have snagged a review copy of this memoir by Bryan Cranston. It does seem like it’s going to be very Breaking Bad-centric, though, and I – gasp – haven’t watched it, so it might be wasted on me. Still, he and Bradley Whitford are good friends, so I’m hoping this’ll inspire Brad to write his own memoir.


rich and prettyRich and Pretty, by Sumaan Alam

I really, really enjoyed this, and could happily settle down with it for large chunks of time, which is partly indicative of my frame of mind, and partly of how well written and easily read the writing was. It’s a quiet novel – the story of a friendship between two women – and I liked that. It was well observed and subtle. I do wish the ending had been different for one of the characters, though. And I also think that maybe if you’re struggling, as I am, with worrying that all your friends are going to pair up and have babies and you’ll drift apart, this might not be the book to cheer you up. I got this book as part of my Book of the Month club membership, and I have to say – there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of a hardback.

In the Queue

commonwealth-ann-patchettCommonwealth, by Ann Patchett

This one’s on all the Big Fall Books lists and I was excited and surprised to be approved for the digital review copy. This is my first Ann Patchett – Bel Canto has been on my TBR forever; it is even possible that I own it – and her writing is not at all what I expected. It moves at a good pace and is easy and witty – I was expecting more lyricism, and I’m secretly glad I was wrong; lyricism is not my thing at the moment. I’m struggling with keeping the characters straight – it’s the story of a reconstituted family – but that might just be me. It’s very enjoyable and I have no idea where it’s going. A major element of the book has kind of been spoiled for me as it sometimes happens with book blurbs – I thought it was something that would happen in the first couple of pages, but it hasn’t happened yet, and I wish I didn’t know to expect it. Still, really liking it so far!


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