Friday, February 3, 2012

Books Read in January, and Confronting the Grumpiness

I'll fully admit that I was pretty grumpy in January.  I felt kind of like how I imagine a baby feels on most days: a little sleepy, a little hungry, and kind of cranky with intermittent moments of hysterical laughter.  There's just a lot going on (some good, some bad).  I'm feeling a little groggy, like there's tons of stuff being thrown at me and I can technically only retain so much, but I'm still doing my best to take in everything and be everywhere all at once. 

I did keep one of my goals though, which was to read at least two books a month, which never used to be a challenge but now seems a bit more difficult.  I finished two, in addition to starting three others (not very efficient, I know).  It really made me happy to delve into books again and I'm pretty sure I can keep at it through 2012.  

Book #1 was Faith by Jennifer Haigh.  It's no secret that Haigh is one of my favorite writers and when I finished Faith, which is her latest book, I felt satisfied, just like with her earlier novels.  I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what happened, and it was so well-written and delicate, rightly so since it's dealing with such a delicate subject, Catholic priests and scandals.  As someone who was raised Catholic, I found the religious background that Haigh provides to be really interesting, and most of it is information that many religious people may not even know, although it really was the family at the center of the story that kept me reading.  It pains me to think that Jennifer Haigh is still considered a 'chick lit' author even after writing such thoughtful and serious novels. 

Book #2 was Other People We Married by Emma Straub.  I was familiar with a few of Straub's short stories that had been in literary magazines and I really wanted this collection.  It was great and I loved the characters that she created.  Just like with Danielle Evans' short story collection, each piece was unique and relateable in some way.  I'm not comparing my writing to Emma's wonderful writing (I somehow feel like I can call her Emma now, like we're friends or something) but I think we have similar styles and that just added to my enjoyment.  Her book is a fun, fast read that I would definitely recommend. 

There you have it, little ones.  I'm going to spend the weekend doing cheerful stuff, like making valentines to send out to my loves and buying a new bottle of foundation with the Sephora gift card I received for Christmas.  Also, the Super Bowl is on Sunday night and I think Anthony and I are going to stay at home and eat chips and dip for dinner.  Happy Friday, everyone!

Image from Startingtohunt via weheartit

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