Updated: Aug 29
Older, Patricia Redmond
The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel
Perestroika in Paris, Jane Smiley
Older: This was cute. It's a sequel to the book Younger, which I haven't read, but I've watched the TV show. I was aware going in that there were major differences in the book and the show, so that didn't throw me off. The main character, Liza, who in the first book/ TV show passed for a younger woman in order to get a job, is now 49 and looking to embrace being her real age before she turns 50. It was an easy read, even not having read the first book, which I'll probably pick up someday. I enjoyed this, and it was just the kind of fun fluff that I wanted right now.
The Glass Hotel: This was told in pieces (I don't know what to call them, not really stories or chapters) that didn't always go in chronological order, but I only had to flip back and forth comparing dates a few times. It was like reading more than one book: a story about two half-siblings, a story about a man halfheartedly fighting his addictions, a story about a woman who finds out that her lavish lifestyle with a successful, wealthy man is a sham. It was interesting to see how the pieces came together. Sometimes new characters would be introduced and I'd almost forget that it wasn't a completely new story. This, like Mandel's last book, Station Eleven, is serious literature about serious subjects, but a real pleasure to read. Now I want to read Station Eleven again, but not until this pandemic is really over.
Perestroika in Paris: This is an enjoyable but slow-moving book. I liked it when reading it, but then I didn't feel the need to pick it back up again. I read about 75 pages and then put it down to read something else. But I went back to it, and I finished on Christmas Eve. I don't have strong feelings about this book, but I'm glad that I had an enjoyable, cute book to read at Christmas. One great thing about it is that it's not cloying or saccharine, even though it's a happy book about animals and a child. It's weird that my impression of it is of a happy book, even though there's a very serious problem for one of the characters. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants something fairly easy and fun, but not fluff.
These were my last reads of 2020. There is one more that I read last month but will write about later. I'm really glad that I started tracking my reading this year. I liked going over it and picking out my favorites and remembering some of the others that didn't make my list of faves, but were really good. I'm looking forward to my 2021 reading challenge that I set for myself, and to picking up lots of other books that I discover from seeing them online, word of mouth, or just spotting a great cover.