I finished fewer than normal books this week because I was bringing home armfuls of books that I just didn’t like. With such a huge quantity of rejects, I wanted to record my folly so I don’t repeat the mistake, like I frequently have in the past by picking up a previously rejected book to try to read.
#1 – Hillbilly Elegy. JD Vance’s memoir is the darling of the moment, pundits holding it aloft promising that it will unlock the secret of this year’s election. Balderdash. This is merely yet another book telling the tale of the plight of people in the Appalachians, and aren’t we so proud of JD for having escaped to go to Yale? Skip the hype, you will miss nothing.
#2 – The Chronology of Water. Add Yuknavitch’s book to the long list of failed book recommendations I’ve gotten from Lena Dunham’s somewhat useless newsletter, Lenny (or Lamey, as I used to call a misogynistic trust fund twit I shared an artist loft with years ago).
#3 & 4 – Pea Pickers (by Eve Langley) and her bio, The Importance of Being Eve Langley. Usually the Neglected Books site steers me well in choosing these obscure women authors, but nothing sat right with me about Eve and her conviction that she was Oscar Wilde reborn.
#5 – Book Thief. Sorry, Linnea, I couldn’t get past the first few pages and the stilted structure that tried its best to camouflage writing that clunked.
#6 – Buttered Side Down. I’m definitely over my Edna Ferber crush, I could barely eyeball her first book of short stories despite loving her later work.
#7 – These Low Grounds by Waters Turpin, who was the son of Ferber’s maid, Rebecca. There’s a reason that some books haven’t withstood history’s brutal forgetfulness.
#8 – Lesser Bourgeoisie, or the Middle Class by Balzac. Had a hard time finding a copy of this lesser known work which was rec’d via André Gide. My first exposure to Balzac, I’m hoping my ambivalence (I read 100 pages, then gave up) due more to the translation.