It’s been awhile since I updated you on the outcome of my Which Book Would You Pick? poll. Among decided voters, Momzillas came in dead last, so being the ornery person I am, I read it first, a chapter or two each night before bed.
Mostly this book annoyed me. (See? I should have listened to you guys. The Hopeless Romantic’s Handbook was way better. A total rip-off of When Harry Met Sally, of course, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.)
Mom-lit is all about voice, I’ve been told, and in the case of Momzillas I found myself constantly disconcerted by the conflict between Hannah’s voice and her behaviour. The narrative is larded with trendy abbreviations, Hannah’s pol being never to use more than one syll per word. On the upside, I finally figured out (I think) what the word "natch" means. On the downside, I found myself more distracted than amused by these strained attempts at hipness.
Despite her trendy vocabulary, Hannah is anything but hip. She is a fish out of water in New York City, bringing with her all the eager innocence of the Left Coast. (Are people from San Francisco really known for being so natural and unaffected?) There is something weirdly infantile about her relationship with her husband, whom she refers to as "Joshie" and who comforts her for his long work-related absences by patting her on the head while she pouts. Hannah cries a lot and tries hard to be accepted by mean-spirited competimommies even as she unleashes f-word-laden rants against them that don’t really seem to match her eagerly conformist behaviour. It felt as if a biting satirist was playing ventriloquist with a doe-eyed puppet whose main quality is bland niceness. Hannah blames herself for various things that aren’t her fault, and that’s how we know she’s a good person.
So yeah. That’s about all I have to say about that.
In other book news, I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read this year, starting at Christmas rather than New Year’s in order to get credit for all my holiday reading. I’m of two minds about this practice. It’s the first year I’ve tried it, and while I certainly enjoy the satisfaction of typing in each completed title, I wonder if the numbers game is interfering with my enjoyment of reading, especially as I near the end of a book and start skimming along, eager to add another notch to my bedpost. The best part of it, I think, is the opportunity for statistical analysis:
Six month total: 25, including…
…5 re-read children’s books (the Alice books, The Sword in the Stone, The Secret Garden, Daddy-Long-Legs and The Long Winter)
…5 books about autism (4 new, all more or less autobiographical, plus The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)
…6 review books
…4 additional non-fiction (Not Buying It, Stumbling on Happiness, The World According to Mimi Smartypants, and Finally Feminist)
…5 additional novels (The Time-Traveller’s Wife, The Historian, John Fowles’s The Collector, Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down, and a Betsy-Tacy book about high school, which has since been returned to the library – I can’t remember the title)
Sub-total of books mentioned previously on my blog = 14
Sub-total of books recommended by other bloggers = 6
Books unrelated to either school or blogging = 4
Books bought with my own money = 6 (or 4, if you don't count birthday and Mother's Day gifts from hubby, including the one I went out and bought for myself on Mother's Day)
I’m hoping to step things up over the next two months, when I exchange my professor hat for SAHMdom. Beyond the Blue is still in the queue, along with a stack of blogger-reco’s including Saffy’s Angel (children’s book with colour-themed names), Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, and Ian McEwen’s On Chesil Beach. And then, of course, I’m gleefully rubbing my hands together over a certain book which comes out near the end of July…
Stay-at-home moms have lots of time to read, right? Right?