Coming in a little late but here’s my September Reading Round-Up:
Dubliners – James Joyce (Penguin Books, 1979)
I’ve read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and made two separate attempts at Ulysses. Dubliners was so much easier. It was a very smart, very moving, often unexpected collection of short stories.
Herzog – Saul Bellow (Penguin Books, 1992)
It took me a while to get into this one. For a good while I felt like I had no idea what the book was about or why I should really care about Moses Herzog. But I’m glad I stuck with it because as I got into the rhythm of the story and of Herzog’s voice I found I did actually care about him and was interested in what would happen to him.
Motherhood – Sheila Heti (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2018)
Full review here. Since I read this and wrote my review Motherhood has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize so clearly opinions are mixed!
Washington Black – Esi Edugyan (Patrick Crean Editions, 2018)
Full review here. Another one that’s getting lots of press and award buzz. This time I agree with it.
We Are All Made of Molecules – Susin Nielsen (Tundra Books, 2015)
Full review here.
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
(And enjoying it but it is so long. My goal is to finish it before the end of the year.)
Prayer – Timothy Keller
(This is a re-read for me so I’m not sure if I read it in its entirety again.)
4 thoughts on “What I Read – September 2018”
I own Herzog and want to read it soon, so I’m glad someone else has, too. Also, that’s a good head’s up you give about it being odd at first but worth it.
Sheila Heti is a huge let down for me. I read her first book, a collection of flash fiction, and really enjoyed it. I even met her at a reading and thought she was lovely. However, since then it’s been nearly impossible to tell this woman, who is almost 40, apart from a needy pet–“should I sit in my dog bed, or is the sun beam better? I can’t tell. These are big important decisions. I will walk in circles before I lay down and figure it out.” I would swear she was in her early-twenties (which isn’t bad, but not old enough to look back and reflect on one’s adult life). Almost all of her works of “fiction” are about her and her friends, as if their lives in Toronto are so interesting that the rest of us care. She’s the poster child for privilege.
Yes! Why is “Motherhood” even fiction? It’s clearly about her own life and it’s not as interesting to everyone else as it must be in her own mind. If you’re this unsure about having kids, that’s probably your answer. Sure, having kids changed my life but that’s a choice I made and I still see myself as having plenty of opportunity for doing and accomplishing in the future. I also found her pretty tone deaf in her assumption that all it required was for her to decide to have kids. It’s not always that straightforward and it’s not something that necessarily happens the moment you want it to. I just hope these people who have kids and then complain about it aren’t doing so in front of their kids.
The only puzzle piece left in my mind is why she keeps winning prize or being published…
Me too…Motherhood has just made the shortlist for the Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious Canadian literary awards. I don’t get it.