Three Books I'm Reading Now, 1/6/21 Edition
01 With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt
In Leavitt's novel, published by Algonquin Books late last summer, Simon and Stella have been together for twenty years, living through the ups and down and joys and stresses of a decades-long marriage. Simon has been hoping all along that his struggling music career would someday take off, but it didn't look as though his dreams would ever come true.
But right before Simon gets a chance to go on tour, and just as he's letting his hopes soar that this might finally be his big break, Stella falls into a coma. He should stay, but will he go? And what happens to their long-held dynamic when Stella wakes up with new and artistic gifts of her own?
In With or Without You, Leavitt explores what happens to a marriage when the people in it change, and their dreams along with them.
02 Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Doyle, the bestselling author of Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior, writes again about her life's ups and downs in Untamed, here sharing lessons she's learned about being true to herself, loving herself and caring for others, bringing up her children, finding love, and not listening to outside critics.
In Untamed, Doyle focuses largely on how women can "take up space in the world;" feel and express a full gamut of emotions rather than keeping the peace; reject the myth of the ideal martyrdom of motherhood and sacrificing everything for family; and generally rely on their inner voices to guide them into living honest, genuine, and fulfilling lives.
I feel as though readers may be in or out on this author; I enjoy glimpses into Glennon's love story with Abby Wambach and how she strives to make the world a better place.
03 City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In City of Girls, Gilbert writes about a young woman's coming of age in 1940s New York City.
Vivian, now an older woman, is writing letters to a younger woman about her own youthful indiscretions and adventures in her aunt Peg's rowdy theatre with its many colorful characters, creative opportunities, and unending potential for mischief.
So far Gilbert's old New York detail is wonderful, and young Vivian's carousing is entertaining, sexy, and an interesting take on feminism for the time. I'm listening to this as an audiobook.
I generally find Gilbert (who is good friends with Glennon Doyle, mentioned above) to be a really lovely writer, as in the case of the nonfiction Last American Man and the novel The Signature of All Things. She also wrote the polarizing Eat, Pray, Love, which like many other readers, I had mixed feelings about, and which probably warrants inclusion on a Titles That Might Break Your Book Club list--hmmm, stay tuned for that blog post.
What are you reading early in this new year?
I have a stack of books from the holidays and the library (With or Without You, I see you staring me down) to read, yet I started reading the e-book of Untamed and listening to the audiobook of City of Girls because they were available as I was crafting my household's recent library hold lists, and most importantly because I have a serious problem of hoarding books in all formats. As we are likely all aware by now.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days?