I’ve spent four days at home, sick, with my son and husband, who were also sick. Too much togetherness, people. So I’m actually very glad to have gone back to work today. I finished reading A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford #10) by Ruth Rendell. It was… okay. For some reason, and this almost never happens, I solved the mystery before the detective. But I always enjoy spending time with Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his Detective Mike Burden. Wexford is a thoughtful, literate policeman, outwardly gruff, but very caring. He and Burden have a wonderful working relationship – Wexford teases Burden, who is younger but considerably more prudish than his superior. A Sleeping Life was written in 1978, and there are some dated words (“Negress” and “Jewess” made me wince, I must say.) A subplot has Wexford’s younger daughter Sylvia “discovering women’s liberation,” leaving her husband and coming home with their two children. It’s been interesting to see what life was like in England in the 1960’s and 70’s as I’ve read through the first ten of the series. I plan to continue – as of now there are 25 total. I read that Rendell suffered a serious stroke last month, and I haven’t heard anything since. I do hope she makes a recovery. I think she’s a brilliant writer. Her standalone novels are gripping, intense psychological thrillers.
I’ve just started reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This is THE BOOK of 2015, mark my words. I know the year has barely begun, but I’m basing this assertion on the fact that it’s everywhere. Every outlet that I look to for book reviews has featured it – prominently. There are currently 270 holds on it in my library system. And so far it’s the leading contender in the Goodreads list What Women Born in the 1970s Have Read So Far This Year. Twelve people have voted for it so far. (That’s my favorite Goodreads list, by the way. It’s fun to see what women of my generation are reading. And it’s a pretty diverse bunch of books.) I’m about 45 pages in, so it’s too early to tell, but so far it’s definitely keeping my interest. I’m a bit unsettled that I’m reading the “it book” of 2015, to be honest. I can be a bit of a contrarian when it comes to popular books. It’s for my book group. We don’t normally choose brand-new hardcover books (we try to pick titles of which the library would have a few available copies,) but for some reason this one sounded good to the majority of us. I happened to already be on the waiting list for it before it came out, so I was able to snag a copy in time for my book group meeting later this month. I hope it can deliver on all the hype.
I’m in a weird mood. I just don’t know what I’m in the mood to read. I’m tired of my reading choices being beholden to my place on the library holds list. I’m contemplating doing away with the library holds list for a while, and letting pure whimsy guide my reading selections. I think I need some more whimsy in my reading life!