Where'd You Go, Bernadette? / Maria Semple

   You had me at "Antarctica". Five stars!

this picture is actually on Elephant Island, but I love it

   Okay, okay, a bit more of a post is called for I guess. This book is great! I don't know why I resisted reading it for so long when so many people with good taste said it was good! Will I learn a lesson from this? Probably not!

   The book is part epistolary, part told by Bernadette's daughter Bee, and the structure works beautifully. There are heaps of different voices, and pretty much everyone is an unreliable narrator, but not in the way where you close the book and say "damn you, Agatha Christie." There were a couple moments that hit me "right in the feels" as the tumblr youths say, except mine were....Antarctica feels.

Boromir here represents my feelings about Antarctica.

    BASIC PLOT: Bernadette and her husband and daughter live in Seattle and Bernadette has mental health issues. Then she disappears, and Bee is trying to figure out where she went. I could say more about it but really, this book was the exact book I needed to read when I read it and it's difficult to articulate the whys and wherefores of that, you know? Where'd You Go, Bernadette was the ideal book for me at this moment in my life, for reasons.

   Anyways, it's a lovely book and I highly recommend it. I suppose I also recommend listening to people when they say "this is such a good book" a million times. Alternately, I can recommend that if you want to get me to read a book just mention offhand that Antarctica is involved and I'll be like "omgosh, wut. TBR."


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society / Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

   I listened to this book over the course of three-ish days, and my fitbit tells me that one of those days I only slept 4 and a half hours, which is because I was hella engrossed in the story and stayed up Way Too Late. So maybe if you start reading this, start it at the beginning of your weekend so that if/when it sucks you in, you won't be shooting yourself in the foot quite so thoroughly as I did when I slept so little on a Tuesday night.

   So! We have Juliet who is an author and WWII has recently ended and she is doing a book tour. Things are going well for her! It's nice. She gets a letter from someone who lives on Guernsey, which is an island in the English channel that was occupied by the Nazis during WWII and was totally cut off from communication with the outside world, but now some books that Juliet used to own have made their way to the island and her name and address is in them and she is getting letters from peeps on the island about books. It's still nice! More things happen, largely nice, but I will admit that I had to pause the audiobook for a bit because I couldn't concentrate on it through my tears. My susceptibility to crying may or may not have been influenced by the lateness of the hour.

a good book AND a good cry

   For someone who has read as much as I have about World War Two, I was astonished that I knew NOTHING about Guernsey and its occupation. Nothing! How!? Apparently I have more reading to do.

   The book is written as a series of letters and telegrams and etc! I'm always game for a good epistolary novel. After I read this one I read Where'd You Go Bernadette and I am there for this structure/device, if you have a recommendation, sock it to me.

   p.s. highly recommend you google Guernsey because it is way more lovely-looking than I thought it would be.


"I've been taking lessons"

   It's been two weeks since I last posted? I've been doing a lot of learning about the geography of the Canadian North. It's very interesting! Anyways, the movies from the previous post ARE:
  • Brooklyn
  • Cat Ballou
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • People of a Feather
  • Zootopia
   Brooklyn is really lovely and really well done and I recommend you all go see it asap. I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob. Cat Ballou has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and I watch it probably every year and it is SO FUNNY and Nat King Cole sings the narration soooooo, also see this one asap. You know how in a series there is the one book where not much stuff actually happens but the book still has to be there? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Also, in the movie when Snape reveals that he's the titular Half Blood Prince it feels like way more of an afterthought than it does in the book AM I RIGHT. People of a Feather is about eider ducks and dams and the Inuit of the Hudson Bay. A friend of mine told me they were screening it at a museum downtown and I was like "obvs we are going". Zootopia has it all: A+ animation, A+ story, A+ jokes, A+ commentary on race relations. I advise you to add it to your watch-asap list.