The Gritty Scale

This post could also be called “Why I love chick lit,” because I hit it out of the ballpark with the good-time stories this month. Here’s what I read in October:

On the Noodle Road, perhaps the most gritty of the novels I read completely this month, even though this book rates 1 out of 5 on the gritty scale. There is talk of war, oppression, and poverty (even if it is only talking about how to avoid those three things). It was really inspiring and makes me want to get into the kitchen to try my own noodles and experiment with sauces. Still hasn’t made me want to try lamb and I completely skipped over the slaughter part… but I loved that she wove her own personal story of early marriage through the book, and I especially loved how she highlighted the role of women along the silk road.

The American Heiress, lovely, lovely book. I love just about any story set in Newport 1890’s, but this one was particularly interesting because she spoke not only of the fashion and excess of the time, but included the servants’ perspective and English country life of a noble during the gilded age. In the author interview in the back (yes, I read all the way to the very, very end; even composing my own answers to the reading group questions), Goodwin says “I absolutely loved writing The American Heiress. To be able to escape into a world full of beautiful frocks and perfectly trained servants was a joy.” It was a joy to escape as a reader as well.

The Casual Vacancy, (Rowling) gave up and not only gave up but threw the book down and cried for a bit. Gritty scale = 5. Rowling is absolutely illustrative with her words, however this is a particularly difficult one for a bedtime reader such as myself. It’s slow to start because of the many character stories but after devoting a full week to figuring it out, I read ahead to discover that the 3 year old boy dies from neglect. (When I have a hint that it might be a gritty = 5, I read ahead. I’m all about conserving my time like that.) I found it so disturbing that I wanted to throw the book away; that I didn’t even want to donate it to my library because I didn’t think this was a book to be shared. It made me think about censorship and banning books. I had a passionate reaction to the book, and not in a good way.

Grounded, tried and failed to get into this. To be fair, I started this after I escaped from the child abuse book and I was a bit disenchanted with books altogether. I’ll try this one again later this month.

On the reading list this month-

An Abundance of Katherines– John Green – Can I just profess my love for John Green a little? Is he 17 years old? Because he captures it so well and I love reading his stories. (Put Paper Towns on your reading list this month, it’s fast and interesting and everything this genre should be).

The House at Riverton– Morton

Grounded– again…

Better Than Fiction, True Travel Tales From Great Fiction Writers– I love love travel stories.

And maybe an audiobook for running? I just haven’t picked a good one yet. But I recently downloaded Overdrive for my phone so I could borrow audiobooks from my local library and want to give it a go.

What are you reading this month? Do you have any recommendations?

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