Skip to main content

Archives - Weekly Update

Last weekend, I definitely dropped into a reading zone, and I loved it. First up, I read VOX by Christina Dalcher, which is coming out on August 21st. I had heard Christina talk about the book at a breakfast at BookExpo; interestingly, she has taught linguistics, phonics and phonology, which gives her expertise about voice and being heard. In VOX, women in this country have been told that they are not allowed more than 100 words a day; by comparison, the average person speaks about 16,000 words. Each woman wears a wristband, which has been calibrated to capture the modulation of her voice. At word 101, a shock is delivered to the wrist, which escalates exponentially as more words are shared. Soon there are more and more restrictions on women as they realize that, without their voices, the circle of their lives gets smaller, leading to desperate measures by many of them.

When we left off last week, Tom, Greg and I were headed into the city to the Soho Film Festival to see the American premiere of the film adaptation of Linwood Barclay’s NEVER SAW IT COMING. I really hope it gets a U.S. distribution deal as it is so well done. It also reminded me what is special about Linwood’s writing (he also wrote the screenplay) --- it’s all about the clues. They are so deftly woven into the dialogue that often you miss the sleight of hand that places them there until later on when you see what happens. Both Tom and Greg were talking about small moments of dialogue and the layering of clues during our drive home and again on Saturday. It was fun to see how much they appreciated the seemingly innocuous moments that all came into play later. Afterwards there was a Q&A with Linwood, the director, the producer and some of the actors. It was a really fun evening, and the audience loved it. Above you can see Tom and I with Linwood (who's on the left).

Last weekend, I read TELL ME LIES by Carola Lovering. Having done so, I am glad that I am not single and in my 20s! In it, Lucy Albright heads from her upscale life on Long Island to a small California college. For her, college is a way to jumpstart her life her way. She soon meets Stephen DeMarco. He is the kind of guy who commands the room with his confidence; in him, Lucy sees a new version of herself, and it is one she likes. But there is something about Stephen that is dark, and he has the power to ruin Lucy, if she lets him. It’s a very strong debut; Carola has not just done great things with her character development, she also has nailed a strong sense of pacing. Lucy has a secret that she only tells Stephen, and Stephen is harboring a secret that could destroy him --- one that Lucy will unravel. I already am looking forward to seeing what Carola writes next.

The weather still has been a tad cold for swimming, but I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon sitting on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water reading THE LIDO by Libby Page. And as I was, I found myself smiling --- and just loving it. In it, 86-year-old Rosemary Peterson has been swimming at The Lido in her hometown of Brixton since 1937. She’s already watched so much of the town change, and not in a good way, like the day she realized the local library was closing forever. So when she learns that The Lido will be closing as a new condominium complex is coming into town, and that location will be their state-of-the-art, residents-only gym, she decides there has been enough change in the places she loves. Kate Matthews is a twentysomething and is new to the town; she’s a reporter who is a tad afraid of many things and suffers frequent panic attacks. When she goes to interview Rosemary about The Lido, she is told she must get in the pool and swim before she can hear her story. And she does.

For a while, I have been looking for a book that would make me laugh; it’s been a real challenge. I found that book last weekend in HOW HARD CAN IT BE? by Allison Pearson. Many remember her protagonist, Kate Reddy, from I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. Kate is now a stay-at-home mother who is eager to return to the workforce, but she is now 49 and companies are not exactly opening their doors to her. Her children are teenagers who challenge her nerves, and her husband has left his job to plot a new career as a therapist, but he seems to be spending a lot more time on his high-end bike than he is plotting his future. Layer in aging parents, and Kate is at her wit’s end.