Googly Eyes

You guys, I read two more books!

Have you ever gorged so compulsively on books that your head feels over-storied? I think in this case, so many of the premises are similar (middle-aged, middle-class white people in America dealing with ill health and troubled relationships) that the plots and characters are merging in particularly confusing ways.

I have to slow down.

Probably I need some kind of recovery program.

In the meantime, as ever, your humble reviewer:

1) The Believers, by Zoe Heller. Smart, acerbic, and highly entertaining. Scathing, actually—at least, there’s a scathing mother who’d be impossible to take if Heller hadn’t meted her out in digestible (deniable?) doses. Thankfully, Heller moves swiftly among three other characters, the woman’s children, each of whom gets his/her own plot.

It’s amazing how much Heller gets done in so few words. I was expecting dense writing (which I am not against) and was pleasantly surprised by both the economy and the pace—almost too brisk for me, since I’m a teeth-sinker. Still, a really good book about marriage and family relationships. Plus a scaldingly angry matriarch.

2) The Husbands and Wives Club, by Laurie Abraham. Fantastic reportage by a writer who spent a year witnessing a couples’ therapy group. Abraham is curious, humble, intelligent, and humane. And I could not have been more impressed with her research: She delves deeply enough into John Gottman’s storied work to discredit some of his science! Brilliant!

I can’t wait until John reads it and we break it all down together, which is a hobby of ours. Meantime, I’m putting THaWC on the Highly Recommended list. (New blog category!)

In other news, I have received my first request for an opinion about your life. Or at least, about something. However, it’s one of those questions that I spend most of my time pondering (How do good relationships work?) and about which John and I have considered writing a book (though I Jewishly fear I will be smote with divorce for presuming to know), so I probably won’t respond to it here. But if you happen to be wondering what makes good relationships work, you might want to read the Abraham book. Plus this.

One Response to “Googly Eyes”

  1. […] been in my queue (or even on my radar, despite having seen the movie in 2006). But then I read The Believers and decided to read Heller’s other books, sooner or later. In this case, sooner, since a […]

Leave a Reply