Here’s a round-up of what I’ve read this month:
The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison
Don’t believe Anne Lamott and all the others hailing Harrison’s novel as this summer’s “Gone Girl”. I love Anne Lamott, but this is not “Gone Girl”. No, it is much, much better. Both books alternate His and Her perspectives and both chronicle the death of long-term relationships that appear perfect on the surface. Harrison’s novel, though, delivers more compelling psychological portraits and more plausible plot twists.
The Family Court lawyer in me is always fascinated by the subtle, imperceptible and ultimately dooming changes in relationships. And Harrison masterfully explores how “life has a way of taking its toll on the person you thought you were” – how acceptance and compromise can give way to indifference, resentment and, ultimately, violence. So far, this is my favorite fiction book of 2013. Can you tell?
(A very sad side note: Harrison died of cancer earlier this year – just before The Silent Wife’s publication.)
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life & Business – Charles Duhigg
If, like me, you have a few habits you’re not proud of, read the first part of Duhigg’s book on personal habit formation and transformation. There’s some good info on identifying your “habit loops”, starting with “keystone habits” and changing incrementally with “small wins.” Unfortunately, he doesn’t go into detail about specific habits, so you’ll have a lot of homework if you want to apply what you’ve read. I’m working on this right now if anyone wants to be homework buddies! Also unfortunately, by the time you get to the 2nd half of the book, you’ll notice that Duhigg has an annoying “habit” of belaboring points with long-winded stories about Alcoa, Starbucks, Target and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling
This isn’t your typical celeb memoir. But then, Mindy Kaling isn’t a typical celeb. She’s an Indian-American Ivy League grad and self-professed chubster with an unlikely and non-traditional rise to fame. Her 2011 book is a light and funny quick read. If you’re a fan of “The Mindy Show” like I am, you’d expect nothing less. “Mindy” show fans will also be interested to see some of the similarities between Mindy and her TV persona, Dr. Mindy Lahiri. The book is a little scattered and disjointed – at times, it’s a memoir, and at others it’s an essay or advice column. By the end of the book, you’ll feel like Mindy’s new BFF, but be warned. In her own words, she’s a “needy and theatrical friend.”
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