Tag Archives: kate atkinson

The Short Stack: February 28

Every Friday, I share  the pop culture, fashion, lit and random blips that crossed my radar during the week. Enjoy! Or don’t. Your choice.

Listen, sometimes you have a week and sometimes the week has you. I’m sick! Sick, I tell you! It started on Monday with Mysterious Scratchy Throat and by Tuesday night I was in full-on, low-quality Mumble Sleep.

Whenever I’m sick, even with a head cold, I talk and make a lot of noise while trying to fall asleep, which I refer to as Mumble Sleep. I know, you don’t care. Who does? Not the people of Ukraine, where a lot of serious shit is going down.

This is my way of saying: I don’t have much to share this week. I’m dull. A catatonic sick woman staring at the wallpaper. Except…

There is the this amazing book: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

book cover of life after life by kate atkinson

I got this book on Monday-ish, started it maybe Tuesday-ish and am almost through it on Friday-ish (about 500 pages but some short sections). I have not read a novel this good in a very long time.

This book has gotten a lot of attention, as it should have, BUT I’m usually not paying attention to that kind of stuff.  I tend to think that books causing a sensation and being made into movies are either NPR-y, lit fiction, twee, I-live-in-a-swamp or I-discovered-a-dead-body-and-my-marriage-is-falling-apart or poorly written sci-fi or young-adult-sensation books.

[Does anyone else question the phrase “young adult?” Really? I never talk to a 16-year-old and think, “Why, you’re a young adult, aren’t you!”]

Which this book is not.

This makes me recall the fact that I often read novels I cherish while ill. Jane Eyre. Catcher in the Rye. I remember reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History in college during a terrible bout of flu, huddled under my blanket in my bed in the dorm room, next to the window that didn’t prevent any of the cold air outside from rushing in. And I had a roommate. How awful is that? I’m in my death throes in a tiny space and there is still someone else to be conscious of. Someone who wants to watch Friends and try on 30 different shirts for the bar, wondering if she should go conservative or all-out boob shirt. Or body suit.

Full disclosure: I went to college in The Age of the Bodysuit and I owned, oh, maybe eight of them in different styles, colors and sleeve length. Yes, they were a pain to snap and unsnap when one had to pee but I suffered for fashion.

Anyway… what I’m saying is that Life After Life is worth dropping everything for, or being sick for. It’s the kind of book where, if I have five spare minutes I’m opening it up to get a little bit more of the story and I’m already dreading reaching the end. Be forewarned, this isn’t some mamby-pamby (is that a phrase?) “nice” novel about a woman who can’t decide what man to marry. Some of this is so hard to read that you wince. But it’s incredibly good.

So read the damn thing and I’ll work on not having dead eyes anymore or crust  forming on my eyelashes or terrible cold breath and be back next week with more pop culture and randomness than you can handle.

Don’t believe me? You want to hear about this, don’t you?

sun your buns coffee mug

Notice how I didn’t even tell you what the book is about? That’s not my job. That’s what Amazon is for, or Google. Or be an adventuresome person and just GET IT and start reading!