Book Thirtyfive: My Teenage Werewolf

My Teenage Werewolf, Lauren Kessler

I know, I know, I am kind of jumping the gun with this one. My daughter will not be a teenager for, oh, more than 12 years. And yet when I saw this on the shelf at the library I couldn't resist. I am fascinated by the mother-daughter dynamic and this seemed like it would be a great, personal exploration of that often fraught relationship. And it did not disappoint. Essentially, Lauren Kessler immerses herself in her 12-(and then 13) year-old daughter's life for a year and half in order to better understand their relationship and to also just try to better their relationship. It's a nicely personal story, but also one meant to be relatable. Ms. Kessler really tries to get into all areas of her daughter, Lizzie's life, from following her around at school, to going to her summer camp, joining her in her online life, and trying to understand her relationships with friends and boyfriends. It's quite touching and sweet, and also just flat-out informative. And sure, kind of scary, thinking about the kinds of things young teenage girls put their mothers through. (I had always wanted a daughter, but this book honestly has me wondering why I wished for that so much. What was I thinking?) But I have at least a few years to get ready for all of that drama. For now I will focus on getting my daughter to sleep through the night and worrying about trivialities like diapers and bouncy chairs and fussing.

Book Thirtyfour: Metzger's Dog

Metzger's Dog, Thomas Perry

I honestly have nothing really to say about this book. It was enjoyable, silly, engaging, well-written, and yet I am still at a loss. I guess these are the things that make a book a trifle, a confection. A pretty good summer read.

Book Thirtythree: The Widower's Tale

The Widower's Tale, Julia Glass

I have discovered my kryptonite, and it is novels about white people's problems that are set in New England. It is even doubly powerful if it features some good, hard-core house porn. Julia Glass just might be the master of this genre. Allegra Goodman is a close second. And this is also probably why I loved The Monsters of Templeton so very much.

Honestly, I can hardly remember the plot of any Julia Glass novel, but I always think of her books with the greatest fondness. I'm sure that's because she creates terrific characters and places in such a way that the plot almost become irrelevant. Here she gives us a very disparate cast: central to the story is Percival Darling, the 70-year-old titular widower, around whom the other characters orbit as their stories intersect with his. Though I might argue that the real protagonist is his historic home in Massachusetts, which is central to his identity, the story of his late wife, and the current situation that propels the plot forward (how's that for a vague plot summary?). Even though I might forget every detail of this novel tomorrow, I'm sure I won't forget how much discovering a new Julia Glass book at the bookstore makes me squeal with delight.