Okay, apologies for my rather long absence, I just took an amazing vacation to the Pacific Northwest and spent a week hiking the Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake, and the Redwoods. Highly recommend it. I did read while I was gone, of course, but I let myself continue on the path of reading let’s say… less stressful books.

First up, because I think it was my favorite of the bunch, Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. This is actually the first book in a series, so I’m looking forward to maybe reading the next few over the holidays. This novel is based on the true story of Constance Kopp, a thirty-something unmarried woman living out in the county in New Jersey with her two also unmarried sisters. Her quiet country life is interrupted when a local thug drives his automobile into the buggy she and her sisters are ridding in. Kopp tries to exact payment to repair the buggy, which incites the thug into a rage that propels the rest of the story as he terrorizes the family and Kopp suddenly finds herself learning to shoot a gun and taking part in sting operations with the local sheriff (“I got a revolver to protect us, and I soon had use for it.”). This book is a great time, and I BOUGHT IT AT POWELL’S! Yep, before I took off into the wilderness, I stopped at THE Powell’s and bought a few books. It was amazing, every book lover must go. I actually found a bunch of great independent book stores on my travels — Dudley’s Bookshop Café in Bend, OR was great and made great chai.

I also read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson. Both were kind of, I know this book is going to be escapist-y, and I’m fine with it. I enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians a lot, and reading the book definitely made me want to see the movie. It is a silly book, but the characters are well-drawn and the book is pretty hard to put down.

The Bookshop of Yesterdays is about 28 year old Miranda who inherits a bookstore when her uncle dies. Somehow, this does not fill her with joy. Although, in her defense, the bookstore isn’t doing that well. But um, if anyone wants to leave me a bookstore, I will have NO angst about leaving my current job to go and run a bookstore. Much of the book involves Miranda figuring out a scavenger hunt left to her by her uncle, which turns out to be leading her towards understanding family secrets. Many of the clues are quotes from books (books which are in the bookstore and then have the next clue), I particularly liked the one from Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (so now I’m sort of debating reading that):

Whatever happened, I knew I would survive it. I knew above all, that I’d go on working. Surviving meant being born over and over. It wasn’t easy and it was always painful. But there wasn’t any other choice except death.

I’ve felt many things similar to this in the past year, so I’m pretty such the context is different in Fear of Flying, but I related. The good days are when I feel like I can survive anything. Anyway, this is not an amazing book, but it is a fun book if you like books and bookstores.

Currently reading: Circe and still working on a lot of other things…