I don’t know about you, but man for me, November is flying by. I just can’t believe it’s the 20th already?? And Thanksgiving is upon us. My reading pace has definitely slowed a bit this fall, but I’m still only four books from my goal of 100.

This past week I read Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink and Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li. In retrospect, I didn’t really like Number One Chinese Restaurant that much. To be honest, it bummed me out, and felt like a bit of a slog despite being only about 300 pages. The novel tells a sort of upstairs/downstairs story of both the family that owns a Chinese restaurant and a few of the staff members who have worked there. Essentially, a fire occurs in the restaurant, and the novel tells the story of how everyone was involved, reacts, and how their lives are changed afterwards.


I liked Alice Isn’t Dead significantly more. I’d previously read Joseph Fink’s two novels related to his Welcome to Nightvale podcast. Alice Isn’t Dead is also based on a podcast (of the same name), which you don’t need to listen to to enjoy this book. You do kind of need to be a fan of Fink’s quirky style and way of creating a world very similar to our own, but just a little bit stranger. It’s not exactly science fiction, but it certainly isn’t realism. Magical realism? 

As advertised, the novel is sort of about Alice not being dead. The main character is Alice’s wife, Keisha. Alice disappears, and eventually Keisha has to admit to herself that Alice is probably dead, and then, Keisha starts seeing Alice, alive, in the background of the news. Whenever something terrible happens, there is Alice in the background. Keisha quits her job and starts working as a trucker in order to spend her time looking for Alice. While out on the road, she discovers a terrible non-secret about monsters who walk among us. This is a full on good v. evil story, although it’s more complicated than you initially think. I found the end a bit quick, but overall the story was satisfying. 

Fink is a hilarious writer, I’m sorry to say I returned the book to the library, forgetting that I had bookmarked some quotes I wanted to include in this post 😦 You’re just going to have to go read it for yourself. 

 

Currently reading: Trying really hard to finish both American Like Me and She Has Her Mother’s Laugh so I can start new books over the long Thanksgiving weekend… 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!