There but for the…: Ali Smith, Hotel World, and Getting Back to the Blog

I have been a super bad blogger! Work has been nuts lately so I’ve fallen woefully behind here but I hope to get back on track. And though I haven’t been writing much, I have been reading lots and hope you have been too.

For book club, I still find myself thinking about Inferno by Myles and have to say, I am so glad to have gotten over my reluctance about reading her. She’s a real gem of a find and I hope to be able to see her in person and experience a smidge of that scruffy downtown poetry scene. She’s actually doing an event in NYC on Nov 13 and I’d encourage you to check it out.

After the brilliance that is Myles, I was disappointed for the second time by Valencia by Tea. There are some really wild moments and sharp, candid prose but there’s just no growth to the main character and unlike Inferno which is about becoming a poet or Just Kids by Smith which is about becoming an artist there seemed to be no real point to this wild ride. I grew pretty disinterested by the end. Oh, well. Sounds like a very cool film project is in the works based on the book, though, so maybe I’ll love that.

Next, was Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch. I love her…but I didn’t love the book. It is a perfectly good memoir, nicely done with sincerity and heart. And it is pretty fascinating to discover how her career developed and the lucky breaks that helped her reach the dream job that is playing Sue Sylvester on Glee.

There’s a lot of sadness and darkness here too (hoorah for finally finding love at a cheesy photoshoot!) but that’s not why I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it because I was comparing it to Bossypants by Tina Fey and that’s unfair. Tina Fey is a writer by trade and a very, very funny one at that. Jane Lynch is a performer by trade, and a very, very funny one at that. As she says in the book, if she performed the book, it would probably be funny and she is totally right. I just wish she had been funnier on the page. But, in honor of how awesome she is….

And now, Hotel World by Ali Smith. I am loving it and am so sorry it took me this long to read Smith’s work! I originally wanted to read Like per a suggestion in the comments here but it’s unfortunately out of print and with no e-edition it was proving hard to make work for the reading group.

So, we picked Hotel World instead and I am not disappointed in the least and completely and utterly sucked in. I will definitely hunt down a copy of Like in the near future. And her new book, There but for the, is getting a lot of praise lately too.

What pages have you been turning lately?

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3 Responses to There but for the…: Ali Smith, Hotel World, and Getting Back to the Blog

  1. Pingback: Link Round Up « The Lesbrary

  2. Lindy says:

    I encourage you to be persistent in tracking down a copy of Like – it really is good. Do you have access to interlibrary loans at your public library? You might also be interested in my review of There but for the : http://lindypratch.blogspot.com/2011/07/there-but-for-by-ali-smith.html

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