Gutshot: Stories by Amelia Gray
I self admittedly have a hard time going out of my reading comfort zone. For movies, no problem. Books though are more of a commitment. I have been in a book club for a few months now, and that has quickly expanded my reading horizons. Gutshot is great example of something I would have never read on my own.
It is a collection of short stories by Amelia Gray. I found some stories so disturbing that I had to start reading them through the day instead of before bed because they gave me the weirdest dreams. The stories I didn’t find disturbing at the very least made me uncomfortable. Without giving too much away the ones that made me squirm the most were about things like a couple that forced a hired woman to live in the ducts of their home or a seemingly normal relationship ending in self castration. Not all the stories were that extreme. Even the less drastic ones were peculiar enough to make me pause or raise an eyebrow. Maybe the overall theme is the extreme effects people can have on each other.
I cannot say that I enjoyed or liked Gutshot: Stories. I can say it did make me think and should make for an interesting book club discussion.
Gulp: Adventures of the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
What’s the alimentary canal? It’s the route food takes in your body from your mouth to your anus and everything in between. Mary Roach explores all the questions associated with the canal. Some are tame, like why do we like the foods we like? Some are not, like when she visits a prison to explore how items are smuggled by way of the bum.
What is truly surprising about the book is how funny it is and how gross it isn’t. Sure there’s some parts that have an ick factor, but overall the book is really interesting without being a total turn off. Also, if there is some award for the best footnotes ever, this book deserves it. Seriously, if you do read it do not skip the footnotes.
It isn’t a page turner. You can for sure have gaps of time between chapters without dying to know what happens next. But when you do pick it up again you will be most likely laugh and even learn something.
You probably already guessed that this was another book club book. . .
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
I did enjoy being back in the Harry Potter world with a new story. I really did, but I was also left craving a bit more. The story was good, but not J.K. Rowling good. I was totally open minded with it being a play going into it. By the end though the play format had me wanting a more fleshed out version. It had me wanting a J.K. Rowling book instead of play that seemed like a really top notch piece of fan fiction.
Heads up, there may be some mild spoilers in the next paragraphs. . .
The play centers around Harry and Ginny’s son, Albus, who struggles with living in the shadow of his hero father. So there are new and old characters. The surprising gem of the story for me was Scorpius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s son. He was a sincere character that keeps the friendship theme within the series going. Thanks to a time turner there is also a very touching scene, I think maybe even my favorite, between Albus Potter and Severus Snape.
Another issue I had was that since old characters were included why was Hagrid not around or even mentioned? Or maybe even included in a time turner scene? If we know where all the other major characters ended up and how, what about Hagrid?
I know it’s a contradiction. I liked it, want more, and am a bit disappointed.
Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts or what are you reading now?