2010: 62. & 63. Two by Weiner

“I watched her for three days, sitting by myself in the park underneath an elm tree, beside an empty fountain with a series of uneaten sandwiches in my lap and my purse at my side.”  First Line of Little Earthquakes

The Guy Not Taken, Jennifer Weiner

Little Earthquakes, Jennifer Weiner 

      I’ve recently read two more books by Weiner (after Good in Bed), and somehow forgot to blog about one of them, because I returned it to the library.  So when I circled around to to Little Earthquakes, I decided to throw The Guy Not Taken in too - not as a slam on Weiner’s books, but because if I don’t get moving, my “to-be-blogged about” pile is going to take over my bookshelf (and somehow I don’t think that the appearance of a newborn in my house is going to increase my blogging time).  So, with apologies to Ms. Weiner - and with no allegiance to the Franzen camp - two by Weiner.

      The Guy Not Taken is a collection of short stories, some of which include recurring characters, and some of which are about characters from her other books (there is a story told from the perspective of Bruce from Good in Bed).  I found the book to be entertaining, although the short stories are a little odd - only in the sense that they are just good old fashioned stories - not literature-y slice of life/moment of epiphany New Yorker-y stories, and I wondered, where on earth did she ever publish these? What kind of magazine even has short stories about relationships in it these days? But beyond that wonder, I mostly just found the book to be a good, quick read.

      Little Earthquakes is Weiner’s mom book.  It’s about three pregnant women (and one woman who lost her baby, which made it a little hairy for pregnant me to read).  The three deal with various issues relating to being new moms, and figuring out their lives, and it’s not high literature, but it’s enjoyable to read.  And Weiner writes well enough that it’s not embarrassing to read her stuff, and some of it is a little cliched or repetitive* from her other novels (the fat girl who hates her body), but some of it is really fun (the world’s worst mother-in-law), and maybe she’ll never win a Pulitzer, but I like Weiner’s stuff. It’s escapist without making me feel stupid.  I read it for the same reason I read mysteries - because I enjoy reading them, and isn’t that really the purpose?

Date/Place Completed:  July 2010; D.C.

Categories: Fiction

* If I wanted to be nitpicky, I’d say this isn’t as good as Good in Bed or In Her Shoes - there are a few too many characters, I think, so that all of them tend to be a little thin.  But I enjoyed it, so what of it?

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017