Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

I read Where'd You Go, Bernadette a while back and and I really liked it. So when it was suggested that our book club needed a bit lighter reading, we decided the new(ish) Semple book Today Will Be Different might be a good option.

Oh, how we were wrong.

This book is all about privileged white lady problems and while I have some of those of my own, it became abundantly clear to me as I was reading this novel that the degree of narcissism and self-involvement the main character showed that was reflecting back on me was not going to make it a fun read.  And I wasn't the only privileged white lady in my book club who felt awful while reading this book.

It was as cleverly funny as Where'd You Go, Bernadette; instead the main character's voice just seemed mean and self-important. My absolute biggest gripe was just how big of a know-it-all the author was. There was a line about Gates, Benaroya, Shirley, and Wright in which the narrator referred to these people as all the people everyone knows (and, with the exception of Bill Gates, I had to look each one of them up).  Clearly not everyone knows. Her snotty references to art (Cy Twombly's peonies, the Brown sisters, Richard Serra, and Louise Bourgeois and her black marble eyes were only a few of them I actually had to look up) and constant obscure NFL allusions (Deuce McAllister and the retired #12 jersey for the Seahawks) made me want to scream. It's not that I don't like learning - it's the tone that if you don't know these casually dropped facts, you're an idiot that I didn't appreciate.

I did enjoy the random graphic novel in the middle of the novel, though.

Your life will be just fine if you never read this book.

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