The book of the month for January was “No one belongs here more than you.” by Miranda July. This is a collection of short stories.
Now let me just say, that going into this challenge (one book a month for 2017), I thought that short stories would be my favorite reads. I now have to say that it’s actually the opposite.
I found that with a book of short stories, I would read one story and stop, with no desire to continue reading to see what happens. I ended up saving about 2/3 of the book for the last week instead of reading it steadily over the month. Obviously it’s hard to motivate myself to read, so I don’t want to say it’s the book’s fault that I wasn’t eager to pick it back up again, although maybe it was.
This book has a bunch of short stories, all varying in length. Some were 3 pages and some were 30. All the stories seemed to center around a female main character in first person. One central theme in the collection was the fact that the main character always seemed to be alone, or at least felt very alone. She was deserted by a friend, missing an ex, or moved to a new place with no acquaintances.
When I was reading reviews about the book initially, a lot of the criticisms said that many of the stories were overly sexual without really adding to the plot. I did find this to be true. Almost every story had an overtly sexual tone, whether it was about the narrator working at an adult store or about her fantasies involving her downstairs neighbor. I did find it to be a little distracting and unnecessary at times.
Reading this book made me feel lonely, myself. But, I guess that is probably the point of the stories. All of them had a “lost girl in a new city” vibe, even though not all of them took place in a large city.
My favorite story by far (and not just because it was the shortest) was “The Man on the Stairs.” I really liked how rhythmic it was and how it flowed with each step the man took. The narrator’s fear of an intruder gave a perfect opportunity for her to explain her relationship with her partner. And I love how in the end we never really find out if there is actually someone there.
All in all, I’m not sure I would recommend this book. While it certainly was an interesting read and July has a quirky style, I found a lot of the stories to lack plot and just sort of ramble about sex. The stories didn’t really push me to keep on reading to the next one.
My rating: 2/5
Next month’s read is going to be “Friendship” by Emily Gould. This is a novel about two friends who are trying to just get through life. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it. Review will be posted at the end of the month. I think I’m going to nix the intro to the books for now and just post a review at then end of the month.
Have you read this book and have anything to add? What books should I read next?