From Herefordshire Speech by Winifred Leeds, I learned that some English usages that Americans consider less-proper, like “ax” for “ask,” are common in parts of England! A good reminder that language changes all the time, and there is never going to be one “correct” dialect. The Library Cart Precision Drill Team by Linda McCracken cracked me up–I didn’t know quite what to expect when I ordered it, but it is in fact an instruction manual for libraries who want to have a library-cart drill team for parades. It’s hard to imagine how it got published, but I enjoyed reading it because it had such a sense of joy and delight. As adults, we don’t often have a chance to do something so silly. I’m Not Hanging Noodles by Your Ears by Jag Bhalla is a collection of idioms from different languages, grouped by topic. This didn’t hold my attention for very long, and while the author included some interesting tidbits about language, I didn’t generally enjoy his asides, which often strayed far from the point.
Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, and Murder on the Ile Sordou and Murder in the Rue Dumas (the latter read as an e-book) by M. L. Longworth were the highlights of the month, and you can follow the links to my reviews of those.
Without intending to read two books on the theme of matchmaking, I read Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson and tried to read The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli (as an e-book). Matchmaking for Beginners is about a woman, Marnie, who has to figure out what she wants out of life–the two-kids-and-a-dog life in Florida that her sister in particular presses her to have, or something bigger, riskier, and more adventurous? (Now that I write this, it sounds like the plot of Convenience Store Woman, although the books are completely different.) Despite the title, it’s not a romance novel or really even a love story; the “matchmaking” refers to the talent Marnie and another character have for sensing when two people are a match, and that plays into the plot in multiple ways.
The Matchmaker’s List is about an Indian-American woman who allows her grandmother to set her up with various men on her grandmother’s list of potentially suitable matches. I read a few chapters and then gave it up. I just didn’t like the main character, Raina, and in particular, one choice she makes to get her family to stop pestering her about getting married. I won’t spoil it–it wasn’t a bad book, but just not for me, and I have too many unread books to keep going with one I don’t like!