This one isn’t from my 2013 stack, but is one I’ve wanted to read for awhile. My name finally came up on the (extremely) long wait list from the library, and I plowed through the book in two days.
Here’s the thing. This book is funny. Really funny. It takes a lot for a book to make me laugh. Christopher Moore doesn’t make me laugh. Terry Pratchett doesn’t make me laugh. David Sedaris doesn’t even make me laugh. But “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple made me laugh—probably because I live in Seattle, where the book is set. So all the neurosis, all the quirks, all the neighborhood tiffs are things I’ve seen, or experienced, or at the very least can relate to.
The book is also a fast read because it’s divided up by emails, letters, reports and narration by Bernadette’s daughter, Bee. With easily digestible short chunks, it’s simple to read for five minutes, then put it down to grab cookies out of the oven. (I made cookies while reading one day. The book is better than the cookies were.)
The characters are all crazy, period. But it means you don’t really know where the book is going to go, and even though outrageous things happen, it all is completely believable. And Bernadette’s issues don’t seem outrageous. She has big problems, and these lead to crazy things happening.
I don’t want to give anything away. If you want a quick, fun read, check out this book. It isn’t complicated or extremely deep, but it does give one example of what can happen if artists stop creating their art.