Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Best Books: October

October's book total was lower than average - 3 books - but it felt like that's what I needed. I spent most of the month unpacking boxes and setting up in my new apartment (which I adore - more on that later), and so reading took a backseat to other life things. The good news is that my commute allows me enough time to dig into a great story, so I anticipate much more reading ahead!

One book stood out head and shoulders above the best. I really *really* enjoyed this one, though it's one of those books that might annoy other folks due to its meandering nature. It was...

Severance by Ling Ma. The premise: a young, Chinese-American woman named Candace finds herself one of a handful of survivors after a plague has wiped out most of the US. She meets up with a motley crew of other survivors, who are making their way West from NYC to Chicago to get to a shelter the self-appointed leader of the group says will serve as the perfect place to call home.

Severance touches on almost too many things - consumerism, religion, the immigrant experience, nostalgia, relationships, work, etc. etc. etc. It should have felt bloated and overdone, but it totally worked for me, precisely because it weaves threads between all of these topics and thus is able to jump nimbly from topic to topic without seeming scattershot. I also enjoyed Severance because it's told through the eyes of a woman who seems to be adrift and lacks connection to much of the world and the people around her. How does someone like this tie herself to others for survival purposes?

The book reads as a distinctly Millennial novel, and some may find it irritating (I myself had to deduct points for an unfortunate use of the phrase “Schwarzenegger dick” because Ewwww! And WHUT?). But I thought it was a fascinating look at our current zeitgeist, told through the eyes of a woman who doesn't quite fit in anywhere, but who somehow manages to survive apocalypse. Maybe her lack of connection to others is precisely what allows her to thrive. Or maybe it's impossible, no matter how much we try, to escape our memories and the people who have played a part in them.

Other books read: Replay - Grimwood; Her Body and Other Parties - Machado