Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Susman

Dear Fellow Reader,

Are you in a book club? I am a believer in book clubs. I think that you will often read books that you may not think that you want to read or books that are unfamiliar to you and that it is all good for you. I do believe that, but I will tell you that I am having a terrible time with my book club book for this month. I have read 7 other books just to avoid reading the book club book. What is worse than just avoiding it, is that I own a copy of the book because I wanted to read it. I know it is supposed to be a really good book (won the Booker prize in 2020) but I know it is depressing and I just can’t bring myself to read it. I have made it to page 60 in the last 3 weeks. I hate to give in and give up, but I think I will have to. Now, do I go to book club and admit my defeat or do I go and listen to them talk about the book in hopes that I feel motivated to read it? I might be more inclined to go if I had finished last month’s book. That one I just didn’t like and ran out of time.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was in over my head on books to read. Do you ever just suddenly feel like you have gone too far? I went to my library queue and deleted almost all of it. I did write down the books so I could start over at another time. But there are always so many books to read! I will admit (just to you) that I have since gone in and put three books on reserve. AND THEY HAVE ALL COME IN!!! What a mess.

In the meantime, I read an ARC that I received. (Repeat after me “in exchange for an unbiased review.) It is a nice story. Funny You Should Ask is the story of Chani Horowitz who is a writer. She has all the credentials (Iowa MFA) but she lacks confidence in her writing. Instead of rejoicing that she writes a really good interview article, she thinks that she is not quite good enough. When she was 26, she interviewed Gabe Parker. Gabe Parker had just been chosen to be the new James Bond and to say that there were questions as to whether he was up to playing the role is to put it lightly. It just so happens that Gabe Parker is Chani’s ultimate Hollywood crush. She is so overwhelmed when she meets him that she can barely talk much less ask a coherent question. But she makes it through the interview – probably without finding anything new – when Gabe invites her to go to a movie premiere with him and then invites her to a party at his house. The interview she writes not only makes her career but sends Gabe off to play Bond with a positive outlook.

Then 10 years pass. Gabe has been to rehab twice and was fired from his third Bond film. Chani has her second book of essays and interviews coming out. The publisher and the producer of Gabe’s new film have the bright idea that Chani and Gabe should revisit their interview. Chani has great reservations about this but she decides to go ahead and try.

The story is told in the popular way of going back and forth in time. It is done well and you always know where you are in the story. Learning about the missteps and misunderstandings between the two of them over time helps move the story along well. I enjoyed the book. While I hesitate to call it a “beach read” (It might jinx this weather; it would be nice to be warm sometime.) I think it would be lovely to sit on a beach and read this book.

Thanks for reading!

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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