Tag Archives: © 2018 Book Chatter

Review: Nutshell


By Ian McEwan
Anchor Books, 9780525431947, May 2017, 224pp.

The Short of It:

A clever take on Hamlet as told by a fetus.

The Rest of It:

You don’t need to be familiar with Hamlet in order to enjoy Nutshell but it certainly helps.

Trudy leaves her husband John for his brother, Claude. Together, Trudy and Claude come up with a plan to murder John. The house they occupy is quite valuable. With John out-of-the-way, they could potentially make quite a bit of money. But their plan is not a secret to Trudy’s unborn child. The child is fiercely loyal to his mother and somewhat loyal to his paternal father, John, Mostly because he cannot stand the vile Claude.

This is not a new idea. Movies like Look Who’s Talking have provided platforms for the unborn to voice their opinions but in Nutshell, Trudy and John’s child is very well-spoken, a wine connoisseur (due to his mother’s affinity for drink) and hilarious with his high-brow take on the dim-witted plan these two have hatched.

Nutshell is very literary and clever and superbly written. I’ve read many of McEwan’s books and all of them have been good, with Atonement being my favorite. However, Nutshell was very enjoyable. It was a book club pick and many in the group agreed that it was humorous in its own way, but some felt it was a little over-the-top with its pretentiousness. I didn’t mind that part of it and had no trouble suspending my disbelief over the fetus telling the story, but the scheme these two come up was riddled with holes from the beginning so believability in that regard is non-existent.

Have you read it? I think some readers are intimidated by McEwan and if that’s the case, I recommend Nutshell because it’s not as heavy as some of his other books.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.


Sunday Matters: Rough Start

Sunday Matters

2018 has rolled in with a bang. My BIL’s funeral is this morning but I am out-of-town with The Girl at her first club volleyball tournament. Don’t ask. The funeral was difficult to schedule due to numerous setbacks. I’ll leave it at that. The Hub will be in attendance. The entire family is looking for closure.

Also, while lounging on the couch during my last week of vacation, I discovered a weird pile of “dust” that looked more like pellets and guess what? TERMITES. So we will have to tent at some point but with production week coming up, it has to wait until February. It made me really grouchy this week. A total downer since I have to return to work on Monday. But to put it in perspective, I have friends battling cancer, family members struggling with addiction and friends who have also lost loved ones over the break. Termites do not rate on that scale of life.

Right Now:

This is a scheduled post because right now, I am driving to the tournament. Nothing like leaving at 5am to be on the court by 6:30am.

This Week:

Work. Homeless outreach. Beginning to do some research on which books to pitch at the yearly book club selection meeting. We choose books for the year. We each pitch two. Any suggestions?


I just finished Nutshell. The review posts tomorrow. I found it to be clever and hilarious.

I also finished Manhattan Beach. The review posts on Wednesday but I really enjoyed it.

I am currently reading Seven Days of Us. Interesting premise. So far, it’s fun and I am having a hard time putting it down.

Is anyone reading Fire and Fury? I am #1033 on the hold list. I am curious but I am not sure I can tolerate what’s in it.


I watched that episode of Black Mirror that everyone was talking about, USS Callister. It was so much fun! Very clever. Almost like watching a movie.

I also watched a movie I have had recorded for forever, Ping Pong Summer. Very 80’s. All about a young teen vacationing with his parents. He gets dragged into a ping pong tournament by a local bully. It’s got Lea Thompson and Susan Sarandon. It’s pretty low-budget but has a good message.


I’ve made chicken curry this past week but the rest of our meals have been snack-y things like avocado toast, rice cakes with hummus. The Girl became a vegetarian so with me being gluten-free, meals are difficult to plan right now.

Grateful for:

As much as I hate shelling out thousands of dollars right after Christmas to tent the house, I am grateful that we have a house,  warm beds to sleep in, food on the table, etc.

How is 2018 starting off for you?