Weather by Jenny Offill


From the author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation--one of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year--a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisisLizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering ad...

Details Weather

Release DateFeb 11th, 2020
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels

Reviews Weather

  • Marchpane
    weather noun: the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and timeweather transitive verb: to come safely through a difficult period or experience First they came for the coral, but I did not say anything because I was not a coral. I loved every minute of Weather. It wont be to everyones taste, thanks to the choppy style, specific brand of humour and refusal to deliver conventional narrative movement, but I thought it was brilliant. This no...
  • Diane S ☔
    When one reads as many book as I do, the search for something different but good, is ongoing. This author seems to fill the bill. She takes the reader inside the thoughts of a young woman, Lizzie, who is juggling many of life's trials. She is a mother, a wife, tried to take care of her mother, and her brother who has had a problem with drugs. Additionally, the doomsday prediction with the climate and the unfriendly political situation, also preys...
  • karen
    NOW AVAILABLE!!Can I ask you something, Will says one night and I sure, ask me something.How do you know all this?Im a fucking fact about that line, beyond the fuck, yeah! of it in my heart: the verb between I and sure is missing in my ARC, so the quote is totes [sic], but im 2/3 convinced that the word was intentionally omitted. as the novel draws to its close (and that is on page 170 of the ARC's 201 pages), and as the sense of an...
  • Debbie
    And now for something completely differentStrange little novel that had me in the palm of its hand. Theres not really a plot, but sometimes, who needs one? Plot lovers, please dont be scared off. Its full of insights that are accessible and fascinating, and there is a story thread, I promise.You probably want to know, whats the thread? The thread is Librarian Lizzies life as a wife, mother, professional letter writer, and helper of her brother, w...
  • BlackOxford
    Almost the BluesWhat the new world of literary America consists of perhaps: diary entries; the not quite aphorisms of a typical NYC life; the recording of trivia amidst cataclysmic events. There is obviously a selection of things to be noted/published. But there are no conclusions or points to be made. Whatever story there is is left to the readers imagination. Blanks are filled in and events connected by the same process that one unconsciously c...
  • Elyse Walters
    Loved it!!!Audiobook/ sync... with the physical book.The audio-narration is read by Cassandra Campbell....( a well known pro in the audiobook-world).This is not an easy book to review....My guess is that readers will either appreciate and enjoy it....Or....They wont. I enjoyed Dept. of I had a pretty good idea of what I might be getting into Unconventional Unique beauty....This book exceeded my expectations. I liked it even mor...
  • Esil
    4 stars so close to 5/stars!Theres something that seriously clicks between me and Jennifer Offills writing. I loved The Dept. of Speculation and, again, loved Weather. This is a very short novel, told through a series of first person vignettes. The narrator is a librarian, living in New York with her husband and young son, and eventually her addict brother. Each paragraph is a quick impressionistic reflection on the librarys patrons, parenthood,...
  • Meike
    Now Nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020Jenny Offill describes what it feels like to live in today's America, she writes about the political and social weather, the charged atmosphere that has enveloped the nation. Her protagonist Lizzie Benson works as a librarian without a traditional degree, thus administrating knowledge without being formally qualified - but, in the metaphorical sense, who really is? In the age of fragmented filte...
  • lark benobi
    I stayed up past midnight to finish, exhilarated by the prose, and excited about every exquisite perfect detail, and eager for the perceptions and the recognitions that came tumbling along on every page...and now I'm done, and I just don't know. I don't think I'm going to remember this in a year. The tiny paragraphs of insight, one after another, remind me a little too much of Twitter. "Good Twitter," but still. Reading this novel was like watchi...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I first feel compelled to clear up some confusion on the part of the main character about academic librarians. As someone who has supervised students in an academic library, I have at times heard them refer to themselves as "librarians" but always correct them. Librarians do require a degree (MC does not have one) and do not spend their days checking out books, shelving books, or ordering random books based on whim. Many times, academic librarian...
  • Eric Anderson
    Although I read Offills novel Dept. of Speculation over five years ago during one joyously long reading session on a plane, it stands out in my mind as so stylistically unique with a voice that seamlessly blends humour with poignant critiques on love and modern life. Her new novel Weather uses a similar style of narrative while engaging more overtly with current politics and social anxiety. Rather than a linear story were presented with clipped s...
  • Kathleen
    Offill writes in witty, short paragraphs that mimic diary-like entries. It is a quirky style that works surprisingly well. The author of these entries is Lizzie Benson, a curious librarian that absorbs odd facts about climate change, religion, and much more. These blurbs are peppered among entries that catalog how she is weathering lifes challenges. There is her brother, Henry, a recovering addict that she allows to live with her periodically. An...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Now longlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize.I hope to join an upcoming Book Club discussion of Jenny Offills 2014 second novel Dept of Speculation (shortlisted for the Folio Prize); and, this, her third novel Weather appeared on a number of 2020-preview lists.This book is very much in the style of Dept. of Speculation a style I described in my review of that book as elliptical and aphoristic style.Offil said in many interviews around Dept. of Spec...
  • Lee
    Yeah, good luck trying to find a better one than this, Booker people.'Theres a sign on our elevator saying it is out of order. I stand there looking at it as if it might change. Mrs. Kovinski comes into the lobby. Theyll let anyone be super now, is her theory. Anyone.I get the mail, put off making my slow way up the stairs. The fancy preschool still sends us the newsletter. This one features a list of the top ten fears reported by their students....
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    This book speaks deeply to my personal and specific sense of despair and dread. Its nothing short of remarkable and is complete perfection. And its funny! Best book of 2020 so far and just the best book I have read in ages. I dont even want to tell you anything about it so you go in knowing exactly what I did: new Jenny Offill. How did I get to be so lucky to be alive at the same time as her?! I feel rearranged in the best possible way. This bo...
  • Emily B
    I loved the narrator but found some of the other characters hard to keep up with. Specially as who they were and their role/job etc wasnt always explicitly named. Maybe if it was read in one sitting then I wouldnt have had this problem so much. I found it both witty and thought provoking and would recommend you give it a read. Offill turns everyday life into poetry I loved the narrator but found some of the other characters hard to keep up wi...
  • Perry
    1 4 3, Canadian hunkA war-time romance, without the war, without the sex.... with the bookish hunk Quebecois, whilst taking care of the neurotic drug-addicted brother, and attending to her precursive decrepitude, mostly after husband took their young son out of town to get away from this near-negative Nelly.I expected this would be more like the first three (Autumn, Winter and Spring) of Ali Smiths brilliant seasonal quartet. Ill say this: it kep...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    Weather is an interesting concept, but it just wasn't for me, both because I'm completely apathetic towards climate change and had trouble relating to the main character's concerns, and also because I found the writing to be overdramatic and almost hokey. This "literary" (I beg to differ) novel is certainly very timely, dealing with a number of modern issues and fears amidst an intriguing backdrop, but I didn't find the writing or character devel...
  • Rebecca
    Could there be a more perfect book for 2020? A blunt, unromanticized but wickedly funny novel about how eco-anxiety permeates everyday life*, Weather is written in the same aphoristic style as Offills Dept. of Speculation, which I read in November 2015, but has a more substantial story to tell. Lizzie is married with a young son and works in a New York City university library. She takes on an informal second job as PA to Sylvia**, her former prof...
  • Matthew
    My therapist once called me tangential. It was not by any means a slight, nor was it anywhere close to being inaccurate. I admittedly think and speak erratically; its a direct reflection of how my brain works. Id like to think its because I am overcome with short, sporadic fits of brilliance, but its more likely because Im so fearful of being distracted that in turn I become distracted in my attempts to avoid it. These days were practically oblig...
  • Bruce Katz
    I have no idea what rating to give this book. I have no idea, in fact, of what it was I read. The book dispenses with the conventions of story-telling (apart from having a single, first-person narrator). There is no "story" to speak of, though I suppose an attentive reader -- particularly one with training as a clinical psychologist -- could tease a story out. Or create one. Thinking on it last night, I began to think of the book not in terms of ...
  • Sarah
    4.5 rounded upTold in a series of short snippets, Weather follows Lizzie Benson, a librarian and ordinary woman who is navigating the post-Trump, post-truth landscape of life in contemporary America. Lizzie cares for her troubled recovering addict brother, her old beyond his years son and spent time looking after her dying mother. Through her conversations with them, and others - her former mentor Sylvia and patrons of the library in which she wo...
  • Neil
    At the end of Jenny Offills new book, Weather (the first of her novels that I have read), there is a link to a website ( In an interview with Esquire magazine, Offill saysI launched the Obligatory Note of Hope website. Much of it came from thinking about the novel and how to write the novel, and then when I was finished, there were all these resources I had come across. When I tried to fit them in the novel, they cap...
  • Maddie
    Hows the Weather? Everything is bad, so bad. Forlorn.And theres no hope to be found in Weather, Jenny Offills new book after the explosive Dept. of Speculation, a book that, according to critics, was the precursor of the autofiction genre, where fact and fiction blur and its impossible to tell which is which; I specifically enjoy this idea, the guessing game that goes on in my mind as I think 'where does it end? where is the beginning?'Weather, h...
  • Faith
    Seriously overhyped and underwhelming. At least it was short.
  • Peter Boyle
    Weather is Jenny Offill's follow-up to the much-adored Dept. of Speculation. Like that book, it takes the form of a woman's inner monologue, told in short, sharp paragraphs. The woman in question is Lizzie, a university librarian who has a lot on her plate. Her brother is recovering from addiction and has a new girlfriend, but he relies heavily on Lizzie for support. Her knee hurts, and she's not exactly sure what to do about it. Her mentor Sylvi...
  • Varsha Ravi (between.bookends)
    2.5/5If I were to plot my reading experience of this novel, it would probably be a perfect sinusoid that doesnt quite peak but plateaus in the middle only to dip again in the end. Weather is a loosely plotted, mostly observational novel capturing the current climate (literally and figuratively) of the now, while offering anecdotal insights on where we, as humanity, are heading. The sentences are short, clipped and really quite sparse. A technique...
  • SueLucie
    This is a sort of state of the nation address from one woman in New York going about her daily life, her thoughts and reflections mirroring the preoccupations of those around her. Civilisations decline and climate emergency are two of the main themes, highlighted by a new and very different president and political style. Her musings on these are interspersed with worries about her family, her marriage, her child, and observations of her customers...
  • Hannah
    This is a very specific kind of navel-gazy book that works really well for me but might prove frustrating or even kind of empty for other readers. This is the kind of novel Sarah Manguso would write and I loved it.The blurb makes this sound like a plot heavy book but it is very much the opposite. Offill has edited her book down to sparse scenes, short musings, and witty sentences. Much of the action happens off-page and only the ramifications are...