Wanted it to be 200 pages shorter-the last 1/3 of the book felt highly repetitive and drawn out. It relied on coincidences of fate as a plot device in a way that felt impossible to believe.
Cyril‘s 20‘s are so devastating. If you are a queer person who has faced a lot of hate I might skip this one. I found it re-traumatizing with the current climate in U.S. Still, I read on until the end, even the cringe inducing last line.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This one was hard to read but it definitely drew me in. Westover recounts her childhood growing up in an extremists Mormon family, largely isolated from the outside world. This is a story of abuse, injury, mental illness, and education and what happens when those things meet fundamentalism and family obligations. Not an easy read.
Some interesting insights from an insider but nothing that seemed revelatory. Though I can see it aging well, and being a more important read in 5-10 years for those too young to remember the 2016 election. For now I think the format, open letter to the future first madam president, falls flat. At its worst it is light on wisdom and heavy on fortune cookie one liners.
An American Marriage is a powerful story of a biased justice system and the devastation of incarceration and the destruction of love and commitment. That story about the trash bag messed me up. Sometimes the audio got on my nerves, especially when the male voice imitated Celestial‘s voice. I also thought Andre‘s parts added little and the ending was too rushed and the epilogue was too much of a bow. Overall good but a little below the hype for me.
Fire Sermon was equal parts beautiful and rage inducing. I have no idea how I feel about it. I found the meditations on faith at turns compelling and/or self-indulgent (this was purposeful I think). The descriptions of longing in this book were rendered so well, but other parts were disturbing and upsetting and I wasn‘t always confident there was a reason for it. The use of the r word definitely took the novel down a level. Unnecessary.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Solid collection of personal essays. Strongest when Koul spoke about her parents immigration from India to Canada and her experience growing up brown in a largely white neighborhood. Her essays about an Indian wedding and online trolls were particularly strong. Other essays meandered without really reaching their point. I was skimming near the end, but still think it‘s worth picking up.
My library hold on Naomi Alderman‘s Disobedience finally came in and I tore through it in two days. Though I was disappointed overall. I was so eager to read this one after seeing the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation. The story overall felt flat and too on the nose. Also, I just did not like Ronit. Plus the last page/scene was terrible and overkill, not sure how it got past an editor.
Banana Yoshimoto‘s Hardboiled and Hard Luck is a pair of short stories that capture the current situations of two women. The first tells of a woman staying in a haunted hotel/town and reflecting on the anniversary of her ex‘s passing. The second is about a woman coming to terms with her sister‘s decline after an aneurism puts her in a declining vegetative state. Both women are strange and relatable and haunted. The prose is simple.
Just finished this delightful and gritty book that tells the story of Hawley, his daughter Loo, and a whole lot of gunslinging. Bonus points because it‘s set on the Northshore of Massachusetts, just outside of Boston (where I live). Highly recommend, especially if you have a soft spot for father/daughter narratives. A perfect mix of gritty and whimsical.
🔥🔥🔥🔥 I had heard so many superlative reviews of this book that I started to feel discouraged when I didn‘t become obsessed with it right away. It took me about 100 pages to get into the story, but I‘m glad I stuck with it. Solid mystery plus a bonus 🔥 for not resorting to a cliche weather device to end the book.
Lincoln in the Bardo gets ⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️ from me, in part because it was weird and unsettling and not a lot happened. Also, it reminded me of The Dirty Dust by Máirtín Ó Cadhain. The narrative of Bardo jumps between newspaper and book excerpts about Lincoln and the stream of consciousness of long time residents of a graveyard in Georgetown, some of whom are pretty repellent but ultimately captivating. #bookreview
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It was nice to read about a kid questioning gender and their family‘s struggle to learn and be supportive. The end disappointed as well as the device of just moving to a new location to resolve issues. I felt weird about the portrayal of Thailand-an unrealistic mix of white savior vision and idealizing and oversimplification. Overall I liked it & appreciated its attempt to capture the struggles w/ assigned gender, but a lot of it didn‘t ring true
“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng is by far one of the best books I‘ve read all year. So refreshing when all the hype is true. It‘s an exploration or race, class, power, privilege, hard choices, love, art, etc. in the planned community of Shaker Heights, OH. I don‘t want to say too much. Please read this book and then @ me about it.
I was so excited for this and boy did I not like it at all. The tone was leering. Reading this made me feel like I wanted to file an HR complaint. The characters were one dimensional. With the luxurious margins of a freshman essay it was still somehow filled with meandering sentences that made little sense and added even less. It felt antiquated, at the 1st mention of computers I was shocked because it seemed set in the 1950s. Needed a Peggy.
Everyone should read this book. Any summary or praise I write won‘t do it justice or capture how deeply I felt it or what it taught me. Here‘s what I‘ll say: I checked this book out from the library and before it was due back I bought a copy.
The end very nearly redeems it and looking back I appreciate it more, but this book isn‘t that good. If you‘ve started it I would recommend pushing through to the end. If you haven‘t started it, I would recommend keeping it that way. All of the reviews I read said you had to get through the first 150 pages or so and then it paid off, but for a book that‘s 210 pages that‘s too much to ask.