Swing Time is a long read from Zadie Smith, about who we are and who we were and who we will be. The story is told out of linear time, and involves many flashbacks and continuing changes in the more recent past, building towards the final act, which also opens the book. It’s a little confusing, but it’s interesting to see how the narrator looks back over her own life and how her feelings change about her own reminiscing. There’s a feeling that her character is static and fluid at the same time, which I found really intriguing. Overall, I […]
Like many people, I’m sure, I set out to find some of Carrie Fisher’s writing after hearing of her passing, and crying a lot over various tumblr posts about the fierce, proud, witty, wonderful woman we’d just lost. It was surprisingly easy to get my hands on a copy of Wishful Drinking, Fisher’s short, sharp memoir that’s largely just a collection of anecdotes about her remarkable and exciting life, and I devoured it in a matter of hours. It definitely did not help with the crushing feeling of loss at her death, so there’s that. It did make me laugh […]
I’m a complete sucker for food-related books, especially biographies and memoirs. If you have a recipe collection with a few essays woven in? I’m in heaven. The Apprentice was a stand-out in this regard, since it had food, biography, and France, so I was completely unable to resist its many many charms. More uncontrollable gushing can be found here! Sidebar: searching for an amazon link for this book mostly got me links to a certain reality TV series, and now my delightful high from this charming book is kind of deflated… Fortunately I have a Julia Child book on my TBR!
Where on earth does Brian K Vaughan get his ideas? He’s so inventive, creating fascinating worlds with tonnes of lore just lurking beneath the surface. Everything I’ve read of his provokes far more questions than it answers, and I love it. Paper Girls weaves a thrilling mystery, and I’m glad I waited for the volume instead of picking it up issue by issue, but I’m still anxious to read more! I can’t get into the details of Volume Two without spoiling part of Volume One, so if you’re ready to read on, and not afraid of spoilers, read the rest […]
Underground Airlines made a lot of Best of 2016 lists, and I was lucky enough to snap it up at the library before the hold list got too long. It’s a story about what the world would look like if the Civil War had never happened, and slavery was still legal in America. Not surprisingly, it’s kind of a horrifying look. The protagonist is something of a bounty hunter, tracking down escaped slaves before they can make it to Canada and freedom, and his personal journey as a doer of such deeds drives the narrative. It’s really well written and […]
Half Broke Horses is a “true-life” novel, meaning that Walls took all the stories she had heard and collected about her grandmother and wove them into a narrative, smoothing them into place in a coherent timeline. Since the novel is written in the first person, she admits to assuming her grandmother’s thoughts and exact words, and it’s probably best to just treat the whole thing as probable fiction – beyond that, though, many of the stories kind of defy belief! From learning to fly a plane during the Depression to occasionally threatening a nefarious character with a pearl-handled revolver, Lily […]
I really, really enjoyed The Namesake, and it completely deserved my first five-star ranking of 2017. It’s about the son of Indian immigrants and his experiences growing up in America, and how his name shapes the man he becomes. I wrote about deciding on the stars it needed and what I liked about it here! A sidebar: I’m here to give this a shot again in 2017! I wrote a few reviews in early 2016, but eventually tapered off because I found it so difficult to write about books that didn’t really mean much to me – I found it really frustrating […]
Shonda Rhimes’ sister told her that she never said yes to anything, and after some reflection, she realized it was true. So she made a resolution to spend a year saying yes to anything – everything – that came her way, and change her life into something that would make her happier. It’s challenging when her very first “yes” is to give a commencement speech at Dartmouth, and her second is to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live (if you’re not aware, Rhimes is the creator of several immensely popular TV shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal), but she carries it all […]