Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
CortexVortex

CortexVortex

Joined December 2020

Neuroscientist, environmentalist, feminist, writer. Reads for two hours or more every day. Instagram: @eseryilmazphd Twitter: feral_inkfish
reading now icon
Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
reading now icon
Ulysses by James Joyce
reading now icon
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
review
CortexVortex
Lore | Alexandra Bracken
post image
Mehso-so

As a Greek mythology nerd, I had high hopes for Lore, described as Greek Mythology meets "Hunger Games." Every seven years, nine banished Olympians are hunted by mortals, raised to kill these gods and absorb their immortality and other powers. Even though the premise was exciting, the story didn't live up to the hype. Hence, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped for a nearly 500-page read.⁠

BooknerdsLife Same! It felt like a let down & a waste of a good opportunity! It could have been so good! 7mo
CortexVortex @BooknerdsLife exactly! It could be so much better. 7mo
28 likes2 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick


⁠Originally published in 1979, The Bloody Chamber is a collection of fairy tale retellings, such as Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood, and Sleeping Beauty. Carter's prose is gruesome but beautifully captivating. In Carter's version of these stories, females are much more than helpless damsels in distress; they are strong, clever, sexual, and in some cases, brutal. I strongly recommend this story collection.⁠⁠

paulfrankspencer I remember enjoying this in a college class. Maybe it's time for a revisit. 9mo
36 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

In a desperate attempt to avoid getting married, Addie LaRue sells her soul. The Faustian deal gives her a life of freedom and eternal youth. The catch? Nobody remembers Addie.
I enjoyed poetic descriptions of this book. Although the plot was relatively slow, the ending was quite pleasant.
Lesson? - don't sell your soul to the devil. If you do, please carefully consider every word of the agreement because, umm, the devil is in the details.

Shamzi Love the review!!! 9mo
booksandsympathy I have about 80 pages left in this book and I've enjoyed it so much. The writing is beautiful. I love the way you superimposed the book onto this picture. 9mo
CortexVortex @Shamzi thank you! 9mo
CortexVortex @booksandsympathy it really is beautiful writing! 9mo
35 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

If anyone needs to see an example of exquisite character-building, give them this book.
The talent of Yaa Gyasi is boundless and beyond impressive. Not only is her writing plain but effective, she brilliantly illustrates the mind of a Ghanaian immigrant who deals with loss, pain, and parental neglect as she tries to understand herself and her family through the lenses of religion and science.

50 likes1 stack add
review
CortexVortex
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
post image
Pickpick

Yaa Gyasi brings us the tales of half-sisters Effia and Esi and their descendants for multiple generations. Each chapter focuses on a new main character and could be read as a stand-alone short story. Some are heartbreaking, some thought-provoking, yet all together they display the range of humanity.

50 likes4 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
post image
Pickpick

This is such a well-written book. For some reason, I really liked how O'Farrell never mentioned the name of Agnes' husband, the most famous playwright in the 1500s who also happens to be the father of Hamnet, Judith, and Susanna. Instead, she focused on Agnes and the children.

Reagan I am having a bit of trouble getting into this one. I must persevere! 11mo
CortexVortex @Reagan I hear you. I was curious about Agnes and liked her portrayal, so I kept turning the pages. But I'm having trouble with Piranesi right now. I'm not invested in the MC, and when that happens, it's so hard to keep reading. 11mo
49 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
CortexVortex
Homeland Elegies | Ayad Akhtar
post image
Pickpick

Part memoir, part essay, part fiction, entirely brilliant. Yet, I admit I can't be impartial; as a Muslim-born American woman, I have seen or lived some of the experiences illustrated in this book.

Chrissyreadit I just read your “bio” I wanted to get my PhD in Neuro Science. But for now I will have to settle for reading more. What is your focus? 11mo
CortexVortex @Chrissyreadit I started with sex-dependent differences in the brain, switched to molecular mechanisms of learning and memory in grad school, continued with neurotoxicity and pain mechanisms, and later neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants.
Realizing that I'd never get a tenure-track position, I hung the lab coat in 2017. Now I read and write. 📓 ❤
11mo
Chrissyreadit What??? Those are all currently relevant topics! Writing is exciting though! I think it‘s interesting because all of your topics are interrelated in my mind. It‘s getting the culture and law to respond effectively to the science.... whatcha reading? 11mo
CortexVortex @Chrissyreadit I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking they are interrelated and important! These days I'm reading Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Trancendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, and Angry Weather by Friederike Otto. I should post reviews soon 📚 (edited) 11mo
39 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Mehso-so

I think I had different expectations. This book felt like a long magazine article. Also, I wouldn't consider most people portrayed in this book as weird, but maybe misfits. The author reintroduced some characters in later chapters, and more than once, I've found myself trying to remember who those people were.

review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

A very fitting book for today...

I loved Oluo's previous book (So You Want To Talk About Race) and this book was also great. I kept nodding throughout.

38 likes5 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
The Year of the Witching | Alexis Henderson
post image
Pickpick


This book reminds me of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale but with a magical spin: a religious society located at the edge of an enchanted forest and governed by powerful prophets with multiple wives, some of whom are in their teens. I thought the protagonist was well-developed, and the story was persuasive.

39 likes5 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
post image
Mehso-so

Between “pick“ and “so-so“ for me. I read this because it's a Pulitzer finalist playing out in a climate change-related dystopia. I knew it had biblical undertones, and that's okay. The writing was generally fine too. Yet, I had a hard time connecting with the protagonist or any of the characters, to be honest.

31 likes1 stack add
review
CortexVortex
Bastard of Istanbul | Elif Shafak
post image
Panpan

I really wanted to like this book. I grew up in Istanbul, where the Armenian genocide is still taboo. I appreciate Shafak's courage to pen the untouchable but the book wasn't well-crafted. It seems she wrote with a thesaurus nearby to sound impressive but her word choices didn't always fit and the prevalence of meandering backstories made the book clunky. I think she needed a good editor.

Maria514626 I wanted to like this one, too. Just couldn‘t do it. 😔😔😔 The story had such possibilities. (edited) 11mo
23 likes2 comments
review
CortexVortex
One to Watch: A Novel | Kate Stayman-London
post image
Mehso-so

The novel is about a plus-sized fashion blogger as the bachelorette. The writing was good, and I liked that the protagonist was plus-sized. But the rest wasn't for me. I never had any interest in the bachelorette (or any reality show or TV competition), and I don't think I'll ever watch it. Also, I don't like the fashion industry, have zero interest in fashion, and it's hard for me to connect with a fashionista. It's not the book, it's me.

36 likes1 stack add
review
CortexVortex
Dearly: New Poems | Margaret Atwood
post image
Pickpick

Everyone feels a poem differently. A poem that makes my eyes teary can make someone else yawn. Hence, what worked for me might not work for you. For me, this collection had a bunch of poems that evoked powerful emotions. Some were okay. Overall, I thought many of her poems were beautiful. Needless to say, I loved the Plasticene section.

review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Memorable characters, great dialogues, enjoyable writing. Although the pacing might be slow for some, I thought it allowed the stories to intertwine without confusing the reader. In fact, I quite enjoyed the layered storytelling in this book, seeing the same event through the eyes of a host of characters.

35 likes1 stack add
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Beautiful runaway twins Desiree and Stella are inseparable - until Stella vanishes to pass as white. Although genetically identical, they lead completely different lives: Desiree returns home and works at a diner and Stella lives far away with her white family, opportunities, and privilege. Yet, Stella's new life keeps crossing paths with her past. This book has many layers about identity, colorism, gender, and mother-daughter relationships.

36 likes4 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Anne is my favorite Bronte sister. The psychological depth of her characters, her realist approach to relationships, and a hint of feminism are the ingredients that make this book a great read.

EliNeedsMoreShelves 100% agree. 12mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
CortexVortex
Wow, No Thank You | Samantha Irby
post image
Pickpick

Hello, 911? Is it okay to ignore the laundry mountain because I want to keep reading?
Hello, 911? Can you send someone over to walk the dog?
Hello, 911? What do people do after finishing this book?

Megabooks 😂😂 love this review!! 12mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa 🤣 sounds like a fun read! 12mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Mehso-so

This book about books does have some good points and suggestions. However, so many books should've made it to 100+ books to “read and reread“ but were left out. Moreover, it doesn't have a definite organization. Although some (but not most) books with similar themes are presented together (in a single chapter), in general, the reviews jump from fiction to nonfiction to written historical work with no cohesive connections.

Lindy Your review prompted me to pick this up, so thanks for drawing my attention to it. I‘m not far in yet, but I can see that the contents do have an organization: alphabetical by author. I know how it is to wish MY favourite books would be included in such a list ( I don‘t see many here) but this is Kakutani‘s selection and I‘m interested in why she chose them. 12mo
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
CortexVortex
post image

Cat ✅ Dog ✅ Book ✅

BookishMarginalia Perfect! 12mo
Johanna414 That's the life! 12mo
32 likes2 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

I preside over the board of directors of a small grassroots climate education nonprofit and get asked now and then for book recommendations about climate change. This book is an eye-opening compilation of essays from some of my favorite The New Yorker writers such as Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert. I definitely recommend it!

26 likes4 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Who doesn't have regrets or wonder how their lives would have turned out if they made different choices? Nora Seed is the protagonist of The Midnight Library, who gets to experience many lives in this tale of finding self. Matt Haig's style is a bit eclectic and whimsical but also somewhat nerdy with a pinch of physics and a dash of philosophy.

DinoMom I loved this book! 12mo
CortexVortex @DinoMom I agree, it is such a great read :) 12mo
Texreader Excellent review! 12mo
CortexVortex @Texreader thank you 😊 12mo
47 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Do you want to see the behind the scenes of how Stacey Abrams helped flip Georgia? Read this book.

BarbaraTheBibliophage 💙 this book!! 12mo
24 likes5 stack adds1 comment
review
CortexVortex
The Awakening | Kate Chopin
post image
Pickpick

Published in 1899, The Awakening is about a privileged yet unhappy mother/wife who develops feelings for other men. It is somewhat similar to Madame Bovary but I think Kate Chopin captured the psyche of her protagonist a bit better.

AvidReader25 You‘re right, I thought this one was so much better than Madame. 12mo
34 likes5 stack adds1 comment
review
CortexVortex
post image
Mehso-so

Samantha Irby writes about growing up, work, health, relationships, and heartbreaks. Her style is humorous but coarse.

review
CortexVortex
Hollywood Park: A Memoir | Mikel Jollett
post image
Pickpick

Mikel Jollett‘s memoir starts with him escaping from a cult with his mom he barely knew and focuses on growing up poor in a dysfunctional family.

blurb
CortexVortex
post image

I requested this book from the library a long time ago. Finally, it is here!

luvlee68 so glad you got your long awaited read , i hope you enjoy it 😊 11mo
19 likes1 comment
review
CortexVortex
post image
Mehso-so

I understand why many people love Miller‘s Pulitzer-winning play. I really do. I like it's criticism of the American dream and appreciate that it's still applicable today. However, the plot was predictable and the dialogues felt somewhat unnatural. Lastly, the women came in two flavors: the dedicated loving housewives and the gullible sluts. I understand that in the 1940s such stereotypes were normal but it doesn't mean I have to like them.

24 likes3 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
Real Life: A Novel | Brandon Taylor
post image
Pickpick

Brandon Taylor took me back to grad school and let me experience a weekend through the eyes and mind of Wallace, a gay black student from Alabama in a midwestern city. Real Life contains authentic characters who have baggage, and the relationships between partners, friends, and coworkers are complicated.

18 likes3 stack adds
review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

If I could pick anyone as my writing instructor, I'd pick Jason Reynolds. Right of the bat, he says this is not a history book. He's right; unlike many history books, Stamped is neither dry nor bores the reader with trivial information. Instead, Reynolds manages to present Ibram X Kendi‘s longer work in a conversational style that is easily digestible by the YA audience.

review
CortexVortex
post image
Pickpick

Extremism has been propagating in the dark web as more and more sympathizers get entrenched in it's narratives. Most of us have no idea what takes place in the corners of the dark web. In Culture Warlords, Talia Lavin is unapologetically unafraid to dive into several online far-right communities to give us a glimpse of behind the scenes of radicalization.

15 likes2 stack adds
blurb
CortexVortex
post image

Finished my yearly challenge and then read some more!

Nute Way to go!🙌🏽 Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you!🙂 13mo
CortexVortex @Nute thank you 😊 13mo
Traci1 Welcome to Litsy! 👋 13mo
See All 14 Comments
CortexVortex @Traci1 thanks, I feel at home 😊 13mo
CrowCAH Great year in books! Welcome to the Litsy family!!! 📚 13mo
CortexVortex @CrowCAH thank you! 13mo
JillsBookshelf Welcome to Litsy! Happy new year! 🎉 13mo
CortexVortex @JillsBookshelf happy new year to you, too! 13mo
eeclayton Welcome to Litsy! 🎉 13mo
CortexVortex @eeclayton thank you 📚 13mo
Powered_By_Plants Well done 👏 Welcome to Litsy 🥳🥳 12mo
luvlee68 CortexVortex , this is SO IMPRESSIVE!!! i wish i could , i thought i was a pretty fast reader as a young adult but now in my 50‘s i realize i‘m more of a slow reader - i applaud you - i have challenged myself to 30 books this year - there are sooo many i have on my tbr lists , i have to pick up some speed - haha 😆 you inspire me 😊 11mo
CortexVortex @luvlee68 I'm glad I inspired you! 💝 But honestly, 30 books/year is still a very good pace. 🙌 11mo
18 likes14 comments