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Stephkesey

Stephkesey

Joined July 2018

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Stephkesey
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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Heartbreaking story about many things, mostly the ghosts of past trauma, how they never really let us be.

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Stephkesey
On directing film | David Mamet
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Interesting set of classes Mamet taught about interrogating each shot in a film, demanding that each shot fit the hero‘s superobjective and thus creating a clean dramatic arc in which every shot communicates the hero‘s progression. Quick read on the craft of film.

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Stephkesey
Mehso-so

Super predictable, but I did enjoy the old Hollywood descriptions and how Evelyn played the game...tho deep down it played her. Oh Hollywood.

Cathythoughts Wasn‘t feeling this one ... I bailed 😬 6mo
Crazeedi I enjoyed this book! 6mo
11 likes2 comments
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Stephkesey
Daisy Jones and The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Such fun. It was an fictional oral history format but read like a gossip rag. oversimplified at first (drugs, sex, rock n roll) but the characters really grew on me by the end. It‘s a quick read.

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Stephkesey
Mehso-so

The humor in this short novel is dry and amazing, I loved her imaginary relationship w Terry Gross. That said, the book is divided into 4 sections and felt episodic. I loved the first two and was less compelled by the second two. Still, the humor is fascinating and kept me reading.

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Stephkesey
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I couldn‘t get into the first book of the Neopolitan Novels for some reason, but watched the HBO adaptation and fell in love with the smart, spiteful, wondrous little girls and thought, what the hell, I‘ll give book 2 a try. Dear lord, I could not pry myself away from these pages. Felt them in my gut. So much envy and longing, and doesn‘t make friendship look easy or good, but I do recognize it rendered with this type of brutality and love.

Stephkesey I will add, that I think you gotta either slam these all at once in a binge reading weekend, or else portion them out, whatever works for you—the teenage girl relationship is punishing and petty (also loyal and beautiful!) but can get really tiresome. So either read quick like a tequila shot or else tiny bites...pick your pleasure! 9mo
Annashep I‘m half way through this now and absolutely gripped too 👍 3mo
4 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Stephkesey
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Pickpick

A gorgeous read on a snowy Sunday morning. The point of view hops around from Dad, Boys, and Crow after a family loses their wife/mum and this strange, funny, flippant, dark bird that is their Loss/Mum/Memories/Grief/Hope flaps into their lives to usher in these painful, beautiful truths: that she is both gone and that she will never leave them. The last page was a gut punch of love and missing. Poetic, spare, fast, uncapturable.

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Stephkesey
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Pickpick

Might have given this a so-so if I reviewed it as soon as finished. Seemed over-simplified. It starts out with the murder-suicide of a nanny‘s two young charges. And then the rest attempts to answer: why? Which it only sort of does. But now with some distance I see that the questions are what stayed with me. It is set in Paris, and these questions have to do with class, immigrants, motherhood and regret. It is a quick read.

AyaOfSiwa I want that book. Must buy it :) 10mo
3 likes1 comment
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Stephkesey
The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
Bailedbailed

The themes here (suicide, writing, dogs, ex-lovers, academic power dynamics, walking, small apartments) suggest a novel I would devour, as they all influence my life as well. But in the #metoo era, I couldn‘t stomach a relationship between male professor and younger female student that seems sort of uninvestigated in terms of real power, left me exhausted and frustrated. I may pick back up to see if it does catch up with our political climate.

Naj Frustrated is how I'd describe my experience reading this as well. The critical acclaim this book got baffles me. Like what did I miss? 10mo
2 likes1 comment
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Stephkesey
The Argonauts | Maggie Nelson
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It took me a bit to get into this as it veers into some inaccesible philosophical writing that can sometimes seem to put up an emotional barrier to the meat of it. But in the end I felt deeply connected and actually appreciative of the intellectual context the references provide. It weaves together several strands of Nelson‘s relationship, pregnancy, early motherhood, death of her partner‘s mother, identity and thought processes.

britt_brooke Nice review! 10mo
4 likes1 comment
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Stephkesey
Priestdaddy: A Memoir | Patricia Lockwood
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I fell in love w Patricia Lockwood‘s brain through these pages. It is strange to be weeping over a chapter in which the author and her mother are contemplating calling the cops due to a potential cumstain on their hotel sheets, but the way she renders it, it is laugh outloud funny and also: so tender. The book is named for her “daddy” but I found her humor/intellect and her relationship with her mother to be the most moving and electric parts.

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Stephkesey
The Answers: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
Mehso-so

I read this in one sitting on a long travel day and desperately wanted to fall into the world of this interesting concept of The Girlfriend Experiment. But I just couldn‘t connect with any characters. I will be thinking about the plot for a while, but the characters left me cold.

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Stephkesey
Pickpick

You think you know the facts of the story in the first half. And then you see it from her perspective...

2 likes1 stack add
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Stephkesey
Sharp Objects: A Novel | Gillian Flynn
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This at first seems like a murder mystery, but hidden within is a story about generational female pain, the way trauma works through mother, daughter, sister, etc. I love dark books in the winter. I devoured it.

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Stephkesey
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Mehso-so

I loved so much of it! The apocalyptic future. Virtual warfare. And (i won‘t say what bc: spoiler!) the end made me feel that it was somewhat feminist and “woke.” But upon reflection ALL of the references to art/movies in the 80s is work by white men. A disheartening undermining of that over-the-top plot point... can we ever escape history, and the erasure of works by women? Cline‘s fandom is at first fun, but ultimately bro-y, which bums me out.

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Stephkesey
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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Starr. Mav. Momma. Seven. Kenya. Khalil. Chris. King. Uncle Carlos. All of these characters will stay with me. This story is so important. As someone who doesn‘t read YA that often, the prose sometimes underwhelmed me but in the end, the story and characters won me over.

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Stephkesey
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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I didn‘t know about the history of Koreans in Japan and was absolutely blown away by this multi generational story of persecution and persistence. I loved and ached along with these characters. The writing is simple and the book flies.

6 likes1 stack add
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Stephkesey
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Mehso-so

The New Yorker called Rooney a “psychological portraitist” and I would agree. I sped through Normal People and needed more. I liked this book, but what I found so compelling in N.P. was the treatment of time, skipping from important moment to moment with months between. I found this pacing more tedious which seemed plotless at times. Still, I love her characters and want more from Rooney, I have a feeling we‘re just getting started w her powers!

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Stephkesey
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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This book follows a young couple through their on again off again relationship and traces how power shifts back and forth and shapes them as they shape each other. Money, looks, popularity, mental health, domination, it all comes into play...

rmaclean4 Just started this yesterday. It is on so many "best of" lists. 12mo
Stephkesey Awesome! I likes it more than Conversations W Friends. Tell me what you think! 12mo
3 likes2 comments
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Stephkesey
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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I loved this book. The stories twist and turn to include many characters‘ perspectives. Each story is somehow both brutal and kind, and in the end, an exercise in compassion.

2 likes1 stack add
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Stephkesey
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Panpan

Ok. I started out enthralled by the language, the northern Cali landscape, the promise of a Katniss Everdeen, and an examination of incest and sexual trauma. He is a sensitive writer, but the last scene illustrates that, in the end, he didn‘t “get” his subject matter. He turned a deep psychological matter into a thriller. It “makes sense” w/in the world he‘s created but misses the nuances of Turtle‘s interiority, which does survivors a disservice.

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Stephkesey
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I would read this for “8 Bites” alone. Incredible collection.

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Stephkesey
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I hate that this book had to be written, had to be so groundbreaking, so relevant. In a gist, the book is: a fat woman refuses to hate herself despite pretty much everyone (airlines, trolls, bosses, shitty boyfriends, clothing designers) telling her she‘s not worthy because of the shape of her body. It makes me raucous with applause and awe that she doesn‘t, that she continues on to claim her own life/happiness. It‘s a small, profound revolution.

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Stephkesey
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Mehso-so

As some point in this book I couldn‘t stomach the more and more drugs the main character uses to blunt out her own life (it inevitably rushes back in despite her efforts.) I get it, year 2018, and a woman wants to sleep for long enough so that when she wakes up, some of the nightmare of being a woman will be solved on its own. Still, I wanted to say, wake the fuck up! That said: i found the book compelling at some turns: a wake up call of sorts.

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Stephkesey
There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
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Intense. Tightly interconnected. Heartbreaking.

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Stephkesey
Sweetbitter: A novel | Stephanie Danler
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Sensual on every level. This book swallowed me. The prose was always deliberate, fueled by both the author‘s intellectual curiosity and also a more bold and primal reverence for fully inhabiting the senses. We see Tess, age 22 in the cruel and gorgeous process of discovery. Read it twice and found it take on a new, chilling vibration in the post #MeToo reading.

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Stephkesey
All My Puny Sorrows | Miriam Toews
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How the f had I never read Miriam Toews before? As a daughter of a dad who committed suicide, who respects his choice, and reserves the right to both ache with his absence and also crack jokes about him/it, I felt, first, so held and taken care of with her gorgeous, perfectly petty sense of humor, then gutted by the book‘s final line, in the acknowledgements, “and finally, to my beautiful sister, Marjorie Anne Toews: comic genius, badly missed.”

4 likes2 stack adds
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Stephkesey
A Little Life: A Novel | Hanya Yanagihara
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So good I bought the tote to join the secret society of people walking around with Jude in their head. Later heard it called pain pornography which gave me real pause. Still, it‘s with me.