Last night was a joy! Mona Awad‘s new book sounds like just right mix of weird/satire/horror for me 😄👌🏻
Last night was a joy! Mona Awad‘s new book sounds like just right mix of weird/satire/horror for me 😄👌🏻
Rukhsana‘s parents act so backward, putting her daughter's future & well-being at risk for the sake of keeping their reputation sparkling- but what does a family truly have if their facade is just that and backed by anger and secrets and using religion as an excuse to control and prevent their girl from being who she is? I was so proud of her, how brave & mature she acted in the face of extreme prejudice from the people meant to love her the most.
Yesterday I had a wonderful afternoon with a few awesome ladies ☺️ Bought 2 books and acquired 2 more (thanks Katherine!!) as well as 2 glasses of rosé!)— That Bookstore is quick becoming one of my favorite local CT shops. Looking forward to seeing you all again so soon ?#bookhaul
WOW. I am in pieces on the floor, reeling and desperate for whatever Polly Rosenwaike's next book will be because right now I feel like only more of her words will be able to put me back together. I am not a mother, I've not had an abortion or a miscarriage or lost a child but... these stories shook me to the core, easily handing me the empathy I needed to be rocked by the good times, and the very bad, had within these pages. 💔♥️💔♥️
UGH! Such an engaging and funny therapy session, I mean book talk, last night at Books Are Magic— like these kinds of days remind me why I go to events. J. Courtney Sullivan is one of my former writing teachers and we got to catch up afterward, but during she was the perfect backboard to Mary Beth Keane‘s droll/hilarious manner. I started reading her book on the way home yesterday. I‘m hooked & impressed. Can‘t believe I hadn‘t read her before.
Another BookCon for me, another wonderful, exhausting day!! I spent so much time talking to publishing people and new friends, I unfortunately didn‘t make it over to where the Littens were! I hope that everyone who went had a fabulous time, and if you‘re going today, that you snag more books!
A fascinating story following the real-world details of the last year of Thomas Sankara's controversial presidency of Burkina Faso, as seen through the eyes of a young FBI agent describing a contract job overseas with the CIA. Anyone with any interest in the world politics of the 1980s would be enthralled by the overall premise. Though my writer brain and the odd presentation not allowing the reader to settle into any present was a major turnoff.
Ahhhhh I felt butterflies I felt joy I had several public laughing fits- this book was all that & a bag of chips. It made me feel as good as To All the Boys I've Loved BeforeAND Fangirl both did. Penny who, let's be clear is wholly unique & likely written with some of Choi's own weird/awesome shine, had a bit of Cath's personality and Lara Jean's confidence + a combination of their humors and awkwardness- she and the book were just... excellent.
Not quite book-related (though what is happier than the union of two bookworms??), but we got some photos back from the photographer and I wanted to share a couple of our favorites ☺️💗
Hope everyone has a Happy Sunday and a lovely long weekend if you too are lucky enough to have tomorrow off.
OUCH 😭 Swayed by #CoverLove I had no idea where Fisher was going to lead me. She details her journey into sobriety & then into illness, just after befriending a much older woman (in her 60s to Fisher's 30s) who is already dying of metastasized breast cancer. I knew her friend, Alison, would die yet I was not prepared. It's a quick read & a good lesson for anyone, healthy or otherwise, to remind us that we can't make it through this life alone.
Could you imagine how the world might end in nuclear war? I couldn't & it seemed like the author didn't know either. Aside from allusions to big clouds, colder weather & minimal, poisonous rainwater-the "lucky" few in the Swiss countryside seemed to be surviving ok the first few months. While I found this absolutely readable and hard to put down, it was really b/c I was desperate for a dramatic event or two to satiate my investment in their story.
What do I even say? That though "just" a YA novel this story and main character Layla did a ridiculous job shredding my heart? Well it did & this book isn't "just" anything. If forced from your home in the middle of the night to be placed into a camp, how would you feel? Ahmed took on such a hot subject to point out the US' history of stripping citizens of their rights during wartime to show how easily our present administration could do the same.
LITTENS!! I‘ve been a little quiet on the run-up to my wedding which was SATURDAY!!
I am overwhelmed and oh so happy. @BookBee89 & I had a wonderful day surrounded by our closest friends/family, and, of course, books!! Pictured here are my bouquet and the centerpiece at our table. ☺️📚
Altman is a riot. On top of her first person experiences she hilariously details conversations with doctors, scientists, surgeons, at least one porn star, and a number of salon professionals to find out more about how and why our bodies function the way they do, as well as to dig into the truth about current practices to, well, make women look the way they wish, whether that's by bleaching their anus or paying for a labiaplasty.
I dug this. Amanda herself narrated, occasionally pausing from the memoir to sing. Her story is a fascinating one, how she would “statue”, how she got involved with and ended up married to Neil Gaiman— I really respect how she achieved fame and genuinely cares for her fans. 💕
Grisel proves her wisdom over & over, detailing the hows/whys of addiction, but it missed the mark for me. I guess I was hoping for more of a tell-all about this neuroscientist's own trial with addiction while she was much younger as she still lives to warn us nearly 30 years after getting sober, yet instead it read mostly like a textbook. I was glad to have this information in one place, broken up by her insights and allusions to her experiences.
#IndieBookstoreDay : AND the pinnacle of my weekend has to be this giant stack of ARCs I collected (mostly free, some from last year, some still yet to be released). It‘s an absolutely daunting stack and yet I couldn‘t be happier to have them 😄
#IndieBookstoreDay: Here are a couple discounted books I picked up by local Connecticut authors, both of which I was persuaded to pick up after a great conversation with the shop owner! The Jane Mount theme continued with the pack of notebooks I simply had to have.
Finally got my act together @BarbaraBB 🤗 Here is PART of my #bookhaul from #IndieBookstoreDay !! The books I bought, the amazing Jane Mount bag was FREE! I almost can‘t bring myself to use the tote, it‘s so beautiful.
Also, I had a great time last night learning more about a much-anticipated book, Walking on the Ceiling, a sort of flaneur novel, written by the very smart & sweet Aysegul Savas. It was a bonus that Helen Phillips (author of the upcoming The Need!!) was asking all of the insightful questions. 💕
A slow Saturday morning is EXACTLY what I need before I tackle the rest of the items on my wedding to-do list ☺️
Doesn‘t hurt that both of these books are excellent in very different ways. The tagged short story collection is really something else.
What a cool night! Erika Swyler is such a passionate woman, I was rapt listening to her speak about her new book. I‘ve had it from NetGalley for a little while, but I happily bought a copy (and got it signed). ☺️
I had a stupidly fun time driving around the state to Independent Bookstores for the second year, collecting stamps (and a few more books than I‘d budgeted for) in order to be eligible for grand bookish prizes 😄
Can‘t think of a better way to spend #IndieBookstoreDay !!! Hope everyone else got to do something special— even reading a book that you may have previously acquired from one of your favorite local shops! 💕
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The chapters flit between the pasts & melded present of Miranda, an on/off drug addict, mother of 3, and estranged wife of washed up musician, Lee Golden- and Jodi, a recently released convict, thrown into jail as a minor where she stayed for 18 years. Slowly the truth of what led Jodi to kill in 1989 is shown, how her involvement with Paula ruined her, & how she hides it from Miranda, her new lover, will likely lead to her/their demise.
Using tight prose Ackerman deftly tore my heart out. The story is told from the perspective of a deceased friend & fellow solider of the gravely injured Eden, who survived the war zone explosion that killed the narrator, but only just, & there he remains on the precipice of death for three years. His friend keeps a careful watch on Eden's wife, Mary, & daughter who knows her father in the hospital as a burnt shell of the man he was before it all.
Though I don‘t love it, the experimental arcs & formatting demand well-deserved praise for Egan‘s wild mind. The cast is tight though it‘s not obvious until several chapters in when, jumping time & POV at the turn of every chapter, names repeat & stories unfurl to fill out the history or future of any/all of the dozen characters named in the first 50-80 pages. Within a paragraph/page Egan might break the fourth wall or timeline to move w/o rules.
I found Carruthers‘ recounts of past movements wholly moving and her explanations of how to do better wildly inspiring. At times I felt like her intelligence surpassed my own in a way that meant I'd never really understand how necessary her activism is, but I tried to focus and remain open, listening carefully. I noted several passages to return to as I gain a greater capacity to consider her advice and encouragement.
I‘ve been the tiniest bit MIA planning and, finally, yesterday, attending my bridal shower with @BookBee89 ☺️💜
We had a blast, here‘s me cheesin‘. I really love this guy.
SIX WEEKS UNTIL THE BIG DAY!
Claire Gibson wrote with an understanding of loss and friendship that surpasses many of her contemporaries. In 500 pages, she wove a tale covering 7 years from the end of high school & beyond as 3 young women playing basketball for West Point, establish a lasting bond made up of their faith, their dedication to their sport, their frustration with & ultimate respect for the Army, and the determination to be the best they can be for family/country.
Kelley Armstrong, and Casey “Butler”, continue to boggle me, overturning expectations I thought I had for what could feasibly happen next in Rockton. The innovation here was welcome, though just on the cusp of being believable, I was still on the edge of my seat for the entire 350+ page volume. Despite having my rapt attention, I was, per usual, never on the right path to solving each new piece of the mystery that lands in the detective‘s lap.
The choppy format of mimics the intensity of Maya‘s addiction as she flounders. The best & most cringeworthy scenes involve the arguments with her mother, the phone/text/email convos with her female friends as they badmouth the men in their life, and, of course, Thanksgiving spent at her in-laws' home. Though only 180 pages long, Maya's story still feels like a long and intricately woven warning of how to try to avoid then reach rock bottom.
The book flips between Wes McCray‘s podcast & Sadie‘s first person account— both following Sadie‘s footsteps trying to find justice for the murder of her young sister, months after the local police come dry, no answers to be found. 19-year-old Sadie goes off on her own, her alcoholic mother long since abandoned town, searching for her mother‘s ex who, it seems, is not who he says he is and likely had a great role in her sister‘s death.
A snap from the appropriately named bar we took over post-Strand 🤓
Yesterday I was part of an Instagram meetup in NYC and naturally we made a pit-stop at the Strand before proceeding to a place nearby for a chat over drinks—
this is the not-so-little stack I walked away with 🙂🙃🙂📚📚📚📚 #bookhaul
With the attitude of Book Of Essie and the governmental control of Hunger Games, a frightening & overtly sexist and extremely racist world tries to intimidate the main character, teenager Adriane, as she is exiled to the 80 years in the past. Though I felt the same unsettling feeling I had while reading Louise Erdrich‘ a Future Home of the Living God (which I also didn‘t like very much), I thought this was a book full of missed opportunities.
Amber Tamblyn continues to lead by example in a book so intelligent and self-aware. Over the last 10 years she's proven herself to be a capable poet, director, author, mother, and leader. She left an abusive relationship, she found new love and the bravery to choose when to start a family, she successfully directed a movie, wrote a novel, protested while 9 months pregnant, birthed a baby girl, &
co-established Time's Up to support working women.
Wow. Here is a collection of stunning short stories, each succeeding in quietly unsettling my mind. The writing is so sure of itself, it was so satisfying to get to the end of each. Not to oversimplify, some are about: a man meeting his dying friend to act as best man; an aspiring skater, his tag-along brother & their condescending father; the brutal murder of a family; burying a rotting bird on Easter; and a young woman caring for aging parents.
Another ok book from Mary Kubica— I think it‘s safe to say I don‘t need to pick up another. I‘m most disappointed with this one though because of how excited I was to pick up a story with an unreliable narrator who is such from sleep deprivation, not from drugs/alcohol/sociopathy. The ending wasn‘t a total shock, nor did it feel like a cop out, but overall it didn‘t seem like Kubica pushed the possibilities of either woman‘s storyline far enough.
🤭⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The story quickly escalates as more unthinkable truths are revealed and Min and Noah have to separately tackle one obstacle after another to protect their friends and keep humanity alive. I'm saddened that this might be the last book spent with these characters and this absolutely insane end-of-world scenario, but Reichs has proved to be an adept storyteller so I'll likely read whatever he comes out with in the future.
Oliver Brady, a serial killer, is delivered to town b/c his rich stepfather paid the council to house him for 6 months to keep him out of jail. Detective Casey Butler & Sheriff Eric Dalton know they don't have the means to take care of him but they try, until, seemingly with the help of another resident, he makes an elaborate escape and the law enforcement duo have to take to the forest again for a manhunt before Brady kills again.
My latest #LibraryHaul has me like 🤩 All my holds came in and I dove right into the next Rockton novel (tagged) because I‘m simply obsessed.
With a satirical bent & a similar attitude and role reversal as Naomi Alderman‘s The Power, Amber Tamblyn‘s poetic debut novel proved is a cutting commentary on society‘s present approach to victims of sexual assault— it reads like a biting critique on our victim-blaming culture. The play with format lent itself well to the story as it zooms in & out. It was a smart, creative leap for Tamblyn. Her voice is one that will leave quite the impact.
This is a laser-focused introspective novel full of haltingly cringeworthy situational dialogue. I kept turning pages wondering if Richard's agency would take hold now- or now- or now- or if he would run from his obligations to his squalid apartment, waiting for everything he's worked for to crumble. I enjoyed this awkward look at his overlapping love & professional lives and the many asides to how depressing and difficult dating in the NYC is.
I never would have thought I'd be so entertained listening to Roach's research on the varying ways human corpses can be used for research and live a second life after the individual's death. It should be obvious that this is not for the squeamish, but despite the inclusion of numerous gruesome details, like those surrounding decapitation and crucification, it was easy to get past since the rest is just too fascinating to look away from.