Quick-Review Collection

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sometimes it takes too much time and effort to write a long review. I don't review every book I read, often because of this. However, I want to share everything I read, and a bit of what I think. So, here is a quick review of all of the books I've read recently that don't have their own full review on my blog. (This idea is inspired by Janna at Literary Quicksand, and personalized for my own style)

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A book that is complicated and action packed and hard to describe. It makes complicated science fascinating and comprehensible and will keep you on the edge of your seat. 5 stars because, though it wasn't flawless, I never wanted to put it down, and I kept gasping in surprise. 

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

A tiny, impactful book. As is often the case, some of the essays were better than others. I loved the ones at the beginning of the book, and several later on weren't quite as interesting to me, though still worth reading. A great part of the current feminist canon. Sarcastic, sharp witted, eye opening. 

Grayson by Lynne Cox

5 stars for the story itself. An absolutely amazing true experience of humans and nature interacting in a beautiful way. Informative and eye opening to some things I never knew about ocean life and sea creatures, topics that already strongly interest me. Lynne's experience is incredible and I loved reading about Grayson's interactions and movements with her. Never realized how adorable and fascinating a baby whale could be.

2.5 stars for the writing. Her writing style really isn't my favorite. Her sentences are very short and choppy. She overuses rhetorical questions at times. The many passages about communicating to animals via her thoughts were a bit cheesy and overdone. Some of the details seemed too specific to be remembered that clearly after decades (lengths of animals, specific numbers, etc). Other passages describing the beauty of nature and the sights around her were beautifully written.

However, I absolutely read this for the story of a baby whale and a swimmer interacting together in the ocean. It was uplifting and sweet and beautiful. It's a short book and worth the day of reading it'll require.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Such a sweet story with an adorable ending. Probably even more appealing for fans of Star Wars who would relate to the references as well as the writing. Only 4/5 because 50 pages isn't enough Rainbow to satisfy me, and because it just made me want to read Attachments (one of my favorite books ever) for the 5th time.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
I loved this. Hard hitting, powerful, entertaining, easy to read, funny, horrifying, personal, thought-provoking, important, and relatable. I could add more adjectives if anyone needs convincing. A fast and impressive book to read if you have any interest in feminist essays. 

Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by many writers

Some of these managed to be incredibly poignant, touching or funny in just 6 words. Some didn't. You can read this in about half an hour and it's worth that time. This is pretty darn cute and feels like a great connection of so much humanity. Most of the time I wanted and needed more from each "memoir" to actually feel satisfied. 
Also, one of my past professors has one in here, which I discovered while reading.

The Blue Fox by Sjon

Tough one to rate. Super fast read, such a short little book. The prose and wording are absolutely beautiful. There were many lines that amazed me. This isn't a book about intriguing plot though. There is a small story here, about a few different characters. But it's really about the writing itself and how it depicts animals, nature, humanity, and death combining. It's quite beautiful, and also strange and bizarre and mysterious and moving.

Into the Light and Away From the Dark by Aleatha Romig

4.5/5 and 5/5
This book and sequel are fantastic and hard to describe without giving much away. A woman wakes up, without sight, in a strange place, with no recollection of the stories she's told are the truth. Sounds cliche, but everything is completely insane and unexpected from there on out. It's quite a ride. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Something this incredible, impactful, striking, simple and true should be read by everyone in the world. If this was global required reading I guarantee we would live in a better world. 
I was just discussing so many of these topics yesterday, and last week, and last year. Adichie amazingly describes exactly what I often think or talk about, and the things I know thousands of other women think and experience every day. 
This put a tear in my eye and resonated so deeply. Amazing. And worth the thirty minutes or an hour or two of reading for anyone.

We Have Always Lived In the Castle by Shirley Jackson

4/5 [audiobook]
I didn't love the narrator for the audiobook, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the story itself. This wasn't as good as the other Shirley Jackson books/stories I've read, but it was still really great. Merricat is an awesome and bizarre voice for the story, the plot is engaging, and the ending is unexpected. It's not scary or horrific, but it's very dark and macabre. 

The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne

This graphic novel has some of the most beautiful illustrations I've seen. The story is a sweet and emotional take on the classic tale of Peter Pan. It could have been much longer, in my opinion. Anyone who likes reading graphic novels and likes Peter Pan will love this new release. 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
An amazing take on the feminist essays/memoirs I've been loving so much lately. Lindy's perspective as a fat woman, as a comedian, as a feminist, is so bold, hilarious and raw. I couldn't put this down, I never wanted it to end. I would read probably anything she ever wrote down, grocery lists and diary entries included. Her voice is amazing. She also doesn't give a shit about anything, which is fantastic.

Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli

I haven't read anything quite like this, or anything on this topic. And I have no idea why! This is so important; anyone with a political opinion or thoughts on social issues should read this tiny book about immigration and children.  An amazing and important book. This taught me so many things, and reinforced the beliefs I already had with more facts and more real stories. 

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