This was an amazing book. I avoided it for a long time because of all the hype. But the hype is deserving and it should have won the Pulitzer. In my humble opinion. I also love that Yaa Gyasi went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Iowa pride. It was also one of the books that was mailed around in my traveling book club for the months of Sept-Oct.
Each chapter follows a different character, all of them stemming from two women – half sisters. In this way it’s almost like a connective short story collection. I loved all the characters and their lives. So much so that more books could be written about the timeline of the characters lives that we don’t see. And I would read those books. No question.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : a book nominated for an award in 2017
This book came from my traveling book club. And it was so timely. While we’re in the throes of an immigration ban it’s interesting to read a book on just that. Two women who want to leave their country. And they have damn good reasons and should be allowed to leave their country. And that’s how I feel about that. But let’s talk about how I feel about the book.
First, apologies to my bestie who loves this book. For years she’s been telling me how great it is and I kept saying, yeah yeah okay, and then never reading it. Mainly because I had heard about his other book, The Kite Runner, and had no desire to read that one either. So I projected that lack of enthusiasm onto this book. This is a book that I only feel good about reading because it helped me understand Afghanistan and it’s conflict. Did I like the characters? Of course. However, I hate, absolutely positively hate, when books have violent husbands and the women can do nothing. It makes me want to hurl the book across the room. I cringe even thinking about the things women who lived in this area and this time went through. And in that way, I’m glad I read it because my eyes have been opened more. But I can’t say I enjoyed the outcome. I did enjoy the way it was written and the two points of view. I always like that. But otherwise, God it was depressing.
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : A book recommended by someone with great taste
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : A novel set during wartime
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a book about war
I went through my messages. These are the books I had in November and December. You can probably guess on whether or not I read them since I couldn’t remember what any of them were. I’m not a very good participant. Too many books, too little time! #librarianproblems
Shrill by Lindy West. I had no idea who Lindy West was before I got this book but I do now. From her own website she is described as, “an American writer, feminist, fat acceptance movement activist, and film criticism editor.” She works at The Stranger with Dan Savage. It would seem that I’ve never written about my love for Mr. Savage on this blog but I do. I love him. So that made me interested. I read the chapter she wrote about him and some others but did not read the whole thing.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This book. I swear it haunts me. Annie Barrows writes the Ivy & Bean books. I love those books. They are adorable. But I don’t want an adorable adult novel. I can’t in good conscience read this book without cringing. Maybe someday someone will convince me. But it wasn’t this time.
I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I started this and quit. I have no other excuse.
I’m going to have to go back and look at what Nov-Dec was. Whoops. Let me tell you about the ones I currently have at my house before I forget them too. Specifics on the inner workings of the traveling book club are here.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. You may know him as the author of the Kite Runner, which became a movie. I have not read it or seen the movie. My best friend has been raving about this book for years. I never wanted to read it. It’s not my thing. But now that she’s part of the book club and this is the one she chose I felt obligated. I just finished and will review it soon. Spoiler: I will not be raving about it for years.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Also a movie. Not only that, I feel like it might be the first real blockbuster that featured Jennifer Lawrence. This sounds like a True Grit kind of book and I can’t say whether or not I’ll pick it up. It did win the Audie Award in 2011 so I may try it on audiobook.
Love Does by Bob Goff. A lot of the women in this group had already read this book. Apparently I missed the boat because I’d never heard of it. I think this will be a pick and choose chapters kind of book. But I will open it.
Soo. Shipment numero dos of my Traveling Book Club is about halfway through. If you’re interested in the particulars of how it works head here. Otherwise, I’m going to dive in and tell you the three books I got for this second leg of the book trip.
Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. The person before me wrote in the traveling notebook that she had to download the eBook version one day when she forgot the book at home because she had to continue reading. Let me preface by saying, I hate WWII novels. Especially ones with horrible people who torture. I was really into this book until I got to the middle and the main character was caught. The next step was obviously torturing him and I put it down. I’m not sure I’ll pick it back up. I’ll have to be exceptionally brave and power through.
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer. Now as much as I hate WWII novels, I love a good book about missing children. What can I say, I’m a weirdo. I haven’t started this yet but I checked it out when it was first released and heard good things. I’m sure I’ll tear through it when I get a chance.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I first heard about this book on All the Books. It has since been on a million to-read lists and best books lists. It seems very intense though, so I’ve been putting it off.
I received Modern Lovers through my Traveling Book Club. I read Emma Straub’s other book, the Vacationers, in 2014 and loved it. I didn’t love this one as much. Sometimes I wonder if that’s just me not remembering the specifics of the previous book or being so in love with a debut novel that I compare everything. Anyway, I disliked most of the characters in Modern Lovers. Which is fine. Sometimes characters are meant to be that way. I liked Harry, the son. And I sometimes liked his mom, Elizabeth. But everyone else was a wash. I had to force myself through just to see what happened to the characters I liked. However, at the end she had impartial newspaper articles, announcements and such to give a sort of epilogue to all the characters and I liked that. It was unique. Recommended for summer. Along with the hardcover mailed to me for my book club, I also received a copy of this book on Netgalley.
So until I get this job thing under control my posts will be rather sporadic. I have been reading though so let me tell you about that. I have this awesome book club I’m participating in. Three book clubs actually. I’m part of a group on Facebook called Sorta Literary (<– feel free to join yourself!). They had the idea for a traveling book group. Let me tell you the particulars. You get 6 people together. Each person picks a book. Each person is partnered with another person in the group. Not the same person. For example: Person 1 mails to Person 2. Person 2 mails to Person 3. Person 3 mails to Person 4 and so on and so forth… until every person gets a new book. Wait two months. Read your book for those two months! The book is also accompanied by a notebook that everyone can write their thoughts in. Then on September 1, you mail again. To the same person as before. Read and repeat every two months. So every two months you’re getting a new book. It’s a circle of book mail! Since there are 6 people it will take a year to get everyone’s book and you will have 6 new amazing books to read that you may not have chosen on your own or even realized were out there. Great idea right?? I thought it was so great I presented it to all of my own Facebook friends and got enough interest to start TWO MORE traveling book groups. So basically, I’ll be reading these books for the next two months. I’m knee deep into Modern Lovers and will move on to The Girls afterwards. Both of these books are super new and I feel privileged not to have to wait for them on my library’s hold list. I have absolutely no desire to read Cleopatra, although I gave it to my best friend for Christmas one year because she believes she was an Egyptian princess in another life. Don’t we all.
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub, who is the author of The Vacationers (<- my review) which I loved!
The Girls by Emma Cline, she picked a good time to publish this since one of the women in the Manson family scandal recently applied, and was accepted, for parole
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff