Saturday, December 15, 2018

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs by Pearl Cleage: This is not really a memoir but literally a collection of Cleage's personal journals from 1970 to 1988. On the one hand, she's clearly a talented writer, and she shares a lot of thoughts about womanhood and race and work and being an artist. On the other hand, she also spends a lot of time talking about getting high and pining over the married men she's sleeping with, so that got a bit old.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah: This definitely lived up to the hype! Noah explores the complexity of race and class in South Africa not through the shock value of dredging up his worst memories, but in between the lines of the stories about his pranks, his friendships, his failed attempts at dating, and his complex family relationships. I laughed, I cried, and I wished it were longer.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain: I found Bourdain's insights into life in the restaurant industry to be interesting, horrifying, and entertaining, but his arrogance was grating after a while and I don't think his experiences are as universal as he made them out to be. If you were a fan of Bourdain, worked in the industry, or have lived in New York, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did.

Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward by Gemma Hartley: It's not an exaggeration to say that this book has transformed my marriage. Hartley articulated my personal experience (and that of many, many women in different-gender relationships) so perfectly that I told my husband, "I'd do almost anything to get you to read this book." He listened to the first 15 minutes, said everything suddenly clicked for him, and before I knew it I had an equal partner in the running of our daily lives. Women will appreciate it, but men need to read it.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green: I already liked this a lot the first time around, but it was even better on audio. I am deeply impressed that Hank Green wrote such an interesting, timely, fast-paced but philosophical novel, and I am definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I finally read this after hearing great things about the movie, and it was pretty meh. The writing isn't great, I didn't feel invested in the lives of the characters, and the voyeuristic aspect of "OMG they're so very, very rich" got old quickly. I'd still watch the movie, though.

Glittering Images by Susan Howatch: This was a super weird book. The best way I can describe it is a Christian soap opera with a large side of someone's personal therapy sessions. I think I got the underlying message but it could have been done in a much less problematic or dramatic way.

Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones: I don't usually like short stories, but I went in with the right expectations to enjoy this. Each story is a brief window into the life of one or more black Americans living in Washington, D.C., together making up a tapestry showing the diversity of life within a single community. It's definitely more about characters than plot, but that's not a bad thing if you know what to expect going in.

What have you been reading this month? Share over at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Sophie's Choice
Five years ago I was reading: Red Azalea and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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