Archive for January, 2020

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

#ReadingWomen prompt 17: Over 50 pages

This book makes me go hmm and wow in equal measure. I got completely absorbed by the story and loved the time I spent with the characters. But at the same time I got a bit annoyed, especially by Jude, for there being so little personal growth. I found his character particularly to be unbelievable. I just felt that a man so damaged would not be so accomplished – not without actually addressing his damage. The disparate elements to his life felt incongruous.

But also – wow – this book is so beautifully written. and cleverly constructed. what I kept waiting for didn’t really happen despite there being so many opportunities for it to do so. And then what did happen was so unexpected and happened when so not expected that I felt I had been punched in the gut – repeatedly.

Well worth the time required, this fat book is a delight if not always pleasurable.

by Barbara Kingsolver

I reread this book for #popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 16: set in a country starting with C.
I loved this book a decade ago, and loved it more this time. Kingsolver is a favourite of mine and this book is partly why.
I love what she says and how she says it.
Being a white African so much of this story resonated with me and made me deeply uncomfortable.
A marvelous read.

by Lynne Truss

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 26: A pun in the title

I really like how Truss makes grammar fun, interesting and palatable. I think everyone should read this. It is easy to digest, vastly useful and really quite fun.

by Virginia Ironside

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 47.
A fun read I really liked. I loved that the characters are all 60+ and living their lives. They are smart and foolush, silly and mature – just like people are. It was refreshing to read a book in which the older characters are not sages or wise women but just people muddling through, facing decisions and screwing up.

by Aisha Tyler

This will count for #Popsugar prompt 32 – a book by a WOC. A good half of what I read is written by authors of colour but this is the first this year so I will count it here.

I like Aisha Tyler and quite liked this book. She sets herself up to be the butt of the joke and is quite happy to be laughed at.
I listened to the audiobook of this book and I think that was probably the best way to do it. The run on sentences and asides probably work best when narrated rather than read. Tyler narrates the book and it works. I am usually a fan of author narration and in this case I think it is probably essential.
Her stand up comic skills push the book along and engage the listener.

The chapter on hobos made me very uncomfortable and Tyler felt condescending and patronising, but other than that, this book is funny, light and easy to enjoy.

by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

This is my book for #ReadingWomen prompt 6: a non fiction title by a woman historian.
It could also count for prompt 12 because Harriet Tubman is certainly inspirational, prompt 6 because it is a biography, or prompt 16 because I would count Tubman,s trauma induced epilepsy a disability.

For whatever reason you read it, read it you should. I had very little idea who Tubman was – I am not American and am not well versed in that nation’s history.

How did people, and a woman at that, do what she did in the time she did it, and where she did it? It truly is extraordinary.
With everything against her this amazing woman rose to the occasion, again and again, and forged a path, saving so many many lives.

What an incredible human being.

Dunbar’s telling of Tubman’s story is engaging and enthralling. I felt like I was at a kitchen table, drinking tea, listening to tales of immeasurable braveness.

I am so glad I picked this book and know something of Tubman’s unparalleled life.