It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

It’s still Monday right?  I’ve caught myself 3 times today thinking tomorrow is Friday which is both depressing and terrifying.  We’re getting ready for school to start and packing to move and basically my reading time has disappeared.  It’s tragic!  So I wanted to check in with The Book Date so I feel like I’ve done something productive reading wise.

After reading Catherine at the Gilmore Guide to Books review Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty I knew this would be the one library book I got to pre-move.  I mostly despise Fern and Edgar right now but this writing is gorgeous and I cannot wait to see how this book ends up.

For my  light reading I flew through Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs which was just what I needed for weekend distraction.  I’m also rereading A Court of Thorns and Roses which I loved at night so that I can get to A Court of Mist and Fury some day!

I swear some day soon I’m going to pick my kindle back up and finish Here Comes the Sun! Maybe at the end of the week when the kid is in school finally.  And then… too many books to count!  Maybe the Fate of the Tearling?  Fates & Traitors?  Lady Cop Makes Trouble?  Or The Underground Railroad?  I’m overwhelmed with options!

What are you reading this week?

 

Review: June

June, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Published May 31st 2016 by Crown

Hardcover, 400 pages

Source: Blogging for Books

 

26236800

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal.

I absolutely loved Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s last book, Bittersweet, a dark and kind of gothic summer romance and mystery.  I couldn’t wait to dive into more family secrets in June.  I’m always fascinated by a plot with a mysterious will.  When it’s the will of a movie star with a fortune – even better!  

When we meet Cassie she’s living alone in her grandparents mansion in rural Ohio.  She’s inherited the home after her beloved grandmother’s death and she’s holed up and letting the world pass her by.   I admit I  was a bit frustrated with Cassie at first.  I wanted her to do something – anything! So it was much easier to be drawn back into the past to the story of the young and beautiful June, Jack the movie star, and Lindie the girl across the street. As I became more caught up in the past it helped me to become more interested in Cassie’s modern mystery and I was glad when Cassie started getting caught up in the past as well.  I liked getting June’s story through Lindie rather than June herself.  Lindie was quite the observer and I think gave a much richer perspective than June would have. 

This was a slow burn, but Beverly-Whittemore ended in directions that I didn’t expect at all with both the past and modern stories.  What I really loved was the personality that the old house had.  Not in a creepy haunted house way at all – more a romantic and mystical presence.  This is definitely a good book to sit and finish the summer with!

Thank you Blogging for Books for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review!

It’s Monday: What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Once again I’m reading all of the random things at once!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for book club – and I want it to never end!

The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis – Benn

Nil on Fire by Lynne Matson – Yay to the CPL for buying this! I’m so sucked into this series for my nighttime reading

Gemina by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – ok I’ve only read like 10 pages but I need to dig in once I finish the Nil series!

What are you reading this week?

Review: Sex Object

Sex Object, Jessica Valenti

Published June 7th 2016 by Dey Street Books

Hardcover, 205 pages

Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss

26795372

Author and Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a darkly funny and bracing memoir, Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes from the every day to the existential.

Sex Object explores the painful, funny, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City, revealing a much shakier inner life than the confident persona she has cultivated as one of the most recognizable feminists of her generation.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, this literary memoir is sure to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work and enthrall those who are just finding it.

I found Jessica Valenti’s book The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women to be totally fascinating and well done even as it scared me.  I appreciate all the work she did on feministing and I think her essays are always worth reading.  I’ll be honest though, I had a hard time with Sex Object.  I had to put this book down for long breaks before I could get through it.  The topics are hard – sexualization that Valenti’s been experiencing since childhood, touches on familial sexual abuse, and inappropriate teacher behavior.  In adulthood Valenti goes into her relationships and briefly into her path through colleges to feministing, then lightly into her marriage and her traumatic pregnancy.

Valenti asks “Who would I be if I didn’t live in a world that hated women?”  Maybe it’s because I am lucky enough that I haven’t felt hated that I hard a hard time relating to her stories?  Her experiences on the New York subways are not the ones I have had on my train rides.  Her stories were brutal and painful to read at times.  They scared me.  I’m raising my kid to take the train – I don’t want to think about men exposing themselves to her on the Brown Line one day.  The harshness of her language and the topics I think in part made me struggle with Sex Object – there are only so many stories I want to read about anyone’s sexual history and partly the flow of chapters was somewhat jarring.  I would have liked deeper essays rather than short and shocking chapters. 

I can’t imagine the hatred and vitriol that Jessica Valenti is exposed to because of the internet and the work that she does – I looked at her twitter as part of writing this review and Valenti announced a social media break after she received a rape threat directed at her 5 year-old daughter.  All this woman does is advocate for the rights of women and she finds hate directed at her helpless child?  What the fuck is this world?  I have a 5 year-old daughter and I’m in tears and nauseated at the very thought – and I’m angry!

That’s why the book is important – Valenti tells her stories and experiences and they’re important and deserve validation.  This wasn’t an easy book but oh my God what is this world?  Some of the stories felt like too much – too much sex, too much vulgarity, too many drugs – but this is real life and it should make you react physically and even angrily at times.  Only then will we really be determined to follow Valenti and advocate for change.

Thank you Dey Street Books and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

Top Ten Books I’d Buy This Minute With A Loaded Gift Card

Here’s the list of books I’d be most tempted to by right this minute if I walked into the Book Cellar with a loaded gift card.  

  1. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
  2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 
  3. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuval
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling
  5. Queen of the Tearling (I can’t help that I’m obsessed) by Erika Johansen 
  6. Six of Crows and preorder of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.  I need those colored page ends in my life
  7. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – Review to come  – this book was BADASS
  8. Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts – I need another happy fix! 
  9. Pirasaurs!  by Josh Funk – We need new bedtime reading! And who doesn’t want to read about pirate dinosaurs?!
  10. I Dissent! Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy

What would be on your buy list?  And have you already bought Cursed Child?  I need a spoiler free review! 

 

Library Checkout: July

Just as I decide I need to pause my library holds to get ready to move next month I get a deluge of books!  I’m going to be reading everything I can so I can return these beauties before I have to pack them!  I have 5 books waiting to be picked up and 2 more in transit.  I think I might need days off to read.

LibraryCheckoutBig

Read:

  • The Witch Hunter by Virgina Boecker
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Lumberjanes Volume 2 by Noelle Stevenson -”holy bell hooks” this is so fun to read!

Watched

Checked out to read:

  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
  • Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley – I’ve started this but oh dear lord it’s going to make me cry on the train. So I had to stop until I have the weekend to read at home.
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Franklin’s Big Dreams by David Teague – We love this bedtime book! You should look for it!
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

On Hold:

  • Rich & Pretty by Rumaan Alam
  • Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel
  • Nil on Fire by Lynne Matson – YAY for the CPL for buying this at my request!!
  • The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neuman
  • Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site – another reread request.
  • Lumberjanes Volume 3 by Noelle Stevenson
  • Fargo Season 1
  • Tangled by Emma Chase
  • The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
  • Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi

Returned Unread:

  • Tuesday Nights in 1980. Total fail. I have to put this back on hold when we’re moved.

Thanks Shannon for this check-in! What did you read from the library this month?

Why I’ve Fallen for Sydney Chambers

I’m totally head over heels for Grantchester.  The fact that the BBC Sydney looks like this doesn’t hurt.  

tumblr_ne4s6hiUpR1r6t6pgo5_500

Usually I’m a book before film girl, but I don’t mind having this face already in my head when I’m reading Sydney’s adventures. I really enjoyed Sydney Chambers and the Shadow of Death and the follow-up Sydney Chambers and the Perils of Night did not disappoint.  Here’s the scoop of Sydney’s adventures in book two:

The loveable full time priest and part time detective Canon Sidney Chambers continues his sleuthing adventures in late 1950’s Cambridge. Accompanied by his faithful Labrador Dickens, and working in tandem with the increasingly exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is called on to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King’s College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamor photographer’s studio; and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester’s finest spin bowler, in the middle of a crucial game of cricket. As he pursues his quietly probing inquiries, Sidney also has to decide on the vexed question of marriage. Can he choose between the rich, glamorous socialite Amanda Kendall and Hildegard Staunton, a beguiling German widow three years his junior? To help him make up his mind Sidney takes a trip abroad, only to find himself trapped in a complex web of international espionage just as the Berlin Wall is going up. Here are six interlocking adventures that combine mystery with morality, and criminality with charm.

Who would have expected Cambridge could be the scene of such murderous intrigue?  Again the book reads as it was almost made to be a BBC show but it works well while reading.  The mysteries are just long enough and just deep enough for an evening’s reading – but if you want to think deep thoughts you are left with the issues of post-WWII England including racism, homophobia, and the fight against communism.  But there’s still romance, and romantic betrayal, friendship and of course Dickens – the loyal black lab.  I am looking forward to more Sydney both on my tv screen and in book 3!  I’m very curious to see where the second season of the show goes based on the changes they made from the book.  

Thank you Bloomsbury USA for this copy in exchange for an honest opinion!