Tag: literature

A Re-Read Review: Malagash

August 16, 2018 Uncategorized 10 ★★★★★

A Re-Read Review: MalagashTitle: Malagash
Author: Joey Comeau
Source: Bought
|Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: The perfect blend of heartwarming and poignant, beautifully crafted.

I don’t typically re-read books, but it’s something I’ve been considering doing in an attempt to engage more deeply with the books I read. Malagash, which is one of my favorite books ever, was a great choice to start with. It’s short, so it was easy to commit the time to a re-read. It was also easy to go back over sections multiple times during my re-read. It packs a real emotional punch too. It’s the story of a young girl, Sunday, whose father is dying. It’s about grief and family and how her family in particular is coping with grief. Sunday is currently recording as much of her dying father as she can, with plans to encode his words into a computer virus so he can live forever. So, despite being short, there’s a lot here! There were universal themes to think about and delightful particulars that made me laugh and cry. If anything, I loved this book even more a second time around. Read more »

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Reading Lolita in Tehran

July 15, 2014 History, Memoir, non-fiction 16

7603Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Author: Azar Nafisi
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I found this a bit hard to get into, a little too academic and a little too literary, but once I adjusted to the writing style I was very moved by the author’s and her students’ experiences.

When it became required that female professors in Iran wear the veil, Azar Nafisi resigned and began to teach a small, secret class from her home instead. Every week a group of very different women came together to discuss banned classics. The women also shared in each others struggles to find themselves and express their personalities despite the fear inspired by an oppressive regime. Read more »

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Shooting Stars

July 5, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 2

18509676Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Jennifer Buhl
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I thought the bits about Jennifer’s career were fascinating (except the gross bits), but I found the parts about her personal life unrelatable.

Jennifer Buhl was struggling to make it in LA until she decided to try her hand at being a paparazzi. That’s not to say that being a paparazzi was easy. Paparazzi often tip each other off and it took Jennifer some time to make connections. She faced bullying and discrimination, both for being one of the few women in the business and for being successful. Despite the challenges, she really was successful, getting some fantastic shots with celebrities, as well as many fascinating stories to tell. Read more »

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Jennifer, Gwyneth, And Me

July 3, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 5

18465836Title: Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me
Author: Rachel Bertsche
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Even though I’m not the biggest fan of non-author celebrities, I enjoyed following Rachel on another self-help adventure with lots of fun stories and great advice.

Since starting working at home, Rachel hasn’t felt very pulled together. In order to motivate herself to exercise more, eat right, and dress better, she decides to emulate her favorite celebrities in hopes of achieving their air of having it all together. Trying the meals, exercises, and other lifestyle changes the stars swears by, she finds that the ones which truly improve her life often surprise her. Read more »

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Books That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype in Mini-Reviews

June 10, 2014 Fiction, Thriller, Translated Fiction 38

1232Title: The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I’ve heard almost exclusively good things about The Shadow of the Wind. I’ve loved all of the other translated fiction I’ve read, and I love books about books. Objectively, this book was perfect for me. For some reason, though, I just didn’t connect with it. I did sometimes find the prose really beautiful and the loving descriptions of books and secret libraries made my book-loving self very happy. I also liked that the conversations followed a distinctly different pattern than what I’m used to. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of Spanish culture. However, the main character is essentially swept up in someone else’s story. I felt he had very little agency. There were clearly intended to be parallels between his life and that of the man whose life he enters, but I thought the connections were superficial. I ended the book wishing there had been something more. Read more »

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Author Interview with Alena Graedon

June 7, 2014 Author Interview 13

18209339Hi Alena! Thanks so much for joining us on Doing Dewey today. I loved your book and am very excited to have a chance to talk to you about it. Could you please begin by telling us a bit about The Word Exchange?

Hi, Katie! Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m utterly thrilled to join you, and I’m very grateful to you for having read the book, for your very kind words about it, and for giving me the opportunity to join you today!

The Word Exchange is set in the very near future, just a few years from now. The much-anticipated “death of print” has finally become a reality. That’s a problem for the main characters, because they work together at a dictionary—the last of its kind.

When The Word Exchange begins, the final print edition of their dictionary is just about to come out. After that, the protagonists’ future is uncertain, which, as it happens, is also true of the future of language. That’s because in this near-future world, smart phones have become even smarter than they are today, unlike the people who use them. The handheld devices that people rely on most are called Memes, which anticipate users’ wants and needs. But these handy little machines have also started to corrode people’s memories. There’s no need to remember things anymore when it’s easier just to use “memory.” In fact, many people have even started forgetting the meanings of some words. If a person encounters an unknown term—during a conversation, in a text, etc.—her device will ask if she wants to download its definition (for just a couple of cents) from a huge online database called The Word Exchange. Read more »

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