Tag Archives: Women’s Issues

Opening Belle, Hidden Bodies, Ann Patchett, Norse Myths, and Ellen Raskin!

When I started listing the titles for this post I thought, “wow, I’ve been on a hot streak!” But then I remembered that I’ve had to give up on a bunch of books recently, too. The life of a reader! I grabbed Opening Belle at the library based on the cover and title, and the description sounded too good to pass up. Set (like Everybody Rise) on the eve of the financial crisis, the story follows Belle, a mom of three with a high pressure…

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Viral, Lorrie Moore, Girl Through Glass, New Chris Bohjalian

I’m like my very on book club as my latest reads have all been women-centered and fairly mainstream. But while all of them were easy, diverting reads, only one of them lived up to the jacket copy. Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America was a departure for me as I hardly ever read short stories. This one I did in fact read for a book club, the first one I’ve joined in ages. As much as I love to read, I don’t generally do well in…

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The Singing Bone by Beth Hahn

Synopsis: When a documentary filmmaker decides to take on the infamous Jack Wyck murders, Alice, a professor of folklore, finds herself forced to confront the summer she and her best friends fell under the sway of the charismatic man who tattooed his name on the insides of their legs, and for whom they would do absolutely anything. Review: This is the one you need to read. So much beauty and horror and terror and humanity and tragedy and sadness and lightness, all perfectly calibrated and…

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I Am Malala, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, Cult Child

I bought the wrong edition of I Am Malala. I wanted to review it as a possible book for our homeschool coop’s middle school book club, but I didn’t get the young readers’ edition. Like everyone else in the world, I was really impressed with Malala’s passion for educational advocacy, and the bravery and strength of character she inherited from her father and mother. Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot point-blank in the head by the Taliban because she believed girls were…

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After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

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The Handmaid’s Tale, Academy Girls, and the Worst Bachelorette Party Ever

I have read The Handmaid’s Tale maybe 4 times since college, so when my book club picked it for our December meeting, I thought I’d see if the audiobook version was any good. Oh my my, oh hell yes, time to put on that Handmaid’s Dress because Claire Danes simply kills it. As Offred, trapped in a bizarre patriarchal system where she has to bear children for wealthy men or else risk exile or worse, Danes finds a beautiful balance between the handmaid’s naiveté and…

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Thrillers and Revenge–Mary Kubica and More

I’m a big fan of relaxing my brain through literature, but my love of genre means that you can’t really fool me much. I recently enjoyed two thrillers–Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica and The Hand that Feeds You by AJ Rich–and while both were well written with fabulous characters and lots of suspense, I couldn’t help but wish that I could read a thriller that didn’t basically end up in the basement with Jame Gumb. In the case of Hand, the very fact of a…

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More Courtney Summers, Crazy Moms

Just in time for Mother’s Day I finally picked up Her by Harriet Lane, about an exhausted mom of a newborn and a toddler who’s befriended by a chic artist who seems to save the day over and over again. Of course this lady (a perfectly normal seeming woman with a high school age daughter) has an ulterior motive that comes to light in a suspenseful way. It reminded me a lot of Notes on a Scandal. I’m also continuing my Courtney Summers love fest.…

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In the Kingdom of Ice, The Princess and Curdie, Luckiest Girl Alive

I don’t tend to read a lot of non-fiction, but I’ve always been a sucker for stories about people trying not to freeze to death. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Journey of the USS Jeannette was not only a suspenseful, exciting story, but it was exceptionally researched and suffused with narrative excellence. In 1879, the USS Jeannette headed off to the North Pole, captained by the capable and ambitious George Washington De Long. Their goal was to reach the North Pole…

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The Book of You by Claire Kendal

Synopsis: After a night she can’t remember that left her with bruises on her thighs, Clarissa can’t shake Rafe, whose unrelenting attentions gain added menace when she starts noticing the parallels to a rape trial she’s attending as a juror. Review: The Book of You had some strong and memorable elements, particularly Claire’s emotional and physical isolation as a result of Rafe’s stalking. Unfortunately, the secondary characters remained largely flat on the page, never serving as much more than an unwitting Greek chorus to Claire’s…

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