Tag Archives: Women’s Issues

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 naivetĂ© 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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Something Blue by Ann Hood

Synopsis: When Katherine leaves her fiancĂ© at the altar, she heads to New York City to crash with her ex-best friend, only to find a less-than-warm welcome from Lucy, who has man troubles of her own. Review: While the friendships in Something Blue were satisfyingly nuanced, I was left somewhat cold by the overall story. I loved visiting the New York City of the late 1980s/early 1990s, because some of the restaurants mentioned were places I went to when I moved to Manhattan in 1995.…

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The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

Synopsis: Anais has never known a family, having spent her entire life in the foster system, and now it seems she’ll be trading the small bit of freedom she still has for a jail sentence. Review: The Panopticon‘s marketing copy would have you believe that it’s another dystopian YA story. If you write it off because you’re weary of the genre, then you’ll be missing out. Anais is one of the most alive characters I’ve ever experienced in a book. For all her vulgarity and…

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