Week 25 – 2017

Hi All! I am getting really close to being caught up and I am super excited. So Week 25 covers June 19 – 25. As always, feedback is encouraged.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith – I borrowed this as an e-book from the Boston Public Library. I sort of love this author but her books are incredibly deep. The title refers to a Fred Astaire movie in which some of the characters appear in blackface. It’s sort of indicative of themes within the novel. It’s the story of dance and race and a bit of prejudice. I can’t really do this one justice. Even the blurb about it on Goodreads is not that great at giving an idea of what this is about. You’ll just have to read it. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston – I received this as an actual book via a Book Riot giveaway. I thought this book was great. It’s a fangirl retelling of Cinderella. As in, the main character, Elle, is a super fan of a (fictional) TV series about outer space. When a new movie is being made with a new cast, she writes a post on her blog speculating about the actor that was cast as the lead. Then, of course, she decides to enter the costume contest at the nearby con. The other narrator in the book is the actor playing the lead in the new movie. When he tries to text the person running the con, he ends up with Elle instead. Of course neither knows who they are texting and becoming friends with. I’m not describing this well. You know how Cinderella goes. This is probably closer to the Ever After movie version (which I love), but modern and with geeks. I’m a little sad that I finished it, actually. I really liked it. I’m giving it 5 stars.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. This was really interesting.I’d categorize it as fantasy. The main character is an ambassador from Earth who arrives on Winter where the people are genderless. It is an interesting concept. Of course, these people of Winter are afraid of the first emissary from planet Earth (Genly) and they cause assorted problems for the Genly and the people who try to help him and assert his agenda which is to bring Winter into an alliance with other planets. This is the story of friendship, ultimately. I enjoyed it. Le Guin has an amazing imagination. I’m giving it 4 stars.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – I received this as an actual book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is a really interesting take on migration. The main characters are living in a country that is at war. It is also a love story. There is also a hint of fantasy to it. Doors to other places begin appearing and people begin moving through them, not just from poor or war riddled nations, but also from nice places to other nice places. Entire communities of refugees begin to develop in some of the better places in the world. People encounter others and begin relationships that would never have been possible otherwise. Some people stick to their original culture while others explore new things and develop new aspects of their personalities. Late in the book, the author comments on what it means to be a native and how long a person’s ancestors would have had to reside in a country to be considered a native. I thought it was extremely intuitive and while the story itself wasn’t overly gripping, the author’s message was well thought out and very interesting. I’m giving it 4 stars.

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler – I received this as an e-book from the publisher via NetGalley. This one is really good. I couldn’t put it down. It definitely took way less than a day to read it. I had to force myself to stop periodically so that I could accomplish other things, but it was definitely a struggle. If all books were like this, I’d probably starve because no way would I ever leave my apartment. In this, Miranda is a cop in a small town and her past is about to come back to haunt her. A beloved professor is found murdered in a rather unsavory manner and the clues are pointing to Miranda as the murderer. I hope that doesn’t give too much away. It is so gripping. I recommend this to anyone that enjoys a good mystery. It gets extra points because I didn’t figure it out until the main character did. I’m giving it 5 stars.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz – I borrowed this as an e-book from the BPL. If you go into this thinking that each chapter is a short story collection of sorts, I think it will make more sense to you. This didn’t really flow for me until I started treating the chapters as separate entities. There is some overlap of characters from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I don’t know if this is meant to be autobiographical, but the pictures of the author suggest there is no way he gets this much game. Appearances can be deceiving, however, so who knows. I guess the real point here is that Yunior seems like a real person, which I suppose is a narrative feat in its own right. Especially if the author flat out made this dude up out of his imagination. I’m giving it 3 stars.

Thankfully, that was the last one. How did I finish this many books in a week? Some of these really sucked me in, though so I do get it. Others were nearly finished before the week began. As always, if you have any suggestions, let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

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