When I first heard about "The Girls", my initial, knee-jerk response was that I would not read it. I felt that it would be too dark and violent, and nWhen I first heard about "The Girls", my initial, knee-jerk response was that I would not read it. I felt that it would be too dark and violent, and not a good source of summer entertainment for me. I listened in entirety to the podcast entitled "You Must Remember This" only last summer, and became way too familiar with the gritty details surrounding the violence brought about at the hands of Charles Manson and his "family" (as was featured in a special series within a series on that particular podcast). I felt like I had heard enough about life-within-a-cult for one lifetime.
As the buzz continued to grow for this novel, I ultimately felt like there was something new to be gained from it, and I decided to see for myself.
I read The Girls in about 48 hours. The novel was a page-turner for me. To summarize the lead-up or the lay-out of the story would be to give too much away. I think from the synopsis above, it can be gathered that the protagonist is a young, sensitive adolescent girl who looks to find acceptance and family with a group of seedy young people who are living around L.A. in the summer of 1969.
This novel does contain some violent passages. It does create an urgent sense of dread and foreboding and doom for innocent people. But this novel is not about re-telling the gritty details of a heinous criminal act (mentioned, but not emphasized). Rather, this novel is about the mind of a young girl, who does not feel love from her mother or father or her friends. She feels the men around her view her as an object to be sexualized, but not to be nurtured or appreciated. The story shows us how this sets her up to idolize a girl, and to seek solace in a group of people who, through manipulation, are able to win her over by making her feel the way she innately wants to feel. It's about girls...what they need versus what they get, and how that molds them into the women that they become. I found it to be very insightful and well-written, with a sinister and sad tone. ...more
Entertaining read about a dysfunctional family and how money and the prospect of money changes people and their decisions, perspectives. Moral of thisEntertaining read about a dysfunctional family and how money and the prospect of money changes people and their decisions, perspectives. Moral of this story: earn your own money! Fun summer read. Perfect if NYC and its literary underworld are intriguing to you. ...more
“When I've really been in love with someone, it's not because they looked a certain way or liked a certain TV show or a certain cuisine. It's more bec“When I've really been in love with someone, it's not because they looked a certain way or liked a certain TV show or a certain cuisine. It's more because when I watched a certain TV show or ate a certain cuisine with them, it was the most fun thing ever.”
As a person who doesn't always know who funny "up-and-coming" people are that have gained attention via television, I tend to become familiar with funny TV personalities only once they have written a book. This is the case with Azis Ansari--who I likely would have never known had it not been for his awesome book Modern Romance.
Modern Romance is not a memoir about the journey of Aziz to become a successful comedian, author, or movie/TV actor, or how he came to write/direct/star in his own Netflix TV show Master of None. It speaks very little of his race, or obstacles that he may have had to overcome in modern America. This book is actually part social/anthropological study (a modern day Margaret Mead with a sense of humor--I would never have guessed) and part investigative journalism.
In a nutshell, it's a funny "state of the union" on dating and relationships in the modern world, and how they have evolved over the years with the onset of technology and internet which have given romance-seekers an entire globe full of options.
Aziz is so funny! And this book is so fascinating! It's only around 250 pages, and it's hard to put down. This book would be perfect for subway/train/airplane reading or even listening while driving on audio. It was smart, and it seriously cracked me up--a double win. I'm so glad he wrote this book!
I know of this book because it was on a list of the best books of 2015. It happened to be in at the library, so I grabbed it.
This is a fun book to reaI know of this book because it was on a list of the best books of 2015. It happened to be in at the library, so I grabbed it.
This is a fun book to read! I went through an Agatha Christie phase in my teens, and this book was reminiscent of some of her plot-lines (although with contemporary settings and themes). It was said to be a re-telling of Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train--but aside from one plot maneuver at the beginning--I found it to be very different (or at least different from the movie story-line).
This would be a great book to read on an airplane. Not only is there a pivotal airport scene--but it's easy to read, and suspenseful. It's hard to put down so it would pass your time really quickly.
I don't think I've read any story so twisty! Your expectations and perspective literally shift from one chapter to the next--from one paragraph to the next. One character thinks they have the jump on the others. But read-on...the next character actually has the jump on that one. Who's going to win in the end? It's a fun back-and-forth, cat-and-mouse--just like I used to love from Ms. Christie back in the day. I expect to see this as a film....more
If you plan to read Fates and Furies--try not to read too much about it beforehand.
I will only go so far as to say that Fates and Furies is divided inIf you plan to read Fates and Furies--try not to read too much about it beforehand.
I will only go so far as to say that Fates and Furies is divided into two parts--Part 1 is Fates and Part 2 (of course!) is Furies. They are quite different in pace and style.
It took me a while to get going with Part 1. It is the story of one character, and while interesting, it wasn't quite gripping or suspenseful. The author can clearly WRITE WELL. The sentences are so thick that there will be no skimming. As a reader you must catch every intended word in order to just keep up. (This is one of those books where I kept getting so muffled in my thinking that I finally had to create for myself a "character list" so that I would at least know which character was being referred to.)
The second part flies by. It's more plot-driven and the pace picks up--less words, more action. We hear from the other vital character, and it's a bit on an un-doing of all we thought and felt in the first part. It serves to remind us how little we really know about the ones around us and how "off" we are if we think we can know what someone else (even our life partner) is thinking, or feeling, or why they are acting a certain way.
Fates and Furies was a bit of an "it" book for 2015, and rightfully so. If you get going and find it a little slow--just pay attention and keep reading. Would also make a great film!...more
“It was not about strength in numbers nor in size. It had nothing to do with volume. It was about surprise. It was about knowing you were going to be“It was not about strength in numbers nor in size. It had nothing to do with volume. It was about surprise. It was about knowing you were going to be underestimated by everyone and then punishing them for those very thoughts.”
I loved this book, and I can't wait to read it again. Carrie Brownstein is the rare musician that is gifted enough in the literary sense to pen an amazing memoir. It's not so much the extra ordinariness (word?) of her story, it's more of THE WAY THAT SHE WRITES (+ the extra ordinariness of her story). It's like a story, but it's a poem at the same time. This girl has story AND style--both of which I am very envious.
Of course I found myself listening to some Sleater-Kinney while I was reading and after I finished. The total compilation of the life, the music, the words, and the woman just make this book a super-cool reading experience. And I haven't even seen her show (Portlandia), but I can only gather that it will be super-cool as well.
Sometimes I'm a little put-off when I find out a popular book is set during World War 2, and that there will be brutal scenes of the Holocaust/GermanSometimes I'm a little put-off when I find out a popular book is set during World War 2, and that there will be brutal scenes of the Holocaust/German occupation of beautiful European countries involved. I feel like I've read a pretty fair deal of books in this vein, and they are oh-so-difficult to process.
Excellent buzz surrounding this book led me to choose it for my book club selection. And I ended up really loving it. It's the story of a father and two sisters living in the idyllic countryside of France in World War 2, and how the three of them process the aftermath of wartime differently. The story is gripping, and epic in scope.
This would likely be a four-star review for me, but I really loved the ending. I felt like the story started a bit slow, then built, then became almost too brutal for me to bear, then ended on a redemptive note. I felt like I knew these people, and I was invested in their outcomes. There is also a bit of a twist involved, and it's always fun to feel you've been outsmarted by the author. I would go so far as to call this a modern classic....more