I was looking forward to reading this, yet I was terrified of reading it. Turns out I shouldn't have been.
This single tells the story of Baby, a youngI was looking forward to reading this, yet I was terrified of reading it. Turns out I shouldn't have been.
This single tells the story of Baby, a young woman who was allegedly raped by 13 men in an Indian village as punishment for... "loving the wrong man," according to the description. I would add, loving a married man? Loving a Muslim? Having sex without being married? Being "rich" in a village of fairly poor people?
Turns out, the story isn't quite so black and white. Is it ever, really?
This short book gets into a bunch of issues - issues about women's standing in India, issues of culture and comparison within Indian society, and - something I wasn't expecting - the big issue of being a tribal community in a country where you're seen as less than, where your rights are being trampled by people and companies trying to exploit the land and the people.
No, definitely not black and white.
Unfortunately, I thought the story a bit lacking. I didn't connect with Baby, the main character, or any of the other people, on an emotional level. It felt like a removed, intellectual distance that the author kept from everyone. I think I can understand why she maybe tried to do that - you first want to take Baby's side right away (as did tons of national and international media) but as you learn more you realize it's not so simple. And maybe Faleiro tried to keep that distance because she didn't want to side with any particular person, to show those shades of grey. But for me, this made the writing feel a little flat.
Nonetheless, I'm glad to have read this story and will be looking to learn more, not just about this incident, but about the broader issues that were raised in this (too short!) single....more
Putting out these teaser samplers is a great idea for publishers, especially as it can whet the reader's appetite and leave them wanting to know whatPutting out these teaser samplers is a great idea for publishers, especially as it can whet the reader's appetite and leave them wanting to know what happens next. Five non-fiction book samplers were part of this collection and I want to read at least 3 of them! Here are my thoughts.
Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story Written by someone who's suffering through PTSD after covering the effects of the Haiti earthquake, this one had me intrigued starting with the description, and the excerpt didn't disappoint at all. Just the short amount in this sampler was enough to tell me that this is going to be an intense story. I was getting into it and it was over so soon. Definitely adding this one to my reading list!
The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History The concept is somewhat interesting - French designers versus American designers - and how the Americans became known for haute couture. But let's be honest, this is so way beyond my cup of tea. I couldn't care less about fashion so I can't imagine ever picking up this book. The first chapter, with its lengthy descriptions of fashionable ladies and the designers they worked with and... on and on. It was so boring to me. But again, this is not something I'd ever care about so I can see someone else really appreciating this.
The Skeleton Cupboard: Stories from a clinical psychologist Holy shit. I don't even know what to say here. Each of these book samples (except the one) become more and more gripping. I used to be really interested in psychology/psychiatry when I was younger so I can see how this would appeal to me. But overall the subject is really interesting - trying to figure out what makes us humans tick. I need to get my hands on this as soon as it's out!
Year of the Cow: How 420 Pounds of Beef Built a Better Life for One American Family I thought this one wouldn't appeal to me, considering I'm a vegetarian, but the writing style was fun and the author funny, so surprisingly, I enjoyed this sample. The whole concept of knowing your food and where it came from is interesting to me, and even though I'm vegetarian myself, I don't have a problem with others around me eating meat. So while I wouldn't be interested in the recipes, the concept of this book is definitely interesting, and the way it's written doesn't hurt!
Note: I received this collection from Netgalley....more
This popped up on a couple of lists of books associated with San Francisco and the story seemed intriguing AND my library had it. I'd heard of the booThis popped up on a couple of lists of books associated with San Francisco and the story seemed intriguing AND my library had it. I'd heard of the book before but it never went beyond the name, but I am so glad I got around to it.
It was deliciously nerdy - books, programming, social media, fonts, data visualization, art, the list goes on. It really was a feast for my brain. Nothing too heavy but just enough for a light buzz.
It was a breezy read - I started it this afternoon and finished it just a couple hours later. Despite being light, it held my attention, because of all the geeky subjects and because it was a fun mystery to solve. You always wanted to find out what happens next.
I wasn't sure how the author was going to end it and solve the mystery, but I liked the direction he went in. Definitely recommended!
Californiaaa.. knows how to party! No, just kidding. That's just stuck in my head and has nothing to do with this book.
I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic stCaliforniaaa.. knows how to party! No, just kidding. That's just stuck in my head and has nothing to do with this book.
I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic stuff and having recently moved to California, I figured it was a good time to pick this one up.
The book follows a couple, Cal and Frida, as they flee from a ruined Los Angeles to escape into the wilderness. We don't learn a whole lot about what caused the decline, though it seems to be a variety of causes that lead to the gradual ruination of the world. Despite that, these events don't seem entirely unrealistic - especially as climate change seems to be a part of what causes the decline. I can imagine the future looking something like this.
But the focus of the book is on what happens afterwards and how this couple survives - what they go through, the things they feel, especially as they seem to be the only ones around.
I don't want to give anything away but I'll say that the story kept me interested, wanting to know what would happen next. I even read it while I was sick, even though I should have been sleeping instead. My disappointment was in the wrap-up, which felt a little too abrupt, too unsatisfactory - especially when compared to the rich detail of the rest of the book. Maybe there'll be a sequel?...more
I don't expect a lot from these dinosaur/prehistoric creature books, based on bad previous reads. But I still read them, because they're amusing for aI don't expect a lot from these dinosaur/prehistoric creature books, based on bad previous reads. But I still read them, because they're amusing for a short amount of time. (I can amuse myself by yelling at characters in my head.)
Surprisingly, this book was not only entertaining but the characters weren't infuriating. Well, I should amend that - their actions didn't seem utterly ridiculous in the face of what they were experiencing. My first impression was that the characters were acting real. Did they do stupid stuff? Yes, but it seemed natural for the most part, not just done to move the story forward in some contrived way, like other books I can think of. *cough Fossil River cough*
The science was... maybe not quite present, but nonetheless, this book kept me engaged and was a nice, short diversion for a couple of hours....more
**spoiler alert** I added this to my reading list ages ago and since I read Akhil Sharma's Family Life recently, I thought I might as well read this.**spoiler alert** I added this to my reading list ages ago and since I read Akhil Sharma's Family Life recently, I thought I might as well read this. And now that I have, I almost wish I hadn't.
The story is disturbing, to say the least. The main character is an aging corrupt politician (corrupt politician - isn't that redundant in India?) who repeatedly committed a horrific crime (rape) against his daughter years ago for which he was never really punished. And the book goes into detail on that. To say it was difficult to read is an understatement.
Somehow, as the story progresses, the author almost makes you feel bad for this monster, which is incredible. You catch yourself feeling these feelings, and then think, what the hell am I thinking?!
The book also weaves in some major political events in India's history, which is an interesting angle. As bad as that is in itself, I guess it gives you a break from the above-mentioned sordid details.
The effects of the man's crime on his daughter and then his granddaughter and the ripple effects this has just made this even more depressing. Especially in light of India's culture of "what will people say" and the effects on women. Ugh, this book is a tough read and not for the faint of heart.
(I'm struggling with the rating because I think the book was well-written but the story itself...)...more