What a fantastic journey into the slow drag into the apocalyptic world, and even with magic realism at its central force, The Age of Miracles tells a...moreWhat a fantastic journey into the slow drag into the apocalyptic world, and even with magic realism at its central force, The Age of Miracles tells a story that felt all too real. I am still thinking about this book, days after devouring it. I couldn't seem to put it down, and managed to read the whole thing in one day (well, a day and a half, if you count the hours of night/early morning that I stayed up to finish it).
If you get through it and you love it, you will look at so many things differently. I saw a seagull in the sky the next day and thought about how great it is that birds are able to fly. I was grateful to eat pineapple and other fresh foods that are in no short supply, but require a lot of sun to grow and ripen. The book made me grateful that the clocks were indeed right and could be counted on for accuracy. It gave me an appreciation for things that I didn't even realize I had taken for granted.
I definitely recommend this book for a young adult reader or older. It's a great, easy read with a relatable yet fantastic story.(less)
I read an interview with this author in Bitch Magazine, and within a few days, I found myself ordering it from a local bookstore (Pegasus on College,...moreI read an interview with this author in Bitch Magazine, and within a few days, I found myself ordering it from a local bookstore (Pegasus on College, if you care to know, haha). As a stylist with an admitted shopping problem (can't tell you how many times I've caught myself in Marshall's with a cart full of clothes and I realized I didn't need any of them and that in a few weeks, I wouldn't like them anymore, anyway), I knew I had to read this book, even if it brings a rude wake-up call to my current habits.
A few chapters in, I really appreciate the honesty this author puts forth about her own shopping habits as she explains why cheap/fast fashion is not good for the environment, let alone for our wallets in the long run. She also provides solid numbers that will make your head roll. In 1900, a fairly priced woman's suit cost $15, which would be over $100 today. Go into any Forever 21 though, and you can probably find the modern equivalent for $15 still.
Does the triumph of buying stylish clothing and accessories at rock bottom prices outweigh the overload to charity shops (one Salvation Army in NY claimed that they receive 5 million TONS of clothing a year) and landfills, and even though we're getting more for less, are we also spending more in the longrun? I am looking forward to finding out as I read on :). (less)
If you're looking for an unbiased biography, you won't find it here. I have to be honest in admitting that I can't put this book down, despite the amo...moreIf you're looking for an unbiased biography, you won't find it here. I have to be honest in admitting that I can't put this book down, despite the amount of hard eye-rolling I do every time the author paints a picture of a scene that is 50-50 facts and opinion-fueled speculation. It feels a little like reading the Real Housewives of Old Hollywood; I can't ever change the channel when those shows are on, despite constantly yelping "Oh my god! What is WRONG with these people??" and the same is true with this book.
While I do wish the author would insert his/her opinion and not try so hard to set a scene with things that he/she couldn't possibly know, I do find the spotlight on the recurring mental illness that passed through generations of Monroe's family fascinating. It really makes you wonder if things wouldn't have turned out exactly the same for Ms. Monroe even if she had been brought up in the stable household of her foster mother, Ida Bolender. If you are interested in the nature vs. nurture discussion, this might be worth a read for you.(less)
I'm somewhere between 3 and 4 stars on this one, but because it really has made me laugh a lot, I'm rounding up. If you are the kind of person who lik...moreI'm somewhere between 3 and 4 stars on this one, but because it really has made me laugh a lot, I'm rounding up. If you are the kind of person who likes reading blog-style writing page after page, then you will certainly love Lawson's jokey stream-of-consciousness style writing. I found this approach refreshingly different and clever for about the first two chapters before I began feeling like her constant digressions really kept me from following the story line, and I often found myself flipping back a few pages just to remember what exactly it was that she was actually talking about in the beginning. Lawson is smart, funny, and certainly clever, but the whole upside of being able to edit the written word is that you can either cut out or re-arrange those ramblings that so often show up in verbal storytelling to keep the written story linear. Suffice to say, it would probably be a much shorter book without the paragraphs of off-shooting stories.
That aside, there was one particular part of the book that hit home for me and furthers my reason for giving this admittedly hilarious book 4 stars. When Lawson begins to talk about how she came to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it struck a cord with me. As someone with a little-understood autoimmune disease myself, I wish that I could print out this chapter of the book and keep stapled copies on hand for every person I meet who either says "But you don't look sick" (groan) or "But you're so young, how can you have a disease like Lupus already?" (What are you even saying with this?"). If I were this book's publicist, I'd excerpt this chapter and send it to every magazine and newspaper, every doctor and nurse, and every person with an illness that nobody seems to understand.
This is definitely a great beach read, and digressions aside, it's a quick read, too. I wouldn't recommend it to literature snobs, but I think the average beach reader will have a tough time not laughing out loud.(less)