All Our Worldly Goods is, essentially, a story about one upper middle class French family, the HardelotI received this book in a First Reads giveaway.
All Our Worldly Goods is, essentially, a story about one upper middle class French family, the Hardelots and the small factory town they live in, that spans 1910 through 1940. Like Suite Française, Némirovsky's more well-known book, the story is told in vignettes. It sometimes jumps ahead several years between chapters.
The relationship between the central characters, Pierre and Agnés, shapes the novel. Through their relationship and the effects that it has on their family members and Pierre's spurned fiancé, Némirovsky shows how the past shapes the future, just as, on a larger scale, the events of World War I prefigure what happens again to the Hardelots and their hometown in 1940. Through telling this story Némirovsky gives us a criticism of the upper middle class and a clear sense of the kind of psychological atmosphere that existed in France in the first half of the 20th century. ...more
I really enjoyed reading this. It examined how the tropes and misogynistic criticisms that were applied to women in power in the past, even the very dI really enjoyed reading this. It examined how the tropes and misogynistic criticisms that were applied to women in power in the past, even the very distant past, are still applied to women in power today. I'd always wanted to know more about Boudica and Fraser used her as a model to compare the other Warrior Queens to, mostly to compare how they were perceived and described, and the situations in which they came to power. She also made sure to note how Boudica herself was perceived, or forgotten, during each of the Warrior Queen's reigns....more
I'm giving it a four stars overall but there are definitely some pieces that were absolutely amazing, 5-star stories. My favorites were: A Study in EmI'm giving it a four stars overall but there are definitely some pieces that were absolutely amazing, 5-star stories. My favorites were: A Study in Emerald, the alt. universe take on Sherlock Holmes, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch, The Problem of Susan, a critical look at how the character of Susan was treated in the Narnia books, Goliath, set in The Matrix universe, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Sunbird and The Monarch of the Glen, a post-American God's novella....more
There’s not much not to enjoy about a dystopian, steampunk, zombie novel starring a badass teenage heroI received this book in a First Reads giveaway.
There’s not much not to enjoy about a dystopian, steampunk, zombie novel starring a badass teenage heroine. When I was about two-thirds of the way through I was torn between wanting to finish the book in one sitting and wanting to make it last longer.
The characters are the strongest part of the book. Nora is a great heroine; smart, brave, and witty. There are also fantastic supporting characters that are mostly very complex. I especially loved Pamela, Chas, Doc Sam, and, of course, Bram. Through the characters, themes of class, gender roles, national identity and love are examined. There were a few instances near the end where I felt some actions were out of character but it didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment of the book.
I loved that it featured prominently my current favorite theme in Science Fiction; people who are made monstrous or inhuman in some way acting with even more humanity because of it. This is kind of a corollary to the ‘humans are the real monsters’ theme which is also present.
The author managed to create a believable world with exposition that was introduced pretty naturally into the narrative with only a few info dumps, which were probably necessary. It also had a complicated ending which I liked. There was closure but everything wasn’t wrapped up too neatly. It’s definitely worth reading and I can’t wait for the next installment to come out....more
Again I'm kind of torn between a three and a four but went with the four because I really did enjoy reading this. It really gave a lot of insight intoAgain I'm kind of torn between a three and a four but went with the four because I really did enjoy reading this. It really gave a lot of insight into what it's like to be a girl growing up in a family that follows male primogeniture who is older than the heir. It definitely shows that the arbitrariness of that kind of system can lead to a family's ruin. And Campbell also shows that growing up in such a family can really lead one to be a bit ignorant of the social norms of the dominant culture.
Most of all it's a revealing memoir of what it's like to grow up with a father who is an addict but because of his social position is enabled in every possible way by everyone around him. Campbell shows how despite the fact that in many ways the children were terrorized and betrayed by their father, the Thane of Cawdor, incessantly they still had some faith in him and love for him. And after all this they were still shocked and hurt by his final betrayal of both the family and the primogeniture system and Campbell had to dig deep into her father's psyche to come to any understanding of it....more
I received this book in a First Reads giveaway and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought it had a good selection of royals; some I already knew wI received this book in a First Reads giveaway and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought it had a good selection of royals; some I already knew were infamously horrible, the type that you look up on Wikipedia when you can't sleep at night (or maybe that's just me) like Vlad the Impaler or Erzsebet Bathory, some I knew from legends or plays like Prince John of Robin Hood fame and Richard III, and some I had no idea had any kind of scandal associated with them like Napoleon's and Queen Elizabeth II's respective sisters.
I liked that the author acknowledges when there is more than one version of a story out there and goes through them evaluating the likelihood of each version being true. She also acknowledges when stories are likely exaggerated so the reader gets all the juicy details circulating a given scandal but doesn't walk away thinking of false information as truth.
At times the tone shifts from being academic but accessible to being very familiar, inserting modern terms into historical accounts and repeating the subtitles of the book often when referring to its subjects. Sometimes I liked this as it made the relationships historical figures had with each other feel more comprehensible but sometimes it came off as repetitive and unnecessary.
Overall I thought it was well edited and put together and gave an account of history that highlights the most interesting bits and I will most likely check out her other nonfiction books in the future....more