So the good news is, Lena Dunham is wrong. She's not the voice of a generation, as her thinly disguised version of herself on her TV show once stated.So the good news is, Lena Dunham is wrong. She's not the voice of a generation, as her thinly disguised version of herself on her TV show once stated. Nope, she's just the voice of over-indulged narcissists who have been so praised for every shit they've ever taken in life that they no longer smell the stink. Someone needs to let her know that acting like an annoying, precocious child when you're in your late twenties isn't adorable, funny or impressive.
It's too bad, because Dunham has flickers of insightful moments on these pages. There are some smart observations, such as when, in a chapter about losing her virginity, she notes "[h]ow permanent virginity feels, and then how inconsequential." There are some funny moments, too, like when she writes, "He had a lot of time to cook: his job, editing the newsletter for a nonprofit that promoted the global language of Esperanto, was 'flexible.'" Funny, right? And self-aware enough to partially trick me into thinking she's in on the joke.
But to contrive this book of essays (some free-form, because this girl doesn't abide by RULES!) as things she's "learned" makes me cringe. There's nothing remarkable about what she writes - neither in the content nor in how she tells it. It's more like a never-ending blog post by someone who can't utter a sentence without the word "me" or "I" in it.
In closing, I'm going to recount the (unintentionally) funniest scene from the book:
"After reading an early version of this essay [about death and dying], my friend Matt asked me: "Why are you in such a rush to die?" I was shocked by the question, even a little pissed. This wasn't about me! This was about the universal plight...."
OH THE IRONY...
Lena, Lena, Lena...your problems are simply not that interesting, important or unique.
PS: I'm not getting into the whole privilege debate. You can't help who your parents are, and besides, forget privilege - my personal opinion (that everyone on Earth has been waiting for) is this chick's upbringing was like a social experiment gone wrong. Regardless, when your parents have friends in high places, you should make sure you're worthy of the favor they're pulling. Otherwise it's just extended nepotism....more
I'm seriously considering tagging The Boys in the Boat with my "All-time Favorites" tag. I loved it that much.
The lazy way of describing this book (wI'm seriously considering tagging The Boys in the Boat with my "All-time Favorites" tag. I loved it that much.
The lazy way of describing this book (which I'm starting with; not sure what that says about me) is that it's one part Unbroken (action-packed, Olympian[s] on the brink of WWII, scrappy hero who'll win your heart), one part Miracle (that is, the movie about the underdog US Olympic hockey team during the Cold War) and one part In the Garden of Beasts (juxtaposing 1930s Germany/the Nazi regime history with a smaller, more humanized story). Whip all that up in the blender, and you get The Boys in the Boat.
The two books above were easily, easily five-star reviews for me, and I could watch Miracle seven thousand times without ever tiring of it, but to say this book is "just" an amalgam of those great things is like that experiment where they put celebrities' famous body parts together (Angeline Jolie's lips, Julia Roberts' smile, etc.) but instead of it being this otherworldly gorgeous being, it was like a creepy Frankenstein. In other words, it doesn't do it justice. It's excellent on its own, without comparisons to anything else, and if I weren't so lazy, I wouldn't have even brought them up in the first place.
Given the (justly deserved) uproar over Unbroken over the past year or two and over everything Erik Larson has written ever, I'm surprised I haven't heard more chatter about this book and its author. Like those two authors, Brown is both an incredible writer and an incredible researcher, which when compiling books of this magnitude is essential. The book never gets stuck in weighty, dense facts, though - you'll fly through the pages effortlessly, if necessary staying up all night, flashlight-under-the-covers style to finish it. Brown is a hybrid of a journalist, one who can enliven history while poking at your feels and inspiring you, and he deserves to be more widely read.
Nothing I say here about the book is going to make you read or not read it. As the subtitle says, it's about nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. That, and so, so much more. ...more
This is the book that Gone Girl could have been if it hadn't been trying too hard to shock and awe its readers with more and more inane plot twists. DThis is the book that Gone Girl could have been if it hadn't been trying too hard to shock and awe its readers with more and more inane plot twists. Dangerous Girls cleverly combines two ripped-from-the-headlines plots - Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba and the Amanda Knox/Italian murder trials - into a dangerous and exhilarating ride through the judicial process and the truth, lies, manipulations and obfuscations that it entails. Lots of fun, and though I despise the term "beach read," seeing as this book's crime takes place in Aruba over Spring Break, I think it's safe to say Haas wouldn't mind you getting a little sand in the pages. (Or in the edges of your Kindle, if you roll new school.)
Note: I read this on a Kindle, and upon adding this book on Goodreads, I'm glad I did. What's happening with this cover?? It looks like 50 Shades of Barf Goes on Spring Break. You just lost 80% of your potentially audience...good work, publishers....more