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Vanessa rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Dept. of Speculation
by Jenny Offill
read in December, 2014
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This was fantastic. Thank you for the rec, Naomi. Beautiful, dreamy stream of consciousness about a woman who wants to be an art monster and discovers that instead she has a husband and a child. Also made me want to read a lot of John Berryhill.
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
"I loved this book. Every sentence was worth dissecting and rereading because of beautiful ideas beautifully written. "
Vanessa rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
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A timely re-read. I still think this is one of the best treatments of how we got where we are in terms of mass incarceration and race. She really breaks it down in such a readable and comprehensive way.
Vanessa rated a book 4 of 5 stars
How to Be Black by Baratunde R. Thurston
How to Be Black
by Baratunde R. Thurston
read in December, 2014
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Funny, insightful, entertaining, sweet. Part memoir, part meditation on blackness in America. I really enjoyed everyone on the Blackness Panel, too.

Minus one star because he didn't take me on a second date.
The Lifespan of a Fact by John D'Agata
" Jim is awesome at parties. Would party with Jim again. Five stars. "
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
"Incredibly engaging, though overlong and desperately in need of a better editor. Severe tangents throughout that lowered the quality, but incredibly readable and enjoyable to read. Ending was a complete mess, though, and spiraled into almost incoh..." Read more of this review »
Vanessa rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
The Thin Executioner
by Darren Shan (Goodreads Author)
read in December, 2014
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This is a very dark and satisfying riff on ye olde Hero's Journey. Jebel is the scrawny youngest son of the city executioner who goes on a quest to regain his honor with his trusty slave, Tel Hesani (bound to trustiness by the threat of his family be ...more
Vanessa rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
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Girl crush remains strong. I saw her do a reading and she is SO DELIGHTFUL IN PERSON. Everything you imagine her to be and more, guys. So charismatic and funny and nice.

And the book is really charming and fun and full of great literary references. I
...more
Vanessa rated a book 5 of 5 stars
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)
by Elizabeth Wein (Goodreads Author)
read in November, 2014
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I enjoyed this TREMENDOUSLY. And it made me cry, and be late to things and stay up far too late because I couldn't stop reading it. Clever, suspenseful, funny, sweet. This is what I feel like I always WANT historical fiction to be, and then it never ...more
White Girls by Hilton Als
"I read this book because Junot Diaz recommended it. I went in unprepared for the cultural critique and came out feeling awed and confused. It's a book I feel like I need to read multiple times and sit down and discuss. There were a lot of powerful..." Read more of this review »
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