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Weather

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  77 reviews
From the author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation--one of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year--a shimmering tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  236 ratings  ·  77 reviews


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Diane S ☔
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
When one reads as many book as I do, the search for something different but good, is ongoing. This author seems to fill the bill. She takes the reader inside the thoughts of a young woman, Lizzie, who is juggling many of life's trials. She is a mother, a wife, tried to take care of her mother, and her brother who has had a problem with drugs. Additionally, the doomsday prediction with the climate and the unfriendly political situation, also preys on her mind. She works in a university library, ...more
Esil
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew
4 stars — so close to 5/stars!

There’s something that seriously clicks between me and Jennifer Offill’s writing. I loved The Dept. of Speculation and, again, loved Weather. This is a very short novel, told through a series of first person vignettes. The narrator is a librarian, living in New York with her husband and young son, and eventually her addict brother. Each paragraph is a quick impressionistic reflection on the library’s patrons, parenthood, the state of her marriage, her “enmeshment”
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Meike
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read, usa
Jenny Offill describes what it feels like to live in today's America, she writes about the political and social weather, the charged atmosphere that has enveloped the nation. Her protagonist Lizzie Benson works as a librarian without a traditional degree, thus administrating knowledge without being formally qualified - but, in the metaphorical sense, who really is? In the age of fragmented filter bubbles and the rise of hate, Lizzie also navigates her roles as wife and mother while trying to ...more
Emily B
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the narrator but found some of the other characters hard to keep up with. Specially as who they were and their role/job etc wasn’t always explicitly named. Maybe if it was read in one sitting then I wouldn’t have had this problem so much.

I found it both witty and thought provoking and would recommend you give it a read.
Offill turns everyday life into poetry
SueLucie
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a sort of ‘state of the nation’ address from one woman in New York going about her daily life, her thoughts and reflections mirroring the preoccupations of those around her. Civilisation’s decline and climate emergency are two of the main themes, highlighted by a new and very different president and political style. Her musings on these are interspersed with worries about her family, her marriage, her child, and observations of her customers at the library where she works, people she ...more
Anna Luce
The cover of this novel is beautiful...the actual contents...not so much.
I don't mind novels in verse or written in an impressionist style. Sadly, there is little beauty or innovation in the way in which Weather is written. To me, there is nothing poetic about its disjointed and fragmented prose (so much so that to call it prose seems a stretch).
Here are three extracts which other readers may appreciate, but I certainly didn't:

“We were at the supermarket. All around us things tried to announce
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Sarah
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
4.5 rounded up

Told in a series of short snippets, Weather follows Lizzie Benson, a librarian and ordinary woman who is navigating the post-Trump, post-truth landscape of life in contemporary America. Lizzie cares for her troubled recovering addict brother, her old beyond his years son and spent time looking after her dying mother. Through her conversations with them, and others - her former mentor Sylvia and patrons of the library in which she works - Offill weaves a tale which perfectly
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LittleSophie
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
While this novel might not be as immediately accessible as "Dept. of Speculations," Offill's narration is just as fresh and beguiling, her topics just as pressing.
Moreover, her new novel must surely be one of the best at capturing the current American zeitgeist. Her fragmented narration seems to chronicle a nation on the brink, self-doubt and personal drama interspersed with existantial questions and tips for surviving the climate crisis and its effects. The tone oscillates between black comedy
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Ionarr
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's short, fairly uneventful, and not exciting or action-packed, but it's just the kind of writing I adore - the dry, ennui-filled, almost apathetic writing that manages to show you a broad sweeping culture through perfectly phrased personal moments.

This book in particular I think is not just an enchanting read but very clever. There's no big finish, no ramping up to dramatic conclusions; but that's not why you read a book like this. It hooks you with the writing, not the
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M. D.  Hudson
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think it's official now: Jenny Offill is my favorite living novelist. Weather, Offill's latest work, is similar in structure to Dept. of Speculation, which I greatly admired. Narrator is a 40ish married woman with a young son. No affair in this one, not a physical one, anyhow. The structure too is like Dept. of Speculation - very short paragraphs, each one more or less "following" one of the characters (there are a dozen or so, of varying importance). This can cause confusion, but Offill has ...more
Chris Haak
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a novel about modern day America. Trump has just been chosen president; people worry about civilizations decline and about climate change. And then theres Lizzie who worries about all that, and her family as well.
I love Offills writing and the way her mind works! Her characters are great and shes got a sense of humour I really like.
Thanks you Knopf and Edelweiss for the ARC
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Julie
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
While the prose is sort of hypnotizing and makes for a quick read, Weather felt frustratingly aimless and anticlimactic. The characters are so forgettable, I kept forgetting who was who. The story is presented in dry vignettes which aren’t particularly original or engaging:

How come Coke cans all have names on them now? Sarah, Keesha, Madison etc. It’s really hard not to look for your name. Or to buy one if you see it.

I know this style of writing appeals to some, but for me it feels uninspired.
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Beth
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jenny Offill has this ability to distill everything—the small and real, the huge and ephemeral—into random bits of brilliance that, hanging together in novel form, knock you flat. This novel is a profound, funny, disturbing, wonderful commentary on the nutty times in which we currently find ourselves. There are many reasons to fervently hope for political and societal change right now, not the least of which is the chance to discover how Jenny Offill is going to reflect the the *next* era back ...more
Bruce Katz
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
I have no idea what rating to give this book. I have no idea, in fact, of what it was I read. The book dispenses with the conventions of story-telling (apart from having a single, first-person narrator). There is no "story" to speak of, though I suppose an attentive reader -- particularly one with training as a clinical psychologist -- could tease a story out. Or create one. Thinking on it last night, I began to think of the book not in terms of narrative but more as similar to the kind of ...more
Gayle
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full review at: http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog....

These are trying times for parents of young kids. How do you focus on the minutiae of child rearing when there are so many really big things to worry about? That’s the subject of Jenny Offill’s new novel, Weather. I loved her last book, Dept. of Speculation, which documented a failing marriage through short paragraphs and wry observations that verged on poetry. Weather is written in a similar style. Once again told from the point of view of
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Lauren
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Offill’s prose style matches the fragmented narrative of our constantly interrupted lives. This book was a darkly funny and sobering companion to me. With its focus on professional disappointments, family crises, environmental catastrophe, and the condition of motherhood, it’s a brilliant follow up to DEPT. OF SPECULATION. I was going to say that I liked WEATHER better than DoS, but I hate to apply judgement in that fashion so let’s just say that this novel builds on the brilliance of that book ...more
David Morley
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-general
A brief quotation at the beginning of this thoughtful, poetic novel reminds us, I think, of an earlier time when the American people were more certain of, and more comfortable with, their relationship with the earth upon which they lived out their everyday lives. It reads:

NOTES FROM A TOWN MEETING IN MILFORD, CONNECTICUT, 1640
Voted, that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; voted, that the earth is given to the Saints; voted that we are the Saints.

But here in the twenty-first
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Stacey Chin
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Jenny Offill’s Weather, Lizzie is a wife and mother, struggling to balance her family’s needs while also supporting her brother as he battles addiction. She works as a “feral librarian” at a university in New York City, a job she got after she dropped out of grad school, despite a lack of proper qualifications. She also acts as an assistant for her former advisor, now an environmental campaigner, travelling with her to events and responding to all her emails and letters. Offill’s prose will ...more
Annie
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I understand the fuss about Jenny Offill now. Weather is an amazing work of fiction that captures so much of what I feel living in the world today: the dread, the anxiety, the helplessness in the face of climate change. And it’s not just the content that made me love this book. The way that it’s written, in impressionistic glimpses into the life of Lizzie, as she tries to be all things to all of the people in her life. Even though the tension in this book built with every page, I felt a strange ...more
Rachel
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This strange, eerie novel is one that I'll be processing for awhile, I think, and would definitely recommend others read as well.

Set in post-Trump America, a librarian becomes immersed in the world of Doomsday Preppers and, as she grows more obsessed with the climate crisis and its impacts, the strain begins to show in how it affects her mental health and family life.

The story unfurls in short, poetic vignettes and there isn't much driving action but it's engaging nevertheless. As a library
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Kristen Cleghorn
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ALRIGHT.

i think it impossible to top this book in terms of capturing the exact anxiety and impending doom that so many of us feel in the throes of discovering how immense the climate crisis has become.

i find it difficult sometimes to engage in everyday life as the narrator does, so crippled by the unknown and how fast it is approaching. this book was so artfully precise AND concise in its dealing with living amongst uncertainty, hate, and inaction.

even if you don’t think you want to dive into
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Afton Montgomery
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When we look back at the canon of disaster lit that emerged post-2016 election, I hope that this book will be at the front of all of our minds. Written in the structure and with the language of madness, Offill’s Weather captures perfectly the heartburn feeling of rising and cresting panic. As Lizzie works increasingly hard to reach out and quell the mundane and outlandish fears of those around her, the reader is privy to what’s breaking down inside of Lizzie herself. There is nothing comforting ...more
AJ Nolan
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lucked into an advanced reader copy for this and it is a beautiful, lyrical novel. Offill does James Joyce proud in her defiance of plot, so as long as you let the expectation of narrative and tension, and instead give yourself over to the lyric and into a meditation on the strain and fragility of humans in the 21st century, then you won't be disappointed.
unknown
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read it in one sitting (no really). Deeply quotable. I used to live half a block from the elementary school featured. The assessment that all the white parents love the diversity, but not as much as they wish their kids would test into a city-wide G&T? 100 percent accurate.

Depressing, because [gestures at the world] but funny enough that you won’t mind.
Ann
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a book that shows we can all go a little crazy and come through. Each paragraph is like a tiny short story. Jenny Offill is the coolest kid on the block.

If you buy this book, please support your local independent.
Michael May
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Books like Weather are my doomstead.
Lissa Franz
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Offill's voice and her poetic take on the world. The cadence and intelligence of her writing is unmatched. I love the way she weaves intellect with daily life. It is real in a way I find intriguing and compelling. It won't be long before I re-read it.
Sarah
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: upcoming-2020
Offill continues that signature style she established in Dept. of Speculation: short, first person present vignettes. Weather does for the concept of "survival" as Dept. did for marriage and love. Funny and highly perceptive with that intensely streamlined writing Offill does so well.
James Beggarly
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enormously fun book about an intelligent and very funny woman who writes a few quick paragraphs about her husband and young son, her brother who is battling addiction, her job as a librarian and a new job of answering mail for a doom leaning podcast. A perfect, very quick read that’s funny on every page, but sneaks in a surprising amount of larger philosophic thoughts for out times.
Jose Diaz
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
got an uncorrected proof and wasn’t sure at first but i loved this so much that when it gets officially published ima snag a copy.. read like poetry to me
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Jenny Offill is an American author born in Massachusetts. Her first novel Last Things was published in 1999 was a New York Times Notable book and a finalist for the L.A Times First Book Award.

She is also the co-editor with Elissa Schappell of two anthologies of essays and the author of several children's books She teaches in the MFA programs at Brooklyn College, Columbia University and Queens
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“And then it is another day and another and another but I will not go on about this because no doubt you too have experienced time.” 0 likes
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