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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  22,653 ratings  ·  3,678 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 shrin
Hardcover, UK edition, 207 pages
Published February 13th 2020 by Granta Books (first published February 11th 2020)
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Molly Olivia Laing's Crudo (2018) -- this book reminded me a lot of it. Similar style, mood, and themes…moreOlivia Laing's Crudo (2018) -- this book reminded me a lot of it. Similar style, mood, and themes(less)

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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,653 ratings  ·  3,678 reviews

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Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meditative. Reminds me of Renata Adler. A bit too free form for me but the book’s overall project is interesting. I admire Offill’s intelligence and razor sharp wit which this book has in abundance.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 if we're getting specific

i'm unsure how to feel about this one. it is an interesting portrayal of family and parenthood set against the turbulent backdrop of the 2016 election. the uncertainty, bordering on fear, that drives the narrator was palpable. yet, i struggle with this free form, experimental type of literary fiction. the fragmented writing combined with the loose plot threads that barely hold this narrative together are disengaging and i found it hard to connect with this story and
weather noun
: the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time
weather transitive verb
: to come safely through a difficult period or experience

“First they came for the coral, but I did not say anything because I was not a coral.”

I loved every minute of Weather. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, thanks to the choppy style, specific brand of humour and refusal to deliver conventional narrative movement, but I thought it was brilliant.

This novel is both sardonic and warm, reflective of
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jenny Offill is amazing! So excited to read more of her stuff!
Diane S ☔
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, s ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
Almost the Blues

What the new world of literary America consists of perhaps: diary entries; the not quite aphorisms of a typical NYC life; the recording of trivia amidst cataclysmic events. There is obviously a selection of things to be noted/published. But there are no conclusions or points to be made. Whatever story there is is left to the reader’s imagination. Blanks are filled in and events connected by the same process that one unconsciously corrects errors and typos in print copy.

Weather is
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Can I ask you something, Will says one night and I sure, ask me something.

“How do you know all this?”
“I’m a fucking librarian.”

fun fact about that line, beyond the “fuck, yeah!” of it in my heart: the verb between “I” and “sure” is missing in my ARC, so the quote is totes [sic], but i’m 2/3 convinced that the word was intentionally omitted. as the novel draws to its close (and that is on page 170 of the ARC's 201 pages), and as the sense of anxiety and fragmentation that is the mo
I don't think this is a bad book at all, I want to make that clear right away.  I think Jenny Offill is a talented writer, and that she achieves everything she set out to achieve with this little book, a potent commentary on the impossibility of balancing every day domesticity with encroaching anxiety about the climate crisis.

But with that said... I didn't particularly like it?  I mostly found this book incredibly forgettable.  It was a short, breezy read, but for whatever reason I didn't have t
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jenny Offill`s Weather is an entertaining and a thought-provoking read. The book, in many ways, represents the current uncertain times, particularly the climate, healthcare and political situation. It also points us to take these ambiguous states in our stride, and go forward.

The narrator is Lizzie Benson is a University campus librarian who is creative, curious and `knows-it-all`.

Weather covers a lot of topics, subjects, issues, concerns and ideas – but the overarching indication is that it is
And now for something completely different…

Strange little novel that had me in the palm of its hand. There’s not really a plot, but sometimes, who needs one? Plot lovers, please don’t be scared off. It’s full of insights that are accessible and fascinating, and there is a story thread, I promise.

You probably want to know, what’s the thread? The thread is Librarian Lizzie’s life as a wife, mother, professional letter writer, and helper of her brother, who is trying to stay clean. Amid all of this
Elyse  Walters
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!!!

Audiobook/ sync... with the physical book.
The audio-narration is read by Cassandra Campbell....( a well known pro in the audiobook-world).

This is not an easy book to review....
My guess is that readers will either appreciate and enjoy it....
They won’t.

I enjoyed “Dept. of Speculation” I had a pretty good idea of what I might be getting into — “Unconventional Unique beauty”....
This book exceeded my expectations. I liked it even more!

It really ‘is’ like poetry .... and/ or p
lark benobi
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lorrie Moore lovers
Shelves: knopf, 2020, she-2020
I stayed up past midnight to finish, exhilarated by the prose, and excited about every exquisite perfect detail, and eager for the perceptions and the recognitions that came tumbling along on every page...and now I'm done, and I just don't know. I don't think I'm going to remember this in a year. The tiny paragraphs of insight, one after another, remind me a little too much of Twitter. "Good Twitter," but still.

Reading this novel was like watching a gentle rain falling on a pond.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read, usa
Now Nominated for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020
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 naviga
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
“How do you know all this?”
“I’m a fucking librarian.”

Hell yeh! How could I not love a book with those words!

Weather is an enjoyable and quick read, perfect for when you find it hard to concentrate. I know many of us are finding it difficult to get into books at the moment. I don't know how many books I've begun and set aside this past week. From page one of this book however, I was able to concentrate almost 100%. It reads sort of like a journal because our protagonist is sharing her though
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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” w
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by:
Shelves: read2020
I first feel compelled to clear up some confusion on the part of the main character about academic librarians. As someone who has supervised students in an academic library, I have at times heard them refer to themselves as "librarians" but always correct them. Librarians do require a degree (MC does not have one) and do not spend their days checking out books, shelving books, or ordering random books based on whim. Many times, academic librarians are faculty members with the additional responsi ...more
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
Now shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize.

I joined a Radio 4 Book Club virtual discussion of Jenny Offill’s 2014 second novel “Dept of Speculation” (shortlisted for the Folio Prize); and, this, her third novel “Weather” appeared on a number of 2020-preview lists.

This book is very much in the style of Dept. of Speculation – which I described in my review of that book as an elliptical and aphoristic style.

Offil said in many interviews around Dept. of Specul
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rather pedestrian observations about our current time.
Weather did not hit me emotionally and felt as transient a reading experience as it's namesake

This woman is a shrink. Also a Buddhist. She likes to practice on or the other on me, I’ve noticed.

In Weather we are thrown into the stream of conscience of Lizzie, the very observant librarian of our age. She lives in New York with her husband Ben and her son Eli. They are Jewish, but more relevant to the story is the close relation Lizzie has wit
This is a very specific kind of navel-gazy book that works really well for me but might prove frustrating or even kind of empty for other readers. This is the kind of novel Sarah Manguso would write and I loved it.

The blurb makes this sound like a plot heavy book but it is very much the opposite. Offill has edited her book down to sparse scenes, short musings, and witty sentences. Much of the action happens off-page and only the ramifications are felt. I thought the easily readable prose actuall
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize 2020

I read Offill's previous novel Dept. of Speculation a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it a lot. This one shares many of the same traits - a narrative largely dominated by random thoughts, some of which are interesting and perceptive, with a simple narrative arc that mostly stays in the background. Much of it is dominated by thoughts on climate change and the election of Trump, so without the humour and quirkiness it might be rather gloomy, but overall it is
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
Sometimes a book meets you exactly where you are, and Weather did that for me. My anxiety about climate change is now a constant hum in the background of my life. I think things like, “Why do I bother to cash checks or go to the dentist or consider switching from Honey Nut Cheerios to regular Cheerios—the world is literally on fire. You should be making an escape plan, not watching Netflix.” Offill’s humor really worked for me too, which I know is one of the most personal comments you can make a ...more
Emily B
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of those books for me that I wanted to end to put me out of my misery. There are 5 parts to this novel and for the life of me I don’t see the decision point as to where one part ended and another one began. The book was a bunch of short paragraphs. Lizzie is the narrator and the book is about her and her husband Ben and their son Eli who is in elementary grade school. Then there is Lizzie’s brother Henry who falls in and out of sobriety and a woman he marries Catherine (why she would marry h ...more
Eric Anderson
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I read Offill’s novel “Dept. of Speculation” over five years ago during one joyously long reading session on a plane, it stands out in my mind as so stylistically unique with a voice that seamlessly blends humour with poignant critiques on love and modern life. Her new novel “Weather” uses a similar style of narrative while engaging more overtly with current politics and social anxiety. Rather than a linear story we’re presented with clipped sections of text surrounding the life of Lizz ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1 4 3, Canadian hunk
“A war-time romance, without the war, without the sex....” with the bookish hunk Quebecois, whilst taking care of the neurotic drug-addicted brother, and attending to her precursive decrepitude, mostly after husband took their young son out of town to get away from neo-negative Nelly, the narrator.

I expected this would be more like the first three (Autumn, Winter and Spring) of Ali Smith’s brilliant seasonal quartet.

I’ll say this: it kept me reading for 224 pages of an inner
May 09, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: womans-prize
I guess 1-star is going to seem mean spirited, however if 2-stars is defined as "it was ok" then I find myself thinking, well no, this was not "ok". Things started out hopefully enough, there are some funny little snippets here and there, but then either the text unravelled or my patience did.
At the moment I need books that say something tangible and preferably factual, so it is not the authors fault that I picked the wrong type of book for my mood.
Objectively, this is good as evidenced by the
Peter Boyle
Weather is Jenny Offill's follow-up to the much-adored Dept. of Speculation. Like that book, it takes the form of a woman's inner monologue, told in short, sharp paragraphs. The woman in question is Lizzie, a university librarian who has a lot on her plate. Her brother is recovering from addiction and has a new girlfriend, but he relies heavily on Lizzie for support. Her knee hurts, and she's not exactly sure what to do about it. Her mentor Sylvia, who now hosts a podcast on futurism, is becomin ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Offill writes in witty, short paragraphs that mimic diary-like entries. It is a quirky style that works surprisingly well. The ‘author’ of these entries is Lizzie Benson, a curious librarian that absorbs odd facts about climate change, religion, and much more. These blurbs are peppered among entries that catalog how she is ‘weathering’ life’s challenges. There is her brother, Henry, a recovering addict that she allows to live with her periodically. And then there is her side job answering doomsd ...more
Diane Barnes
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short. Interesting. A little strange. Funny. A little scary. Made me wonder. Made me ponder. Made me laugh.

I was inside Lizzie's head for a few hours, and I very much enjoyed being there. I started out highlighting a few quotes, but then realized I should just recommend the book.

Here are a couple though, just for fun.
"Young person worry: What if nothing I do matters?"
" Old person worry: What if everything I do does? "

"One morning a student tells me failure is not an option, and is angered whe
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Jenny Offill’s third novel, “Weather”, isn’t for the average reader. She has written a novel that comprises mostly fleeting thoughts and moments. There isn’t much structure with the exception of time.

Our narrator is Lizzie who is married with one sweet boy. She feels responsible for her brother who is fighting depression, anxiety, and addiction. She works for a woman who has a podcast about climate change; Lizzie has the responsibility of writing responses to this woman’s fans.

What Offill
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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 Univ

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“Young person worry: What if nothing I do matters?
Old person worry: What if everything I do does?”
“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.” 26 likes
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