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message 1: by Emily (last edited Dec 17, 2018 07:40AM) (new)

Emily | 18 comments Mod
This is where to post reviews and discuss books that were published in 2018!

message 2: by Cristalyne (new)

Cristalyne | 3 comments I read Five Plots, which is a collection of lyrical essays by a girl I went to school with. (It was neat seeing the final version of essays I read and commented on.) I don’t understand what a lyrical essay is. One of my many frustrations about studying creative nonfiction in graduate school is we started each new term trying to define the essay (read the back of Best American Essays for an example). To me, lyrical essays resist straight forward language (doesn’t follow subject verb object format). It meanders and is metaphorical. I usually don’t agree with the metaphors and often can’t stand reading them. I am torn about leaving her a review because I am not her audience. I want to give her five stars (like everyone else) because I know and like her and she listed me in the acknowledgments, but I struggle with the style. I am beginning to think I should have went to school for fiction because my favorite nonfiction is written like fiction. Should I give her five stars because I’m excited she published her first book and I want to support her? Let’s be real, I’d want my friends to do the same for me because putting your stuff in the world is hella scary.

message 3: by Brittaini (new)

Brittaini | 4 comments @Cristalyne, oh man, that's tricky. I'm finding that I struggle with more abstract forms of both fiction and non-fiction -- one of my major complaints about a novel I read recently that doesn't count for this challenge due to timing was very vague and theoretical until the very end, which made it hard for me to stay interested in the narrative at all. I mostly just want direct, straightforward narratives in everything I read right now. I am not interested in puzzling things out. All that being said, I'm sure you'll come to the right decision re: what to do about the rating.

The first book I read for the category is The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman (I'm reading for the Tournament of Books right now, so I'm probably only (or mostly) going to be reading things from 2018 for the next month or so). In a lot of ways it was good -- strong pacing, interesting themes, well developed characters -- but it just wasn't what I wanted right now. I can't identify anything specifically wrong with it and would probably recommend it to the right person, but I think there are some narratives (in addition to ones that are oblique) that I am just not interested in at the moment.

message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily | 18 comments Mod
Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

I read Stray City by Chelsea Johnson for this challenge. Brittaini, I read this because I saw it on a list in Bitch Magazine and then on a table at the library, but now I can say I read it for the TOB too! Thanks (or no thanks?) for letting me know about a new reading challenge :)

l liked the book! I've always been drawn to stories that take place over many years of the characters' lives. Usually that means some dude being an asshole and pining over a love interest for a decade. This was different!

Mauricio Maluff Masi (mmaluff) | 3 comments I read Artemis by Andy Weir (technically it was published in November of 2017, but I'm counting it as close enough). It certainly wasn't high literature, and not one of the characters felt like a real person, but it was still fun as hell, which I guess is the point.

message 6: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Speight What is the tournament of books!?! googling now

I'm about to pick up There There for this one but I haven't started it yet. It's exciting to be able to prioritize reading a brand spanking new book in this challenge ;)

message 7: by Ava (new)

Ava | 7 comments Emily wrote: "I've always been drawn to stories that take place over many years of the characters' lives. Usually that means some dude being an asshole and pining over a loved interest for a decade..."

Haha, I love long spanning stories too! This is going on my TBR list immediately!

message 8: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Speight just finished There There! didn't *quite* live up to the hype for me, but I'm very glad I read it and thought the plot structure was complicated but well-handled and spoke to something cool about the subject of the book itself

message 9: by Dayna (new)

Dayna | 2 comments Mod
Just finished Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers Rights, which was published in November. It's easily the best, most helpful book I read all year. Anybody who is interested in sex work or intersectionality or being a better feminist should check it out. Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights

message 10: by Brittaini (new)

Brittaini | 4 comments @Emily -- the TOB is pretty fun! I like putting together my bracket in March -- I am very anti-sports, but it ignites a little bit of a competitive streak in me :) A book you mentioned in another thread -- My Sister the Serial Killer is on the list year, too.

@Amelia-- The TOB happens in March, and it's basically March madness for books, but with weird things thrown in. Each match is judged by an individual judge, and then all the judges weigh in on the final match to select a winner. Sometimes the winner is predictable, but often there are upsets, and there's a really lively discussion for each match. There There is on the list! the website that puts it on is

I finished A Terrible Country a couple of days ago for the TOB, and it was even worse than The Italian Teacher. But I'm working on Washington Black now and it is *much* better.

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