A BOOK : You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

23461003

Whew! So if you are interested in a brain workout, read You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman. I chose to read this based off of the So Many Damn Books podcast and goodness, it is quite the trip. 🙂

I’d say You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is good for people that like more challenging pieces revolving around idea rather than story. The first 2/3s is more focused on gathering your bearings and A’s slow descent into a different person, and then the last third picked up a lot for me as more things start to happen. Some things I liked:

– the relationship between A and B. At one point, A is asked, “Tell me, is there someone in your life who’s been sharing your life too closely?”, which essentially is their relatioship. The effects of extreme envy and how that changed A throughout the story was super interesting to me.

– B’s characer. B was such a grotesque character, but dang was she interesting.

– The overall discomfort the book gave me. Kleeman did such a great job with fully fleshing out this weird disjointed setting and getting inside of A’s not quite stable mind. It was a world where everything felt slightly off, discolored, and hollowed– at least through A’s eyes– and as a result it just gave that same feeling to me as I was reading it.

– The Wally stores. Kleeman took normal business practices, took them to the extreme and distorted them to create this really creepy store. My favorite part was the idea that the associates can’t really help the customer out by telling them where the product they are looking for is, but if you work the question the right way and you get the right associate you could get clues for where your desired item is (although I would hate that if that was real life!).

– On a side note, Booooooo C.

Kleeman is definitely a good writer with a bright [sorry, not sorry :P] creative streak!

Add You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine to your to-read list!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tuesday, September 27: Books on my Fall TBR List

Fall for me this year is hopefully going to be cleaning out my room in regards to reading whatever physical books I have that I haven’t yet, plus continuing reading like normal. So here’s what my list is like:

18599748

1. Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

I bought this a long time ago because it looks and sounds adorable!

 

 

26067633

2. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

People say it has reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

 

 

 

20821288

 

3. Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

This is actually for a book study I’m in… but Lizzie Borden has an ax!

 

 

26530309

4. Miss Jane by Brad Watson

This is up for the National Book award… and something about it really draws me in.

 

 

6393407

5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A spoooooky book for October!

 

 

 

6837103

6. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

I get to read this for work!

 

 

 

26530351

7. Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

A Goodreads friend of mine mentioned this is one of her favorites of the year, making me really want to try this.

 

 

 

28449270

 

8. Today Will be Different by Maria Semple

A new Maria Semple book! I’m so curious to see how that one goes.

 

 

 

17675462

 

9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I still can’t believe I haven’t read this!

 

 

 

6930014

10. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I got like 100-200 pages into this a while ago, stopped reading and haven’t finished it. Definitely want to change that!

A BOOK : You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

I’ve been trying to get back to writing for myself, and that involves responding to books I’ve read. I’ve started posting reviews on my Goodreads page, but I really miss posting things on here.

So.  Here we go again!

25251757

You Will Know Me is an unstable book where you don’t know what the heck is going on– you just know *something* is. I liked Devon as a character– she’s the daughter of our narrator and is on her way to be in the Olympics. I liked that the story wasn’t told from Devon’s perspective, but of her mother. Her mother with all of these questions about her husband and the guilt of not being a perfect specimen for bother her kids. As a result we slowly got to see peaks into Devon– her real thoughts– as she is moving from kid to teenager, all the while dealing with this suffocating amount of pressure.

Drew was super creepy by the way!! I feel like he and Mr. Watts needed to spend more time together so they could take turns making wise, cryptic comments to one another.

There were a lot of things explored in this, almost making me want to read it again even though I have a ton of other stuff to read. If I were to read it, I would read it slower this time. Savoring the characters and their relationships and really trying to see them. My weakness with reading psychological suspense books is I get so focused on the plot– figuring out the who and why and the how, that I have a hard time slowing down to focus on everything else that is happening. And a lot is happening in this!

Read this now if you want…

-a psychological suspense
-you liked the unstable feeling The Girl on the Train gave you (if you read it) -a book with a hardcore awesomely interesting female character
-you want to see the darker side of gymnastics

Add this to your To Read shelf on Goodreads

A BOOK: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

B L O G M A S  D A Y   19

25162644

 

 

I would classify The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia as just plain and simple fun. It’s set in St. Louis (hurray Midwest!) and is about a girl who doesn’t really have her life together given a mission to solve a mystery. Why is she chosen out of all of the real life detectives and non-detectives of the world? Dahlia isn’t really sure. But she’s getting paid, so she’ll take it!

This is a pretty straight forward mystery as she starts with trying to solve the first issue (who stole a super-powered sword in the online game Zoth?), which eventually leads down a very tangled mess that involves MURDER. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn

What’s unique to this book is all of the gaming references. Because it deals with a mystery that deals inside of the virtual game as well as bleeds out into the physical realm, some of the story also takes place in the game which is neat. Also you get the fun and interesting tension of how the characters in the book do or don’t overlap with the characters they play in their game. In that aspect, there is a little bit of similarity with The Guild where you explore the group dynamics.

On top of the mystery, there is a little bit of romance thrown in, plus super strange characters that you aren’t sure are strange because that’s who they are or if it’s because they have SECRETS!

So if you like mysteries that are a little bit more cozier, like millennial characters, and/or are interested in online gaming… The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss might be for you!

Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

B L O G M A S   D A Y   15

Every Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday in which they ask a question and you list your top ten answers.

Today’s Question:

Top Ten Best Books We Read In 2015
Originally I was trying to participate in #libfaves15 where librarians count down their top ten favorite books of the year however I have learned I’m bad at tweeting daily so that fizzled for me quickly. One of the stipulations of that is it has to be published in 2015. I however am going to choose things published any year.
In order of when I read them, starting with the beginning of 2015….
15839976
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
It was such awesome world-building and I love the undercover aspect of this. If you’re looking for great dystopia/sci-fi with underdogs, battle, and revenge read this!
20702546
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabe Quintero
Gabi is one of my favorite characters of the year. This is told in journal format and it just felt so achingly real. All of Gabi’s worries and insecurities and hopes and joys and issues were down on paper. It’s a girl who loves to write trying to navigate her way through high school dealing with terrible family stuff, confidence, friends, and romance. So good!
22253764
The Family Life by Akhil Sharma
This just did so many interesting things. It’s a story about guilt and immigration and family. This also had one of my favorite “resolutions” of the year. If you have read it, that might sound weird, but I feel like it was just very much an echo of life in a way and for this that worked. A lot!!
141627
Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani
Well this book will wreck your heart. But goodness, gracious, if you love beautiful writing you should read this.
21570066
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
I did not think I would have a book about cannibals on my top favorite list…. but this was so good! Love LOVE the main character and I’m not going to lie, but the ending is one of my favorites. Is it spoiler-y to say you like the ending? I don’t know. If so, I’m sorry!
22571259
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
This is a really sad sad sad sad middle grade book about a little boy who decides to run away to the mountains with his dog. It will make you cry.
23014642
The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
Just so stinking beautiful!!
23398781
Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes
One of those stories features a woman who starts pretending to be a lesbian so she can work at a lesbian sex shop. It’s an eclectic story collection and loved what it explored.
18774964
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
18692431
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
 Just finished this YA book this week– WOW. I. Loved. It. so. stinkin. much. Cute and I started to cry in public as I was reading because terrible things were happening and I was that emotionally invested.
THIS WAS SO HARD.
I read so many good books this year!  I hope you did too!

A BOOK : Sometimes I Lie and Sometimes I Don’t by Nadja Spiegel

B L O G M A S  D A Y  14

So today I finished a short collection of stories by Najda Spiegel titled Sometimes I Lie and Sometimes I Don’t.

26344950

These stories are hard to describe. A lot of them are super short– by the time you gather your bearings they’re done. They focus less on plot and character development and more on trying to express a specific emotion and quirk of a character.

Some of the stories truly have a WTF factor, but in the end a lot of them just seem to quietly cut out the aches of life and display them for you. This is a more serious sad collection, perfect for a cold grey day where you want to exist in a sensitive state.

Also. The title captures the essence of this collection PERFECTLY.

So if you want to read something filled with very poetic writing brimming with emotion, and if you want to read something that’s a little quirky… then you should add this to your to-read list!

 

A BOOK : Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

B L O G M A S  D A Y  6

Starting tomorrow, Librarians will be using #Libfaves15 on Twitter to share their top 10 favorite books they read that were published in 2015, posting one a day. I want to join in too, so I have started reviewing my year in reading. I stumbled upon a book I loved, but can’t include because it was published earlier. So instead I’m going to share it here. It was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

18209268

It’s this absorbing modern day coming -of-age novel following Ifemelu, a young woman born in Nigeria. It starts when she’s a teenager. She falls in love she starts coming into her own– and then she ends up moving to America to attend school. She’s broke and is suddenly immersed in this country so different than what she is used to. She’s away from most of her family, the love of her life, and her friends. Through the process of acclimating to a new country, Ifemelu undergoes a massive amount of hardships, but she still somehow maintains her persistence, humor, and awareness.

The things I liked the most were-

  • the details in Ifemelu’s life in Nigeria and her life in America. It is an immersive book that brings her experiences to life.
  • How much of a tangible character Ifemelu is. She’s this 3-dimensional person that lives and breathes outside of the pages. I don’t even know how Adichie did it– what makes a character real and what makes a character seem less real? I don’t know. But this to me is an example of a character built with her own nature, yet placed in a setting so strongly built that she is also molded by her nurture.
  • Her perspective. Reading about her experience living in America and being aware of the color of her skin for the first time was powerful. She is a character aware of her surroundings and isn’t afraid to add her own commentary and musings on them.
  • It also jumps to Obinze as the narrator– the boy she fell in love with as a teenager. As a character he too was insightful and interesting, and I looked forward to reading from his perspective. Their love story is also

My only hesitation, is I feel like it just ended a little too perfectly, quickly, and easily. It’s nice because there is resolution to this– I am so happy that we got that. However, one of my favorite parts of the novel was it was a meandering exploration of the growth of these two characters… and then suddenly everything went full speed ahead. Personally, it drew me out a little bit– but not enough to not consider this as one of my general favorites of the year.

Also, I don’t know what it is about this book, but I even remember the exact weekend I was reading it. It was hot and during the summer and we weren’t turning our air on and I just remember reading this non. stop. To the point that I would bring it with me anywhere I went and if I had to wait for like more than one minute, I would pick it up and start reading it (except when I was driving ;]).

It’s funny how a reading experience can be so consuming, that it can just stick in your head like that and you remember the how and when and emotion of the reading experience even more than what you actually read.

So for the next ten days keep an eye out on twitter for all of the favorites published this year! I’ll make sure to either do a master post of all of my favorites later on, or scatter them throughout Blogmas.

See you tomorrow–