A BOOK : Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

It’s Friday and you know what you should read this weekend?

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
by Sara Farizan

Here’s why:

  • You have first love + confusing crushes
  • You have a funny and interesting main character, Leila, who narrates the trials of high school. She is absolutely adorable and super smart.
  • Even though it’s 304 pages the pages are shorter, so this reads quickly. Perfect to finish in a weekend!
  • Along with romance it has some pretty awesome friendship and familial story lines.
  • It has a perspective that I haven’t ever read from– an Iranian-American girl who is still in the closet– which was super refreshing- especially when it came to Leila sharing her experiences at school and her fears with her sexuality.
  • It’s funny! And wonderfully awkward in all of the real life ways.


This came into my life after listening to episode 8 [“Why Are Samosas in Every Book”] on the podcast See Something, Say Something. Check out the episode! It’s good :).

 

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

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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. ūüôā

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!

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!

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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 : Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

B L O G M A S  D A Y 20

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This is the book series that took my coworkers and I by storm for some odd reason this year!

I started it because I was craving a fast paranormal series and was asking my coworker for suggestions. She suggested this and paired with knowing my other coworker really likes this author I was like heck yea! Now that you have the back story that you probably don’t care about as to why I started to read this…

So Some Girls Bite is set in modern day Chicagoland area in a world where people know vampires exist and they kind of live together peacefully. Of course there is going to be TENSION because vampires need blood to survive and all, but for the most part everyone has their shit together and while the peace dynamics are on shaky ground, they are somewhat stabilized.

Now enter Merit, our main character. She’s living with her roommate happily going about life, whennnnn she is turned into a vampire. Without her permission. This is a big deal, because in this society you NEED a human’s permission to turn them, plus, Merit comes from a pretty fancy-pants family (however, she is not on good terms with them).

From there she is quickly introduced to the world of vampirism and all of the facets she never paid much attention to. As she is sinking into this world, there is still the mystery as to who turned her, as well as why she is… a little bit different than the other vampires.

It’s that difference that made me really like the series and also drove me a little bit nuts in the book. Because she is a little bit *too* special, you know? But it makes for an interesting story PLUS there is one facet about her that I’m REALLY curious about, that I don’t want to go into.

The series is a little bit sexy and a lot of fun and very much a good escapism read. At least this book! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t progressed much further into the rest of the series yet.

So if you’re looking for a good vampire series book to TAKE YOU AWAYYYYYYY try Some Girls Bite!

A BOOK : Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

B L O G M A S   D A Y   12

Just Mercy¬†by Bryan Stevenson is a sobering look at the American justice system. It’s broken down into two parts essentially. As a young lawyer, Stevenson began working on this case involving a man name Walter McMillian who was going to be put to death for killing a¬†woman in the town. It is a COMPLETE mess of an accusation. McMillian had multiple witnesses as to where he was that day and stories told accusing McMillian were later admitted as lies by the people that told them. Yet. Somehow, McMillian was still on death row.

So that’s the core of the book– Stevenson’s journey as he digs through the case and tries to get McMillian off death row.

Scattered throughout are more cases Stevenson has worked on throughout the years, so you’re able to see how the law plays out in different situations with different people– especially in regards to race, poverty, and gender.

There is a LOT of information about the law, but truthfully most of that didn’t stick in my brain. What stayed were the stories. Stevenson is passionate about what he does and his care and compassion is evident in the pages. He breathes life back to the statistics and share stories from the front-line.

Plus, I like that he includes the after. This is a case he started on in 1980, and I am not going to spoil what happened (although it’s easy to look it up if you’re curious before you read the book), but a decision in the end¬†was made. Stevenson looked at the affect of a man being locked up for years and years and years had on the man and his family.

It’s an engaging piece of work. If you’re a¬†To Kill A Mockingbird¬†fan or a fan of Serial, this might be something you would be interested in.

Add it 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.

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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–

 

A BOOK: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

2195464What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
by Haruki Murakami
Published 2008

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and even more importantly, on his writing.

Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and takes us to places ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a panorama of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back.

Photo and summary from Goodreads.com

2015 is the year of me possibly dipping into Haruki Murakami’s writing. Okay. That’s not true. It is the year of me dipping into Murakami’s writing, but I don’t know how much further I will go. This year I have listened to ¬†The Strange Library and now I have listened to¬†What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. The first title is a more recent title and is only an hour long in the audio format. This title, as you can read from the cover, is a memoir. Because these works are not things Murakami are really known for, I feel like I am skirting around his edges.

But.

What I really liked about this memoir was how much I ended up liking Murakami as a person.¬†I think it’s because he is so built up in my head (you know, Murakami this, Murakami that, literature literature literature) but in this memoir he seemed so humble and just a simple man dedicated to his crafts. Of course this is a memoir, so he has control over the message, but whether or not that is an accurate picture of him it made my reading experience a lot more enjoyable.

While this is a very conversational story about Murakami’s relationship with running, he also delves into his relationship with writing. He talked a little bit about some of his philosophy, which was a surprise treat for me. He also touches on aging and the surprises of being on the other side of “old.”

I particularly enjoyed the format I read this. The audiobook is narrated by Ray Porter, and to me he ended up being a great fit for the story. His own voice is measured and calm, which really fit with the tone of the book. It also matched the style of the book- it really felt like Murakami just talking to you.

If you’re interested in…

…short snippets into a very private writer’s life
…a book discussing¬†passion in running and writing
…a story that takes its time
…an audiobook where you feel like you’re sitting on the floor listening to someone reflect on life

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running might be for you!

Add it to your to be read shelf on Goodreads!