2017 Reading Round-up #6-10

Hallucinations | Oliver Sacks

Hallucinations Oliver SacksSacks’s writing is just as engrossing and charming in Hallucinations as it is in Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. I’ve always been drawn to stories of the weird things brains do and how we interpret them, but hallucinations in particular feel almost like a literary device shedding light on some aspect of those who suffer from them. More importantly, I appreciate Sacks treatment of his subjects as people rather than medical oddities. It’s clearly a big part of the reason for his success and makes the process of reading feel more like learning and less like gathering meaningless trivia. A

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) | Kevin Kwan China Rich Girlfriend

I read the first book in this series, Crazy Rich Asians, largely because the title made me think of home. I didn’t expect to fall in love with a book almost purely consisting of romantic intrigue, but I. am. addicted. I’m so invested in Astrid’s well-being, and the author was smart to center the drama around Rachel’s new found family, since her perfect relationship with Nick has limited interest even if I’m rooting for them. I was surprised at my interest in Kitty Pong’s story, even if I could see the twists coming. I’m looking forward to part three as well as the film. A

MonstressMonstress, Vol. 1: Awakening | Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Rus Wooton

I bought this book largely because the artistic style is just so beautiful. I was warned about how dark the story is, and while is gloomy and edgy, I found it a little forgettable.  This is probably the result of my usual inability to connect with graphic novels the way I do with regular books. Unlike other visually striking graphic novels, the sheer creativity and gorgeousness kept me interested and I don’t regret owning the volume. So for the low time investment, I’ll give it a B+.

Shrill | Lindy West Shrill

This is a book I know I’m going to read more than once in my life. I got it from the library and then went out and bought it. There were selections from every passage that I wanted to shout from the rooftops and then also send directly to so many people I know– “This! This is what I mean, articulated funnier and better than I could say it.” There’s a lot of ell-oh-ell-feminist stuff out there right now, and Lindy’s voice just soars above the pap because she actually has something to say. But even apart from the stuff I expected (real talk on fat phobia, abortion, rape jokes, trolls), her personal stories about losing her father and her relationship with her husband, were beautifully told and moving. A+

Saints AstraySaints Astray | Jacqueline Carey

This sequel is much weaker than the original, which was doubly disappointing given the fact that our gutsy leads now get to have international adventures instead of being stuck in sad dystopia town. But unfortunately the boy-band subplot just didn’t do it for me and I found the conversations between the main couple to be tiresome and repetitive. It still gets points for a fun training-to-be-secret-service-types sequence, a few side characters, and the greater plot resolution. I love how Carey can scale up a story and make me believe the future of a dystopia really does lie with her lead (whose simple resolve I still love in a similar way to Phedre’s). B-

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