May. 25th, 2017

 

My rating system:

10 – life-changing, an all-time favorite

5 - average for what I read

1 – terrible; why did I finish it?

 

So Sad Today by Melissa Broder – This is a collection of essays, in which the author lays bare her life and her struggles – whether it’s insecurity or anxiety or depression or addition, she has faced it all. I know there are a lot of “disaster memoirs” out there; you know, the ‘look at me! I’m a mess! And/or my life has been so hard!’ But this book is far better than that. Honestly, Broder’s writing was addicting. I just had to keep reading to see how she is doing, what she’s dealing with and how she’s dealing with it. The book is raw and honest, and often hilarious. Grade: 8

 

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel – No clue why I finished this book. I think maybe I just kept hoping it would get better and amount to what its reviewers promised on the book’s jacket (“a silken web of intrigue”….”vibrant journey into the grandeur of the Tang Dynasty”). Anyway, the novel is historical fiction, centered around a young and beautiful woman who becomes concubine to the emperor in China centuries ago. It has every standard plot device you could imagine (a rival who hates our protagonist! A handsome young man who she can’t be with! Conspiracies against the emperor! Which our protagonist somehow gets pulled into.) But the story is so drawn out and boring and never builds to any sort of climax. Wish I had gone with my gut and abandoned it early on. Grade: 2

 

Comfort and Joy by Jim Grimsley – A novel taking place in contemporary times about two men who are in a relationship. One comes from lots of old Southern money and is closeted with his conservative family. The other comes from poverty and is sick. Good writing and fairly realistic characters, but the novel’s pace was slow as molasses. Grade: 3


Saving Alex by Alex Cooper – This is a memoir about a teenage girl who tells her Mormon parents that she’s gay, and they send her to stay with strangers who purport to “cure” her. Unsurprisingly, they abuse her and even torture her in the process. Needless to say it’s not very fun to read (or listen to on CD, as I did) although it is gripping and well-written. Grade: 8

 

This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe – Three works of non-fiction in this report and all are memoirs. Maybe I need to branch out a bit, though Gabourey Sidibe would just tell me to unapologetically read what I want. Sidibe is the star of the movie “Precious” and is also on the show “Empire”, and this is her story. She’s funny, open, serious at times, insightful at times- really, it’s a great memoir. Grade: 8

Gratitude

May. 25th, 2017 03:40 pm
 I will be grateful for all the good things that happened on my business trip this week:

1. Netflix worked in my hotel room so I was able to stream some stuff. This is shocking because I only brought my work computer and it's crazy slow, and I didn't pay extra at the hotel for faster wifi. Yet it all worked!

2. Food while traveling is always a challenge but JFK airport had an amazing salad bar full of stuff I love (bean salads, middle eastern foods, etc).

3. And a guy at the hotel gym was very nice to me. And my cat was super-affectionate when I got home.

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