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A Woman Is No ManGrapes0521 (6)

So I’m clearly in the minority but this was such a disappointment. I certainly appreciate the point the author was making but I thought the characters were incredibly one-dimensional and the novel as a whole poorly written.

There was no nuance and I just felt like I was being beaten over the head. In my opinion if you really want to read an amazing book about growing up in this culture Persepolis is a far better option.

MaidGrapes0521 (6)
Like not love

I found Maid to be an interesting read. I work representing poor mothers so this topic is right up my alley. Perhaps because I am surrounding by these issues on a daily basis, this book didn’t get move me as much as others on this topic have. The author did a great job conveying the frustration that accompanies poverty and the fultility of navigating all of the government programs that are supposed to assist but in reality only confound. I also appreciated how the author was hyper aware of the constant judgment that was heaped upon her for the most minuscule of details and for needing help from others. This felt and is a very real phenomenon.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what was missing for me. Perhaps, although I know it’s not fair, after reading Evicted, no book on poverty will ever move me in quite the same way. That book changed my entire perspective on so many things. It’s probably foolish to hold any book to that standard.

The Far FieldGrapes0521 (6)
Interesting Read

This book was as gorgeously written as you’d imagine from the cover art. I felt it was a little slow but very though-provoking. I enjoyed reading about Kashmir, an area I knew little about.

The Line That Held UsGrapes0521 (6)
Thought provoking

This book did not disappoint. I had high expectations as I’ve enjoyed this author’s other novels and essays. I always enjoy the juxtaposition between gorgeous writing and tough subject matter. I also really appreciate how the author doesn’t shy away from or sugar coat the hardship of living in rural Appalachia yet still finds a way to treat his characters with respect. I was always able to understand the characters motivations even if I didn’t agree with their actions.

I highly recommend reading not only Joy’s other novels but his essay in The NY Times magazine from earlier this year on gun culture.

The Book of EssieGrapes0521 (6)

I was very disappointed. This book was entirely unoriginal and just a mishmash of current events and reality tv families rolled into a novel. I didn’t feel like the book was very well written and it almost seemed as if it should have been labeled as young adult.

The Kiss QuotientGrapes0521 (6)

I hated this book. I don’t generally love romcom but this sounded cute and quirky. Well it’s definitely neither. Both characters were entirely unbelievable and pretty much just stereotypes. The sex scenes went on way too long and were poorly written. Had I not gotten this from book of the month I never would have finished it.

I also really felt like the lead character having autism was somewhat of a throwaway. It just added to all the other stereotyping going on the book.