Mini-Reviews #4

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I decided to go back and do a bunch of mini reviews for all the books I read but failed to review over the past two years. This will make me feel sort of caught up and refreshed and maybe will help me be motivated to keep up with reviewing what I've read this year! Some of these will be very mini since I can't remember them that well. This is batch #4. 

Title: Bad Feminist
Author: Roxane Gay
Pages: 318
Genre: Non-Fiction; Essays
Publisher: Harper Perennial (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: August 5, 2014

I wish I would have reviewed this one right away because I feel like I would have had some more substantial things to say. Basically, I had mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, I think Roxane Gay and I would be great friends and have some great conversations. I agree with her thought processes... generally. Some of the earlier essays had me laughing out loud. I think the funniest one was the one where she participated in the scrabble competition. The dynamics of that and the other people there was hilarious.. I hadn't even realized that was a thing! But when it became more serious, especially on the essays related to race, I found myself a little frustrated. It seemed like there were lots of complaints about things either without any type of solution offered (which I don't always find necessary) or where I didn't quite understand. We all have things we can learn about other people, and being of two ethnicities, I consider myself knowledgeable on this topic to a certain degree. But what I found, for example, was that Gay would complain about movies portraying black people as maids, etc. (which I get), or slaves which she is over seeing movies about, stating there are enough (okay, I sort of get), or prosecutors, etc. and I didn't quite understand why that last bit, in particular, was a bad thing (pardon my ignorance). And she didn't explain. It seemed like that one section went on a rant about every type of movie that has black people in it being a bad representation, but the array of movies was so diverse, in my mind, that I felt confused. Ultimately, I felt that the heavier essays were very heavy while the earlier essays were comedic, so overall it felt unbalanced.

Title: Normally, This Would Be Cause For Concern
Subtitle: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness
Pages: 281
Genre: Non-fiction; memoir
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Pub. Date: September 9, 2014

Memoir written by Danielle Fishel, Topanga from Boy Meets World, about her life and acting. I would only recommend this book if you were a fan of hers/the show. It was pretty cheesy in content and writing. But, of course, cute if you were a fan of hers. I enjoyed this okay, but I think most people would not, unfortunately. :(

Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Pages: 292
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013

This was another book club read. I would not have picked it up if not for that, even though my husband had previously read and enjoyed it. Turned out I really liked this one! The main character has asperger's (which sometimes I feel I relate a little too much to!) and his antics in trying to find a wife were funny. I would highly recommend this for a lighter read (though it wasn't as light as I thought it would be). Despite that, I do not have a desire to read the sequel which is strange. I guess I like this story just as is. For the book club, our hostess made the meal that the main character makes in the book, and it was delicious!!

Title: Cartwheel
Author: Jennifer Dubois
Pages: 363
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Random House Trade (Penguin Random House)
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013

This book was very highly based off the Amanda Knox story. A girl is studying abroad in Argentina when her roommate is murdered. The girl is charged with the murder. We read the back story about the relationship she had with her roommate and what led up to the murder, as well as her reaction afterwards (doing a cartwheel in the police station, all casual) and her family's response. I honestly don't even remember how this ended (LOL) but I enjoyed reading this. The character drove me batty because she was so immature and annoying, but other than that it was an interesting story, and if I remember correctly we were left with just our own opinions as to whether or not she did murder the roommate. It wasn't so much about the crime but about the character herself.


Ti said...

Loved The Rosie Project but The Rosie Effect was horrible. Really bad. I was sad that I read it.

I liked Carwheel. I listened to it on audio and I remember at the end, thinking she was guilty. She just seemed to not be genuine. Same for Knox.

Jennifer said...

Hi Jenny!! :) Came here looking for some book recommendations and saw this post. I recently attempted to listen to CARTWHEEL on audio and got annoyed with the characters, so I did not get too far into it. Thanks for the recap of it for me! LOL!!

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