This Week’s Blog Posts:
My review of Swift as Desire by Laura Esquivel, which was published on Tuesday, didn’t get a lot of attention. I’m now wondering if folks are turned off by Esquivel’s most famous book, Like Water for Chocolate, due to her tendency to be overly-dramatic, garnering comparisons to telenovelas Mexicanas by users on Goodreads.
On Friday I posted my review of Wicked Woman by Addison Herron-Wheeler. While I’m glad that I learned about the early days of women in metal, especially Jinx Dawson, much of this nonfiction work felt like a Wikipedia page.
Next Week’s Blog Posts:
Monday I’ll share my review of the third book in The Mage Storms trilogy, part of #ReadingValdemar in 2019. I know many of you aren’t following along with this particular readalong, so I’m adjusting my plans for Valdemar in 2020 and also seeking more stand-alone fantasy novels by women.
Wednesday I was going post a review of a book many of you are interested in: What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, a nonfiction work by Leah Price. However, Price uses painfully academic language to describe simple concepts. Instead of writing that if e-books are digital, then paperback books are analog, she writes that paperback books are “not-app.” And before e-books some folks would write their own index on separate pages and glue them into paperback books. Price calls this “not-database.” I have a master’s degree from a highly competitive university, and even when I was in the thick of things I could not stand the way some academics would make up terms when perfectly good words exist to describe their ideas. Even without invented terminology, her writing is clumsy. Take this sentence in which she describes viewers’ reactions to a YouTube video in which a crafty person repurposes a Lemony Snicket book to into a box with an X-acto knife and glue:
Before YouTube came on the scene, however, it would have seemed odd for a secular children’s book to inspire an army of enforcers to wrest the vulnerable volumes back from the hands of others judged undeserving of custody.
Wordy, attempts at alliteration to make it more. . .poetic? Sorry, Price. DNF.
Friday brings The Namesake review. A novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, many Grab the Lapels readers expressed their like of this book. I’ve only read Lahiri’s short stories and look forward to sharing my thoughts on a sustained plot.
Book by a Male Author from My TBR:
I finished the audio book of Elevation by Stephen King (read by the author) in short order. It contains the titular novella about a guy named Scott who is slowly less affected by gravity, and a short story called “Laurie” about Lloyd, whose sister unexpectedly dumps a puppy named Laurie on him to help him get over his dead wife. I wasn’t majorly invested in the plots of Elevation or “Laurie,” but I did feel invested in Scott, Lloyd, and Laurie. Neither story is horror, and neither provides neat answers, but I appreciated the simplicity of the writing that instead focuses on an idea: what if gravity no longer affects you? can a dog replace a human being?
Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:
Still David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Still the same insufferable Dora telling David to stop being so gruesome and talking about things like working, or suggesting Dora learn how to use a cook book. She’s so dumb it makes my face hurt.
Books Added to the TBR Pile: