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Sunday Salon

I've decided to try making my weekly wrap-up into a Sunday Salon so I can link up with others doing Sunday Salon posts. We'll see how this goes!

Reading This Week

I finished Middlemarch! I've  been reading this one almost since we started staying home in mid-March. I loved it. I'd never read Eliot before, but wow! She's such a talented, insightful writer, she just gets human nature and relationships and she's so well-read--the metaphors, the similes, the allusions...the book is a masterclass. And I love, love, love the ending. She wraps it up for the characters to give a sense of closure but it's also satisfyingly realistic. No perfect HEAs here. I'm sure I'll be talking about this more!I just started reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for one of my book clubs. If you haven't heard of it, it's about the science behind how we make snap judgments and how we can use that to our advantage. Not a book I would have picked, but interesting.
Watching Th…
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Book Review: Problematizing Fleishman Is In Trouble

When I started reading Fleishman Is In Trouble for my book club, it struck me as problematic immediately. At first, I was bothered by the opening scene, where a rich cishet White man objectifies women on a dating app. Soon, however, it began to bother me in an entirely different way.

The entire premise of the book upsets me, and I'm not sure if that's because it reveals an uncomfortable truth (I lean away from this one) or distorts an uncomfortable truth (I lean toward this). The narrator of the novel, Toby Fleishman's female friend Elizabeth, explicitly posits that readers are more interested in men, who appear to live meaningfully, while women and minorities' lives are circumscribed by their oppression. She suggests that one would have to "Trojan horse" writing about a woman by writing about it as the life of a man. Enter Toby Fleishman. A sensitive, caring father significantly out-earned by his ambitious, hardworking wife Rachel, Toby's own divorce at…

June Wrap Up

I finished more books in June, although one of them I'd been reading for a long time and several were rereads. A lot of poetry this month.

Books Finished in June

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-ZinnThe Art of Showing Up: How To Be There for Yourself and Other People by Rachel Wilkerson MillerYou Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (reread)Blue Horses by Mary Oliver (reread)Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich (reread)Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-AknerAmerican Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes
I've been reading Wherever You Go, There You Are since March when we first started staying home due to COVID19. At first, I strongly disagreed with Kabat-Zinn's insistence on the unimportance of spirituality in meditation (he doth protest too much), but I found the meditations and writing practices helpful, of which I did one per day over the course of several weeks. Kabat-Zinn specializes in pain management, so his practices were pret…

Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2020

I'm mostly focusing on books I already have or am reading for book clubs, but there are a few latter 2020 releases I'm excited about, whether or not I get to read them this year!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl!

Most Anticipated Book Releases for the Second Half of 2020

1. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

I enjoyed the Eragon series as a whole, and I'm eager to see how his writing has developed.

2. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

I read and enjoyed an excerpt, so I'm interested in this story of a female heir to a magical kingdom.

3. Burning Roses by S.L. Huang

I'm intrigued by a story about an adult Red Riding Hood .

4. The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich

History + magic. I'm in.

5. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

This just came out, but I'm counting it. Two girls, one from Trinidad, one from the American MidWest, falling in love. Happy Pride!

Weekly Wrap-Up

What I'm Reading

Still reading Middlemarch by George Eliot, three quarters of the way through and still loving her metaphors and turns of phrase. Reread You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero--it's very woo-woo, and I don't agree with everything, but it's definitely an inspirational, feel-good read. Reread Diving Into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich--still rereading my poetry collection--I love some of these and don't get others, but I noticed it was blurbed by some of my favorites like Margaret Atwood and Marge Piercy, very fierce '70s feminism. What I Watched This Week
1. Queer Eye for the feels! I'm doling out the fifth season to make it last as long as possible. I just love the happiness and "emotional intelligence," as my friend put it. And Karamo's shirts.
2. When this whole pandemic began, I started binging Charmed, which I had never watched before, and now I'm on the last (ninth) season. I watch this when I'm in the mood for drama, female b…

Books on My Summer 2020 TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl!

Like many of us, I've been adding TONS of books to my TBR lately with all the anti-racism reading lists. I also broke my own book buying rules for the year for a good cause and bought So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo from Mahogany Books because I thought it was important to buy from a Black-owned bookstore local to me. I also bought The Untelling by Tayari Jones on Kindle, because I wanted to read it, she happens to be a Black author, and  Kindle is cheaper/doesn't take up space. Here's the charge, if you're interested (and c'mon this is an excuse to BUY BOOKS):

Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma OluoThe Untelling by Tayari JonesFleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (book club pick)The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (other book club pick)By Sea & Sky by Antoine Bandele (preordered this on Kindle because sky pirates)Nocturne by Cheryl…

Weekly Wrap-Up

Since I've enjoyed doing monthly wrap-ups for a couple of years now, and I have more free time this summer, I'm going to try out weekly wrap-ups. The format may change or I may stop if they get too repetitive. Let me know what you think!

What I'm Reading This Week

I'm still reading Middlemarch by George Eliot. I'm a little more than halfway through. It's been a while since I read a nineteenth century novel, so it's a bit slow-going, but I'm loving it! It's got the omniscient, occasionally snarky narrator that I love from classic nineteenth century novels. While most of her characters are landed gentry like in Jane Austen novels, she's also got some characters in more precarious or lower class financial situations (ugh, trade!). There's also some discussion of agricultural labor reform that reminds me of Elizabeth Gaskell's focus on industrial labor reform, though at least so far, it's not as central. What I love the most about Eliot…

Books I've Added to My TBR and Forgotten Why

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at That Artsy Reader Girl!

I'm constantly adding to my TBR, but if I take a moment to reread the summary, I usually remember why I've added a particular book, whether it's the latest YA fantasy, corresponding to my interests in food history, or lately, joining the national work on anti-racism. So, here, I'm listing some books that have been on my TBR a while and I don't immediately know why from the titles. Please let me know if you've read any of these and would recommend them!

Books I've Added to My TBR and Forgotten Why

The Bachelorette Party by Karen LutzGiven to the Sea by Mindy McGinnisStarCrossed by Elizabeth BunceYou Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales by Sheila NevinsYou'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn SolomonThe Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de BodardQuietus by Tristan PalmgrenThe Old Drift by Namwali SerpellPark Avenue Summer by Renee RosenDon't Tell Me Not to Ask Why: Poetry Prose…