Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Shhh…don’t tell Sarah or Carrie or Chanin, but I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice.  And just in case you were wondering, it wasn’t part of our high school curriculum that I “skipped” (looking at you, Great Expectations).  I guess I had just heard too many people complain about Jane Austen and I was too busy reading Andrew Greeley mysteries in my late teens and early 20s to pick up Jane Austen.  Sorry, Jane.

Fast forward to 2020 and my book club goes virtual (you can still drink wine during virtual book club, btw) and chooses Pride by Ibi Zoboi for our monthly selection.  Hailed by Zoboi as “a modern remix of Pride and Prejudice set in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood,” Zoboi introduces us to Zuri, a spunky teen with very opinionated opinions about the new, rich family that renovated the block house and moved in across the street.  We watch Zuri struggle with her own identity, her own prejudices and eventually find her own definition of love. 

I loved Pride.  I loved Zuri’s intensity of wanting to protect her neighborhood and culture from “strangers.”  But then I loved Zuri’s eventual softness and maturity.  Zuri’s personal growth can be a lesson to all of us no matter our age, race, or individual prejudices.

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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

We do a gift exchange at Christmas with my husband’s somewhat extended family. It’s always fun and interesting to see what we end up with, especially from those who we don’t know as well or maybe just for as long. This year, my name was drawn by my hubby’s step sister’s daughter in law... and we’ve spent some time together and I like her a lot, but we can’t really say that we know each other well.

She gifted me Where the Crawdads Sing with the aside that it was the only thing that had brought her  real joy last year.

I put it off. I tend to liked the straight romances or mystery. I comforted myself with re-reads during the quarantine, and I’ve never been much for what I would call book club books. While I like to think critically in real world situations , I tend to like simpler entertainment where reality doesn’t much intrude.

I finally picked it up the other day, when stuck at home with a wounded foot. And I read it in a matter of hours. And I’m still thinking about it. Perhaps I need to rethink my book prejudices...

This was beautifully written. Coming of age? Check. Romance? Check. Mystery? Check.

Told in flashbacks, but not too jumpy, Kya is a child of a war vet who has taken refuge in a Carolina marsh. Her family life is problematic, to say the very least. We see her turn from a six year old into a young adult. There is a small town murder thrown in. The heartbreak and beauty of her life is so well written that small phrases will just haunt you.

I don’t want to say a lot more. Just read it. Trust me. Pin It

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Sex and Vanity from Net Galley in exchange for review!

This book is a new offering by the author of Crazy Rich Asians and its follow-ups, and is just as much fun as that series.

Rather than going to Asia, though, we mostly are hanging out in New York (though there's plenty of characters from all over the world.)

The story starts with a flashback to an uber-exclusive wedding on Capri. Lucie Churchill is a descendent of those Churchills, but her mother's heritage is Chinese. At the wedding, Lucie is a young Brown University student, traveling with her incredibly uptight cousin as a chaperone. She meets George, a Crazy Rich Asian from Hong Kong/Sydney/UC Berkeley. He and his mother are kind of odd ducks to the old money NY bunch, but Lucie is oddly drawn to him. There's an incident at the wedding that horrifies the cousin/chaperone, Lucie is whisked away, and we go to NYC five years later.

Lucie is now an up and coming art consultant and gets engaged to an oil money "most eligible bachelor" in a scene straight out of a Hollywood musical adaptation. Her family heads to the Hamptons for the weekend, and who show up but George and his mama?

Lucie is a really likeable character. While the book is a fun romp through Crazy Rich New York, the heart is about Lucie and her family dynamic, and it's well done. Kwan's writing style is enjoyable to me - the kind of poke fun at the insider group dynamic - but I admit that as a solid middle-class non-fashionista, non-society follower, some of the name dropping of both people and brands goes well over my head. The footnotes are funny, as they were in the previous books, but as a suggestion I would recommend a physical book. Reading the footnotes on the Kindle app is a little tedious.Narrative is scattered through with texts, emails, or news items, which keeps the pace moving and the voice of the book feels correct.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. If you liked Crazy Rich Asians, don't hesitate to grab this one! Pin It