Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Becoming Unbecoming by Una

Becoming Unbecoming
by Una

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: Myriad Editions
Genre: Feminism, Memoir, Graphic Novel
Paperback: 224
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
My name is Una. Una, meaning one. One life, one of many...

A devastating personal account of gender violence told in comic book form, set against the backdrop of the 1970s Yorkshire Ripper man-hunt

It’s 1977 and Una is 12. Other kids are into punk or ska, but Una is learning to play "Mull of Kintyre" by Wings on the guitar, and she thinks it’s a really good song. There's another song, chanted on the terraces by Leeds United fans. It might not have made it on to Top of the Pops, but the boys all sing it on the walk home from school: "One Yorkshire Ripper . . . There’s only one Yorkshire Ripper . . . One Yorkshire Ri-pper . . ." A serial murderer is at large in West Yorkshire and the police—despite spending more than two million man-hours hunting the killer and interviewing the man himself no less than nine times—are struggling to solve the case. As this national news story unfolds around her, Una finds herself on the receiving end of a series of violent acts for which she feels she is to blame. Unbecoming explores gender violence, blame, shame, and social responsibility. Through image and text Una asks what it means to grow up in a culture where male violence goes unpunished and unquestioned. With the benefit of hindsight Una explores her experience, wonders if anything has really changed and challenges a global culture that demands that the victims of violence pay its cost.


My two-bits:

I picked this up on impulse at the library without reading the premise. And, whoa. It is certainly something that fit perfect with the times and the times up movement.

With wonderful illustrations, history and thoughtful commentary on violence against women, this graphic novel is moving.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry
by Jane Harper

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Mystery, Australia
Paperback: 352
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate.

Zombie sighting:
So bad. You can feel it. We're all walking around like zombies. Not sure what to do, what to say.
chapter 2, page 13

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

My two-bits:

Two mysteries play out in this book with an Australian back drop. Both stories were equally engaging. It was easy to be led into this small town setting. The small cast of characters portrayed the place and community well.

Fell in love with Federal Agent Falk.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 2.24.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Warm winter scarves to help get through the brrrrr days

2. Starbucks Tall Blonde Flat White - sounds like I am ordering a person when I ask for it

3. Mostly British Films from the festival (see below) - binge watching at the Vogue theatre :-)



Ms. Ice Sandwich
by Mieko Kawakami
translated by Louise Heal Kawai
-Literary, Coming of Age, Novella, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

WHILE browsing at the bookstore, this whimsical cover, oh yes.

The Line Becomes A River
by Francisco Cantú
-Memoir, Politics
Amazon | Goodreads

GOT this from an author event which got switched from a reading to just a signing due to lots of controversy and threat of protest activity. Made me want to read this even more.


Savage Theories
by Pola Oloixarac
-Humor, Spain
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR Tournament of Books self challenge (here).

The Light We Lost
by Jill Santopolo
-Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR Reese's book club February pick (here).


My Creative Journal
Plan it, List it, Customize it

Guidebook for setting up journal
4 Staedtler pens
Washi tape
Planner Stickers

AND watched: on Netflix

Icarus (2017)
Director/Writer: Bryan Fogel
Writers: Jon Bertain, Mark Monroe, Timothy Rode
Stars: Bryan Fogel, Nikita Kamaev, Grigory Rodchenkov
-Documentary, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5
Oscar 2018 nominee

When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold-exposing the biggest scandal in sports history.

FITTING to watch this Olympic season for some background history regarding the current dope watch and charges going on, especially with the Russian athletes.

AND watched: in theatre

Mostly British Film Festival 2018

I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Director: Ken Loach
Screenplay: Paul Laverty
Stars: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires
-Drama, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.

INTERESTING to see how the system works in other countries other than the U.S. - in this case not much better.

Not Another Happy Ending (2013)
Director: John McKay
Writer: David Solomons
Stars: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber
-Comedy, Drama, Romance, UK | imdb | my rating: 3

When a struggling publisher discovers his only successful author is blocked he knows he has to unblock her or he's finished. With her newfound success, she's become too damn happy and she can't write when she's happy. The only trouble is, the worse he makes her feel, the more he realizes he's in love with her.

CUTE visual eye candy in the chick flick fashion. The soundtrack was a bit off-putting though.

London Road (2015)
Director: Rufus Norris
Writer: Alecky Blythe
Based on musical by: Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork
Stars: Olivia Colman, Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig
-Musical, Mystery, Thriller, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

When five prostitutes are found dead in their community, residents of London Road in Ipswich, Suffolk come together to process the events and revitalize the community.

BASED on actual events in musical form plays out just right with its focus on the neighborhood residents and community.

The Hippopotamus (2015)
Director: John Jencks
Writers: Blanche McIntyre, Tom Hodgson, John Finnemore, Robin Hill
Based on book by: Stephen Fry
Stars: Roger Allam, Tim Charles, Rod Glenn
-Comedy, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friend's country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles.

ALONG with the comedy (and much whiskey) the mystery reveals itself in an amusing way.

Allure (2017)
Directors/Writers: Carlos Sanchez, Jason Sanchez
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Julia Sarah Stone, Denis O'Hare
-Drama, Romance, Thriller, Canada | imdb | my rating: 4

A house cleaner meets a teenaged girl and convinces her to run away and live with her in secret.

THE gal is messed up. This film makes your stomach turn as it plods along. But, you can't help but watch to see how it ends.

The Carer (2016)
Director/Writer: János Edelényi
Writers: Gilbert Adair, Tom Kinninmont
Stars: Brian Cox, Coco König
-Comedy, Drama, UK | imdb | my rating: 4

When the question is to be or not to be, there is only one answer.

CAREGIVING in the countryside with theatre acting and Hungarian fun facts sprinkled in.

The Young Offenders (2016)
Director/Writer: Peter Foott
Stars: Alex Murphy, Chris Walley
-Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Ireland | imdb | my rating: 5

Two teenage boys cycle 160km on stolen bikes pursued by police to find a missing bale of cocaine worth 7 million euro. Set around the real event of Ireland's biggest cocaine seizure in 2007 of 440 million euro.

LOVED how the hilarity builds with laughter increasing each minute.

Sweet Country (2017)
Director: Warwick Thornton
Writers: Steven McGregor, David Tranter
Stars: Hamilton Morris, Bryan Brown, Tremayne Doolan
-Adventure, Crime, Drama, Australia | imdb | my rating: 5

Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self defense and goes on the run as posse gathers to hunt him down.

ABORIGINAL history with its form of justice with a wild west vibe.

Goldstone (2016)
Director/Writer: Ivan Sen
Stars: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver
-Crime, Thriller, Australia | imdb | my rating: 5

Indigenous Detective Jay Swan arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple light duty investigation opens a web of crime and corruption. Jay must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.

GETS into some of the chinese experience in a modern day Australia.

The Ones Below (2015)
Director/Writer: David Farr
Stars: Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn
-Drama, Thriller, UK | imdb | my rating: 4

A couple expecting their first child discover an unnerving difference between themselves and the couple living in the flat below them who are also having a baby.

CREEPY couple with doings that border a horror story.

Una (2016)
Writer: David Harrower
Based on play by: Blackbird by David Harrower
Stars: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn
-Drama, Romance, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship.

TIMELY film that is in line with #TimesUp movement. Both characters pulled me in different directions.

Inland Road (2017)
Director/Writer: Jackie van Beek
Stars: Gloria Popata, David Elliot, Chelsie Preston Crayford
-Drama, New Zealand | imdb | my rating: 5

After surviving a fatal car crash, teenage runaway Tia moves in with the strangers involved in the accident, threatening the family's delicate balance.

GREAT landscapes and farm lifestyle shots. I was taken with the Lily character. Such a cutie!

Hotel Salvation (2016)
Director/Writer: Shubhashish Bhutiani
Dialogue: Asad Hussain
Stars: Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl
-India | imdb | my rating: 4

Faced with his father's untimely and bizarre demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain Salvation, a son is left with no choice but to embark on this journey.

THOUGHTS on death and the process of dying ways heavy.

Journey's End (2017)
Director: Saul Dibb
Screenplay: Simon Reade
Based on play by: R.C. Sherriff
Based on novel by: R.C. Sherriff, Vernon Bartlett
Stars: Paul Bettany, Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield
-Drama, War, UK | imdb | my rating: 4

Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, as they await their fate.

WWI history from the trenches with three different perspectives.

AND watched: on DVD

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
Director/Writer: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo
-Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4
Oscar 2018 nominee

Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action.

IDEALS and personal limits.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Spotlight: Logan's Run by William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson

Logan's Run
by William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson
-SciFi, Dystopia
Amazon | Goodreads

It's the 23rd Century and at age 21... your life is over! Logan-6 has been trained to kill; born and bred from conception to be the best of the best. But his time is short and before his life ends he's got one final mission: Find and destroy Sanctuary, a fabled haven for those that chose to defy the system. But when Logan meets and falls in love with Jessica, he begins to question the very system he swore to protect and soon they're both running for their lives. When Last Day comes, will you lie down and die... or run!


Someone close to my heart turns 21 today *HAPPY BIRTHDAY* which got me thinking of books related to that age.

Logan's Run popped up at the top of the Google search.

I remember watching the film version way back. It struck me as a creepy and chilling movie at the time. But, good and sparked the imagination. This calls for a re-watch.

I did not know that it was based on a book. Since the book, there have been sequels, spin-offs, adaptations and possible film remake. After this discovery and reading the premise I am so curious to read the original.

Adding it to my tbr pile...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fever Dreams by Samanta Schweblin

Fever Dreams
by Samanta Schweblin
narrated by Megan McDowell

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Hardback: 192
Rating: 3

First sentence(s):
They're like worms.

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.

My two-bits:

Interesting premise, but it did not translate well for me. Maybe reading the print version would make it a bit more clear with what is going on. I did not get the horror or thriller vibe.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical, Literary
Hardback: 368
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
On our wedding day I was forty-six, she was eighteen.

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

My two-bits:

At first I tried listening to the audio version for this because of its all-star cast. But I found it hard to follow along with the many resource references for the short bursts of text. I found reading the print version better as I could skim over the reference notations which made a more seamless story.

Interesting storytelling style with this one which could work for some but not others. I was okay with it after getting used to its rhythm. The story is told in bits and pieces with many voices and a few main characters that stay throughout.

Got me thinking of grief and the afterlife - specifically, the Bardo which is known as the transitional state in Tibetan tradition.

One amusing image that tickled me was this...

On other days, everyone she met manifested as a giant mustache with legs. -Hans Vollman
chapter xxvii, page 79


* part of Man Booker Prize Reading Challenge (here)

* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Murder Under the Bridge by Kate Raphael

Murder Under the Bridge:
A Palestine Mystery

by Kate Jessica Raphael

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: She Writes Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, LGTBQ, Middle East, Palestine
Paperback: 400
Rating: 4

A Palestine Mystery series:
Murder Under the Bridge
Murder Under the Fig Tree

First sentence(s):
Rania placed the little brass coffee pot on the flame, resting one hand no the long handle so she could snatch it up before it boiled over.

When Rania―the only female Palestinian police detective in the northern West Bank, as well as a young mother in a rural community where many believe women should not have such a dangerous career―discovers the body of a foreign woman on the edge of her village, no one seems to want her look too deeply into what’s happened. But she finds an ally in Chloe―a gay, Jewish-American peace worker with a camera and a big attitude―and together, with the help of an annoying Israeli policeman, they work to solve the murder. As they do, secrets about war crimes and Israel’s thriving sex trafficking trade begin to surface―and Rania finds everything she holds dear in jeopardy.

My two-bits:

A bit slow in some parts but got a sense of Palestine and the people with this mystery. The focus seemed to revolve around the women's relationships more than the mystery.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 2.17.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Mardi Gras music on Fat Tuesday - makes you wanna shake that booty

2. Sending Valentine's Day cheer via both mail and text

3. Craft magazines with to-do kits included - Mollie Makes, Make Special Cards, and My Creative Journal. I will unbag each over the next couple weeks so you can see the goods (see below for the first reveal). And, I will review each as I tackle them.



Her Body and Other Parties
by Carmen Maria Machado
-Feminism, Horror, Short Stories
Amazon | Goodreads

IMPULSE buy at Bowser Books on Fillmore Street, San Francisco. Feminist related books have been on my radar since watching the tv series, The Handmaid's Tale.

Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan
-Historical, Literary
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR the upcoming competition of The Tournament of Books (here).


Mollie Makes - #88
Crochet, Papercraft, Sew, Embroider, Macrame

magazine with craft and inspiration ideas
pom pom love birds kit
with all the ingredients needed to make them (yarn, felt, pom pom maker)

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Check out my Blog About It: February RED post (here)

AND watched: in theatre

Faces Places (2017)
Directors/Writers: JR and Agnès Varda
Stars: Jean-Paul Beaujon, Amaury Bossy
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5
Oscar 2018 nominee

Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

DELIGHTFUL to watch these two artists travel into small towns in France making their creations and impacting the communities in small ways.

Oscar Shorts 2018

Dear Basketball (USA), in which narrator Kobe Bryant explores what it means to achieve your dream and then leave it behind
Garden Party (France), in which a couple of amphibians in a deserted house explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts
Lou (USA), the story of a toy-stealing bully who ruins recess for a playground full of kids, but one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box
Negative Space (France)*, about a boy whose dad taught him how to pack
Revolting Rhymes (UK), which interweaves Roald Dahl’s retellings of classic fairy tales with playful twists and surprising endings.

Bonus animated shorts include Weeds, Lost Property Office and Achoo!

Dekalb Elementary (USA), inspired by a 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia
My Nephew Emmett (USA), set in 1955 and based on the true story of a Mississippi preacher who tries to protect his 14-year-old nephew, Emmett Till, from two racist killers out for blood
The Eleven O’Clock (Australia), in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist, causing each to treat the other as the session gets out of control
The Silent Child (UK)*, centering around a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication
Watu Wote - All of Us (Germany/Kenya), For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.

THESE were all good and all deserving with various current topics. I put a * next to my favorites.

Mostly British Film Festival 2018

GOT a festival pass and will catch as many as I can. These are what I have attended so far.

Mad To Be Normal (2017)
Director/Writer: Robert Mullan
Writer: Tracy Moreton
Stars: David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss
-Biography, Drama, History, UK | imdb | my rating: 4

During the 1960s, a renegade Scottish psychiatrist courts controversy within his profession for his approach to the field, and for the unique community he creates for his patients to inhabit.

FASCINATING take on R.D. Laing - some of his relationships and methods regarding mental illness. Got me curious to want to learn more about his background.

The Party (2017)
Director: Sally Potter
Writers: Sally Potter, Walter Donohue (story editor)
Stars: Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas,
-Comedy, Drama, UK | imdb | my rating: 5

Janet hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine.

STYLISTICALLY a beautifully made in black/white. The story is one that builds into a crazy climax. Loved it.

Joanne Froggatt Tribute
film clips and onstage interview

LOVED this Q&A with Joanne regarding her past works including the screening of the night, A Crooked Somebody. I really want to see her current tv series, Liar which is a British psychological thriller.

A Crooked Somebody (2017)
Director: Trevor White
Writer: Andrew Zilch
Stars: Gillian Vigman, Ed Harris, Joanne Froggatt
-Drama, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

An attention-seeking psychic is kidnapped and tries to use the situation to boost his popularity.

GOT me more aware of psychics. Fun twists and turns along the way with this one.

AND watched: on DVD

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Director/Writer: Matt Reeves
Writer: Mark Bomback
Based on characters by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Suggested by novel: La planète des singes by Pierre Boulle
Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn
-Action, Adventure, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5
Oscar 2018 nominee

After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

STRUGGLES that are relatable when it comes to power/peace and the race/class system.

Mother! (2017)
Director/Writer: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem
-Drama, Horror, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 4

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

MANY layers come to mind. At face value it is a weird horror tale. But the after effects make you think of the relation to the creation story.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Friday, February 16, 2018

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

No One Is Coming to Save Us
by Stephanie Powell Watts
narrated by Janina Edwards

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Literary, African American
Hardback: 384
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The house he's building is done mostly.

JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

JJ’s return—and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava—not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?

No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice: with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. In evocative prose, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted a full and stunning portrait that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

My two-bits:

An African American experience with all the drama as mentioned in the description that is Gatsby-esque. Like in Gatsby the characters are unlikable. However, the story draws you in.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of SJP's Book Club (here)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis

The End of Eddy
by Édouard Louis
translated by Michael Lucey

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: LGBTQ, France
Hardback: 208
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
From my childhood I have no happy memories.

An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy.

“Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again . . . Today I’m really gonna be a tough guy.” Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different―“girlish,” intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men.

Already translated into twenty languages, The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. It is also a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening. Like Karl Ove Knausgaard or Edmund White, Édouard Louis writes from his own undisguised experience, but he writes with an openness and a compassionate intelligence that are all his own. The result―a critical and popular triumph―has made him the most celebrated French writer of his generation.

My two-bits:

It's a gem. Although not a pretty story, I loved the telling. I could not help but feel for the protagonist.


* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blog All About It: Red


Loving this current read, The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis with chocolate dressed in red bow and espresso.

The Power
by Naomi Alderman
-Dystopia, Feminism
Amazon | Goodreads

READ: Next up and sitting on my nightstand.

DECORATIONS: Chinese New Year (of the dog) displays help make RED the color of the month. Spotted this under the dome at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Looking forward to the annual San Francisco parade on the 24th.

VISIT: It's lit in red neon. The Balboa Theatre is one of my favorite places to be.

Red Sparrow (2018)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay: Justin Haythe
Based on book by: Jason Matthews
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker
Release date: March 2, 2018
-Mystery, Thriller | imdb

WATCH: Being a Jennifer Lawrence fangirl, gotta see this one when it comes out March 2.

SPOTTED: This shrubbery wrapped in red lights is a cheerful neighborhood sight.


* part of the Blog All About It Challenge (here)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu