Edith Wharton’s satiric anatomy of American society in the first decade of the twentieth century appeared in 1913; it both appalled and fascinated its first reviewers, and established her as a major novelist. The Saturday Review wrote that she had ‘assembled as many detestable people as it is possible to pack between the covers of a six-hundred page novel’, but concluded that the book was ‘brilliantly written’, and ‘should be read as a parable’. It follows the career of Undine Spragg, recently arrived in New York from the Midwest and determined to conquer high society. Glamorous, selfish, mercenary, and manipulative, her principal assets are her striking beauty, her tenacity, and her father’s money. With her sights set on an advantageous marriage, Undine pursues her schemes in a world of shifting values, where triumph is swiftly followed by disillusion. Wharton was re-creating an environment she knew intimately, and Undine’s education for social success is chronicled in meticulous detail. The novel superbly captures the world of post-Civil War America, as ruthless in its social ambitions as in its business and politics.
Look out Nancy Drew! Make way for Goldie Vance! If you were a fan of the amateur sleuth like I was when I was a kid, then this series is definitely for you. Goldie Vance’s tenacity and her empowering quest for the truth is a all-round inspiring and a fun adventure to go on. The artwork is amazing! It is very vibrant and retro, a great way to appeal to the younger generation. Another great comic book series that I will definitely be continuing!
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
I am still in awe of what I have just finished. That is how emotionally impacted I was. The Handmaid’s Tale is the first book I ever read by Atwood. It was always on my TBR list and with the recent hype surrounding it, I decided to pick it up and start reading it. Never has there been a novel that was a politically correct story and provided an emotional impact, at the same time. You read this and you will grapple with the many issues that the novel sprouts out. The Handmaid’s Tale opens doors to what most people are afraid to look inside. Continue reading “Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood”→
“The placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village’s quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants—all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar’s houseguest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.”
Agatha Christie always continues to surprise me. Her changing writing style is an interesting take on the mystery novel writing. It means there is never a dull moment in Christie’s books and you never know what to expect in her stories! This book is no different. You’re in for a ride for this book of the series.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Powerful, riveting, provoking…there are so many words to describe this great YA book. As a teen librarian, I have to read a lot of YA books and there not many that leaves with a resonated a feeling of empowerment and emotional feeling. This book was one of the realist books I have ever read in the longest time. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book takes a deep look at the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer. It approaches an issue that has deeply affected everyone in this country. And this book does a beautiful job addressing issues that concern young teens of this generation. They will feel a personal connection to both the story it tells and the characters who are of that story.
“When the Bantry’s wake up to find the body of a beautiful, young stranger in their library, Dolly Bantry knows there’s only one person to call: her old friend Miss Marple.
Who was the young girl? What was she doing in the library? And is there a connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are discovered in an abandoned quarry?
Miss Marple must solve the mystery, before tongues start to wag, and the murderer strikes again.”
I love reading Agatha Christie’s novels. For someone who loves reading mystery books, I can’t believe it took this long for me to discover Christie’s great works. This is 5th book by her that I read this year and I have yet to be disappointed.
“Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. “
As a constant victim of book hype, I think by now I would have learned my lesson. But alas, I am again here to tell another cautionary tale. Most of my book-lover friends, all the press that it received, pointed Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the right direction to be another great read on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, this long book was excruciating to go through.
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.
Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.
As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them
When I read The first book, “Passenger” and I discovered there was going to be a sequel, I was excited. “Passenger” led me on exciting ride, a ride that I did not have a problem riding over and over again. So I made sure to clear my reading schedule and made sure that I had enough time to read. So I was ecstatic when I finally received my copy from the library. I was awaiting the new adventures that would unfold in front of my eyes. And after just finished reading it, I was left with complete…disappointment.
I am not trashing this sequel in its entirety. At some parts of the story, there were main points of excitement. But most of the time, I was scratching my head as to why is Bracken did this way and why did she wrote parts like that. To gain a better understanding, I will break it down for you. Continue reading “Book Review: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken”→
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
I honestly think that Gillian Flynn is the female version of Stephen King. Albeit a short story, I believe this was another great example of Flynn’s gift of twisting plots into what we think it is going to be at first…then altering our first impressions altogether. Continue reading “Book Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn”→
Mary Shelley’s dark story of a bereaved man’s disturbing passion for his daughter was suppressed by her own father, and not published for over a century.
The only book I read from Mary Shelley was Frankenstein. So when I saw this novella, a story that her own father suppressed, I was very intrigued. Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite books so I wanted to see what other books Mary Shelley wrote.
Matilda is somewhat like Frankenstein, dealing along the same theme of the parent-child relationship. Shelley does a great job of having the reader identify with Matilda’s abandonment and loneliness issues. As the reader, you get the dive in her complicated relationship with not only with a mother she never got to meet but a father who abandoned her. Intensity of these relationships was clearly felt and Shelley did a great job portrayal for the first half of her tale.
The subject of incest, disgusting as it is, was one of the things that interested me in reading in this story. However, Shelley barely approach the subject, only a mere declaration from Matilda’s father. When this occurs, you get the overly dramatic and emotional telling of both Matilda and her father’s feelings, a perfect example of living in the Romantic Era. This when it got a little repetitive and at times straining to read. I was going to completely write this story off until I realized that I needed to do some more historical research to understand a little more of Mary Shelley’s intention of writing this story.
To understand Matilda, you need to know learn the background of the author. Mary Shelley is the daughter of feminist philosopher and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft contracted an infection from the birth and died ten days after Shelley was born. William Goodwin left Mary in the care of a family member for a time while he traveled around Ireland.Although there is no evidence to the contrary, you might consider this novella a little bit of an autobiographical account of Mary Shelley’s life. So finding more about Goodwin’s and Shelley’s relationship, I saw that this was a perfect example of the parent-child relationship.
Then I discovered the reason why Shelley wrote this Matilda. Shelley and her husband, Percy Shelley, lost two of their children and writing this novella distracted Mary from her grief. Mary became emotionally and sexually distant from Percy so maybe writing this story helped her put her feelings in words. That could be the reason why it was so overly dramatic and at times all over the place. The story may have been a downer and have a depressing ending but it was how Mary felt at the time and the only way she can put her feelings into words. It gave her chance to look back at her life and examine her present and somehow combined the two to create a story, no matter how controversial it may be.
So be prepared. If you would like to read this story (and I highly suggest that you would), try to keep an open mind. Don’t look at as another Frankenstein because it is not. Knowing more about Mary’s history actually gave me a better understanding of Matilda and this novella gives us a rare look into this great novelist’s life.