Book Review | Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Published by: Alfred A Knopf on June 7th, 2016
Genre: Histprical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Cultural,
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer. Continue reading

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Yearly Wrap Up | 2017

In 2017, I set my Goodreads Challenge goal to 60. Previous year I had set it to 50 and went passed it so I thought I would have no problem this year. At the end of 2017 I had read a total of 89 books! A part of me wanted to push myself hard and read 11 books in December to get to 100 but I ended up deciding to take in the holidays and spend time with friends and family. I realized it’s not about the number but the content.

Goodreads put together a nice collection of stats on all the books I read in 2017 and I thought I’d share the numbers over here on my blog.

Pages read: 27, 432

Books read: 89

Average length: 308 pages

Average rating: 3.6/5 stars

Shortest Book Read: The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn (64 pages)

Longest Book Read: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (565 pages) Continue reading

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Book Review | Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
Published by: Atria Books on January 11th, 2018 (expected)
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Won in a Goodreads Giveaway

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Summary (from Goodreads): An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth? Continue reading

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Monthly Wrap Up | November 2017

November 2017 Books Read: 11

2017 Goodreads Reading Goal:  87/60 (At this point I am pushing myself to 100)

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2/5 stars
Review coming soon

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
4.5/5 stars
Review to come

The Nest by Cymthia D’Aprix Sweeney
3/5 stars
Review to come Continue reading

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Book Review | The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Published by: Gallery Books on August 16th, 2016
Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Humor
Pages: 323
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends – an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably – but only because it’s over. Continue reading

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Book Review | The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books on August 23rd, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 308
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit? Continue reading

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Book Review | Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
Published by: Ballantine Books on April 30th, 2013
Genre: Adult, Chicklit, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 340
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): A charming and laugh-out-loud novel by Lauren Graham, beloved star of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls, about an aspiring actress trying to make it in mid-nineties New York City.

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three-year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates – Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material – and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job. Continue reading

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