Book Chat - TGWW Reading Challenge February Recap


February went by in a flash! It seemed like I closed my eyes for three seconds and the entire month had already passed me by.

Thankfully, amidst all of the chaos of running a new blog, work, and spending a little time with friends and family, I was still able to carve out time to get through a decent amount of reading!

Here’s a quick look at February’s topics:

4.    A Book About Travel – Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy (Find it on Amazon Here)
5.    A Book You Bought Solely on Cover Design – Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (Find it on Amazon Here)
6.    A Book By a Female Writer – Shrill by Linda West (Find it on Amazon Here)

First off, any book that has Florence in the title is right up my alley. After studying abroad in Florence during college, I am unashamed to admit I’ll buy just about anything that can transport me back to Firenze in some way.  

This isn’t meant to be a travel guide, but I would seriously recommend it for anyone planning to see Florence.

McCarthy’s essays carry you through Florence’s rich and turbulent history and it’s cast of towering historical figures like Dante, Raphael and Botticelli.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking...But I can guarantee this isn’t a dry historical text.

It reads like a love letter to Florence, even from page one.

Now, I will admit that McCarthy spends a lot of time...and I do mean a lot...focusing on art. Too much for my liking, but I was so captivated by her descriptions of the Uffizi, and other local museums, that it didn’t stop me from devouring this book in two days.

Truth is, I loved this book. It was highly literate, engaging, had flowing prose, and a sense of humor. What’s not to love?

This book has me…...feeling some kinda way about something.

Perplexed is the best thing I have to describe it.  

I really liked the quirky attributes of this book, but I can't say that I enjoyed it in the same way I would enjoy most stories. Because it isn't most stories.

What I do know is that John Darnielle’s Wolf in White Van is a masterpiece of stream of consciousness. It tells the tragic, unnerving tale of a disfigured teenager without being your average story of a disenfranchised alienated teenager.   

It's more like a  ballad to the weirdoes and dreamers.

It was lyrical, interesting, disorienting, difficult, dark, light, depressing, uplifting, dangerous, benign and sometimes painfully unorganized.

Yet, I still can’t walk away from this book saying that I hated it.

This book drags you into the darkest recesses of teenage angst and forces you to feel it all through the numbness. The writing is a beautiful portrait of the agony of adolescence that has a kind of dream-like quality to it.

Somehow it manages to perfectly capture the unreliability of memory as well as to mourn the possibilities of the life our character lost in one pivotal moment. Really sad but very beautiful. This book hooked me because it puts you right there with the memories and emotions of the main character, especially because the story is told in a strange reverse-type way.

In a strange way, is one of those novels that I just want to throw at people and yell "read!" without giving them any context or explanation.

Say hello to the pro-body, self love, feminist memoir/essay collection of my dreams.

This book is incredible.

That’s not just my opinion. It’s a fact.

This book made me laugh out loud, sob like a baby, cheer out loud, and contemplate my entire existence all in a few hundred pages. Everyone should read this. Women and Men alike.

I think this is one of the most honest and refreshing books about women and feminism I've read in a long time. One of the impressive things about Lindy West's writing is her ability to express her anger about difficult subjects while maintaining a reasonable and, more often than not, consistently funny tone.

She writes about life as a fat woman, as a feminist, as a shy kid, about periods, with so much truth and just the perfect twist of humor. Lindy addresses the blatant sexism and misogyny that runs rampant in stand up comedy. Lindy's crusade against the comedy industry's usage of rape jokes is so so admirable.

You want Lindy West in your corner, and I'm so glad that as a woman we have her in ours.

If you want to read someone that makes you think about intersectionality, what feminism can do better, what American culture has done to our thought processes -- read now, read now.


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