Category Archives: Books

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

In her bold autobiography An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison details her struggle with bipolar disorder in the midst of her career as a clinical psychologist. First published in 1994, this book highlights Jamison’s bravery: with such a prestigious academic position and a CV full of work related to manic-depressive disorder, she risked her reputation and her ethos by writing this wonderful, heart-wrenching volume. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Gives Light by Rose Christo

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

I have so many feelings about this book.

To summarize my emotional experience with Gives Light, I want to post a picture of me clutching my chest while lying on the bathroom floor in fetal position. Instead, I will try to dissect why I love this fabulous novel by Rose Christo. Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

In Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy deconstructs the idea that sex always empowers women. She argues that the sexualization of women sets them back in terms of equality and that they only hurt themselves by using their bodies as bargaining chips. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll divide my review into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: Levy creates a compelling argument against overt female exhibitionism and sexuality. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes – how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence. It infuriated me to remember that not too long ago I – like this boy – had foolishly played the clown.

And I had almost forgotten.

It’s been a long time since a book has sucker punched me in the stomach both intellectually and emotionally. Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

In an earlier review I wrote that George R. R. Martin writes in waves. Through his characters, he creates currents that culminate into a tsunami of rage and retribution. Hundreds of pages spent describing his characters’ mundane actions contribute to the development of their story arcs, and each detail adds to the climaxes of his books. However, this did not happen in A Dance with Dragons – for at least half of the book, I felt that I was knee deep in random, unidentifiable water, reading page after page of unnecessary information. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

5/5 stars.

I first fanboy squealed on page 11, when Judith Lewis Herman created a connection between mental illness and feminism, two of my favorite topics. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

My professor introduced this novel by saying “Tess will change your life… but not in a good way.” Without a doubt, it has made me question the universe and all who inhabit it. My hatred of the patriarchy (aka Alec D’Urberville and Angel Clare) still shines like the sun in the middle of a hot summer day, but Tess of the D’Urbervilles has filled me with a cold, dark despair over the injustice of existence. As if a college English major didn’t already have to dwell on that.

One day Tess Durbeyfield learns that she actually descends from the noble D’Urberville family. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Panic: a game played by graduating seniors in the dead-end town of Carp, where all contestants must face their worst fears – and each other. Heather never thought she would participate in Panic, but when her broken heart finds a new cause to fight for, she readies herself for the ride of her life. Dodge, on the other hand, does not feel scared of Panic; he wants revenge, and that thirst will drive him throughout the game. Amidst the near-death experiences thrust upon them by the judges of Panic, both Heather and Dodge will discover new things about themselves, each other, and those around them. Even though Panic entails a cash prize, every contestant, including Heather and Dodge, wants something more.

Panic possesses a compelling concept and an enticing book jacket, but I found the content lacking. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

At this point I’ve learned that George R.R. Martin writes in waves. Even though this probably isn’t how real science works, I visualize his plot structure as a giant tsunami: he adds little oscillatory currents that contribute to a huge tidal wave, which eventually crashes down and drowns us all in the most beautiful and devastating way. Though this might sound like how all books function – with a rising action leading up to a climax – Martin spends so much time developing and honing the rising action of his story that the inevitable climax calls for a great deal of praise.

Like A Clash of Kings, A Feast for Crows serves as the buildup of the tsunami. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Bird by Bird is my new bible. Not just for writing, but for life – it is my favorite work of nonfiction so far. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books