Source: Purchased

In Which I Freak Out About the Harry Potter Parallels in Jane Eyre

Posted October 5, 2015 in Reviews / 19 Comments
In Which I Freak Out About the Harry Potter Parallels in Jane Eyre

In the 16 years since I first cracked open a Harry Potter book, I’ve seen the series compared to Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, The Bible, Star Wars, and numerous other cultural touchstones. As an avid Potter fan (with the tattoo to prove it), I thought I had a pretty good handle on J.K. Rowling’s influences. And yet, I recently read a classic to which Harry Potter has startlingly obvious parallels that I’ve never heard anyone talk about. (Even the Harry Potter Influences and […]

Playing Murakami Bingo With South of the Border, West of the Sun

Posted August 14, 2015 in Reviews / 11 Comments
Playing Murakami Bingo With South of the Border, West of the Sun

Aside from J.K. Rowling and Cheryl Strayed, Haruki Murakami is the main author I turn to when I need a comfort read. There’s something quiet and soothing about his writing. He often has his characters swim laps, evoking  long, stretched-out strokes and a kind of relaxing repetition. As a (lapsed) swimmer, I get a similar feeling from Murakami’s writing. Starting one of his books always feels like diving in and taking the first few glorious strokes after a long absence from the […]

Reading Judy Blume for the First Time

Posted July 2, 2015 in Reviews / 6 Comments
Reading Judy Blume for the First Time

I somehow made it through adolescence without reading Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, or any other Judy Blume book, for that matter. I caught on pretty quickly to the idea that to be “girly” is to be vapid and shallow and not to be taken seriously, so I basically shunned any book that seemed remotely girly. I was into Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl and Alex Rider and Abhorsen and avoided books set in prep schools like the plague. I probably missed out […]

Two Must-Read Books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Posted May 21, 2015 in Reviews / 10 Comments
Two Must-Read Books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sometimes when a book gets tons of hype, it can fall short of expectations. But other times, a two-year hype train can lead to finding a new favorite author. Happily, the latter was the case when I finally read the writing of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie last month. Americanah has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf for its beautiful writing and keen observations, and I’m trying to find a spot in my apartment to display We Should All Be Feminists that will encourage […]

Book Review: Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Posted May 9, 2015 in Reviews / 4 Comments
Book Review: Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine’s collection of prose and poetry, catalogues the microaggressions and blatant racism black Americans face on a daily basis. From things as seemingly small as being called the name of a different black person to incidents as awful as being reported to the police as a suspicious figure in an affluent neighborhood, these moments build up to a constant hum of “Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just […]

Book Review: Flappers by Judith Mackrell (#JazzAgeJan)

Posted January 29, 2015 in Reviews / 7 Comments
Book Review: Flappers by Judith Mackrell (#JazzAgeJan)

The 1920s were a decade of massive social change. Prosperity and excess abounded in the wake of WWI, jazz swung into popularity, and new attitudes about art and sex were on the rise. Amid this atmosphere of adventure, the flapper was born. She wore provocative clothing, attended wild parties, challenged social norms, and was sexually liberated. Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell shines a light on the lives of six women who defined the Roaring Twenties: Diana […]

A Love Letter to The Great Gatsby (#JazzAgeJan)

Posted January 21, 2015 in Reviews / 12 Comments
A Love Letter to The Great Gatsby (#JazzAgeJan)

My dearest Gatsby, I just can’t get enough of you. We’ve had four exquisite trysts, each one better than the last. We first met when I was a pretentious college sophomore who thought reading the modern classics would make me ‘interesting’ and an ‘intellectual.’ I wasn’t quite ready for a relationship with you, though, and I returned you to the library without a backward glance. Two years later I came crawling back after a lit. class renewed my interest — and […]

Why Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Let Me Down (BookTube)

Posted October 30, 2014 in Reviews / 25 Comments
Why Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Let Me Down (BookTube)

Hello booklings! Today I’m stepping SUPER far outside my comfort zone and sharing a video review! This is my first venture into BookTube (besides my woefully embarrassing video about the blog planner I created), so please be kind! In this video, I discuss my reaction to reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the first time. For those of you who don’t like watching videos (or you can’t withstand my pitiful attempt at speaking into a webcam), I’ve summed up my thoughts below. […]

Book Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Posted October 25, 2014 in Reviews / 14 Comments
Book Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

In my mission to read more diversely this year, I have been trying to branch out and include graphic novels in my regular reading. I have *mostly* failed to do this. I loved my first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, but I haven’t read any more since then. I finally picked up Fun Home for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon, knowing I would need a book with pictures to give my eyes a break. I’m so glad I did. […]

Not That Kind of Girl: An Important Step in the Right Direction

Posted October 9, 2014 in Reviews / 10 Comments
Not That Kind of Girl: An Important Step in the Right Direction

At just 28 years old, Lena Dunham has written and directed two feature-length films and created, written, and starred in her own HBO show, the critically acclaimed Girls. She has been nominated for eight Emmy Awards, has won two Golden Globes, and was the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America award for directional achievement in comedy. When her $3.7 million deal for an advice book was announced in Oct. 2012, there was a huge backlash; apparently, Dunham is too young, […]