Again, thankful for my weird penchant for listing things. This time, instead of a handwritten journal, it’s a technological help, a little website called Goodreads.
Today’s reflection was Best Book of 2017, so I looked up the list of books I’ve read this year (already beat my goal of reading 36 this year), and I had just two that earned 5-star ratings. They’re quite different, but upon reflection, I still stand by the ratings I gave them.
Book 1: Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
I was utterly charmed and delighted by this book. From the puffin to the Star Wars wedding, it was quirky and heartfelt, deeply sad and triumphantly idyllic. I could relate very much to Polly and found her ups and downs to feel very honest. The dialogue was great, and the kinship between her and Kerensa was true. A wonderful read that was hard to pull away from. I’ll probably read this author’s other novels as well.
I’ve only read one other book of hers this year, the underwhelming Bookshop on the Corner. But there’s a Christmas story featuring the Little Beach Street Bakery, so I might pick that one up before the year’s out.
Book 2: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
my review [contains spoiler]:
wow, this book was emotional
not because I’ve had ANY of the same experiences of the characters (not even close, thankfully), but Roxane Gay’s vivid and visceral writing makes it feel like you’re there, like you are Miri, feeling everything she’s feeling
from the kidnapping to the captivity, you were gripped with the fear, the anger, the hopelessness, but what I found even more gripping was the after, the scenes between Miri and Lorraine made me weep with their gentleness, their understanding, their beautiful feminine energy
I’m really glad that [SPOILER] Miri and Michael stay together and that it wasn’t easy
I plan to go through all of her books, and I’m glad I started with this one
I first became really aware of Roxane Gay when I saw her at a Feminist as Fuck reading in LA last year. She was a revelation. I have since been following her on Twitter and find her so interesting. I haven’t read anything else by her yet except for some articles. Her writing is a great combination of plain & simple while exploring profound, difficult topics.