29 July 2014

TLC Book Tour: Yannick Murphy, This is the Water

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This is the book.  This is the book that you will read about swim moms, and small towns, and secrets.  This is the book with the mystery killer.  This killer will kill one of the girls on the swim team.  You will wonder through the book who is next.  This isn't the only mystery in the book.  This isn't the only mystery, because there are relationships in this book.  These relationships are complicated and sometimes scandalous, and these relationships will keep you turning the pages.

This is the style of the book.  This is an approximation of the style of the book in this review. *  At first, this style may drive you crazy.  This style may drive you crazy especially if you are an English teacher who is, perhaps unfairly, predisposed to dislike "you" and sentences that begin with "this is."  You may think that you don't like the book, because this style is driving you crazy.  But then, this style just might begin to grow on you.  And you might realize, this style is propulsive, and it is clever.  This style is clever because it mimics the strokes of a swimmer, and it works because it keeps pace perfectly.  This is a book whose story doesn't work without the style.

In the end, this is a book worth reading.  This is a book unlike other books.  This is the end of the review.  This is a TLC Book Tour, and this is a link to see other reviews.

Title:This is the Water
Author: Yannick Murphy
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Date: 2014
 Genre:Literary Mystery/Fiction

380 pages.
Where I got it: From the publisher and TLC Book Tours

*I say this humbly.  The style of the book is much more effective and sophisticated than the style of this review. 

06 July 2014

June in Review

 * The images above link to my Powell's partner account.  Purchase books here to support my blog.

I read/listened to three books in June.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  MFA Vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction edited by Chad Harbach: I have been toying with the idea of getting an MFA for years.  I have an MA in Literature, and once upon a time had planned on a PhD, but then found full time employment, which is awesome, so now continuing my education is something that is still on the table but without a direct path.  I've also always wanted to be a writer.  Back to the book....I really enjoyed it.  Chad Harbach, editor of n + 1 magazine, has collected essay by young writers and critics discussing the (invented) dichotomy for writers of pursuing an MFA vs. moving to NY to work on their art.  There is a section on the MFA and another on NYC, but also one on teaching and some more theoretical viewpoints on the topic.  I really enjoyed the breadth of the essays, but my favorites were the more personal, and I especially enjoyed Alexander Chee's essay in the MFA section and Emily Gould's in the NYC section.  I think that I will soon be picking up their books, so this collection served as a good introduction to some new writers as well as a primer on America's writing culture.

2014/ n+1/Faber and Faber/ 308 pages/ Bought

2. Jennifer, Gwenyth and Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time by Rachel Bertsche: After reading Bertshe's first book (MWF Seeking BFF), I felt like I had found a kindred writer-spirit.  Reading this book made me feel the same way.  Rachel's first book was about the difficulty of making new friends, in a new place, in your late 20s, as a married person.  When I read it, I was recently married, living in a new place, having difficulty making friends.  This book is ostensibly about the writer trying to feel better in her skin (and her marriage, and her home) by trying to emulate the best parts of various celebrity lives.  However, it is also about her journey starting her family, a journey with many bumps.  Reading Bertsche feels like hanging out with a smart, down-to-earth friend who knows exactly what I am going through.  So, whatever she writes next, I will be reading.

2014/ Ballantine Books/ 258/ eGalley from the publisher and Edelweiss

3. Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss (audiobook):  I don't have a ton to say about this.  I prefer another food writer named Michael (Pollan).  There was a lot of food history in this book, which might really appeal to some readers, just not this one.  I enjoyed the beginning chapter in each section which discussed the appeal of salt, sugar and fat to the human palate.  Those chapters had more of a Mary Roach vibe.  But then, Moss discusses the detailed history of how three major food giants precipitated our addictions to salt, sugar and fat, which are interesting stories, but were rendered in just a little too much detail. I also have done a bit of reading in this area, so I wasn't surprised by the manipulative tactics of the food industry in pursuit of a bigger paycheck.  One fact that did stand out was that very few of the CEOs or COOs from these companies ate the food that they produced, and they weren't afraid to admit it.  Pick this up if you are new to the genre of food expose. 

2013/ Random House Audio/ 14 hours and 34 minutes/ Audible Subscription

I also read the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine this month.  I really enjoyed the work of Jessica Greenbaum and Bob Hicok, among others.

17 June 2014

TTT: Summer TBR

It has been awhile since I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR:

Click to purchase*
10. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald:  This is my current read and my selection for my book club.

9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I loooooove The Secret History and I want to see what the fuss is about with this one.

8. Untamed State by Roxanne Gay:  I started reading this one as a galley, but didn't finish, so I bought a copy.

7.  Save the Date by Jen Doll: Because, fun.

6. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: Another sprawling summer read.

Click to purchase*
5. Various Mexico City guidebooks:  The husband and I are considering a trip this December, so I'm having lots of fun browsing.

4. Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me by Rachel Bertsche: This is my current Iphone read.  I loved Bertsche's MWF Seeking BFF, so I'm on board with this one.

3. The Norton Anthology of Literature: Because, work.

2. Salt, Sugar Fat  by Michael Moss:  This is my current Audible listen, and I'm about halfway done.  I'm cheating and putting it on my list to improve my completion rate.

1. Something that strikes me spontaneously in the moment and which I devour in one sitting. 

How about you?  Do you plan your summer reading, or just let your mood guide you?

*The images in this post are affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of profit from purchases made through them.

11 June 2014

May In Review

May was a pretty decent reading month for me, so I seem to be getting back in the swing of things.  I'm just not really sure what to do with my blog.  I like blogging, but I think that I want to make a few changes.  Starting with, doing monthly review round ups instead of individual book reviews, so, here is the first!

 I read three print books last month:

1. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
2014/Simon and Schuster/Essays and Stories/208 pages/ Bought

This book is a collection of essays and short stories posthumously collected after Yale graduate Marina Keegan died in a car crash soon after her college graduation.  Marina was a talented young writer with a job lined up at the New Yorker, so her teacher, Anne Fadiman, collected and published her work.  The children's librarian at the public library where I volunteer recommended this to me, because I work with college aged writers, and I am glad that she did.  This book was so moving and compelling, and it reminded me why working with young people can be so inspiring.  Marina's words are so hope-filled and optimistic and joyous that it makes her loss all the more tragic.  However, the book isn't about manipulating the emotions of the reader, it is about celebrating a true talent that  didn't have the chance to fully bloom.

2. The Noble Hustle  by Colson Whitehead
2014/Doubleday/ Nonfiction/ 234 pages/ Bought

In this novella length nonfiction piece, Colson Whitehead details his preparation for and participation in the world series of poker.  This book began as a long form piece for Grantland, which I read and loved, so I couldn't wait to pick up this book.  I was a little disappointed, although not by Whitehead's voice.  I think that the book was better as a shorter piece, and there is some detail here that didn't add to the vivid picture that Colson paints of his travels. There were great moments though; in particular, a description of a post-college road trip that Whitehead takes with Darren Aronofsky to Las Vegas.

3. The Martian by Andy Weir
2014/Crown/ Fiction/ 369 pages/Bought

THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD!  I credit it for ending my reading slump, and I feel so lucky to be able to pass it onto a friend to read.  If you haven't heard about it, the book is about a guy who is stuck on Mars, and  also about Nasa's plan to rescue him.  The book has tons of scientific detail which adds to the realism and never once detracts from the excitement of the narrative.  I mean, I don't really have much to say, but READ IT!  It is a delicious beach read, but you will also feel like you know a lot more about space when you finish.

I also listened to two books on Audible:

1. Gulp by Mary Roach
2013/Tantor Audio/ Nonfiction/ 8 hours 21 minutes/ Audible

I love Mary Roach.  Like a lot. Stiff  is my favorite of her books, and this one didn't have what it takes to dethrone it.  This is not to say that I didn't like Gulp.  It made my treadmill running and dish doing filled with interesting facts about things like Elvis's colon and fistulas.  This book, honestly, is a little too gross for me in parts, and my interesting/gross meter was a little off balance.  But, I still dug it.

2. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen Kirkman
 2013/Tantor Audio/ Memoir/ 6 hours 20 minutes/ Audible

Jen Kirkman is a comedian, and this is basically her memoir, which is loosely organized around a discussion of why she doesn't want to have kids.  I am always interested in books about women's decisions to either remain childless or to start a family, which is why I picked this one up.  Kirkman is funny, and some of her anecdotes about her romantic history made me chuckle aloud, but this didn't completely satisfy my desire to read a thoughtful meditation on a decision not to have children.  I can totally understand her annoyance with people who insist that she must want kids somewhere deep down, but her telling of her story is a little one (albeit funny) note.

So that's it!  What did you all read last month?  Any audiobook recs?

P.S. All the images in this post are Powell's Affiliate links.  Click on the picture to buy the book and support The Scarlet Letter. 

09 June 2014

TLC Book Tour: Neil Gaiman's, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Click on the image to buy the book from Powell's
I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.
I don't really think that this book needs my endorsement.  I mean, people love this thing.  And Neil Gaiman is super famous (he thanks Stephen King for, like, hanging out with him on his acknowledgments page).  This is my first time that I have read a prose book by Gaiman.  I read the first few Sandman comics when I was in college, and I loved their twisty-ness, but I was just pretty sure that I wouldn't like the books.  I mean, I really wanted to, because people were sort of like this about them:

But, for me, I'm just not that into magic (magical realism, fantasy worlds, even ghosts, pretty much).  Now, this is only true in books, because I happen to love magic in movies.

In the first forty pages or so of this book, I was still feeling pretty skeptical, because there was definitely some magic.  The style of the book is lovely, and there are great descriptions of quaint and delicious sounding meals that I would love to eat, basically right now.  However, there were also some moments that I just couldn't quite get on board with, not because they didn't work in the narrative, but because they didn't work for the kind of reader that I am.

Then, as I got more into the story, and starting wondering, "Okay, what next?"  I started to like the book.  I didn't love it, but I liked it.  I appreciate Gaiman's imagination, and his sense of what it is like to be a child, and how that is different from what it is like to be an adult.  And, in this book, what he is able to do, is inspire the childlike in the adult reader.  And it is kind of awesomely dark, and although I don't like magic, I do like dark...

And the quote above sort of sums up that delicious darkness that I so loved in movies like The Dark Crystal when I was a kid.  And this book, as well as being about a man who revisits a very strange episode in his childhood, is just about what it is to be a child and to court the darkness that we grow even more afraid of as we grow up.  Even though it isn't exactly my cup of tea, I can appreciate Neil Gaiman's talents, a I will most likely revisit his strange worlds again.

Title:The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher:William Morrow
Date: 2013
Genre:Literary Fiction

178 pages.
Where I got it: the awesome TLC Book Tours - click the link to visit the other blogs on the tour

04 May 2014

The Dissapointment of Endings: Why I Won't Soon Forget Hanya Yanagihara's The People in the Trees

Click on the image to purchase the book from Powell's.
Oh god, I thought, can nothing in this jungle behave as it ought? Must fruits move and trees breathe and freshwater rivers taste of the ocean? Why must nothing obey the laws of nature? Why must everything point so heavily toward the existence of enchantment?
This is the best book that I have read this year.  It is the kind of book that made me wish that I was the author, that I could craft the carefully worded sentences, that I could bring a jungle to life with colorful images.  I wanted to live in her sentences, to eat them, to breathe them.  This is, by the way, the same way that I feel about Nabokov's Lolita, a book that is close kin with this one.  If Yanagihara wasn't such a seductress with her language, it would be impossible to spend nearly 400 pages with her narrator, Dr. Norton Perina.

Yanagihara is a travel writer, which isn't a surprise,  since she so effortlessly transports her readers to the fictional island nation of U'ivu.  Her book within a book, is a fictional memoir of Norton Perina, M.D., and his travels on an anthropological expedition to the uncharted island of Ivu Ivu, somewhere in the Pacific.  Perina is a young doctor, with little experience, who goes to the island with no inkling that he will make one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time:  a turtle that, when eaten, prolongs life indefinitely (although not without consequences).   There are several documents near the beginning of the book that let the reader know that this is not just an scientific adventure story.  We know from page one, and from Ron Kubodera (fictional editor and confidant to Perina) that our hero, our great adventurer, is behind bars for child sexual abuse, inflicted on one or more of the many children that he adopted while exploring the islands. 

And so Norton is, in the style of Humbert Humbert, a classically unreliable narrator.  And although the narrative is structured with the discovery of the Opa'ivu'eke (the magical turtle),at its center, the real heart of darkness in the book, the mystery of Norton's crime, is not revealed until the very end.  This harkens to my title for this post, because what we find at the end (which I won't spoil, if that is the appropriate term here) is what the careful reader always already knows, but perhaps wishes to disavow.  Because of Yanagihara's incredible talent,  her world, which is rotten at its core with tragedy ever lurking, comes alive and sparkles with beauty; the looking glass of Norton's distorted perspective did make believe in the "existence of enchantment." I can't wait to see what this incredible talent does next.

Title:The People in the Trees
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Date: 2013
Genre:Literary Fiction

366 pages.
Where I got it: the library

01 May 2014

TLC Book Tour: Kodi Scheer, Incendiary Girls

Click on the image to buy the book from Powell's
I spent the morning today in a very strange world.  It was a world filled with humans who become animals, with religious conversions, with rare diseases, with hallucinations and with strange journeys.  It was a very physical world, filled with smells and tastes, and lots and lots of bodily fluids.  It was also a metaphorical world, a world of the uncanny, where things that seem very strange turn out to be standing in for something very familiar.  It was a thoughtful world, full of people concerned with big questions about difference, and looking for definitions for themselves and for solutions to the great mysteries of life.  There are lots of hospitals in this world, dead bodies, medical students, and, of course, horses.

I'm pretty sure that this is the world inside Kody Scheer's head, and what can be found in her collection of short stories Incendiary Girls.  I suppose that you could call most of the stories in the collection "magical realism," but to me they were just metaphors for some of the most difficult depths of human experience.  For instance, in the story "When a Camel Breaks Your Heart" the protagonist awakens to find that her boyfriend has turned into a camel, but through the careful reveal of the story, we realize that he was a "camel" all along, even if being a camel doesn't mean exactly what we think it does.  A similar thing happens in many of the stories, like in "Primal Son" when a baby boy is born covered in thick fur, or in "No Monsters Here" when a young mother finds her husband's ear in her clothes hamper. 

Scheer's head is an uncomfortable place to be, because her stories ask us difficult questions about how we see ourselves and others.  But there is also magic in her prose, and I was touched by many of her stories.  Although I'm not usually a fan of so-called "magical realism,"  I was happy to visit this strange dreamscape for a little while, even in the moments when it was tinged with nightmare.

Title:Incendiary Girls
Author: Kodi Scheer
Publisher:New Harvest
Date: 2014
 Genre:Short Stories

189 pages.
Where I got it: From the publisher and TLC Book Tours.  Please visit the other blogs on this tour here.

15 April 2014

TLC Book Tour: Laura Kasischke, Mind of Winter

She woke up late that morning, and knew: Something had followed them home from Russia.
Those are the first lines of this psychological thriller by Larua Kasischke, author of The Raising.  The main character of the novel is Holly Judge, a woman who, because of her genetic predisposition to aggressive reproductive cancer, has adopted a baby from Siberia.  Her beautiful daughter, Tatty, is now fifteen years old, and on Christmas morning, as soon as Holly wakes up, she realizes that something is not right.  In fact, it is possible that something has always been wrong.  Her husband rushes off to pick up his parents from the airport, and leaves Holly and Tatty alone as snow begins to fall and soon turns to a blizzard and plans for Christmas dinner are cancelled. Mother and daughter are trapped in the house together, and Tatty's behavior is growing stranger by the moment.

This book scared the pants off me. Like, if I was home alone, reading this at night, I would get scared and have trouble sleeping.  Like this was me:

Kasischke creates so much tension, and the atmosphere of the book is just so creepy; it is a thrilling thriller for sure.

There are a lot of flashbacks to when Holly and her husband go to Siberia to adopt Tatty, and the reader spends a lot of time inside our narrator's head.  All of this makes you feel like you know Holly, which makes the ending even more of a surprise, and it is a surprise, a true twist ending:

If you are looking for a good, stay awake at night psychological thriller, this is your book.  I won't be thinking about it for weeks to come, but I was definitely thinking about it while I was reading.

Title:Mind of Winter
Author: Laura Kasischke
Publisher:Harper Collins
Date: 2014
 Genre:Psychological Thriller

276 pages.
Where I got it: From the publisher and TLC Book Tours.  Please visit the other blogs on this tour here.

09 April 2014

My Reading Life: The Mirror in the Book

In an essay called "Good Readers and Good Writers," Vladimir Nabokov, somewhat pompously, claims that "the worst thing a reader can do" is "identify himself with a character in [a] book.  This is not the kind of imagination that I would like readers to use."  While I love Nabokov, and even the rest of this particular essay, I can't imagine that I would have become the reader that I am today without identifying with so many characters in so many books. In fact, these characters are such a part of me, that I find myself in a bit of a chicken/egg situation.  Which came first: who I was, or the characters that I became?

First it was Harriet the Spy and Matilda, quiet, bookish types like me that ended up going on great adventures or having magnificent abilities. How many young introverts carried notebooks and collected observations, attempting to solve mysteries just like Harriet? And for how many of us were those the sparks of our future careers as writers and readers- professional collectors of details and solvers of problems? 

Then there were the Boxcar children, that rag tag group of self-sufficient orphans who inspired me on many a night to pack a couple of shirts in a hankercheif tied to a walking stick, and to "run away" to the woods behind my house for several hours.  And I'll never forget the way that I saw every closet differently after reading The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, or the way that I saw the whole world differently after my first forays into science fiction with Madeline L'Engle.  But those adventurous new worlds couldn't replace the pleasure of recognition that I found amongst the girls in the Babysitter's Club- perhaps my longest love affair- who each had a different characteristic that I wanted for my own:  Kristy's spunk, Claudia's artistic skills and Stacey's fashion sense.  But mostly there was Mary Anne, who was so much like me, I felt like I was looking at myself, finally, in the mirror on the pages of those stories that I loved.

Then in my teenage years I looked to the manic pixie dream girls in Francesca Lia Block's early YA novels to see the self that I had become.  I was the girl that didn't quite fit in on purpose; I was a little chubby, wore blue lipstick, cut my hair short and dyed it with Manic Panic.  But in those books, I saw people like me, who also wouldn't have fit in walking the hallways of my small town high school.

There are so many other specific moments growing up and into adulthood when I found myself in books, and when identifying with characters made me feel less alone. There are even books, like the Great Gatsby, that only get better and better as I understand more fully what their characters are experiencing- the ennui of the time that stretches between youth and adulthood- and I see my emotions, if not my life, in Nick Carraway's.   As someone who struggles, sometimes intensely, with anxiety, I am so grateful that other people have expressed similar struggles on paper and that I can read them when I feel like no could ever possibly understand me.

When I went to graduate school, I started to see the writer that I wanted to be in the theorists and novelists that I was reading.  But I never would have gotten there if I hadn't started by wanting to become, or by already being, those bookish types in the books from my childhood.  As I teacher, I see all the time students who don't know yet exactly where they are going, and I am grateful that I always had books to show me the way, to show me who I was and who I wanted to be. My greatest wish is that some of my students will see themselves in the books that I assign, so that reading might become meaningful, and might open up other worlds and possibilities.  So, to come back to where I began, with Vladimir Nabokov, maybe it is a bad reader who reads only for the pleasures of identification, but perhaps the good reader starts from there, and then she builds her own future.

02 April 2014

Fact or Fiction: Sheila Heti's, How Should a Person Be, Alexis Smith's, Glaciers and a Couple of Memoirs of Mental Illness

It has been a while since I have posted about more than one book that I've recently read, connected by a tenuous thread (see other examples HERE and HERE). Reading Sheila Heti's book sandwiched in between Agorafabulous and Hyperbole and a Half inspired me to do it again though. Sheila Heti's book has been both critically adored and much maligned, and I would say that my reaction to it was somewhere in the middle.  The book is about a young woman character, named Sheila, who is trying to get her life started after college, but seems stuck in a group of friends, in a scene, in her life, which like the play that she is writing, seems to be going nowhere. Heti's voice is the highlight of the book.  She is funny and quirky in a way that is a little less twee than some other millenial art-novelists.  The character Sheila's ramblings about how people should be, or what art means, sound just like the ramblings of a twenty-something artist who both doesn't know what she is talking about, but is as sure as she ever will be that she knows exactly what she is talking about.  And then there are moments that give the reader pause like this one:

For so long I had been looking hard intro every person I met, hoping I might discover in them all the thoughts and feelings I hoped life would give me, but hadn't. There are some people who say you have to find such things in yourself, that you cannot count on anyone to supply even the smallest crumb that your life lacks.
 Although I knew this might be true, it didn't prevent me from looking anyway. Who cares what people say? What people say has no effect on your heart.
Something about certain passages in the book struck me as so honestly what it feels like to be half grownup, living in the place of privilege and almost oppressive freedom that Sheila comes from.  She wants to reject conventional wisdom, but in its place has only feelings and longings.  And she has her friendship with Margaux, a fraught female relationship that unveils to the reader the depth of Sheila's selfishness.

I liked the book, if only because of what it had to say about the place from which art so often comes.  Sheila is trying to write a play in the book, but the uneventful nature of her life prevents her from making compelling art. And maybe that is how we come to art, like How Can a Person Be?, which is not compelling on the surface, but underneath really has something to say about itself and about the process of making art. So much art being made today comes from this place.

During and directly after the time that I was reading Heti, I was reading memoirs by two other young, female writers: Sara Benincasa's, Agorafabulous! Dispactches from My Bedroom and Allie Brosh's, Hyperbole and a Half.  Both of these books are, at least partially, about their authors' struggles with mental illness.  Benincasa has suffered from debilitating agoraphobia, the onset of which occurs fairly suddenly when the author is in college and finds herself unable to leave her apartment.  Allie Brosh experiences serious bouts of depression, which she writes/draws about poignantly and also hilariously.  In fact, despite the sometimes seriousness of much of their subject matter (although Brosh does have lots of sections in the book about her dogs, which are not so serious), both writers approach their stories with humor.  I laughed out loud at both books.  Both women take the raw material of their lives, and become storytellers, without the pretense of the meta narrative in Heti.  And although I have always been the reader that appreciates difficulty and books that demand analysis, reading these two women, whose experiences so resonated with some of my own, I cannot deny the pleasures of identification.  And even though I could also see myself in Sheila, there were so many moments where I wanted to strip away all the words in between us, and to get to the heart of the matter: the struggle against loneliness when all you think about is yourself, the struggle to make art with so little raw material, and the desire to know everything, but to not be able to hold it because evrything is just so big and your life is just so small.

And this brings me to Glaciers by Alexis Smith, a novella sized book about another young woman.  This one is called Isabel, and she lives in Portland, and she loves old things that once belonged to other people, and she wants to go to Amsterdam, but thinks she probably never will.  On the back of the book jacket, Karen Russell claims that the book is "filled with kaleidoscopic pleasures."  This description of the book is better than the book itself.  The atmosphere of the book was totally reminiscent, for me, of the movie Garden State (a movie I happen to still love).  It is not without its "kaleidoscopic pleasures."  Not far into the first chapter I realized that how I would get the most out of the book, is if I just let its language wash over me, the images like ocean waves.  Alexis Smith is a wordsmith, a poet, but the tiny book is without a beating heart.  What is meant to be the heart perhaps, is the relationship between the book's subject (Isabel) and young soldier with whom she works, who she has a crush on, and who is called to return to duty.  As he leaves, we get this passage:

She has questions. For example: Can soldiers check their e-mail? Do they still receive packages from old ladies with notes of encouragement and hand-knit scarves? If I sent him a pair of my panties could he trade them for booze and M&M's?

And it feels like something Sheila the character might have written.  And the older I get ,the more I need my books to have both head and heart.

Title:How Should a Person Be?
Author: Sheila Heti
Publisher:Henry Holt and Company
Date: 2012
 Genre:Literary Fiction

306 pages.
Where I got it: Bought it.

Title:Agorafabulous! Dispatches from my Bedroom
Author: Sara Benincasa
Publisher:William Morrow
Date: 2012 Genre:Memoir

252 pages.
Where I got it: Bought it.

Title:Hyperbole and a Half: unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened.
Author: Allie Brosh
Publisher:Simon and Schuster
Date: 2013
Genre:Graphic Memoir

369 pages.
Where I got it: Bought it.

Author: Alexis Smith
Publisher:Tin House
Date: 2012
Genre:Literary Fiction

174 pages.
Where I got it: Bought it.

*I am a Powell's partner, and the images above are affiliate links.  If you click them and purchase a book, I will receive a small percentage of the payment to help support my reading habits:)

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