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review 2017-10-30 20:48
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay

I read this book shortly after Sherman Alexie’s You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, and the two have a lot in common. Like Alexie’s book, this one is emotionally raw and intense, and deals with very personal subjects; it is full of the author’s feelings about her life, but not quite the story of her life, conspicuously omitting some elements while baring her soul about others; whether to counteract the intensity of its subject matter or due to the author’s trauma, it is made up of a large number of short chapters; and as a result, it’s addictive reading that I finished much more quickly than I expected. Perhaps predictably, I liked this book better than Alexie’s, because it’s mostly chronological and contains no poems and is generally focused. Hunger may be best described as Roxane Gay’s reflection on her life through the lens of her size – she’s extremely overweight, though not as much as she used to be. The story of her life that emerges is bare-bones for a memoir and full of gaps and vagueness, but the account of her emotions and of living in the world in a body of her size holds back very little.

As Gay warns readers early on, this isn’t a triumphant or how-to sort of book about weight. But for readers who haven’t personally dealt with obesity, there are a couple of major takeaways. One is that most people probably haven’t reached “morbid obesity” simply by being self-indulgent or ignorant about healthy choices; for Gay, her initial overeating and her fear of losing weight are intimately bound up with a terrible childhood trauma, and this seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

The other is that being far larger than the average person complicates almost every aspect of one’s life. Some of it is constant family and social judgment and pressure to lose weight, and societal messaging that obese people are worthless. Apparently there are people out there who can’t resist taking food out of others’ shopping carts as if this is somehow going to solve anyone’s problems. Some of it is simple physical consequences, like moving more slowly than others and being in pain much of the time. And some of it is the way physical spaces aren’t set up to accommodate people of Gay’s size: she writes about having constant bruises on her legs from chair arms, about being unable to climb up on the stage unassisted at a speaking event, and about having a difficult time finding clothes to fit her (and then not feeling like she’s permitted to wear colorful or attractive clothes).

I think some people have the impression, perhaps unconsciously, that extremely overweight people don’t realize their weight is a problem (because if they did they’d have lost it already) and that if we don’t point it out and punish them for it, they won’t fix it. But of course the absurdity is clear: we live in a weight-obsessed culture, where someone like Gay has to brace herself for harassment or humiliation every day; treating people poorly won’t help anything. This book walks a fine line in its discussions of body image and health, and in my judgment it’s successful. Gay hardly trumpets her weight as an ideal, but she still sees loving her body as a valid goal, and calls out the medical establishment’s over-obsession with weight. When she comes in with strep throat, focusing on her obesity isn’t helpful – and many people (doctors and otherwise) hide simple social judgment behind purported “health” concerns over conditions she doesn’t actually have.

So, this is a great book to read for improving understanding and hopefully sensitivity toward others. It’s also well-written and a quick read. I’m a facts-driven kind of gal and would have liked it better if we’d learned more detail about the author’s life, but that clearly isn’t the focus of this particular book. Nevertheless, I recommend it.

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review 2017-10-13 16:36
Body armor
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay

Today I'm going to attempt to form some coherent thoughts about my experience reading Roxane Gay's newest book entitled Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Some of you might have already had this book on your radar because of the huge amount of press that it got right after its release. This is an extremely personal account of Roxane's experiences as an obese woman in our society (which is obsessed with being skinny as you know). However, it's less a commentary on that than a self-exploration of her relationship with food and her body. You might recognize Gay's name from my review of her frank assessment of feminism and how she identifies herself (not just as a feminist but all-around human). I thought that she had pushed the envelope with her openness and willingness to 'go there' with that book but reading Hunger was a whole new experience. For one thing, this isn't a book about the trials and tribulations of being overweight in America and how she's planning on using this book as a tool to get her life back on track. No, this is a cathartic exercise in purging some of the darkness that she has had buried inside for too long. (I'm trying to not give away too much because her writing of the events of her life is kinda the whole point of the book.) This book will make you rethink the way that you look at your own body and how you make assumptions about other people based on their bodies. It is not meant to be preachy or shaming. It's one woman opening up about a horrific experience in her life and how that changed her forever. I think this is the kind of book that everyone should read because it opens your eyes to yourself, to others, and makes you think. 9/10 definitely recommend

 

What's Up Next: The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation by Randall Fuller

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-09-28 00:00
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay This book really spoke to me. It's a great book for the overweight and the slim. It tells a lot from a POV of how hard some situations are when you're bigger, not just the emotional aspect but actually, some things like chair arms can be hell. She lays so many things out there that most of us tend to stay quiet about. It's powerful speaking the truth.
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review 2017-08-24 04:25
Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Black Panther: World of Wakanda Vol. 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Roxane Gay,Yona Harvey,Alitha Martinez,Afua Richardson

When I first started the Black Panther run by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje quickly became the best part of the series for me. So to get a book with a large focus on the two of them was a great surprise. The fact that Roxane Gay wrote this made it even better.

 

World of Wakanda put the focus on several members of the Dora Milaje from new recruits to veterans as they trained, warded off attacks on Wakanda, and slowly began to question Black Panther and whether he truly was putting Wakanda's interests first. There was a lot of inner conflict for the characters to deal with, and I loved seeing each of them struggle to figure out how to honor their oaths while still doing what they thought was right.

 

And I just really love Ayo and Aneka. It was nice seeing the start of their relationship and its progression. This book gave me better context for what they're doing and why in the Black Panther series. I now want another book or two (or more) of their adventures.

 

The only part I didn't like of this book was the very last issue which switched to a story about White Tiger. While I'm sure I've read stuff with White Tiger in it, I didn't remember much about him beyond that he existed, so it didn't help that his story kept referencing things in his past that I wasn't familiar with. This issue read more like a generic superhero story that was completely different from the previous issues. It just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

 

Despite the last issue, World of Wakanda was excellent. It gave a closer look at some of the most fascinating characters from the Black Panther series and made me want more of them.

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text 2017-08-01 14:32
July 2017 Books Read
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body - Roxane Gay
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

Image result for fireworks gif

 

I honestly did not get a chance to read that many books. I had a lot of work commitments and not too many things spoke to me. 

 

I read 27 books for the month of July. One of those was a DNF though. I have to start setting aside books I don't enjoy. It's kind of a pain to force read something that you are feeling meh about. 

 

 

5 stars

 

The I-5 Killer by Ann RuleThe Changeling by Victor LaValleHunger by Roxane GayThe Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

City of Bones by Michael ConnellyWatership Down by Richard AdamsBad Feminist by Roxane Gay

 

4 stars

 

Rivers of London by Ben AaronovitchHungry Heart by Jennifer WeinerThe Kill Room by Jeffery DeaverAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggThe Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy TanWTF by Cathy YardleyThe Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

 

3 stars

 

Lowcountry Bonfire by Susan M. BoyerThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison AllenMaeve's Times by Maeve BinchyThe Dark Tower by Robin Furth

 

2 stars

 

Buns by Alice ClaytonThe Skin Collector by Jeffery DeaverDescent by Tim JohnstonThe Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver

Sons by Pearl S. Buck

 

1 star

 

Once and for All by Sarah DessenFifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

 

DNF

 

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

 

I have to say my favorite book was by far Roxane Gay's "Hunger". My least favorite had to be E.L. James, "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

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