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review 2017-11-20 13:27
The evil that men (and women) do
Rose West: The Making of a Monster - Jane Carter Woodrow

Absorbing and sickening in equal amounts this biography and evaluation of the life of notorious killer Rose West is essential reading for anyone interested into the thinking and deranged mind of serial killers. The early years of Fred and Rose is a harrowing tale of constant physical and sexual abuse in a world where there were few if any boundaries. What goes around comes around is the central theme and children will often imitate the teachings of parents whether that be good or bad. If the young are witness to and the object of incest, beatings, and even murder it is not surprising that they may choose to adopt this way of life as some code of practice. However no amount of bad upbringing can excuse the crimes committed by Fred West and Rose Letts. Crimes that spanned a period of some 25 years and never once did anyone suspect what this lovely chatty couple at 25 Cromwell Street were involved in behind closed doors. It was only after a flippant remark made by the younger West children when in care..."their father had joked that he'd put them under the patio like their big sister"...that social workers and finally the police in the guise of DC Hazel Savage demanded entry to Cromwell Street where the lives, deaths and torture of so many innocents was soon to be discovered under the patio.


This was never an easy read and yet once started I found it impossible not to finish so fascinated and shocked was I by the content, simply astounded by the evil that man or woman can perform and see as normal or accepted. The whole experience is best summed up in a quote from the early chapters...."I think the human race is pretty rotten. The more I see of it, the more rotten it becomes."...

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review 2017-11-18 23:45
One Woman's Voice - Shrill
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman - Lindy West



This was such a great book! I can see why it won on Goodreads last year. I wish I had heard of West before cause her writing speaks to me.

Told in a semi-chronological way, West's "Shrill" goes into her childhood through her adult years taking a hard look at herself and those around her for seeing her as less than cause she was "fat". I use that word cause West does in this memoir. She makes no apologies for her size which I loved.


West touches upon her professional career writing for publications like Jezebel as well as internet trolls as well.


I honestly don't get why anyone in the world has no problem just being nasty to someone cause their fat. But shit, we got people who don't think POC should be treated the same way as whites. That's to say in my own way, y'all are broken and I'm tired of the world making excuses for you and ignoring those you hate and ridicule.


West also touches about Hillary Clinton and Trump at the beginning of this book (she wrote the introduction two weeks after the 2016 US Presidential Election) and mentions how Hillary's voice was mocked and how "shrill" is often thrown at women who dare to reach above their station.


Well West loops this back into internet trolling and what do we do when we elect an internet troll as President.


My favorite passages dealt with West's no nonsense mom. Her dismay at periods. And her sadness at watching her father die.

I also had no idea West was part of the stand up comic circle through MCing some shows. She mentions Patton Oswalt and others. Can I say how grossed out and dismayed I was at West recounting the horrible crap said to and about her when she came out against those defending Daniel Tosh for his rape jokes. West also goes into debating Jim Norton on Totally Biased about rape jokes in comedy.


Can I ask something here? What the hell is so funny about rape jokes? Cause I don't get those. I have been at comedy shows before and have laughed zero times. Doesn't matter if the comic is male or female and or telling a story about how they "raped" someone wink wink nudge nudge.


The internet trolling sections had me upset. The amount of crap sent West's way was disgusting. Recounting a story of how an internet troll, found out about her, her recently dead father, and used his account to screw with her was awful. She forgave. She's better than me, my family motto is "God forgives, we don't forget".


I also at times want to quit Twitter. I did for a while the other day but popped back in since I have so many authors and friends I met on online communities there. But I can see why West finally quit. The harassment against women is awful. See Gamergate, Leslie Jones, any woman anywhere having an opinion a man doesn't like, etc. Gamergate was eye opening to me. People we're doxxing, swatting, and threatening to murder and rape women and people would shrug and go free speech and grow a thicker skin. West's passages clue you in why this is wrong and just messed up to expect a victim to just get over it.


I thought the writing was very good and flow smooth. I cracked up a few times out loud and had to explain while I was at the hair dresser what was I reading that was so funny. I read some passages out loud.


Dear Lindy West, a bunch of black women in Alexandria, VA totally concur with your opinions about periods.


The setting jumps around in this from her growing up in Seattle to LA and I think back to Seattle. West doesn't really give descriptions of places much, but the things she says resonates.


A very good memoir that doesn't hold back on punching you in the gut and also making you cry. I'm so seeking out her posts at Jezebel and elsewhere.

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text 2017-11-18 23:11
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman - Lindy West

Lindy West gets all the stars!


Review to follow.

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text 2017-11-18 21:16
Reading progress update: I've read 80%.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman - Lindy West

How in the world did I never heard of Lindy West before?


How come nobody told me about her?


How come nobody told me about how brilliant, funny, and savvy she is?


Just reading her memoir about her writing, comedy, and how it is to be a larger woman in the world that just seems to loathe people who are above a size 0, I just have to say Ms. West, I applaud you.


And now I'm side eyeing a lot of so-called allies with her remarks about the whole why can't men make jokes about rape in comedy stand-up thing. Y'all are assholes. 

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review 2017-11-17 19:53
Exit West - Mohsin Hamid

I was expecting to enjoy this, my first novel by Mohsin Hamid: a short(ish) tale about two lovers escaping a war torn country and desperately finding solace in London. And this one has been hyped up — hyped like almost no other books released this year. I don’t get it. I really don’t.


The writing is . . . fine. And by that, I mean Hamid is able to string pleasant sentences together, occasionally resulting in passages beautiful enough to be worthy of this novel’s gorgeous cover. But for the most part, the prose is pedestrian. And not to mention the cast! The focus is on Nadia and Saeed, two of the blandest characters I’ve come across in literary fiction as of late. They were big nothings. I felt nothing for them throughout. They never really changed, or grew . . . . their arc felt so static and predictable. I never felt myself become involved in their journey.


I feel like perhaps Hamid was reaching for literary acclaim when writing this, resulting in a bland, one-size-fits-all novel that, while pleasant enough, isn’t particularly challenging or even engaging.

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