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text 2018-03-19 23:52
Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 448 pages.
The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

Long section about how much both characters love and admire D.W. Griffith's Klansmen, or Birth of a Nation, which is mostly about its technical breakthroughs, and it's true, but I just got a lot about how awesome frigging Birth of a Nation is without mentioning you know, the whole thing. Which I guess is fair, because I'm pretty sure my main characters wouldn't have cared that it was really, really immensely racist due to being white women in 1915. And yet, I'm still not over it being Birth of a Nation!


Also way too much worrying about guys. I want to hear about making movies!

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text 2018-03-17 23:07
But totally not one of those lesbians!
The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

I have this on audiobook, so not bothering with the exact quote, but MC is at a party in 1914, and there's some dudes making out in the shadows, and she goes out of her way to say she's 100% A-OK with that, and with ladies making out, don't mind those lesbians, not at all, but she personally really misses her ex husband in her bed.


In a book about close bonds between women in the film industry, in a period notorious for its permissiveness, this feels like it's laying on the no homo a little thick.

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review 2018-03-15 17:29
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
Pachinko - Min Jin Lee

It took me almost four months to read Pachinko. As I read, I began wondering about my slow pace. My fall semesters are busier, yes, but I still manage to finish most books in what's a timely manner for me. It certainly wasn't because I found the book hard to read in terms of comprehension or engagement. As I got closer to the end, I realized: it was because I was so invested in the characters and storytelling I had to take time to process the intense feelings the novel evoked. There are also regular gaps in time that take place between chapters where characters' situations change significantly; I needed mental space before diving into the story again. I can't think of another novel that required this sort of reading from me.


In addition to Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh, Pachinko has served to establish that "family sagas" can engage me, or at least when another culture is involved. Through the family portrayed here, I learned more about Korea, but it never feels like a history lesson. Everything comes from the characters. The novel also provokes thought about national and racial identity.


There were moments I dreaded, as with the return of a less sympathetic character, though not in a way that made me dislike the novel or its author. There were moments that shocked me to the point of gasping. There are many scenes that easily and vividly come to mind when I recall my reading, which I finished more than a month ago.


I would love to teach this novel. I have the feeling I may reread it some day, regardless. For me, that's a rarity, a compliment, and a sign of deep gratitude. 

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review 2018-03-12 16:57
Two Girls Down: A Novel - Louisa Luna
This was a decent read. The main character, Alice Vega, was very strange. Intelligent and tough, but weird.

There was something that kept niggling at my brain while reading this. Then it hit me. This was a YA book. I guess I should have figured that out way before the end with all the "duh's" I said to myself when the book was way over explaining things.

Not that being a YA is bad, it was just that it was a surprise to me that I didn't figure out until the end.

A good read that I enjoyed.

Thanks to Doubleday Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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review 2018-03-12 15:45
All the Beautiful Girls - Elizabeth J. Church


When I first started reading this book, I thought it was more historical fiction, like Ruby Wilde was real. Especially what with all the name dropping, the mention of timely events and what Ruby was doing during them and all the Vegas hotspots.

It took a while into it before I realized it was just "true fiction". That word "just" in no way is meant to take away from this story.

I followed Ruby's (Lily's) journey through her highs and lows and had a great time! Well, I still want to kick that Spaniard's A double S though. What an A$$hole!! I think I just seethed up again at the mention of him. Grrr!

This was true entertainment that had me mesmerized.

Thanks to Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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