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Search tags: how-to-be-a-woman
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review 2017-11-18 23:45
One Woman's Voice - Shrill
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman - Lindy West

Wow.

 

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 2017-11-06 17:17
#Audiobook Review: Shooting for the Stars by Sarina Bowen
Shooting for the Stars: Gravity, Book 3 - Blunder Woman Productions,Emma Wilder,Sarina Bowen,Noel Garraux Harrison

Stella Lazarus has loved her big brother’s best friend ever since she can remember. Stella tried to show Bear how she felt years ago, but he brushed her off. So she has to be satisfied with just being good friends. Bear thinks Stella is the sexiest woman alive, but she’s his best friend’s little sister, which means she’s off limits, and it has taken every ounce of will power to keep her at arms length. But when the pair find themselves alone in an upscale hotel room after a few drinks and good food, neither Stella nor Bear can say no to the years of denied attraction. Stella and Bear share an amazing, fantasy-fulfilling night together, but it all comes to a quick end when Bear freaks out about breaking the bro-code and not being good enough for Stella, coupled with Stella’s brother’s career-ending accident. 

 

Shooting for the Stars opens just before the start of the second Gravity book, Falling From the Sky and Hank’s horrific accident. The book then jumps ten months, keeping it on pace with the timing of Falling from the Sky. Although there is a lot of overlap in the timing of books #2 and #3, the story is completely different, with Hank playing a minor roll in this title.

 

Stella and Bear are best friends who are perfect for one another, but something always prevents it from happening. Mostly it’s on Bear - he’s afraid to open up and face his feelings head on. When they are together - whether as friends, potential lovers, or awkward and unsure companions - they capture my attention. Both carry around so much baggage and pain, love and hope; their interactions are emotionally fulfilling. However, much of the first half of the book is spent in lengthy flashbacks, and the dynamic of the budding romance stumbles during these interludes. I appreciate knowing more of their history, but at the same time, the author established their deep connection early (starting some in the second book), so jumping to the past pulled me out of the present. Additionally, during much of the middle of the book, the pair avoids each another. 

 

But then, Bear starts making his movie and the couple are forced to spend time together. Unlike most romances where we see characters working to come together, Bear and Stella spend time trying to stay apart. So, the story must rely on inner monologues to help readers understand that the feelings are still ever present, even if they both are trying hard to forget them. I really enjoyed listening as both Bear and Stella mature and come to terms with their feelings and needs. Toss in a close brush with death, and everything gets laid out on the table. And Hank’s reaction to his best friend and sister being together is priceless.

 

Shooting for the Stars brings listeners the third set of narrators for the Gravity series. While I can appreciate having different narrators because each book has a different set of main characters, it is also a bit discombobulating having different voices for characters I’ve known for two or three books. Right from the start I feel Ms. Wilder has a strong performance. With an almost breathless quality, she captures Stella’s desire and hopes. As the book goes on, I feel the female narrator does an excellent job of growing with her character. On the other hand, I had trouble with Mr. Harrison as soon as I heard him. At my usual 1.25x speed, his performance is riddled with dramatic pauses and unnecessary rests. It reminded me of the young Captain Kirk. Well, not that bad, but it’s start, stop, pause, start, stop, pause. I sped the playback up to 1.5x, and that helped, and overtime, I was able to get past the cadence issues. I did like the quality of his voice, which was deep and sexy, but the start/stop nature ruined much of that for me.

 

Overall, I liked Shooting for the Stars and getting Bear and Stella’s story. The early middle was a little slow, with a lot of flashbacks, followed by so much avoidance, that the story dragged at times. However, it all feels very genuine. The fear of losing a friend, the guilt, the longing, etc., and in the end, I liked how it all played out.

 

My Rating: B
Female narrator: B+

Male narrator: C+ 

 

Audiobook review copy provided by Blunder Woman Productions

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review 2017-10-24 15:37
The Woman in the Wood - Lesley Pearse

Maisy and Duncan are teenage twins brought up by a cold father and are sent to live with their even colder, aloof grandmother who lives in the New Forest. Their own mother is unable to look after them as she isn’t well and has also been sent away. During their explorations they come across Grace, the woman in the wood, who is treated like an outcast and she does not welcome visitors, preferring her own company - until someone goes missing. This is a lovely, heartwarming story of friendship, loyalty, deceit, romance and menace with a great feel for the 1960’s period it is set in. A wonderful “warm the cockles of your heart” book which leaves the reader wanting more!

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