Woah. Where to begin on this wild ride? What starts off as a seemingly normal coming of age story ultimately swallows you into a dark, distorted reality that will crawl under your skin. White Tears is not at all what I expected, but it completely blew me away.
Two twenty-something New Yorkers. Seth is awkward and shy. Carter is the glamorous heir to one of America’s great fortunes. They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Seth is desperate to reach for the future. Carter is slipping back into the past. When Seth records an unknown singer in a park, Carter sends it out over the Internet, claiming it’s a 1920s blues recording by a musician Charlie Shaw. When an old collector contacts them to say that their fake record and their fake bluesman are actually real, the two young white men, accompanied by Carter’s troubled sister Leonie, spiral down into the heart of the nation’s darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge, and exploitation.
(Description from Goodreads.)
Review of White Tears:
The story begins with two young white men, who move to the city to start their own recording company. But what Kunzru delivers is a meditation on race and cultural appropriation, ghost story, and murder mystery wrapped into one literary novel. Read More
I was psyched to read Ready Player One. I had heard such good things about it from patrons at the library, it was popping up all over my social media, and I knew it would be full of 80’s references. So don’t hate me for being majorly let down by this book…
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
(Description from Goodreads.)
This book had so much promise. In the first quarter, I felt like I could have been reading a script for an episode of Black Mirror. I liked learning about their virtual world, and I loved the John Hughes references (as any normal person would). Read More
Eleanor Davis’s How to be Happy is the artist’s first collection of graphic/literary short stories. Davis is one of the finest cartoonists of her generation, and has been producing comics since the mid-2000s. Happy represents the best stories she’s drawn for such curatorial venues as Mome and No-Brow, as well as her own self-publishing and web efforts. Davis achieves a rare, subtle poignancy in her narratives that are at once compelling and elusive, pregnant with mystery and a deeply satisfying emotional resonance. Happy shows the full range of Davis’s graphic skills — sketchy drawing, polished pen and ink line work, and meticulously designed full color painted panels– which are always in the service of a narrative that builds to a quietly devastating climax.
(Description from Goodreads.)
How To Be Happy – Review:
Despite the title, Davis makes it clear that her graphic novel is not a how-to on happiness. I picked this book up from the library because the cover image was so striking and beautiful. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but if it makes a positive impression, isn’t that ok? I tend to think so. Read More
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now… (Description from Goodreads.)
The Handmaid’s Tale is a hard book to like, but an easy book to love. It’s terrifying, it’s beautifully written, it’s a dystopia that doesn’t feel that far off from becoming real. It’s like a shot of whiskey that burns your throat, but once it settles in your stomach you enjoy it. It’ll also make you want to get your ass off the cozy couch you were just reading on and march in the streets to prevent it from ever becoming reality. I read this story as a warning: if we stay complacent, here’s what can happen. So we better get moving! Read More
I started Bookish Bliss in order to gush about books with fellow readers. Even though I work in a library, I still can’t get enough of books and literary talk. This blog is where I’ll review books, share literary news, and connect with bibliophiles (like you)! You can connect with me via social media (links at the top and bottom of the page) or through Goodreads.
Below, I’ve written my Reader’s Manifesto, that way you can get a sense of who I am as a reader and reviewer.
Here’s what I know for sure: Reading is a superpower.
Life is too short to finish a book you don’t enjoy.
I believe there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure book. Read what you love!
I want to live in a world where everyone has a personal library and where no one can choose just one favorite book because they love too many.
Read past your bedtime.
Embrace diverse opinions of books (even of your favorite titles).
There is nothing better than cozying up with a good book and a cup of tea.
Read diverse books. We should care deeply about diverse books and bookshelf diversity so that we learn about the world around us, and about ourselves.
We are responsible for our words. Be passionate about books that you love and considerate of the books you don’t.
I will spread the bookish bliss.
Anything you think I missed? Add your comment below!