Book Review: White Tears by Hari Kunzru

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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.

Description:

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

Book Review: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis

Description:

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

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Description:

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.)

Review:

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

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