rsadelle: (Default)
A follow-up to my best books I read in 2016 post: The Fire Starter Sessions was on that list, and I got around to reading it because Danielle offered the audio course (the audio version of the book minus the introduction plus fillable/printable pdf versions of the worksheets) for free last year. I already had a copy of the book, so I read the chapter the evening before, listened to the audio in the morning, and worked on the worksheets off and on during the day. She's offering it for free again this year (you have to sign up for her email list, but you can always unsubscribe if you don't enjoy it), and if it seems interesting to you at all, I definitely recommend it. I enjoyed spending focused time on it every day so much that I've since made it a practice to do/read/listen to something inspirational at least a few times a week.
rsadelle: (Default)
I read either 40 or 44 books in 2016, depending on whether you count unique books read or instances of reading a book. Of those, a little more than half (23) are things I read for the first time. (Methodology note: this only considers books finished; I left out the one I gave up on halfway through.)

Top 5 books/series I read for the first time in 2016
Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst - YA mystery/thriller with magic that does some amazing things with point of view and verb tense.

The Graces by Laure Eve - YA, witchcraft, mysterious/charismatic family, new girl in town, somewhat reminiscent of The Craft.

Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson - YA dystopia with magic that I both enjoyed and kept thinking about for days afterwards.

His Fair Assassins trilogy (Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, Mortal Heart) by Robin LaFevers - This is the medieval assassin nuns of the god of death YA trilogy I never knew my life needed.

The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte - I found this very inspiring, even taking into account that parts of it are more directed at entrepreneurs.

Top 5 books/series I re-read in 2016
The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy - By far my favorite Maeve Binchy novel.

Chalion series (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) by Lois McMaster Bujold - Good fantasy novels with a fascinating theology and people with intense feelings.

Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold - Sci fi, interesting politics, including the gender politics. The only scene I vividly remembered is on page 563. The book is 590 pages long.

The Labyrinth Gate by Alys Rasmussen - This is my second favorite fantasy novel built around a Tarot-style card deck, and I enjoyed rereading it.

Attolia series (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings) by Megan Whalen Turner - This is another excellent fantasy series with an interesting fictional religion.
rsadelle: (Default)
Happy Halloween! Welcome to the eighth annual edition of virtual trick-or-treating.

12926759483_bed30d342e_o.jpg


Knock or ring the bell by leaving me a comment, and I'll reply with a treat of some sort. It might be a fic snippet, a picture, a song, or something else I come up with in the moment. My intention is to post all treats before I go to bed on Halloween. Lurkers and anonymous trick-or-treaters are welcome! (But if you're posting anonymously or with an LJ account that is completely friends-locked and you want a treat specific to your interests, let me know something about why you know me.)

(Not my actual door. Photo by Flickr user Nick Stanley, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.)
rsadelle: (Default)
When I mentioned that I loved Jacqueline Carey's Santa Olivia, two different friends suggested I try out the Kushiel's Legacy series. I'd heard of them before, at a Wiscon kink panel where I remember somebody disliking some aspect of them, which is part of why I'd never read them. But with recommendations from friends, I went to the library and picked up the first book. Then the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth. I had to pause in the middle to read Saints Astray, which came in on interlibrary loan, and there was another pause at the end as I had to wait for the ninth book to arrive, also on interlibrary loan.

Spoilers/Review )

If you're into sex positive epic fantasy novels and twists on European history and theology, I definitely recommend at least the first two trilogies. If you're interested in sex scenes and kink, I recommend you find something else to read.
rsadelle: (Default)
I loved Santa Olivia so much that I promptly put in an interlibrary loan request for the sequel, Saints Astray. Again, I don't have a lot to say about it. If you liked Santa Olivia, you'll probably also like Saints Astray. If you didn't read Santa Olivia, Saints Astray might stand alone, but you'll miss the backstory. Review/mild spoilers )
rsadelle: (Default)
Andrew Conte's Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth arrived in my house as part of a hockey-themed gift from [livejournal.com profile] lakeeffectgirl. I read the first two chapters, and then it lingered by the couch waiting for me to get back to it. One afternoon, I decided I was going to read at least one more chapter. A couple of hours later, I'd finished the whole thing. (It helps that chapter three is about Sidney Crosby, and you know I'm fond of him.)

Parts of the book cover players - Sid, Geno, Marian Hossa - and Conte gives time to Ray Shero changing the culture of the team to one that does its best to provide comforts to both players and their families, but the central story is about how the Penguins got Consol Energy Center. The path to a new arena is mostly politics and financing, and yet Conte makes it absolutely riveting. I knew that the Penguins stayed in Pittsburgh and got a new arena, although I didn't know all the details, and I was still in suspense for the last couple of chapters wondering what would happen.

Of course, the questionable thing about my reading this book is that I was reading it the day before the last Pens-Flyers game and I was worried that I might be overcome with Pens feelings and unable to properly cheer for the Flyers. But then, at the very end of the book, the Flyers appeared. The book ends with the first game played at Consol, which was a game against the Flyers:

Moments later, Lemieux and Bettman walked across a red carpet toward center ice. Burkle was supposed to be with them, but his plane had been delayed. They dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff between Crosby and Mike Richards, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, the first opponents to play in the arena.

...

As the game started, Crosby won the first faceoff, passing the puck to defenseman Brooks Orpik. Fans had little to cheer about after that, with the home team missing opportunities and the Flyers' Danny Briere scoring the Consol Energy Center's first goal at 2:51 in the second period. The Flyers went on to win 3 to 2.

On a not about the content note, I really like the physical aspects of the book. It has a dust jacket with pretty color photos, but the under the dust jacket is a book with the binding, paper, smell, and questionable book design of an academic work.

If you're interested in the Penguins, hockey history, Pennsylvania politics, or accounts of political deal making, I highly recommend the book.
rsadelle: (Default)
I read Santa Olivia without knowing anything about it based on a strong recommendation from [livejournal.com profile] allegram, and I'm very glad I listened to her. I don't have much to say about it. It has a semi-dystopian feel with a female superhero of sorts, it has destined for each other type romances (fangirls and others who like werewolf mating stories will probably like it), and it has a supportive community around the main character.

There are two things I didn't like about the book, enough to make them worth mentioning. First of all, the lesbian sex is much less explicit than the heterosexual sex. I was actually surprised by the explicitness of the heterosexual sex given that I'm pretty sure I've seen the book on YA shelves at Barnes & Noble, and then disappointed that the lesbian sex scenes didn't receive equal treatment. Secondly, Carey uses "could of," "would of," and "should of." Unless she and her editor are completely incompetent - which is not a theory supported by the rest of the book - that's a deliberate style choice, and I found it annoying.
rsadelle: (Default)
Best of the Year

Here are the five best books I read last year, alphabetical by author's last name, with first lines. I'm cheating again by including two separate series as one book each, and by including a series whose first book made this list last year. (And which will probably make the 2013 list again if the third book is as good as the first two.)

  • The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, The House on Durrow Street, and The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett.
    It was generally held knowledge among the people who lived on Whitward Street that the eldest of the three Miss Lockwells had a peculiar habit of reading while walking.
  • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce.
    When my father died, I thought the world would come to an end.
  • Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta.
    A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.
    A "happiness project" is an approach to the practice of everyday life.
  • Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara.
    The worst thing about near-world-ending disasters according to Sergeant Marcus Kassan - at least the ones that had miraculously done very little damage - was the paperwork they generated.
All of the Year

A decade ago, I decided that I would keep a list of all the books I read. It would be, I thought, interesting to see how much, and what, I actually read. So when I read a book, I wrote it down in my notebook. I liked the whole project so much that I've been doing it again each year.

What's here:
  • Books I read in 2012.

  • Authors of the books.

  • Dates I read the books.

  • Short notes about each book or links to my reviews if I did one. Note: reviews all contain spoilers.

  • Approximately how many times I've read the book.
What's not here:
  • Magazine and newspaper articles.

  • Fan fiction.

  • Short stories and individual chapters I read to remind myself of what the book was about.
This year, I read 43 books. For those of you playing along at home, that's 3 fewer than last year. 36 of those, or 84%, are books I read for the first time. 21, or 49%, were Young Adult novels. 9, or 21%, were nonfiction. 4 were written by a PoC author; 38 were written by a female author. Of the 34 books for which I counted protagonists, 3 had a PoC protagonist; 29 had a female protagonist.

The List )
rsadelle: (Default)
I loved Justina Chen Headley's Girl Overboard, so I put Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) on my PaperBackSwap wishlist, and sat down and read it in one sitting last week.

Patty Ho's mother is Taiwanese; her absent father was white. Her older brother Abe is their mother's smart and athletic darling; Patty bears the brunt of her mother's strict parenting. A fortune teller reads Patty's belly button and predicts she'll end up dating a white guy, which prompts her mother to ship her off to math camp at Stanford for a month.

From there, the book is, in a lot of ways, your basic summer at camp changes a teenager's perspective on her life story, although the perspective she's changing is largely about coming to terms with her mixed race identity. It's also very good. One of the things I liked about it is the way that, while there are men in her story who make a difference, a lot of what gives Patty strength are her relationships with other women: Jasmine and Anne, who Patty calls Kung Fu Queens and whose friendship and example help her see herself as a Kung Fu Queen and part of their trio that she calls "Asian Mafia Girls"; Auntie Lu, who helps illuminate the past that explains just how strict Patty's mother is; and, of course, her mother, who Patty ultimately comes to understand better.

One warning: Spoilers. )

If you like YA lit, I highly recommend the book.
rsadelle: (Default)
When I returned Happier at Home to the library, I skimmed the shelf for its call number and picked up The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul - A Memoir of Fulfilled Desire by Noelle Oxenhandler. I love these kinds of one-year books, and the author bio on the back flap let me know she's a practicing Buddhist, which also appealed to me.

I sat down to read The Wishing Year and couldn't put it down. Oxenhandler starts with two wishes - for a house and for spiritual healing - and adds a third - a man - after a month. Oxenhandler talks throughout the book about her skepticism about wishing, both in that she doesn't know if it will work and in that she is a "wish snob" and has reservations about wishing for material things. Over the course of the year, she learns to wish more readily, which is one of the things that makes it so engrossing. I think the weakest of her wishes is for a man. I'd be interested in knowing if the relationship lasted; she spends a lot of time talking about ways in which he isn't such a great fit for her, particularly with his relationship to money.

If you like year-long memoirs or find wishing interesting, I highly recommend The Wishing Year.
rsadelle: (Default)
Those of you who've been around for a while know that I'm a fan of Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project blog, and you may further know that I wasn't as excited about her first book on the subject, also titled The Happiness Project. She now has a second book on the topic, Happier at Home, which I was able to request from my local library much faster than I thought was going to be possible.

I liked Happier at Home much more than The Happiness Project. (Keep in mind that I read the first book two years ago, so it is possible this is a change in me more than a change in her.) I thought it was a more useful, concrete book. One of my problems with the first book was that I felt I didn't learn anything I didn't already know from the blog, where I didn't feel that way about this book. I've been reading her blog all the way through the time she implemented the happiness project for Happier at Home, and somehow that worked better for me with this book. I recognized things in the book that I'd read posts about on the blog, but instead of finding that repetitive, I got a thrill out of it, a little like I was an insider. I do still wonder how it would read to people who haven't read the blog - there were places where I could practically see the hyperlinks to previous posts that would explain her basic philosophy (and she did just post about her abstainers vs. moderators distinction in response to a lot of book tour questions about it), and there are patterns to how she talks about things that are familiar if you read the blog - but I think it would still be a useful book even if you aren't a regular reader.

As the title implies, the focus of the book is on being happier at home. As she usually does, Gretchen (side note: proper book review etiquette would involve using her last name, but I feel like I know her too well from her blog for that) breaks her project into several thematic areas that she then focuses on one at a time on a month by month basis. She then has four or five specific resolutions within each thematic area. I found the resolutions for this book much more concrete - and, in many cases, more widely applicable - than the ones in the previous book. I finished the first chapter on "Possessions" and put the book down to reorganize a nearly-unusable cabinet. I also finally threw away my broken umbrella (although I haven't yet replaced it).

There are three of her specific resolutions that I've been thinking about. The first is "give warm greetings and farewells." This is one of those resolutions that doesn't seem particularly applicable to me: I live alone, and I have people over about once every other month. However, we already have mandatory warm greetings at work: when someone comes into the main office area, everyone has to say hello to them before they can fully enter the room, and they have to go around and greet everyone individually (originally, the options were handshake, fist bump, or high five, but it's devolved to everyone just exchanging fist bumps). It really has made a difference in the attitude of our office, and it's exactly what Gretchen talks about: taking a moment out of whatever you're doing to greet someone. I've been trying to do the same thing when people leave for the day, although I have to admit I'm terrible about looking up from what I'm typing to say hello or goodbye.

The second resolution I've been thinking about is "make the positive argument." The idea behind it is what she calls "argumentative reasoning": "When a person takes a position, he or she looks for evidence to support it and then stops, satisfied." Gretchen specifically talks about this in the frame of her marriage: whenever she's upset and tempted to think something like, "Jamie isn't very thoughtful," she then thinks to herself, "Jamie is very thoughtful," and can come up with a lot of evidence to support that argument as well. "Make the positive argument" fits right in with a lot of similar advice about seeing the positive side of things, but it's one of those things that you hear over and over again, and then you're in the right place and it's said in just the right way that it sticks with you.

The third of her resolutions that I find interesting is "enter into the interests of others (within reason)." The basic idea is to take an interest in other people's interests by listening or asking questions: "entering into other people's interests is an important way to show respect and affection." I've been thinking about this in two ways. One is that I've been trying to be a better listener over the past few years, and paying attention to and asking questions about other people's interests (which is not something I'm good at, particularly the asking questions part) is one way to do that. The other is that one of my coworkers, who I don't know very well at all, brought in a craft project for us when it was her turn to lead our weekly teambuilding activity. One of the things I really liked about it as an activity was that she told us that the craft supplies she'd brought for us to use were just a small portion of the supplies she has, and that she has an entire room at home devoted to crafting. Crafting is very much not my kind of thing, but knowing that about her and seeing what kinds of things she brought in for us to use has made me feel much warmer toward her.

I would definitely recommend Happier at Home, and if you read it without having read the blog, I would especially love to know what you think about it. I liked it so much that I might actually buy myself a copy to have on hand for reference when it comes out in paperback.
rsadelle: (Default)
It took me six weeks and two vacations to read Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans. That has nothing to do with quality. Instead, it has only to do with the length of the book. It's 648 pages long, and even though the last hundred pages are endnotes, bibliography, and index, it still makes for a lot of dense reading.

Homans takes us from the beginnings of ballet in the seventeenth-century French court all the way through the death of Balanchine in the 1980s, with an epilogue on the state of ballet today. At every stage, she intertwines the history of ballet with the history of the places she takes us, which gives the reader a context for what happens in the ballet world. Although it's a relatively dense history, it's not a hard read. The style is not quite conversational, but it doesn't read like dry academic prose, either. It reads much like a lecture. There is an audiobook version; if audiobooks are your thing, I imagine this one would read well.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the book, and don't have much to say about it, but it does have three flaws worth talking about. First, it doesn't have a ballet glossary. There aren't really that many ballet terms in the book, but there were a few I didn't know, and a glossary would have been helpful. Secondly, her grasp of sexual identity terms is pretty shaky. She refers to someone as "homosexual (at times bisexual)" and says that someone else "was homosexual (although he also loved women and married one)." Unless she was relying on people's self-identification (which, given the time periods, I somewhat doubt), both of those sound like bisexual people. Thirdly, the book falls apart a little bit toward the end. Homans was herself a dancer trained at Balanchine's School of American Ballet, and she doesn't quite have the distance to talk about the more modern choreographers she covers. She also makes a lot of assumptions about the reader's knowledge of more modern ballet - one section begins with, "Everyone knows Jerome Robbins," and I didn't - where the book would have been stronger if she'd continued on with the assumption that the reader didn't know anything about ballet's history. The epilogue is a particular disaster. Homans bemoans the state of ballet today and doesn't have much hope for the future. The problem with this is that I wasn't sure if I could trust her judgment or if it was just a case of "things were so much better in my day." It's almost too bad the book was written two years ago; I'd be interested to see what she thinks about how the recent uptick in ballet-related TV shows (I watched three this summer) might affect the future of ballet.
rsadelle: (Default)
Best of the Year

Here are the five best books I read last year, alphabetical by author's last name, with first lines. I have completely cheated on this this year and included two series to count as one book each. I've only put the first line of the first book for the series. (This is actually a double cheat since the first book in one of those series was one of my best books of 2009, and a triple cheat since both series include books I've read before.)

  • The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
    For months, I relived the pas de deux in my dreams, in that multisensory Technicolor of a memory I'd much rather forget.
  • The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
    When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
  • Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.
    When I was little, my dad used to tell me, "Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose."
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.
    A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.
  • The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner.
    I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison.
All of the Year

A decade ago, I decided that I would keep a list of all the books I read. It would be, I thought, interesting to see how much, and what, I actually read. So when I read a book, I wrote it down in my notebook. I liked the whole project so much that I've been doing it again each year.

What's here:
  • Books I read in 2011.

  • Authors of the books.

  • Dates I read the books.

  • Short notes about each book, including links to my reviews if I did one. Note: reviews all contain spoilers.

  • Approximately how many times I've read the book.
What's not here:
  • Magazine and newspaper articles.

  • Web-published fiction I read.

  • Short stories and individual chapters I read to remind myself of what the book was about.
This year, I read 46 books. For those of you playing along at home, that's 15 more than last year. 38 of those, or 83%, are books I read for the first time. 27, or 80%, were Young Adult or children's books. 3 were written by a PoC author; 44 were written by a female author or coauthor. Of the 44 books for which I counted protagonists, 5 or 8 (depending on how you count Katniss Everdeen) had a PoC protagonist; 37 had a female protagonist.

The List )
rsadelle: (Default)
I loved both of Marisa de los Santos' previous books - Love Walked In and Belong To Me - so I was excited to see a new book from her, and Falling Together didn't disappoint.

Spoilers/Review )

All said, I loved this book, although I wish I had read it more slowly (I was up against a library due date and it was unrenewable). If you liked her previous books, you will definitely like this one, although if you didn't like those, you probably won't like this one either.
rsadelle: (Default)
Today I'm thankful for books that are just as good now as they were when I fell in love with them as a teenager. Specific book in question, which I stayed up too late reading two days this week: Cheryl J. Franklin's Sable, Shadow, and Ice.
rsadelle: (Default)
The joke I kept making as I read Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac was that while I couldn't remember having read it before, it all seemed vaguely familiar. I'm not sure if that means I did read it once before, if it's because I'd read bits and pieces before when I was deciding if I wanted to read it, or if it's because the book is so well constructed that it all fits perfectly together.

Spoilers )
rsadelle: (Default)
I'm relatively sure I heard good things about Patti Smith's Just Kids from various sources, although the only one I remember is [livejournal.com profile] siryn99, so when I saw it in my mom's stack of books, I asked to borrow it. It floated around with me on a vacation and in my living room for quite a while before I finally sat down and started reading it.

The book begins with a foreword where Smith talks about learning of Robert Mapplethorpe's death. Starting with his death lends the whole book a sense of melancholy. Even as Smith tells us about meeting Mapplethorpe and lays out the foundations of their relationship, we know how it's going to end.

I didn't know anything about either Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe when I started reading the book, so everything about their story was new to me. Smith drops a lot of names to establish the setting, and I didn't know who most of them were either. None of that detracts from the book. Even if I didn't know who they were specifically, I got the sense of who they were from Smith's placement of them in the story, and I got the sense of who Smith and Mapplethorpe were from her stories about them.

I know that it's the kind of memoir where Smith picked and chose the elements of the story she wanted to share, but what I really liked about the story she tells is how they push each other into what they end up doing: Smith keeps telling Mapplethorpe he should try photography and Mapplethorpe keeps telling Smith she should sing.

The pacing of the story is also interesting. Smith begins with a dreamy, emotional recounting of her growing up, which is intercut with a distant, factual account of Mapplethorpe's growing up. Since she's the author, we necessarily get more of Smith's story than Mapplethorpe's, even as time goes on. When they separate for short or long periods - there's a break of what seems to be something like a decade near the end of the book - the focus is still on Smith. As unbalanced as that might seem, it makes for a very focused emotional story.

The book ends as it began: with Mapplethorpe's death. I had to put the book down and cry my eyes out when I finished it. By that time, I'd gotten to know him, but more importantly, I'd gotten to know how Smith felt about him, and that feeling, that closeness and mutual artistic support, is what really makes the book.
rsadelle: (Default)
Malinda Lo's Huntress takes place in the same world as Ash (my review here), only several hundred years earlier.

Our main characters are Kaede and Taisin, students at The Academy, where girls go to learn to be sages. Taisin has never wanted anything but to be a sage. Kaede has never even managed the simplest blessing, but she doesn't want to go home to be married off for political advantage. The land is in a state of constant winter, and the king has been invited to visit the Fairy Queen. Instead, he sends his son, Con, along with Taisin, Kaede, and a small batch of guards, to accept her invitation.

Spoilers/Review )

My greatest wish is for Malinda Lo to be one of those writers who really learns to write by the third book. Ash and Huntress are both good, with moments that are exquisite, but I think Lo has the potential to be truly great.

If anyone wants to read Huntress, leave me a comment, and you can have my copy.
rsadelle: (Default)
I'd really like to read more lesbian fiction. I will take any and all recs, from any genre of professionally published work or fan fic. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you already know my tastes, but just in case you don't, a quick rundown of my recent-ish experience with lesbian profic: loved Malinda Lo's Ash and Huntress (review forthcoming) and all of Naomi Kritzer's work; hated Gerri Hill's The Killing Room and Karin Kallmaker's Substitute for Love; and am struggling my way through SteamPowered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories (although to be fair to the collection, I don't really like steampunk prose). Any suggestions?
rsadelle: (Default)
I know I already said this book was excellent, but I was only about a hundred pages into it at the time. Now that I've finished the book, I can tell you for sure: this book is excellent.

I stumbled across The Splendor Falls at Barnes & Noble. Usually I just write down the books I want to read later, but when I read the first couple of sentences of this one to see if I might want to read it, I didn't want to put it back on the shelf, so I actually bought it.

Our protagonist is Sylvie Davis, a ballerina who's broken her leg and can't dance anymore. She had an incident caused by mixing Vicodin and champagne at her mother's wedding, which means she doesn't get to stay home in Manhattan while her mom goes off on her honeymoon. Instead she's shipped off to stay with her dad's Cousin Paula in Alabama. This is not Sylvie's preferred way to spend the summer: "I wanted to hate Alabama, and nothing about my arrival disappointed me."

Spoilers ) One of the interesting things about the book is how distinctly PG it is. There aren't even any swear words in the text. More spoilers. )

I don't think I'm really doing justice to this book, and you really should just read it. Sylvie is an extremely compelling narrator, and the plot is excellently well done.

More spoilers. )

The last non-spoilery things I'll tell you about are two potential triggers/annoyances. First, Sylvie was a ballerina and Cousin Paula's partner Clara's daughter Addie wants to be a model, so there are some discussions about food and calories that might be triggering. For me, they weren't particularly bothersome, especially since it was much more mild than I expected from a ballerina narrator. Secondly, as a white (at least as far as I can tell) author writing about white characters, Clement-Moore gets to mostly sidestep the race issues inherent in Sylvie's family having owned this estate in the South since before the Civil War. She doesn't avoid them altogether - Clara and Addie are black and live in one of the outer buildings, Clara makes a comment about the parallel of her (implied slave) ancestors having lived outside of the big house, and Sylvie wonders if their family's slave-owning history is part of what made her dad leave - but this is not a book that delves deeply into that aspect of the town's history.

I have promised my mother that she can borrow the book, but if any of you would like to have it after she's done, just let me know.

Profile

rsadelle: (Default)
Ruth Sadelle Alderson

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags