Words for Nerds

When I last wrote one of these I totally forgot to include Rich People Problems! THE HORROR. I’ve finished a couple more books over the last few weeks, so here you go!

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3)

Just in case you recently arrived from the moon, it should be obvious by now that I LOVE the Crazy Rich Asians series and that I am SO EXCITED for the movie. I loved this book almost as much as Crazy Rich Asians and it was just as charming, funny, and ridiculous. I’m so thankful to not live under the shadow of extreme wealth (I wouldn’t mind some moderate wealth), but it was fun to dive into that world for a while. I really don’t want theses stories to end, but I am excited to see what Kwan writes about next.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

“This is a memoir of (my) body because, more often than not, stories of bodies like mine are ignored or dismissed or derided. People see bodies like mine and make their assumptions. They think they know the why of my body. They do not.”

This was a difficult and uncomfortable read. I’ve never weighed 500 pounds. I’ve never had trouble fitting in a chair or getting through a doorway. I don’t know what that feels like, but I do remember what it’s like to eat to hide yourself from people. And to feel defined by a body that doesn’t look or work the way you believe it should. It was unflinching and honest, and I appreciated how often she acknowledged the privileges and opportunities that she has had despite the truly terrible things she has lived through.

The entire book felt like a dear friend confessing their ugliest and hardest truths. I couldn’t put it down and it has certainly caused me to reevaluate if I am doing things to make people like Roxane feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. And if I truly spend enough time ensuring that activities with my friends are inclusive and considerate of their size and ability. There were parts that felt overly repetitive, and it certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I thought it was a worthy read.

 

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

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I shouldn’t have read this and I don’t know why I did (oh yeah, Heather brought a bag of books to let us borrow) because I did not enjoy The Girl on the Train at all.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

I initially read something somewhere about it in which they used the term “troublesome women” and I thought that could be an interesting tale (especially now that we are living in the time of truly troublesome women – Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and apparently Mika Brzezinski). If only these lades would shut their mouths and go back home, bake some cookies, and focus on being pretty. AS GOD AND THE GOP INTENDED.

Anyway, this book made me appreciate The Girl on the Train because at least I could feel something for the main character. There were so many narrators in this book that I often lost track, I never grew to care about any of them, and they were all so boring. I never felt suspense over the drownings, the story itself was unnecessarily convoluted, and the ending was painfully unexciting. As I’ve said before, it takes a painfully obvious set up for me to solve the mystery before it is revealed.

19 thoughts on “Words for Nerds

  1. hahah i said the same thing about “Into the Water”! I hate Girl on the Train so much and if possible I disliked this one more. I need to read the Crazy Rich Asians series.

    I just finished a book called The Perfect Stranger – it’s def a beach read sort of book but I was excited that the final set up wasn’t so obvious I guessed it early on. Some plans got cancelled and I was SO relieved that I got to go home and finish it instead.

  2. I just finished reading Rich People Problems as well. I’m so excited for the movie. I think Astrid is my favorite character. I enjoyed how her story line played a pretty large part in this book. I can’t wait to see her wardrobe in the movie!

    I was also disappointing by Into the Water. I felt very ambivalent about Girl on the Train but I figured I’d give it a try. The story jumped around way too much for my liking and would switch narrators too often for me to get invested in any of the characters. I also felt like the ending was really unsatisfying. Oh well, I think Paula Hawkins writing isn’t for me.

    • I’ve realized that too – No more Paula for me. And I loved Astrid in this book and I can’t wait either! The actress who is playing her (Gemma Chan) is so gorgeous that it’s just going to be amazing. I also finally grew to enjoy Charlie more.

  3. I saw Roxane Gay speak here in Southern California a few weeks ago and she was amazing- hilarious, poignant, and honest. If she’s ever up your way get tickets to her event! Have you read any of her other books? Bad Feminist made me feel better about calling myself a feminist but still do my husband’s laundry, haha.

    I thought Crazy Rich Asians was a lot of fun, so I’ll have to pick this Kwan book up too, or listen to it. And I didn’t know about the movie! I might actually make an effort to go to the theater when it comes out.

    • I LOVED Bad Feminist. I really enjoy her voice so much. She’s just so direct. And, tragically, I didn’t realize she was in Northern California until her reading was already sold out. Womp womp. I’ll have to catch her next time.

  4. This American Life recently replayed an episode of their podcast that is really enlightening on the fat subject. My beautiful fabulous brilliant sister is also 100 pounds overweight and we had a good hour plus long conversation about the podcast. Life as a fat person is incredibly hard and I have little patience for how people discriminate and treat this group of society. It’s a great listen.
    https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/589/tell-me-im-fat

    I’m totally buying Crazy Rich Asians right now. Thanks for the tip. I don’t know why I keep putting it off.

  5. I’m so glad for this review! I was waiting to buy Rich People Problems. I just can’t find much time to read those days (I started Little Big Lies at the end of May…I just can’t find the time to read more than a little bit each day!). And I was considering buying Into The Water, now I’m glad I did not! I bought The Kind Worth Killing recently as my next read, but perhaps I can buy Rich People Problems as a more summery read for right now. And like you, I wouldn’t want those crazy rich people drama and boundaries! I rarely watch the movies of the books I read, but I truly enjoy looking at the cast pictures!

  6. Feel exactly the same about Hunger. I love her and how she puts herself out there. Cannot imagine how hard it must have been to write the book. Her interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air is top shelf (of course.)

    • Yes!! And I agree. I don’t know how she can so clearly write about the things that haunt her most and the areas that cause her the deepest shame.

  7. I love discovering new books to read from “real” people and their pals who are smart and honest. I now have Hunger and Bad Feminist on hold at my library.
    My local used bookstore owner practically thrust a book in my hands a year or two ago and insisted I would like it: Having Our Say–The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years. I finally got it off my “to be read” bookshelf and devoured it while on our Dawson City/Whitehorse trip. I was fascinated to read the first-hand stories of two sisters born in the generation after the end of the Civil War, both living past 100 years old. They described lives BEFORE Jim Crow laws, and how they each approached challenges in life differently due to their dissimilar personalities. If you’re a weirdo like me who loves non-fiction, you’ll like this one.
    Whomever would like to have it next, simply reply and I’ll pop it in the mail to you.

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