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July 5, 2017

Reading round-up

I have not done one of these since November last year! I didn't really keep track of the books I read over the summer - a lot of them were re-reads while I was travelling - but here are the ones I can remember things about.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. About a Chinese-American woman who meets her boyfriend's family in Singapore, and they are indeed crazy rich. I didn't think the writing was that great, it was a bit over the top, but I'm looking forward to the movie - the cast is amazing.

The Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory. When work started this year I was stressed and wanted something easy to read and get into, so I proceeded to read this entire series. I wouldn't read them again, but at least I know what the Wars of the Roses were about now.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. A sad but sweet book about an elderly lady with dementia trying to solve a mystery from her childhood.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A dystopian novel where most of civilisation has been wiped out by a virus. Interesting world building, but the story didn't really go anywhere.

Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin. This book caused a bit of a stir when it first came out. In short, it's about how modern feminism has lost its way by prioritising individual choices instead of collective action and structural change. This book probably deserves its own post and discussion, which I might tackle sometime, but overall I liked reading it - while I agree with a lot of what she says, it also challenged some other areas of my thinking.

Pornland by Gail Dines. A book about how porn is negatively affecting society.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I enjoyed this book, I found it quite darkly comic. The part where she talks about life being like a fig tree is very relatable.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. About an odd family living isolated in their old mansion. I really liked the imagery in this book. Another one to read if you enjoy dark comedy.

Beneath the Skin by Nicci French. A serial killer mystery. I picked this up because it was $3 and I like the green Penguin mysteries. It was okay, I wouldn't read it again. It's in the same vein as books like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

The Rendezvous by Daphne Du Maurier. Du Maurier is my favourite short story writer, but this collection was average, with only a couple standing out. Most of them are more character study-ish rather than fleshed out stories with plots.

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