Review: The Bell Jar

I actually finished this up right before giving birth, but…. well a lot has slipped the past few weeks! I struggle with mild anxiety, and I know how much that can debilitate me from functioning – I read this and it hurt. I only brush on the levels of unhappiness, disconnect, and depression Plath expressed – and it was very real. I do think this is a good book for people to read. Seeing a glimpse of just how consuming (and at times unrealistic) depression is – might help people understand how helpless people are to “just get over it.” Just eat better. Work out. Get up. Blah blah blah. That advice is rarely actually the solution someone needs once they’ve slipped down that far. As far as depression goes, The Bell Jar I would put on par with Speak – without the issue of rape driving the plot. In fact, I think it does a good job of also

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Review: Alita Battle Angel

I know I’m a little late to this – it’s been out for more than 3 days so if you were looking for a review I missed the “important” window for reviews. But to hell with that, I watched the movie and I have opinions and you were crazy enough to come read what I want to say. I enjoy anime for one big reason – they are far more likely to have interesting plot lines that the “weekly reset” shows like The Simpson or Family Guy. I like plot damnit. Alita has plot – and about the level I expected of a manga turned anime turned 2-hr movie. In other words, they try to cram a LOT of plot into a LITTLE time scale. Which leads to my personal biggest beef with the film: the time scale. I couldn’t tell you if (most) of this movie was over the course of a few days or few months. It’s rare

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Review: The Teahouse Fire

I actually finished this about two weeks ago, but I needed time to digest it before I wrote any kind of commentary on it. This isn’t quite on my “I’m ashamed I haven’t read this” book list, but it has been on my “to read” pile for years (literally for years. It had dust on it). I noticed the library had it on audiobook so I picked it up for my commute-listening-pleasure. The book was…. interesting. There was a lot I enjoyed (especially given how much I enjoy Japanese tea ceremony). A lot of what she discusses in the process is similar to the “Tea Club” lessons I was able to participate in when I spent a semester in Japan. I would never try to replicate tea ceremony, but I can appreciate the dance, art, and skill. So, to begin let me say that I never felt the main character grew up. Aurelia (the protagonist) never tries to understand the

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Review: Korean BBQ

Back at the end of January, my husband and I went to a new Korean BBQ place. One of the “cook at the table” style restaurants. Like a Melting Pot (fondue) or Hibachi (showy) we consider Korean BBQ “experience dining” – you take your time, you enjoy each others’ company. Dinner is more than just gulping down your food. We were expecting something like this: In case you can’t guess, this is nothing like what we experienced. Which is sad, Korean BBQ (done right) is a lot of fun (and if you’ve never done it or fondue – save up and take the opportunity). This particular experience was disappointing and here is my review that I put on Google: I almost didn’t write a review, but I think it would help others. My husband and I ate here last weekend on Sunday night. It wasn’t very busy and if anything that makes my primary issue more of an issue: Assumptions.

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Review: The Strange Library

I checked this book out from the library in audiobook for something to do some cleaning to and then pick up for the week. When it downloaded it said it was only one hour long! Oh. I didn’t realize it was a kid’s book. This is not a kid’s book. It’s at least PG. Maybe PG-13. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami is definitely a different kind of fantasy. I will have to pick up more by him to create a firm opinion. I kind of wish I had read-read it, apparently it’s illustrated – I might have to check out the physical copy just to get a chance to see those…. This was a short read, and engrossing. It was in some ways a childish tone, but like the original Snow White, Cinderella, the Robber’s Bride…. there is a darkness lurking there that should not be discounted. If you like traditional fairy tales – you should read this. It

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Review: Stain

Stain by A.G. Howard was released in January. I am trying to get better about finding the new releases as they happen. This is one I am really glad I saw my library had available. I had to wait a minute because others read it ahead of me. This book is not a retelling of a fairy tale. I was expecting to see bones of something familiar – and although there are a few references, this is definitely it’s own story. Supposedly it’s based on “the princess and the pea” but I think it’s got significant legs of it own. Lyra can’t talk and usually a “silent” protagonist is really difficult, but Howard does a good job. My biggest critique is how long it takes to get to what I felt was the “meat” of the book. The first 1/3 of the book or so has a perfect tone of a fairy tale. But it takes too long. I think

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Review: Binti Trilogy

Over the holidays I read the Binti Trilogy (Binti, Home, The Night Masquerade). Now, I was intrigued because it’s Nnedi Okoafor (I lovedAkata Witch). So Binti went on sale and I picked it up. I didn’t realize these are novellas, so they are quick little reads and thoroughly enjoyable. What I love about Okoafor is her great twists on genres. In Akata, she brought african mythology to the traditional western fantasy genre. She approached a similar idea with Binti. The main character, Binti, is brilliant and imperfect in some of the best ways. I don’t want to spoil the plot, and I’m not sure I can sum up beyond the first few pages of book 1 without spoilers. So… let’s just say the plot kept me so engrossed I was sad to leave the universe she had built. I firmly believe Binti and her companions have further adventures – they have to. They are too good together not to get into more shenanigans. My

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Review: Frankenstein

Whew – that was. Interesting. So I knew the story pretty damn well. Despite not reading it before, I really felt like there were few surprises. The only big surprise to me was the super-secret of how he made Frankenstein. That is one the movie-makers really confused me on with the whole lightning thing. I even went to Gutenberg and searched “lightning” – it’s only mentioned 5 times in the whole book and all AFTER the monster is created. I was looking for that!! Ok, I’m not going to stress about spoilers because…. well the book was originally written in 1818 and anything 200 years old (Damn, I wish I’d read it last year) I think should be pretty fair game. If you need to, you can go to Wikipedia, although it definitely is worth the read. Now, for my take on the book. I think Frankenstein made the monster up because he is mentally ill. I don’t know enough psychology

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