Sunday, 5 July 2015

2015 Reads: June

Having a standard work day once more has really cut into my reading time. It's been a while since I had one too, and so my brain has been shutting down when I get home and refuses to do anything. If there's one thing I miss about grad school, it's the flexibility in hours - or at least, it allowed me to drink wine and watch Gilmore Girls on Wednesday afternoons instead of actually having to be somewhere.

32. The Perfume Collector - Kathleen Tessano

I really enjoyed this book: it was a story abut two different women a generation apart and the connection of their lives. I also loved the perfume imagery and discussion of creation. Some parts were a tad cliche, but it was overall pretty enjoyable.

33. Loyalist Rebellion in New Brunswick: A defining conflict for Canada's political culture - David Bell

This was a kind of dry history of the Loyalists landing in Nova Scotia and the partitioning of New Brunswick. It was sort of narrative non-fiction - like it wanted to be, but ended up reading like a textbook for most of it. It was interesting, but I didn't really enjoy the reading of it.

34. Bright Shiny Morning - James Frey (reread)

Despite James Frey's style of little punctuation and run on sentences, which tends to irk me, I have loved this book for a long time. It's about Los Angeles, and it's kind of a love letter to the city and the people there. It was billed as explicitly fiction when it came out, after the Million Little Pieces scandal (the short version, if you're unfamiliar was that Frey billed Million Little Pieces as his autobiography and it turned out that large chunks of it were not true). It's like a series of short stories, all connected by LA. Some stories last the length of the novel, some are just a line in a chapter. The history of LA is told in chunks throughout as well. I picked it up in Amsterdam when I was 16 and I really, really enjoyed. And did once more.

35. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

In a case of classic Baader-Meinhof, I came across the HeLa immortal cell line and Henrietta Lacks in an article a couple of months ago. And then another one, and then another one. So when I saw this book at the charity book sale a few weeks ago, I picked up and stuffed it in my bag. What a fantastic book. Skloot weaves the science of HeLa, the history of black Americans, and the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family together so well. I was fascinated, and stayed up way too late to finish reading it. 

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