Rave Reviewed! (March 2016)

Once again, I’ve had a lovely time running the Rave Reviews program and enjoying some lively chatter about books. Since I was running the program solo this month there’s a mix of new books that I’ve read recently and older books. I genuinely love every book that I bring to Rave Reviews and this month includes some older titles that have helped me get back into reading when I’ve lagged in the past.

I’m an avid reader but I still go through periods where I’m just not getting into anything. These first few titles were books that got me me reading again when I’d been in a rut and come highly recommended if you want something so engaging it’s just about guaranteed to get you reading.

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is a bittersweet and compulsively readable book that got me back into reading after graduate school made reading feel like a chore. This book gave me back one of my greatest joys and, while I don’t love it as much as many of the books I’ve read since, there was something very engaging about it that rekindled my love of reading.

The Silent Wife the only novel written by the late A. S. A. Harrison. This novel stole me away from the world. I lost all interest in everything other than the book; I could not put it down. The suspense was sustained throughout including a shocking twist ending. It’s easy to see why the book has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Bossypants by Tina Fey opened me up to an entirely new genre. I ended up watching all of 30 Rock and exploring more books written by celebrity actor/writers like Mindy Kaling’s excellent books.  I find myself looking for more books like Bossypants and the book has permanently changed my reading habits and introduced me to a new genre.

And now for the more recent reads. This month I read:

Modern Romance by Ansari, Aziz

A book that’s as funny as it is well-researched and insightful. I think it should be required reading for anyone trying to date in today’s world. Excellent as an ebook or eaudiobook.

Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding.

This was a book I was reticent to read and didn’t get to right as it was published because I was mad at Helen Fielding for killing off Mark Darcy. I, like many fans, was eventually able to forgive her and enjoy Bridget Jones in all her usual laugh out loud glory. If you haven’t read a Bridget Jones novel by now I highly recommend any of them. If nothing else they always make me feel well-adjusted by comparison.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A beautifully written book that reads like prose poetry and tackles a complex and difficult subject with grace and subtlety. One of most valuable books I’ve read in recent memory. I listened to this as an eaudiobook (we have it on CD as well) and Coates’ beautiful and nuanced reading really added something to my understanding of the text.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak

A fun little read with a story in it for everyone. Critics have noted that some stories are better than others but I’d argue that this is true of any collection. I particularly loved The Something by John Grisham but this book has something in it for most readers and I found it uproariously funny. The audiobook has the additional advantage of being read bythe author and some of his celebrity friends.

So You’ve been Publicly Shamed by John Ronson, the author of The Psychopath Test.

An interesting read about something I’d never have thought to consider. Ronson brings in examples such as Justine Sacco and Lindsey Stone whose, admittedly gauche, social media posts brought consequences that were (arguably) far out of proportion to their thoughtlessness. Ronson got me thinking about all kinds of issues, most surprisingly the Stanford Prison Experiment which he suggests may not be accurately represented noting that some psychologists disagree with the findings.

Dietland by Sarai Walker.

Of all of the books which — I can see looking at all of the reviews, I’ve been gushing about — I think this one was my absolute favourite. The book is unique in that it works stunningly well as a work of fiction while making compelling (and scientifically accurate) points about diets and the diet industry and encouraging real and lasting body acceptance. A beautiful read for anyone who’s ever felt the need to change their body into something more socially acceptable.

Rave Reviews meets on the first Monday of the month. Our next meeting is on Monday, April 4, 2016 from 2:30-3:30pm. Registration is not required and adults all are welcome. If you have any questions please call Kate or Jodie at 519-255-6770 extension 4434.

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Miss Kate is a Public Service Librarian and has been with the Windsor Public Library since 2010. She's passionate about music, children's programming, book clubs, literacy, reference services, blogging, and libraries in general!

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