January 22nd, 2018

book talk // the tiger’s daughter.

I love fantasy novels. However, I am rather particular in my taste. I don’t enjoy the monotony of endless battles or aggressive male tones. I seek, much like I do with my literary fiction, a story that creates a mood, builds an interesting world, and explores characterization. I found that in The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera.

The Tiger’s Daughter is “the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa

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January 15th, 2018

book talk // the vegetarian.

The Vegetarian by Hang Kang is an unconventional novel. It begins with a simple enough premise, Yeong-hye decides to stop eating meat after having a particularly gruesome dream. The novel is told in three parts, first from the perspective of Yeong-hye’s husband, then her brother-in-law, and finally her sister. Her husband describes Yeong-hye as “ordinary,” “normal,” he notes that there is truly nothing he considers special about her. However, when

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January 6th, 2018

book talk // the heart’s invisible furies.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne was recommended to me multiple times and also recently won the Book of the Month “Lolly” award for 2017, so I figured winter break would be a good time to dive into this 580 page tome. However, I have very mixed feelings about this book. While I recognize that John Boyne is addressing important social issues, I felt that many of the characters

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January 1st, 2018

bookstore // dark carnival.

One of the greatest benefits to living in the Bay Area has been discovering all the hidden bookstore gems. There’s nothing more fun than a quick adventure to a new-to-me bookstore, followed by tea at a cafe. Most recently, I spent an afternoon checking out Dark Carnival in Berkeley, a store focused primarily on fantasy, science-fiction and thriller/mystery and named after Ray Bradbury’s short story collection of the same name.

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December 29th, 2017

book talk // outline.

I spoke too soon in composing my five favorite books of 2017 post — I even considered not admitting I finished this particular book in 2017, but it seemed a shame not to acknowledge what was, truly, a year-end gem.

Outline is, in a word, a gift. It’s art; beautifully constructed, not a sentence wasted or word misplaced. The blurb describes Outline as, “a novel in ten conversations” — and

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December 27th, 2017

the five best books I read in 2017.

I picked up Hot Milk because I always try to read a bit of the Man Booker longlist. I’d heard very little about it and (rather unexpectedly) fell in love with this book. It had such a dreamlike quality and was cast with a host of mostly unlikeable characters. But the prose was what really drew me in. Beautiful and strange — recommend!

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December 14th, 2017

Why I buy books.

I read a lot.

People often ask me why I buy my books instead of utilizing the library. There are many reasons, not the least of which is that I once saw a man peeing all over the new fiction section at the downtown branch and was effectively put off of the idea. But, there are other reasons as well.

Today, I read this Book Riot article: I Buy Books

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September 21st, 2016

book talk // the underground railroad.

“All men are created equal, unless we decide you are not a man.”

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead fits squarely into a categorization I would refer to as “novels of pain” — a subheading I would also attribute to books such as A Little Life and Beloved.

I will begin by acknowledging that this is the first novel I’ve read by Whitehead and, therefore, I can offer no

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April 14th, 2016

book talk // lukewarm feels.

I am a committed and monogamous book reader. I pick up one book at a time and devote myself fully to it.

In the past, I have trudged through every book I picked up, determined to reach the conclusion because it simply HAS to be worth the time I put in. Right?

Well, as it turns out, that is not always the case. So, I have started putting them down.

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April 8th, 2016

book talk // margaret the first.

I’d heard about Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton on Book Riot’s podcast; then, my local bookstore had the (strikingly beautiful!) cover art on prominent display.

And yet, I knew nothing of Margaret Cavendish when I picked up this book. Nor did I have any expectations regarding Dutton’s writing style or really the genre of the book itself.

The novel is a merging of literary and historical fiction that unravels

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