Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay Review

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In June, I read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I’ve been wanting to read Gay’s work for a long time, but I never had the chance before. I have seen her books at bookstores for a while, but there was always other books that caught my attention more. However, the last time I stepped into a bookstore, I bought a little Olive Edition of Bad Feminist, and I didn’t even wait to read it. I own a number of books I haven’t read yet, but this book I couldn’t wait for.

Bad Feminist centres around Gay’s personal and political views and experiences within feminism. It explores many topics from gender roles, reproductive freedom, occupation; the list goes on. Within the array of topics, there are many instances of humour and sarcasm. Gay doesn’t shy away from sarcasm, and it creates hilarious moments, even when the topic can be quite grim. I think these moments are essential in writing about the problems that women, and people who identify as women, face daily. Yes, I want to laugh 50 Shades of Grey because the story of a controlling egomaniac is uncomfortable. I want to laugh at the silliness of some of the problems in our society because being angry and sad all the time can be overwhelming. I think her humour is sprinkled throughout her essays as forms of punctuation. Every humorous bit is presented at the right moment, never feeling out of place, or unwanted. It provides a breathing, or relaxation. point that is well needed in the many issues mentioned.

Although I am knowledgeable of feminism, and many of the problems that plague feminists, there were still many things that I learned in this collection of essays. There were despicable things that have occurred that I never knew even happened. Some things that I needed a moment to close the book, and reevaluate the world that I live in. How can an 11-year-old suffer such atrocities when the men who did it to her are being pitied? It made me sick to my stomach, but it opened my eyes to the many evil acts that occur everyday. Even little facts and tidbits were shocking to me. I don’t live in America, so many American politicians I have never heard of. So, after reading these essays, I know exactly a lot of the things they have said, or think were okay to say to the public. Bad Feminist provided me insight to a topic that I already know a lot about. It’s always great to learn something new, and help better shape your perspective.

Gay’s perspective on feminism was very personal, but it never lacked substance. All of her essays provide evidence with her personal views. If she mentioned her hatred from The Help, she gave really damning examples as to how awful that movie really is. All of her essays intertwine personal opinions and facts that I felt like I was learning so much from a friend. I haven’t read any of Gay’s other work, so I don’t know if this is how she typically writes. But, I love it. I love this connection between the personal and factual because it provides a portrait of the human experience. We all have our biases, and our own personal opinions on varying topics. We all have this, and we have evidence, and examples as to why we think this way. Her essays read no different than talking to someone about why they hate a certain television show, and given you really good reasons why to avoid it.

I think what I loved most about Bad Feminist is the fact that Gay never claims to be the model of feminism. She shows how people can have contradictions, and how they can like things that can be grossly problematic. She likes the colour pink, and listens to rap music that degrades women. But that doesn’t make her less of a feminist. It felt like a weight lifting off my shoulders because I love listening to music, and watching movies, that are not 100% unproblematic. I understand the problems of the things I love, but I how can I cancel everything in my life? There’s hardly anything in this world thats completely perfect in any ideology.

If you have been interested in reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, I would highly recommend it. No, I would ask you to run to your nearest bookstore and buy it. (Or, library too). I think it’s an important collection of essays for people who are new to feminism, or someone who wants to further their learning in the subject. It’s a funny, informative, and challenging read. It’s worth every minute of reading, and I hope many people do.

I gave Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay a 5/5 on Goodreads.

What are your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments!

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July TBR 2018

July 2018 TBR
After a somewhat successful reading month in June, I wanted to continue that into July. I decided I wanted to revisit one of my favourite novels, like Pride and Prejudice, and of course, read some books I haven’t yet. I think my goal for this month is to read as many books as I can. If I’m not mistaken, the BookTubeAthon is in July, and I know there will be a week of nonstop reading for me coming up ahead. So, I’m definitely keeping this in mind with my reading pile for the month. Whatever the prompts are for the readathon, I may have to change, or add, the books I’ll read, but we’ll see what happens! Continue reading

March Wrap Up 2018

What_I_Read_March_2018
Another month of reading is complete, and with that, so is my week of blogging! I’m happy that I was able to create blog posts for every day this week, and hopefully I’ll be more consistent with my blogging in the future. I’m hoping to post 3 times a week, but realistically, it’s probably going to be 2 times a week.  Continue reading

Three Books I Didn’t Like

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It happens to all of us. We pick up a book, and we just can’t enjoy it. Whether it’s the characters, the plot, or just one aspect of the book. It can be a let down when a book you wanted to be good ends up being awful. I’ve had my fair share of books I didn’t like, but it still disappoints me when another book ends up being unreadable. These books may be favourites of others, or may hold a significance within the history of literature, but I just don’t like them. If you haven’t read these books, there may be a bit of spoilers. So read on with caution!

Bloom by Estee Lalonde
I used to be a big fan of Estee Lalonde, so when I got Bloom, I was really excited to see what she wrote with her first book. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed with Bloom in its entirety. The book is supposed to be very personal, but a lot of the stories she tells, she glosses over a lot of the more important, relatable details. Almost as if giving the bare bones of the story and you fill in the blanks of it. I also was disappointed in the lack of editing in the book. There were many little editorial mistakes throughout the book. I don’t know if the book wasn’t proofread, or what, but it lack professionalism in my eyes.

I think what I was most disappointed about was her remedies for social anxiety. This is a mental health issue a lot of people have, and is a real struggle for them. However, for Estee, the best way to deal with it is to “just be yourself,” or “don’t try to impress other people.” She makes a rather large list of how to be less anxious, but it reads off as if Estee is trying to equate shyness and anxiety. It’s harmful comments and associations like these that diminish the severity of mental health issues, and brings shame to people who have mental health disorders. I’m sure with this part of the book, she was trying to be helpful, but it should have been a list of how she deals with things, not how others should deal with it. It provides misinformation for people who may actually have social anxiety and may think why they can’t get over it based on her list. I was quite offended while reading that part, and with the rest of the book not being that great, I just really didn’t like it.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness is meant to be a classic among readers, so when I picked this book up, I got it based on its popularity in the literary world. The edition I have has skulls on the cover, so I assumed it was going to be a ghost story, or horror/gothic story of some sort. Before reading this book, I had no idea of what the book was about. That’s how I usually like to read my books because I don’t want to have a million spoilers thrown at me. Well, this is the book that has changed my mind about that.

The book centres around a man going to the Congo with an ivory trading company. He tells people on a boat of a man becoming “wild” and “savage” like the indigenous people there. I didn’t finish the book because the novel is full of disgusting racism against black people. Even before this man becomes “savage” there is a lot of dialogue discriminating black people and their traditions. Since I didn’t read the rest of the book, I had to find a summary of how it ends, and it made me glad I didn’t waste my valuable time finishing it. Let me advise you all to always find out more about the book you’re reading, and don’t just pick it up because it’s popular, or deemed a literary classic. I won’t make that mistake again.

The Girl Before by J P Delaney
For the past couple of years, the domestic thriller has been a very popular genre of contemporary authors. The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and the like have been really popular, but I never read those books. When The Girl Before was released, I was able to get an ARC, and I thought why not try out this genre? I made a bad decision there. I didn’t finish this book either.

The novel centres around this beautiful home that everyone wants to live in. But there’s a catch. The architect of this home wants whoever living there to sign a contract and answer a whole bunch of questions about themselves. Basically, the contract is for this creepy architect to find potential women that resemble his dead wife. The story goes back and forth between two women who lived there, and their experience. Once the current woman finds out she looks like his dead wife, she still ends up sleeping with him and becomes interested in him. She doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by anything this man has done so far.

The dialogue was very cringe-worthy as well. I just couldn’t stand reading it because of how badly it was written, and the fact the woman wasn’t put off by the fact she looked exactly like this dead wife, and his observations of her. This novel was definitely a pass for me, and it has put me off of domestic thrillers at the moment.

Have you read these books? What do you think of them? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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What I Read in February

What I Read in February 2018

We’re already two months into the year! I can’t believe how quickly this year is going already. With that I’ve read 3 books this month! Yay! I’m so happy with how much I’ve been reading since I’ve changed my reading goals for this year. I’ve been much happier with how I’ve been reading, and with what I’ve been reading. I feel so much more relaxed now, and hope this keeps going for rest of the year. Although I didn’t end up reading as much as I could have this month, I still think it’s a good amount for when life gets a busy.

Here is what I read in February:
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 3/5
This book was hard to start. I never really got into it until halfway through the book. The novel centres around two very unlikable characters, so I think maybe that’s why it was hard for me to get fully immersed in it. I think the plot, and the twists within the novel, are excellent but it was hard to read when the two main protagonists are so unlikable. And, I don’t mean unlikable but super interesting. They were unlikable and kinda boring. That’s why I gave it a 3/5. I think if the characters had a few redeemable qualities, or had a bit more variety to them, I would have given it maybe a 4/5.
There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe 5/5
This novel centred around the Nigerian and Biafran Civil War. Before reading this novel, I knew nothing about this war, nor the impact it made on African Literature. Achebe also includes his own prose, and personal stories within the context of this war. I found the memoir very informative, and personal. I really enjoyed it.
Mr. Penumbra;s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 3.5/5
I have to say, this novel was one that I couldn’t predict anything that was going to happen. I really liked that. I will post a full out review for the book later in March, so I’ll go into more detail about my likes and dislikes then.

What did you read in February?

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10 Books I Want to Read in 2018

10 BOOKS I WANT TO READ IN 2018
When it comes to reading, I always have a difficult time picking what book I want to read next. Since I have an extensive book collection, over 300 books, I have an overwhelming amount of choice. While looking at my personal library, I looked at all the books I haven’t read, and thought why haven’t I read them yet. Some of the books I’ve been wanting to read for years, but I never read them because new releases came out, or I decided on something else. Continue reading

This is Happy by Camilla Gibb Review

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetMy first read of 2018 was This is Happy by Camilla Gibb. I had this book on my first day as an intern at Penguin Random House Canada a year ago, and only got around to reading it now. Prior to working at PRHC, I never heard of Camilla Gibb, but her memoir set on my work desk asking to be read. After thinking about what books I wanted to read in 2018, I decided I wanted to read Gibb’s book first.
Continue reading