You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

32321142Title: Your Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

Author: Alexandra Kleeman

Pub Date: January 26th, 2017 (first published July 14th, 2015)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

‘An existential thriller written in prose that points the way to the future’ Zadie Smith

A lives with B.

B seems to be becoming ever more and more like A.

If A’s boyfriend, C, likes A because A is A, but now B is the same as A, where does that leave A?

And what has happened to the family across the street, who left one afternoon out of nowhere, covered in sheets with holes cut out for the eyes?

A dry, funny and furiously intelligent fusion of postmodern dystopia, pop culture satire, and philosophical investigation – into identity, consumption, surface, bodies and satisfaction.

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Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre

Title: Hollywood Dirt

Author: Alessandra Torre

Pub Date: September 7th, 2015

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there’s a new bad boy in town.

Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year.

We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him.

From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me.

Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

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Swing Time by Zadie Smith

swing-timeTitle: Swing Time

Author: Zadie Smith

Pub Date: November 15th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth andOn Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

This is just hard. Zadie Smith is one of my favorite authors. I adore her other works, and when I heard about her new book I was excited. I couldn’t wait to finally read it. And now I read it. And I’m not happy. It wasn’t anything as enjoyable read as her previous books. It was quite frankly boring.

It’s a story of women friendship. There are two story lines that intervene a little bit, the first plot line is the present time when the main character is working for superstar Aimee. The second storyline is her childhood and friendship with Tracey. The main character is quite flat and uninspiring. We learn so much about her life and her history, but still, I’m left with an impression that she is just a mean to tell us a story of Aimee and Tracey. She’s the main character but not the main focus.

I struggled to follow the story u because it was jumping between different times and places constantly. I was getting lost and every time it took me some time to adjust to the new place and time. This was a big issue at the beginning, but later in the book, it was pretty easy – one chapter about Aimee and one chapter about childhood and Tracey.

The most interesting part of the story for me was reading about the superstar that is pouring her wealth to a poor village in Africa. Without thinking about the repercussions of such actions. Just thinking about solving the problems of poverty and education and health care with money, and feeling good about herself. Having a vision and a good noble goal, but not stopping for a while to judge if her actions are truly solving any problems in the village, is she helping or harming them?

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

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Title: Harmless Like You

Author: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Pub Date: August 11th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Harmless Like You is a beautiful novel of loneliness, sadness, identity, and love. It follows Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl living in New York in late 1960s and her son Jay in a present day, who is forced to face his mother who abandoned him when he was a kid. We meet Yuki when she’s seventeen, girl without friends, looking for love and acceptance, longing to be seen. Her father distastes New York and is waiting for a day when they all can come back to Tokyo. When this day come Yuki convinces her parents to let her stay in NYC and live with her newly met best friend. She stays. Continue reading

The Man Booker Prize 2016: What I read

longlist-sticker2016On 27th July Man Booker Prize announced 2016 longlist! I always check out the long list of this prize, and I try to read books from the list, at least the winner. Let’s have a look at books I already read from the long list, and which books were on my TBR list before the announcement, and which I am adding to my TBR.

 

2016 Man Booker Dozen (source

The 2016 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

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The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

the summer that melted everythingTitle: The Summer That Melted Everything

Author: Tiffany McDaniel

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

Honors: 

My Rating: ★★★★★

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The heat come with the devil. It was the summer of 1984, and while the devil had been invited, the heat was not. It should’ve been expected, though. Heat is, after all, the devil’s name, and when’s the last time you left home without yours?

Those opening lines should be enough reason for you to start reading this book, but if you still not sure, let me tell you how fantastic this book is.

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The Muse by Jessie Burton

Title: The Muse

Author:  Jessie Burton

Pub Date: June 30th, 2016

Honors: 

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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 The Muse is a fantastic read with well-plotted twists. Odelle Bastien comes to London from Trinidad looking for better life, more chances for success. She’s hired by mysterious Majorie Quick to work as a typist in Skelton Institue. Odelle is a writer, and one of her poems is a starting point of her relationship with Lawrie Scott. Lawrie is an owner of a painting that as it turns out was painted by a very promising Spanish author that we don’t know much about. Lawrie brings the painting to the Skelton for examination – an event that shakes Quick and excites gallery’s owner. All this is happening in 1960s London. In parallel to how we follow Odelle’s steps to finding out what is Quick’s connection to the painting, we are taken back to 1930s Spain when the painting depicting Saint Rufina was created. It was painted in an uncertain time in Europe but in a somewhat happy time for the artist. Olive Schloss moved to small rural town Arazuelo with her parents, and there she meets Isaac and Teresa Robles. Isaac is a socialist that is passionate about helping workers; Teresa is his half-sister who is hired as a help in Schloss’s house. Robles change Schloss lives in many ways, leaving us wondering how the painting ended up in London thirty yeats later.

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