Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

35171984Title: Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

Author: Kurt Andersen

Pub Date: 2017

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.

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The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

32594947Title: The Cows

Author: Dawn O’Porter

Pub Date: 2017

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

COW n. /ka?/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find their own voice.

It’s about friendship and being female.
It’s bold and brilliant.
It’s searingly perceptive.
It’s about never following the herd.
And everyone is going to be talking about it.

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Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

6650039Title: Notes on a Scandal

Author: Zoë Heller

Pub Date: 2003

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Shortlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize, Zoë Heller’s Notes on a Scandal is a darkly compelling novel that explores the taboo subject of pupil/teacher relationships, obsession and betrayal. 

From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George’s history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara’s loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba’s chief defender. But all is not as it first seems in this dark story and, as Sheba will soon discover, a friend can be just as treacherous as any lover.

‘Brilliant, nasty, gripping’ Zadie Smith

‘Compelling, dark, sexy’ Observer

‘Superbly gripping. One of the most compelling books I’ve read in ages’ Daily Telegraph

‘Deliciously sinister’ Daily Mail

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Down the TBR Hole #6

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia @Lost in a Story. Rules are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – I’m not interested in the story that much, I removed other books by Hosseini from by TBR, and from the reviews I read, this book is not as good as other books by him. So if I removed better books, I’m definitely removing this one. – REMOVE –
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – the blurb sounds really good to me, I definitely want to read it one day. – KEEP –
  • The Dog Stars by Peter Heller – I’m not that interested in dystopian novels anymore, so – REMOVE –

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Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

 

33413934Title: Call Me Zebra

Author: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Pub Date: February 2018

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

A feisty heroine’s quest to reclaim her past through the power of literature—even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love.
 
Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago.
 
Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past.

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What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw by Leah Stewart

35340753

Title: What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw

Author: Leah Stewart

Pub Date: March 2018

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

After a series of missteps in the face of his newly found fame, actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity and a chance to reevaluate his recent break-up with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. But soon after his arrival on the peaceful island, his solitary hike into the jungle takes him into danger he never anticipated.

As Charlie struggles with gaining fame, Josie struggles with its loss. The star of a cult TV show in her early twenties, Josie has spent the twenty years since searching for a role to equal that one, and feeling less and less like her character, the heroic Bronwyn Kyle. As she gets ready for a reunion of the cast at a huge fan convention, she thinks all she needs to do is find a part and replace Charlie. But she can’t forget him, and to get him back she’ll need to be a hero in real life.

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Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

35924705Title: Herding Cats

Series: Sarah’s Scribbles #3

Author: Sarah Andersen

Pub Date:  March 2018

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

“. . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … “
The Huffington Post

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.

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