Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The New Kings of Nonfiction

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This collection of nonfiction journalism has a little something for everybody. I call it journalism because the collection's curator, This American Life podcast host Ira Glass, gives it that name. And it is, but that barely contains all that it is. It is reporting, but it's also essays, sort of. Or maybe you'd call it true short stories? Well, it's all of that, and more. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matt Haig is a writer who has dealt with depression and finding ways to work through and past it, and the reader gets a sense of that internal struggle in his books. The Midnight Library is basically a tale of reasons why you should keep going, step back from the abyss, move away from the bottle of pills and its promise of eternal night.

It's a simple, lovely tale of exploring roads not taken, what really makes a successful life, why you shouldn't give up on living. At times, it feels a bit too basic and simple. But it works.

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Friday, August 6, 2021

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jennifer Weiner's writing is warm and welcoming. It pulls you in with an easy embrace and urges you to stay awhile. In the few books I've read by her, I've liked her writing style and her characters. I've liked her, too, from how personable I find her in interviews, to the person I imagine her to be when reading her fiction, to how she seems based on her memoir, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.

However, in every instance, something falls short for me in her books. It's not her ability to put words down in a way that invites me to continue, because she has that — in the early segment of her stories, at least. It's the way that, always, before the story concludes, aspects of the plot start to feel off balance, not quite making sense or simply not engaging. The tales in the end are ultimately unsatisfying for me.