Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

… is a really precious book I wish I had in high school. I am not even going to review it, because I want you to read it yourself. All I will say is it is not perfect but even its flaws make it worth reading. if you read the book, I have had a similar experience to Claudia and it really struck a chord with me. If I read this as a teenager, I would have identified as a feminist earlier in life.

As a bookseller, I will be recommending this book to all kids of all genders, and parents and aunts and uncles and people who like YA and people who don’t. I think this is a really quick, but important read that could justify or change your perspective. I would love to hear your thoughts, and hope you might purchase this book upon its release.

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All the Lives I Want – Alana Massey

All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey is the book I’ve wanted to write, and wish I did write. Ms. Massey dwells on pop-culture with the eye of a lit critic and the heart of a sad girl. From her essays on Lana del Rey and Fiona Apple to her explorations on Amber Rose, stripping, and Winona Ryder, I was glued to my kindle. Almost every essay in this book was a more serious and thought provoking adventure into my mind than I had ever taken myself, and I recommend this to all who have ever embarked on the sad girl journey and those who are intrigued.

Cat Marnell Murders Her Life.

I have wanted to read Cat Marnell’s memoir since I heard it was being published. I have not followed her for her whole career but I find her fascinating and tragic. Her memoir, How to Murder Your Life, succeeds in all of my required categories for a good read. She is a good writer, or at least has a great editor. Her voice is wholly original, only anecdotes which add to the narrative are present, meaning any incoherence or extraneous stories are missing. Cat leaves the reader wanting more, leaving room for potential sequels.

I am deliciously jealous of the opportunities she had as a beauty editor, ruined by her addict disposition. She describes her drug use matter of factly, not romanticized, sensationalized, or underplayed. HTMYL makes me want to read everything Cat has ever published, and give her a hug.

UpDaTeD rEaDiNg LiSt 2016-17

Grad school has gotten in the way of my reading! (But my writing game is strong… I just completed the first draft of a short story that I will be submitting to an anthology, and I am already prewriting for a novel). The list below is my “short list,” but you can follow me at goodreads.com/maryjanereads to see what I have read and intend to read 🙂 Happy Rainy October Day 🙂

 

October/November

Carve the Mark – Roth – ARC
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling
The Red Car – Dermansky
The Land of Enchantment – Stein
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -reread
Talking As Fast As I Can – Graham

 

X-Mas Break
Assasin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight- Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire- Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows- Sarah J Maas
Empire of Storms- Sarah J Maas

Spring
Frida: A Biography Of Frida Kahlo – Hayden Herrera
Chocolates for Breakfast
Bonjour Tristesse
Tender is the night – Fitzgerald
I’ll give you the sun – Jandi Nelson
Furthermore – Tahereh Mafi
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
I love dick – kraus
Still Life with Tornado – AS King
What Light – Jay Asher

Summer
My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
The Story of A New Name – Elena Ferrante
Those Who Stay and Those Who Leave – Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child – Elena Ferrante
Ready player one – Ernest Cline
M-Train – Patti Smith

TBD

Swear on this life – Rene Carlino
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
Arrows of the Queen – Mercedes Lackey
The Beautiful Struggle – Ta Nahesi Coates
Desert Tales – Melissa Marr
More Happy than Not – Adam Silvera
Jazz – Toni Morrison – reread of the first half, new read of the second – research
Middlesex – Eugenides
Black Wave – Michelle Tea
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It ends with us – Colleen Hoover
My Mad, Fat, Teenage Diary – Rae Earl
Orphan Black Clone Club Science Book
The House on Mango Street – reread – research
The Bell Jar – Plath – reread – research
The Virgin Suicides – reread – research
Smashed – Zailckas – reread – research
Fury – Zailckas – reread – research
Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johannsen

Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air was reassuring on many levels, albeit deeply heartbreaking. The book appeared on the breakroom table at my job one day, an advanced readers’ copy. As booksellers, this is one of the perks we get.

I picked up the book and read the letter that came along with the book. Lucy Kalanithi, Paul’s wife, was the author of the letter. She wanted the reader to know what a labor of love Paul’s book was, and how special it was to her to see it published. It was a gift to us, the bookseller. His book is truly a gift to all.

Before deciding on a career in medicine, Paul was an English Major. His writing is just phenomenal. He talks about books like the treasures they are. But though he was an English Major at first, Paul moved on to his other love, medicine. Breath is his journey from student of English to student of Medicine, to student of life, as he learned of his upcoming untimely death and prepared for the birth of his daughter.

They say life goes in cycles, and I grieve for Lucy and their daughter. Lucy has lost her love, and baby has lost the chance to know her father. But I know Lucy and her baby are in good hands.

Incidentally, I was once a long-time reader of A Cup of Jo, a blog by miss Joanna Goddard – twin to Lucy Kalanithi. This comforts me in knowing that Lucy is okay.

I recommend this book to both those who study the arts and those who study the sciences, but especially to those with a heart capable of understanding that art and science are twins just as life and death are, just as Lucy is, and just as night and day are.

 

The Girls by Emma Cline; published June 14, 2016.

 

When I saw The Girls A.R.C. on the table at work, up for grabs, grab it I did. I’ve had the book on my to-read list for a few months now, and so when I saw it, I felt like it was a gift.

 

From the minute I started reading I was hooked. The first line is, “I looked up because of the laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.” I was immediately transported back to my early teenage years in which I looked at the girls around me as people I wanted to emulate, love, and become. Women are magical creatures, girls are exhilaratingly so.

 

Emma Cline is my own age (25-26) but she manages to capture the 1960’s so perfectly in her book, you’d think she time traveled. I recommend this book to people in their 20’s and 30’s – especially women. You need to be at an age where you can still not just connect to your teen self, but remember your teen self, and understand where she was coming from. I was really inspired to pick up the pen after reading this novel. It was paced well, and kept my interest throughout.

 

I will definitely be looking out for more Emma Cline books in the future. She signed a three book deal, of which The Girls is the first. The film rights have been purchased as well. So this is just the beginning of Cline’s possible, probable reign as Lit’s new Queen of Cool.

 

When the movie comes out, I imagine it will be all about Russell – but the book is definitely al about The Girls.

 

Pairs well with:

The Virgin Suicides movie or book

Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon Album