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sarah Locked account

Joined 9 months, 3 weeks ago

dorking around with old books for work and reading new books for fun | you can find me most places as wynkenhimself | she/her

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Last White Man (2022, Penguin Publishing Group) 3 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, …

white people feelings

3 stars

I don’t know what to do with this book. Some aspects were great. Some were really infuriating in ways I can’t decide if he meant to be. Maybe I just don’t want to read a book that’s about white people’s feelings about not being white, which is what the vast majority of this is.

Made for Love (Paperback, 2018, Ecco) 4 stars

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and …

funny and v dark

4 stars

honestly had to look this up to refresh my memory of it, and now that it's coming back, yeah, "funny and v dark" was my original mini-review on insta and it still sums it up

The Marriage Portrait (Hardcover, 2022, Knopf) 3 stars

Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure …


3 stars

Content warning This was tolerable until it became clear how the tension was going to resolve and then I was furious.

Vera Kelly Is Not a Mystery (2020, Tin House Books, LLC) 4 stars

The “splendid genre-pushing” (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game …

Vera Kelly can have me with a snap of her spy fingers

4 stars

What's not to love about a Cold War lesbian spy who is trying so hard to navigate so many disasters and also find a good girlfriend? The whole series is great.

Sense and Sensibility (AudiobookFormat, 2006, Naxos AudioBooks) 5 stars

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son …

perfect reader, perfect book

5 stars

Juliet Stevenson really is the queen of reading Austen. So much nuance in both her narration and in Austen's prose. I listened to this mostly while riding a bus around New Zealand, zero notes, would do it all again.

Hamnet (2020, Headline Publishing Group) 5 stars

Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, …

quiet accumulation of grief and wonder

5 stars

Fucking hell. I put this off for years because I wasn’t sure I was ready for its sustained grief (and because as a one-time Shakespeare professor, I usually stay away from fiction about him). The grief is hard and circles everything. It’s not easy, but it’s beautiful and I’m glad I read it and I’ll be thinking about it for a long while.

Matrix (2021, Riverhead Books) 4 stars

Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn …

holy wowwwww

5 stars

I am bad at titling my reviews but “holy wowwww” seems to cover it. I loved this. The story of Marie, her efforts to turn the dismal abbey into a fortress, the struggle to defy patriarchy, the love for her sisters that turns into holy love, the carnal and secular love for her various lovers that also becomes holy, just the whole thing. Part way through I came across a review that was so dismissive and childish that it raised all my hackles and the ways in which that review has been bothering me helps me understand why I loved this book so much. If you can’t handle nuance, if you’re not open to the long history of women struggling against what they’re told to believe, then this book is definitely not for you. But it’s full of rage and anger and beauty and love.

The Overstory (2019, W. W. Norton & Company) 5 stars

The Overstory, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of …

let it rewrite your relationship to trees and time

5 stars

This book pulled me into its world of trees and gutted me. I loved the richly drawn human characters and the stories they and the author tell about and learn from trees. I didn’t love the whiteness of the book, but also the relationship Powers describes between people and trees is a particularly white western one—some sense of indigenous stewardship before the end would have made that less irksome. But the book is beautiful and devastating to read, and I can’t stop thinking about trees.

Trust (2022, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars

I knew where it was going, but a good ride

4 stars

I didn’t love this the way I did Diaz’s first book—this one felt a bit more obvious in how it was going to go about telling the story I could feel it wanted to tell about money. But it was also a good story, so I forgave some of its faults