Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Reading Envy Podcast 126: Bernice Bobs Her Hair with Jon Laubinger

Jon Laubinger, of Film Baby Film and recent game show appearances, returns to the Reading Envy pub for a more traditional episode. We chat books, quitting your job, reading books set where you travel, game shows, and some film talk sneaks in from time to time. Bushido!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 126: Bernice Bobs Her Hair.

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A dream come true!

Books Discussed:

Shogun by James Clavell
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
Augustus by John Williams
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell
Passing by Nella Larsen

Other Mentions: 

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (tv show)
Silence (film)
Longform book podcasts:
Backlisted podcast
Overdue podcast
Book Fight podcast
The Broken Earth Series by N.K. Jemisin
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
The Nebula Awards
The Hugo Awards
Locus Awards
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
King Rat by James Clavell
Alaska by James Michener
Hawaii by James Michener
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Hard to Be a God by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Circe by Madeleine Miller
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith 
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Six Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Black Wave by Michelle Tea
The Overstory by Richard Powers

Related Episodes:

Episode 055 - Too Late for an Autopsy with Julie Davis
Episode 080 - The Wild Things Helped with Jason Roland
Episode 087 - Going Native with Bookclub Social with Amanda and Grace 
Episode 106 - Falling Asleep During Tarkovsky Films with Jon Laubinger
Episode 122 - A Cylon Raider Shaped Hole in Your Heart with Sara Burnett

Stalk us online:

Jon's podcast website, Film Baby Film
FBF on Instagram
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review: The Third Hotel

The Third Hotel The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favorite work of the author's yet. After her husband's death, Clare travels to Cuba on the trip they were supposed to make together, to a horror film festival. Her husband was an academic studying the genre. But then she sees him in Havana....

The remarkable thing is that in just over 200 pages, the author creates so many layers - horror films, Cuban culture, psychological thrills, grief, the questions of if we can truly know another person - but at the same time manages to help the reader see all of it through Clare's eyes. Her observations and thoughts are beautifully and painfully written, and if I had a final copy I'd be quoting like crazy.

And since I rarely give five stars, I'll say it's the great writing added to a layered, interesting, nuanced story that did it.

This will be a great late summer read!

Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title through Edelweiss and NetGalley. It comes out August 7, 2018.

View all my reviews

Review: Love Interrupted

Love Interrupted Love Interrupted by Reneilwe Malatji
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This collection focuses on stories of present-day women in South Africa - careers, relationship, family. I found the women to be vibrant and their situations to be a combination of frustrating and hopeful - just like real life.

Frequent themes include polygamy (and always the men, of course) and the general absence of men. Daughters and sons are unusual if they still have their fathers, and there are a lot of single working mothers in these stories.

The setting feels similar to America in the sense of "official" racism being over, leaving the white people (mostly Dutch/Afrikaans, in this set) to believe everything is okay while they perpetuate the systematic racism. There are still very low ceilings on the actual African women for career, education, and expectation. Those who try to move beyond the traditional roles face additional challenges in their own communities. I felt like I was seeing into a world I hadn't really seen.

Thanks to the publisher for providing early access to this title through Edelweiss. It comes out August 7, 2018.

View all my reviews

Review: The Shakespeare Requirement

The Shakespeare Requirement The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hilarious followup to Dear Committee Members. Should be required reading of all of us working in academia, for comic relief as we head into the fall semester (but read the first book first as they are consecutive).

The professor from the first novel has new responsibilities in this one, but is still trying to confront his failed relationship amidst these new challenges - these include losing access to the departmental conference room (as all rooms on campus are in the new campus scheduling system, omg is this about where I work?!), the encroaching imperialism of the Economics Department upstairs (who got renovated the previous year, with fancy carpet, espresso, and donor plaques), and worse, the writing on the wall seems to be the ultimate demise of his entire department.

I think anyone in academia will find a lot of familiar groans in this book. I was giggling in the corner the entire time.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC through through Edelweiss. It comes out August 14.

View all my reviews