Category Archives: Popular Posts

Not a Book Review; A New Blog Announcement – Pregnant Pause

I’ve only ever posted book reviews or book talk here, so I recognize I’m breaking with expectations. But I’m using this as a shameless platform to plug the  new blog project I’ve started (not to fear, Literary Vice continues without interruptions – I’m neck deep in A Brief History of Seven Killings which is (no spoiler) not at all brief).

The new blog is Pregnant Pause for stories about being not-pregnant. You can read more about the project (and some of our first stories) (and find out how to contribute) on the site, but here’s a teaser: Continue reading

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Filed under Popular Posts, Uncategorized

Break In Case of Emergency: On Being 32 and Childless (and not on purpose)

Break In Case of Emergency is funny. You’ll read it and laugh at the satire of office life. You’ll laugh a little at the portrayal of income inequality in 30 something friend groups (that sudden realization that your friends make way more (or less) money than you do; or that your friend inherited a heap of money and so never has to think about whether to replace their air conditioner). You’ll chuckle at the representation of hipster politics: the effort to be *seen doing good. It’s the story of Jen – 30 something artist, who starts the novel unemployed and begins working at a (parody of) nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the lives of (all) women. The novel offers sharp observations on white, middle class feminism, on the changing dimensions of female friendship and a whole heap of a lot about fertility. Jen wants a baby. A lot. And she’s infertile. (and some stuff about New York, but who cares).
I guess if you’re an any-age someone you could stand to read this novel for how it demonstrates the extent to which (young-ish) women are bombarded All. The. Time. by messages about their (in)fertile bodies, the judgements heaped upon these bodies for reproducing (or not), the myriad of outrageous and hurtful things that get said out of assumptions about why you have (or more obviously haven’t) had a baby. Continue reading

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Filed under American literature, Fiction, Funny, Popular Posts, Reader Request

The Girl on the Train: Over-hyped, misogynistic nonsense

I admit I bought in to the hype around The Girl on the Train. I heard about it three times in two days and couldn’t resist the summer blockbuster appeal. I bought in to the point of buying the book (something I rarely do what with the existence of libraries and the scarcity of free money), though I got it for $10 as a ‘Heather’s Pick’ at Chapters (my local and fantastic bookshop was sold out and I had to have it Right Now). I’m embarrassed by the whole thing. (Would I be as embarrassed if it had been a better book? Or if J. hadn’t warned me that it wasn’t as great as people were saying?). Continue reading

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Filed under Bestseller, Book Club, Popular Posts, Worst Books

I am Pilgrim: Arrogant

pilgrim

Terry Hayes wants you to know he’s written screenplays. He really wants you to know that Nicole Kidman was in one of them. And that he’s kind of a big deal. How do I know this? Well, not just from the eight pages of acknowledgements (thanking, get this, his Norwegian editor ‘the first of many international publishers’ to pick up his book) and the author biography, but from his self-satisfied, falsely-modest, made-for-the-movies protagonist. Our polyonymous protagonist who on every page reminds the reader of what an exceptional spy he is (but oh-no, he really didn’t want this kind of responsibility and power), how materially privileged he is (but no really, he was adopted so he understands alienation and he never really wanted to be a billionaire anyway) how patriotic and brave he is (but seriously, the firefighters on 9/11 were the *real* heroes),  what a genius he is (no for real, he dropped out of Harvard medical school because it wasn’t meaningful enough) and how self-sacrificing he is (of course not, he’s just too dangerous for friends or permanence). Continue reading

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Filed under American literature, Bestseller, British literature, Mystery, Popular Posts