I wasn’t tagged for this but I was in the mood to do a tag, so here’s the Netflix Book Tag which has been floating around my feed today.
RECENTLY WATCHED: The last book you finished reading.
I listened to the audiobook of We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the way to work today (it was literally the exact same length as my commute – it ended as soon as I parked). I know I’ll be in the minority here, but I can’t say I was crazy about this… it is a very basic rumination on concepts I’m already familiar with, and didn’t offer me much to think about. I liked the specific examples about Nigerian culture, but I actually didn’t find this essay to be very intersectional as a whole, and relied very heavily on a conflating sex and gender and treating gender as a very strict binary… I don’t know. I think this is a good introduction to feminism and would make a good gift if there’s someone in your life who still thinks ‘feminist’ is a dirty word. But if you’re already familiar with even very basic feminist theory, this doesn’t have a whole lot to offer.
TOP PICKS: A book that has been recommended to you based on books you have previously read.
I’ve had The Raven Cycle recommended to me a lot based on my love of The Secret History. I’m so on the fence about whether or not I want to pick it up at some point. On the one hand, I really loved The Scorpio Races and I thought Maggie Stiefvater’s prose was excellent… and on the other hand, I tend to dislike YA fantasy. I don’t know. If you guys are familiar with my tastes, do you think I’d like TRC?? Help.
RECENTLY ADDED: The last book you bought.
My mom got me a gift card to the bookstore for my birthday, so I bought a copy of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, because I’ve been wanting to read it for ages and because this cover is gorgeous.
POPULAR ON NETFLIX: Books that everyone knows about. (2 you’ve read and 2 you haven’t read or have no interest in reading.)
Have read: Little Fires Everywhere, The Hunger Games.
Have not yet read: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (soon!), 1Q84.
COMEDIES: A funny book.
Naked by David Sedaris. Some anecdotes in this collection worked for me more than others (I seem to remember one in particular that dragged on and on for ages), but when Sedaris is good, he’s really great.
DRAMAS: A character who is a drama queen/king.
Francis Abernathy, trash prince of my heart.
ANIMATED: A book with cartoons on the cover.
I’m not sure what we mean by ‘cartoons’ in this context… this is the only thing I could think of.
WATCH IT AGAIN: A book or series that you want to re-read.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I read this when I was 15 and I hated it, but I don’t trust my 15-year-old self’s opinion in the slightest. I think I’d pick up on a lot more this time around, and I know so many people who love this – I really want to give it another shot.
DOCUMENTARIES: A non-fiction book you’d recommend to everyone.
Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard, which, despite its similarly short length, I actually found a lot more nuanced than We Should All Be Feminists, and explores feminism from a very specific and often under-examined angle (i.e., the historical precedent of excluding women from positions of power).
ACTION AND ADVENTURE: An action-packed book.
I mean, this whole series, but I think A Storm of Swords is the best and also most exciting.
NEW RELEASES: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read.
I got an ARC from Netgalley for The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker which is out this fall, and I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT. Here’s the summary from Goodreads (sorry, it’s really long):
“From the Booker Prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy comes a monumental new masterpiece, set in the midst of literature’s most famous war. Pat Barker turns her attention to the timeless legend of The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War.
The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody war over a stolen woman–Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war’s outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.
When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and cooly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis’s people, but also of the ancient world at large.
Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war–the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead–all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives–and it is nothing short of magnificent.”
I mean… is that not right up my alley or what?!
Tagging whoever wants to do this!