Weekly Wrap-up | April 19, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone! Only two more days til the Women’s Prize shortlist is announced, and I’m very excited for it. At this point, I’ve finished 9 of the 16 longlisted books, which doesn’t exactly qualify me to make predictions… but I’ll still try to guess anyway! I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Girl, Woman, Other and The Mirror & the Light there, but I’m having more difficulty guessing which books will take the other spots. I’ll be posting my best guesses tomorrow.

On to the wrap-up!

Posts This Week

Books I Finished This Week

  • After reading The Most Fun We Ever Had, which was not fun at all, I binged on Maya Banks’s McCabe Trilogy in two days. It’s basically highlander bodice ripper at its finest. It’s not perfect (i.e., it’s not very ‘feminist’), but it did make me happy, which is exactly what I needed from it. I gave the entire series 4 stars.
  • I’ve also finished two short novels about writers, Knut Hamsun’s Hunger and Amina Cain’s Indelicacy. These were both excellent reads and I’ll be posting a joint review of them next week.
  • For my Women’s Prize reading, I finished The Most Fun We Ever Had, which was disappointing, and Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, which thankfully lived up to expectations. I gave them 2 and 4 stars, respectively.

Books I’m Currently Reading

  • Darling Rose Gold is one of my anticipated psychological thrillers of the year. It’s been compared to Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, which I loved, and it also looks into the Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental illness wherein the caregiver deliberately makes his or her child sick or injured. I finally caved and got a copy, but I’m 56% in and I’m still not clicking with it. I’m so disappointed because this hardly ever happens with the thrillers I pick up, but I’m hoping it’ll get better.
  • How We Disappeared is the last book I have access to on the Women’s Prize longlist. I saved it for “last” right before the shortlist announcement since it’s set in Asia, which is closer to home for me. Based on the other bloggers’ reviews it looks like it’s going to be a heavy but worthwhile read.
  • Though published way back in 2011, I still find McGonigal’s The Willpower Instinct well-researched, accessible, and relevant. The first three chapters cover ground I’m already familiar with (the muscle model of willpower; how sleeping well, eating healthy, meditating, and exercising all support it), but in Chapter 4 she talks about how being good gives us the license to be bad and how our own progress can undermine our success. She cites a study wherein the participants’ previous rejection of an overtly sexist or racist attitude (like “Most women are not really smart”) made them feel good enough about themselves that this led them to make a more sexist or racist decision (like hiring a man over a woman in a hypothetical hiring situation set in a male-dominated industry), which I find very interesting.

 Posts I Loved This Week

Well, that’s it for my week. How was yours? For those following the Women’s Prize, do you have any guesses or theories about the shortlist? Let me know in the comments!


22 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-up | April 19, 2020

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! This is my first year following the Women’s Prize from shortlist to winner announcement, and I agree with you that it’s been so much fun to follow with a bookish community. And I’m glad you got to read some more enjoyable books after The Most Fun We Ever Had!!

  2. thanks so much for including my post!! ☺ i cant wait to see what you think of How We Disappeared, it seems like out of the Womens Prize longlist its a favourite for many bloggers

  3. I’m loving all the Women’s Prize posts! Although I’m finding it so hard to concentrate on the heavier reads at the moment! Loved this weekly wrap up – so many more blogs for me to check out too☺️

    1. Thank you, and of course! I know I’ve already mentioned this elsewhere, but I love how you write reviews, WP related or otherwise. Your use of language is just so precise! It inspires me to choose my words more carefully as well. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Happy Sunday, Gil! I love that you’re reading all these literary prize hopefuls AND this saucy bodice ripper series. Do you ever review a series as its own post? I’ve tried to find a balance between genre novels that are part of long series and stand-alone novels that more likely appear to people who don’t crave a certain genre. I think (hope??) I’m getting there.

    1. Thanks, and happy Sunday too, Melanie! 🙂 And thanks, it helps me not to take myself too seriously. 😉 I’ve never done it before, but I do intend to review books in a series as one post if the series is finished – I think it’s easier to track the story and themes that way. Hmm, when it comes to romance or mysteries I’m luckier because the novels in a series can usually be read alone, but when it comes to fantasy I gravitate towards lighter reads. It takes a lot of energy to be invested in a series and the hangover after is the worst! Are you reading any stand-alone / series novels now of a certain genre? 🙂

      1. Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I are reading all the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey. It’s a fantasy series. I’m also reading the DescentVerse books by S.M. Reine, which is a mega-awesome action/paranormal series that I’m madly in love with (seriously, every book delivers).

      2. Holy cow, the Valdemar series looks like a huge monster of a series, even by fantasy standards! What made you want to pick that up, and which book are you at now?

        Oooh, I’ve heard you mention the Descent series before and I’m glad that every book delivers! Usually succeeding books in a series turn out weaker. It’s climbing higher up my TBR now and I’d definitely go for it if I’m back in my paranormal mood. (Speaking of paranormal/urban fantasy, have you read Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series? This series also seems like a go-to for UF fans and I was wondering how they compare with Descent.)

      3. Back when I was in high school, a cool girl told me I had to read this trilogy called The Last Herald-Mage, so I did. I absolutely loved it. I didn’t keep reading the rest of the series, though, because I was so devastated by what happened to the characters in the end of the trilogy. I can’t remember what prompted me, but I decided I would read all of the Valdemar books, and my friend and fellow book blogger Jackie decided to join me. We’ve read 19 books so far, though the order isn’t clear. Mercedes Lackey was writing books from different trilogies at the same time, and she would also travel back and forward in history, so it’s hard to choose to read chronologically. I should be done by 2021 (assuming Lackey doesn’t publish anymore) if I keep reading one book per month.

        As for the DescentVerse by S.M. Reine — I read a book called Drawing Dead not knowing it was part of a mega series. I grabbed Drawing Dead because it was listed as starring a fat woman who doesn’t diet or date her way to happiness (this is part of a quest I’m on). I love, love, loved it. Thus, I randomly bought the rest of the series, happily knowing I was supporting a self-published author whose work deserves more attention. I just finished another one of the books last night, and OMG. Another fantastic book! Best of all, the main series comes as one Kindle file, so you can get a ton of books for something like $10. If you do decide to read Reine’s work, check out her website. There is a very specific reading order. If you don’t follow it, you’re going to get spoilers!

        I haven’t read much else paranormal fantasy other that Katie MacAlister’s vampire books, which are…not good.

      4. I’m a little late at blog-hopping so I’ve just seen your review of the Valdemar series! I’ll check it out. I’ve become a lot pickier with fantasy/sci-fi series because I see reviews that criticize how women are not usually portrayed in a very flattering light (e.g., Ender’s Game and Dune, I think).

        I am so SOLD at the $10 for a Kindle file! And the positive fat rep. Thanks so much for the recommendation – I will definitely check her out. I’ve been seeing her books on those UF lists anyway so I’m looking forward to reading this series.

  5. Literary Elephant

    Thanks for the mention! 🙂 I’m very excited to see your guesses for the shortlist! I’m struggling a bit putting my thoughts together but I hope to have a post ready tomorrow also.

    Sorry to see you’re not liking Darling Rose Gold! That’s a thriller I was excited for this year as well, but I’ve seen a few readers having issues with it and am not sure whether I still want to pick it up. I’ll look forward to seeing your final thoughts!

    1. Sure! Sorry to hear that you’re struggling but I’ll be looking forward to your post as well! I can imagine that you’ll have a lot more to wrap up than I will.

      Thank you! It looked so promising but sadly it’s not living up to expectations. Melanie @ Grab the Lapels suggested another unsettling book that I might pick up instead. I don’t know why but I’m craving for a genuine creep-fest.

  6. Thank you so much for the shoutout!! The list this year is a bit disappointing but it’s far more entertaining to talk about it with other bloggers. It definitely makes the experience so much more fun, thoughtful and one always learns a little more. It’s interesting to see which books everyone loves, or no one, how which cause the most controversy/conversation. 🙂

    I haven’t seen anyone else who read Indelicacy! I confess I could barely read it – the writing style didn’t agree with me and I ended up DNF-ing it. I’ll look out for your review, it will be so interesting to see a different experience with it!

    I hope you love How We Disappeared. It’s one of my favorites from the list. Where are you from, by the way?

    1. Yes, exactly! I’ve never had so much fun reading hate reviews before lol, and it’s so interesting to see different perspectives on books I’ve liked or disliked.

      Oooh, I haven’t encountered anyone else who read it either! I just picked it up because it was featured on the NY Times Group Text and because I wanted something really short. I can see how the style might be off-putting, and I’m even struggling to write the review because I have no idea how to defend it from a style point of view. 😅 But it created a kind of experience for me that’s difficult to put into words.

      Thanks, it’s shaping up to be an interesting read. I live in the Philippines, but my grandparents immigrated here from China. I’m the third generation of immigrants. 🙂

      1. That’s so cool! I hardly ever meet bloggers that aren’t from the US/UK. I’m from Brazil, and living in Germany now 🙂

        I look forward to your review of Indelicacy, and I’m really glad it worked for you. I wanted so much to like it, but oh well, happens!

      2. I haven’t been around for long, but wow, you’re also the first I’ve met outside of the US/UK! I hope you’re enjoying Germany – seems like a huge change from Brazil.

        Thank you for looking forward 🙂 Yes, sometimes it just can’t be helped!

  7. Pingback: Liebster Award- April 2020 – Anna's Book Nook

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