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
- Book Review: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo (Tuesday)
- Can’t-Wait Wednesday #3 | Literary Fiction: Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh (Wednesday)
- Book Review: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Saturday)
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
- Since we’re so close to the shortlist announcement, I’d like to give a shoutout to all the Women’s Prize bloggers—Emily @ Literary Elephant, Hannah Celeste @ Books and Bakes, Callum @ Callum McLaughlin, Naty @ Naty’s Bookshelf, Hannah @ I have thoughts on books, and Marija @ Inside My Library Mind, and Laura @ Dr. Laura Tisdall—and bloggers who are also invested in the Prize. I had a a blast reading your reviews and swapping opinions with you. I’ve always followed the announcements for the Women’s Prize, but shadowing it with a community of readers made it so much more fun.
- I enjoyed Fatma’s post on what literary fiction is for her. I’d also been thinking a lot about it lately, given some of the disappointing reads on the Women’s Prize longlist.
- This week, Diana also posted about Edward Hopper, an American realist painter. I’ve always been drawn to his style and I love the paintings she featured.
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!