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Books I’ve read so far this year

Lessons from Madame Chic – I thought this was fine, but not earth-shattering. It fits well into the “American girl learns lessons in Paris” genre, but is a little too reverent for my tastes. Rather than necessarily examining all the conventions of French culture and seeking out/comparing their American analogues, it goes along with the assumption that French = better. It’s a quick read, though, so I wasn’t resentful after it only took me a day to read it.

How to Be a Woman – Sorry, I’m going to have to insist that you read this book right away. It’s basically Bossypants for feminism– a book written largely as a memoir, with some pretty hilarious/telling insights into how feminism works. I’ve read plenty of criticism of Caitlin Moran for not including a wider swath of All Women in “her version” of feminism, but I didn’t get the impression that that was her aim. I laughed out loud as I read this on the plane to Hong Kong, waking my husband to read various paragraphs throughout.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – As a hiking and camping dilettante (at best), I was still completely sucked into Cheryl Strayed’s story of her hike from the Mojave to the edge of Washington. Yes, the journey was a reaction to some awful things in her life, and was no easy task, but it does seem as though she’s her own good luck charm. I would compare it to Into the Wild, but I didn’t wish for her demise at any point, which was unlike my feelings for the insufferable Christopher McCandless.

The Night Circus – When a friend of mine told me that she was starting this book, I immediately warned her that she was probably going to cry. I don’t know that she ended up doing so, but I sure did. It’s mysterious and beautiful, includes romance but isn’t all Nicholas Sparks-y about it, and will probably end up being one of my favorites of 2013.

Cicada – Honestly, I think I bought this for my Kindle because it was so cheap– about $3, rather than three times that for plenty of other books. It sat there in my queue for quite awhile before I picked it up and absolutely devoured it while sitting on a beach in Thailand. It’s short (just over 150 pages), but still manages to soak you in images of a sweltering Southern summer and the lives of all its characters in tension and tragedy.

In progress

I Want My TV

Lunch in Paris

A Partial History of Lost Causes



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