Hey y’all! I hope everyone’s doing well on this fine Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been a busy PO but have never stopped (will never stop!) reading, and now it’s time to let you know what I think about my latest batch of books.
I already posted these reviews on Goodreads. If y’all’re interested in reading any of the synopses, just click the linked titles below. And if you’ve already read any of these books, I’d love to hear what you think in my Comments section. You know, way down yonder at the bottom.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Rated 5 of 5 stars, “it was amazing”, and shelved it as favorites, literary, memoir, mental health, and nonfiction on Goodreads.
Holy shit, y’all; when I finished Educated, I was wrecked.
I had to get some distance from this book before writing down my thoughts. Westover’s unflinching, straightforward descriptions of the emotional, psychological, and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, older brother, and mother during her horrific childhood were so compelling that I found myself by turns crying, quaking with anger, shaking my head in utter disbelief, and even a couple of times almost needing to vomit.
Educated is a hard-hitting tale of survival and transcendence against all odds. It is not a nice book, and if you’re a particularly sensitive person or are easily triggered by detailed descriptions of abuse, you should probably give it a pass.
As a probation officer, I come into frequent contact with people who have been raised in similar circumstances, so there was little in the book that surprised me. What did surprise me, though, were Westover’s eloquence, equanimity, apparent lack of rancor, and, most of all, her abiding love for people who, honestly, have no right to that love.
I am not a big fan of the memoir genre, but Educated is a keeper and is easily one of the best, if not the best, books I’ve read in the past 5 years.
Nemesis Games: The Expanse #5 by James S.A. Corey. Rated 4 of 5 stars, “really liked it”, and shelved it as audioboooks, favorites, fiction, novel, sci-fi, series, and space opera on Goodreads.
As I’ve said before, This series gets better with each book. Nemesis Games finds the series’ central heroes, the crew of the Rocinante, splitting up to attend to their own affairs then struggling to reunite following a multi-pronged and devastating attack on the solar system’s 3 governing factions and a nearly planet-killing assault on Earth.
This book, this series, are just nonstop action and suspense paired with richly detailed, believable characters, terrific dialogue, generous doses of humor, pathos, and psychological insight and, best of all, a realistic, encyclopedically detailed universe. I can’t say enough good things about The Expanse. If you’re a fan of the SyFy t.v. series and you haven’t read or audited the books, you owe it to yourself to do so. I’m confident in saying they’ll blow you away.
Professor at Large: The Cornell Years by John Cleese. Rated 2 of 5 stars, “it was okay”, and shelved it as anthologies, essays, and nonfiction on Goodreads.
Considering the author, I was disappointed by the lack of humorous material in Professor at Large. Some of these essays date back to 1999 & 2000 so are somewhat dated. Cleese returns to many of the same themes and anecdotes in essay after essay, so it’s very repetitive. I didn’t care much for Cleese’s very defeatist, pessimistic attitude toward the future of humanity, although given the current state of human affairs, it’s easy to understand why he feels that way. Hell, these days, it’s hard not to feel that way much of the time. Finally, Cleese bases many of his conclusions about psychology and mental health on really old studies, some of which, he repeatedly reminds us, he co-wrote a couple of books about decades ago. I really didn’t enjoy Professor at Large much, but I didn’t have the heart to rate it 1 star.
Via Laura M. Bailey’s Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt: Heart