Book Review: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself

I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

My thoughts:

I had been wanting to read this book for a couple of years. The title and subject matter had me intrigued as a plus-size woman myself. I wasn’t familiar with Roxane Gay before I listened to this book, but I am going to be reading/listening to some of her other books in the future. As for Hunger, I have mixed emotions about this book.

My mixed emotions are not because I think this is a poorly written story. I keep calling it a story even though it is not, it is a memoir. It is the author’s truth and personal experience with life. Lately, I have really been into listening to audio versions of memoirs read by the authors themselves because I just love biographies and learning about people and individual psychology. Listening to Gay speak was fine. I thought she did a great job of telling her story. However, it is the story itself that I have conflict with.

Gay’s story is not necessarily a pleasant one. In fact, it isn’t for the faint of heart at all, especially if you have dealt with traumas similar to hers. It is difficult to listen to her describe the wrongs done to her body by other people, which led to the mistreatment of her body at her own hands, which led to her overall perspective about how society sees her and how she sees herself because of her body.

Going into it, I thought the book would merely be a reflection over being plus-size, however, Gay’s story is more sophisticated than that, as most of our stories are. I guess I regretfully thought the presentation would be more shallow. Then again, I wasn’t aware of who Roxane Gay is before this book.

I appreciate her story and her storytelling. It wasn’t like a cohesive chronology of her life, but pieces. As I was listening, I felt like she was reading a series of journal entries or personal essays, which I didn’t mind at all. I thought that she expressed herself clearly for the most part. However, there were times where she would introduce ideas or past experiences or personalities and then say that it was too difficult to speak about or that she just didn’t want to speak about them and I found that a bit annoying. She doesn’t have to speak about anything that she doesn’t want to. However, whenever she did that, I felt like I was being left hanging waiting for and wanting more details and would have to force myself to forget that she brought up certain things.

Some of her thoughts about society and human behavior I disagree with, but it was interesting to hear. Some of the thoughts and experiences as a large person I could directly relate to. I’m not super morbidly obese, but I have always carried extra weight and know what it is like to have to explain to some people that I can’t always move the same way that they do or fit in the same places.

Roxane’s story is not an easy one to consume. I can’t say that I enjoyed it—it is never enjoyable for me to listen to/read a description of a sexual assault– but it is one that I can appreciate. As difficult as it was for me to listen to in some parts, I imagine must have been even harder for her to write and relive. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I’d recommend getting it from the library. If you’d like to own a copy for yourself, you can purchase from Amazon*, Books-a-Million, & Barnes and Noble.

If you enjoy this website and want to support, you can either buy me coffeebuy my book, or shop in my eBay store.

*This is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase using my link. This doesn’t cost you anything and it helps me to stay online and produce more content for you.

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I listened to the audiobook version of this book. I only listened to about half of it and never finished and there are a few reasons for that. First, the voice actor was terrible. Her voices for different characters were unbelievable and the pace at which she read the book was a bit slow. When I increased the speed on the app it sounded like the narrator was actually reading at a normal pace.

Second, the book is a little too long, in my opinion. Without increasing the speed of the audio, the book was nineteen hours long. This leads me to my critique of the actual story. I didn’t care for it. I watched the movie version when it was first in theaters and felt extremely disappointed when it ended because I felt it did not live up to the hype. I figured, maybe the book will be better. That’s usually the case with most books made into movies. After listening to the audiobook, I don’t feel like it that’s true for Fifty Shades of Grey.

There was nothing likable about Christian Grey to me. There was nothing likable about Ana. I really wanted to like them. I really wanted to be interested in the build-up between them and watch their relationship evolve. However, they bored me to tears. Even at times where Christian showed what were supposed to be redeeming qualities, he still came across like a controlling a**hole to me. I didn’t feel the chemistry, I wasn’t impressed by the sex scenes (perhaps I’ve read too many erotica books to really appreciate this) and I just kept waiting for something to happen when nothing ever did. It’s the same way I felt while watching the movie.

I borrowed this audiobook from the library and I didn’t get a chance to finish listening before my rental expired. However, I didn’t want to. I may muster up enough patience to borrow it again to finish it, but I doubt that will be anytime soon.

If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I’d recommend getting it from the library. If you’d like to own a copy for yourself, you can purchase from Amazon*, Books-a-Million, & Barnes and Noble.

If you enjoy this website and want to support, you can either buy me coffeebuy my book, or shop in my eBay store.

*This is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase using my link. This doesn’t cost you anything and it helps me to stay online and produce more content for you.

Book Review: Kiss Me Before You Say Goodnight by Keith Kareem Williams

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Available for purchase on Amazon and directly from the author on social media.

Synopsis:

On a humid, hot summer afternoon in New York City, Omari walks onto a bar and spots a gorgeous, mysterious woman on the brink of tears as she watches her home country getting completely crushed in the World Cup of Soccer on the big screen television. Omari can’t take his eyes off of the beautiful woman so he buys her a drink, sits down at her table and after some pleasant conversation, finds out that her name is Andressa. What starts off innocently as a few drinks shared between strangers quickly leads to a scorching-hot, erotic night of passionate sex. However, what should have been the beginning of a steamy romance goes awry in a way that Omari never saw coming as he gets caught up in the deadly entanglements that Andressa was still trapped in. Her dark, dirty little secrets put both of their lives at risk.

My thoughts:

I haven’t had much success with reading books this year. Kiss Me Before You Say Goodnight is the only book that I have finished, though I’m hoping to add at least one more before the year ends. As a matter of fact, I may make time to skim through this one again very soon. Why? Because in the day that it took me to read this book, I forgot about all of my troubles and focused solely on the amazing chemistry between the two main characters, Andressa and Omari, and the drama that unfolded as a result of their relationship.

Williams jumped right into the steamy action in the first chapter and kept me hooked for the remainder of the book. The plot isn’t overly complicated and neither are the characters, which I appreciated. Andressa was as dangerous as she was beautiful and Omari was whipped. In some parts I found myself going crazy over some of Omari’s decisions regarding Andressa, but then I remembered that I, too, have been foolishly in love (in lust) and made some questionable choices as a result, so I couldn’t judge him too harshly.

I appreciated how quickly the story moved, but I didn’t want it to end. Spoiler: The ending leaves the opportunity for another book, so maybe there will be one in the future! While I won’t say that this is my absolute favorite book from Keith Kareem Williams, (Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls still holds that title) this one ranks high on the list for me.

Check out Keith Kareem Williams’ social media below:

http://reemafterdark.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/keithkareemwilliams

http://twitter.com/Reemafterdark

 

Book Spotlight: The Darkest Loop by James Fant

So, I have been doing as much reading as I can during the month of August and now the reviews will be published in September. Here’s the first one of the month. The Darkest Loop by James Fant. Check it out, support the author, and, as always, thank you for your continuous support of my blog and literary efforts.

If you’ve kept up with either of my blogs, then you’ll already be familiar with James Fant. I wrote a review of his book CoEd several months ago, which you can read here. In turn, he reviewed my novella Reflection in the Music. He recently approached me again about his newest publication, which is appropriately set to be released today, called The Darkest Loop. Here’s the synopsis:

Dallas Anderson is stuck in a time loop that repeats Labor Day 2001 to September 11, 2001. He thinks he must prevent the terrorist attacks to break the loop. But each loop challenges that theory, igniting a fiery romance between him and his best friend’s sister and exposing the dark truth behind Déjà vu.

I can’t think of anything that I disliked about this novel. Although the theme of deja vu is nothing new—I wrote a short story playing around with the idea about a year ago—and plenty of movies and books exist that tackle the subject, I really appreciate the direction that Mr. Fant went with this one.

Click here to continue reading >>> https://letarawritesbookreviews.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/book-spotlight-the-darkest-loop-by-james-fant/

Source: Book Spotlight: The Darkest Loop by James Fant

Book Review: Death in the City

When I’m not working or writing, I’m reading and writing about reading. Here’s my latest book review: Death in the City.

LeTara Writes Book Reviews

What can I say about Death in the City other than Whew! This book played with my emotions and took me to places that I typically read about and pray that I never experience in real life. Death in the City most certainly lives up to its title and cover. This is the third book I’ve read by Keith Kareem Williams and he has earned both my respect and my readership, making his way up my list of favorite authors.

The synopsis reads: A mother loses her son and completely loses her faith in the God she had served faithfully for her entire life. Trapped lovers try desperately to escape a lifestyle that, for a time, had comforted and kept them alive in a city that has always been trying to devour them. A reluctant assassin crosses paths with a woman who is determined to collect a pound of flesh…

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Book Review: CoEd by James Fant

My latest book review: CoEd by James Fant. Check him out!

LeTara Writes Book Reviews

Is there really a such thing as a platonic relationship between men and women or is that another one of those abstract concepts? That’s a question that many people attempt to answer on a daily basis and it is one of the many questions author James Fant attempts to answer in his novel CoEd.

The synopsis reads: Can a man and a woman be best friends without somebody catching feelings?

Travis Barber and Sade Styles are best friends of the opposite sex. Despite what everyone thinks, they are not getting busy…yet.

Co-owners of a popular barbershop/salon in named CoEd, Travis and Sade spend the bulk of their days together. But when Sade’s apartment lease runs out and Travis offers her the spare bedroom of his newly built house, will they end up sharing more than just the utilities?

This witty, fast-paced romance seeks to answer the question: can a man…

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Book Review: Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls by Keith Kareem Williams

Check out my review of Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls by Keith Kareem Williams. It’s a helluva book!

LeTara Writes Book Reviews

Mixed Emotions. Intrigue. Admiration. Horror. Respect. So many adjectives to describe my feelings towards Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls by Keith Kareem Williams. The story is a thought-provoking roller-coaster that will leave you speechless.

The synopsis reads: In the middle of the night, our unnamed protagonist wakes to find Diana’s gun pointed at this head and he recognizes bloody murder in her eyes. While facing a scorned woman’s wrath, many of his past entanglements replay in his mind. Memories of women he has loved or refused to love surface like ghosts from the grave to haunt what could be his last moments. As he tries to reason with her for the sake of everything he has to live for, he realizes that there is so much that he deserves to pay for. Love, guns, sex and bullets can all be deadly in the wrong hands.

Ultimately, the best word I can…

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