Judy Blume returns for adults

23899174It’s been a hard week watching the U.S. elections. As a Canadian, I wish our neighbours to the south best of luck and suggest that they hide themselves in a good book until they have a better idea of what Trump stands for — and proceed to fight for their rights.

I recently finished Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event and thought it was, meh. My mistake is in thinking it’d be anything close to Summer Sisters, Judy Blume’s epic first adult book.

The story centres on a teenage girl named Miri Ammerman growing up with a single mom in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s. In the span of two years, three airplanes out of Newark Airport crash in Elizabeth earning it the nickname, Plane Crash City.

In the Unlikely Event is still full of believable and relatable, adolescent characters who are traversing the trials of growing up. This, Judy Blume will always excel at. But I just didn’t feel enough for the characters and I really didn’t like the ending. The story came up short for me. I’ll just stick to Summer Sisters, thank you.

It probably didn’t help that I took a two week break from reading In the Unlikely Event. I had planned to take it as plane reading materials for a trip to Asia but then decided against it. Who wants to read about plane crashes on a plane?

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E-readers aren’t sexy (but still awesome)

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I recently came back from a brief, two-week trip in East Asia which included stops in Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo. It was loads of fun! But I made the mistake of bringing a book that I didn’t really like and it made all the waiting in airports super painful.

I know, First World Problems, right?

Well, I really felt sorry for myself because I could have brought my Kindle and bought any other, better, book on the fly.

On a side note, I’d like to congratulate my cousin L. on buying his very first Kindle and welcome him to the weird club of e-reader readers. L. bought the Kindle because he had always wanted one and found out that it qualifies for same-day shipping with Amazon Prime. A fan of new and shiny objects with touch screens, he opted for the Kindle Paperwhite with a built-in light.

I was a little surprised L. bought an e-reader because he’s an early adopter and unlike other portable devices, the e-reader never got its sexy back. It’s more or less still a bonified etch and sketch. Newer versions of Kindles and Kobos have added a fancy light and other high(er) tech upgrades like uh, page numbers and less flickering when turning pages.

In fact, e-readers haven’t even been sexy enough to replace books — which some people argue are unsexy in their own right.

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Alas, I’m still a big believer in e-readers and, after all these years, I STILL use my Kindle Keyboard. Yes, it’s got a KEYBOARD and no touchscreen. Isn’t it beautiful?

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I can buy books and read them while in bed – without even getting dressed. Also, I can travel with a dozen Russian novels in my back pocket.

So, welcome to the club L. Feel proud because now you can read Fifty Shades on the subway without getting weird looks. (No really, don’t do it.)

P.S. For all you other Kindle owners, check out Buzzfeed’s article on “21 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Kindle.

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

20053031I was recently at the public library when I saw a sign saying that Ami McKay, author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure (Broken Penguin review!), was going to be at MY PUBLIC LIBRARY! She’s part of an author Q&A series they hold at Toronto Public Libraries (called The eh List).

Wait, there’s more! She will be promoting her new book, The Witches of New York!

Wait, there’s more! For the low, low price of nothing, you can place a hold on the library book. There are only 182 other holds and the book hasn’t even published yet!

I can’t wait for another 182 people to read this first  so I might just pre-order for my Kindle. But then, how do I get that signed?!

I’m so excited or this one because I loved, loved, loved both The Birth House and The Virgin Cure. I got to the last page of both and didn’t want them to end. Here’s a snippet from Witches:

The Witches of New York, a tale of three remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft.

It comes out on Oct. 25, just before Halloween! I think this what witches do when the plot takes a turn that they don’t like:

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Growing up with Marina Keegan

dcfafe2f1dfa7866acb801904dc83f5eI picked up The Opposite of Loneliness because I had heard of the author, Marina Keegan. She was a talented young writer that had her life cut short from a tragic car accident. But they rescued her writing and published them in The Opposite of Loneliness.

It took me a little bit of time to get into the first few fictional stories but once I got immersed in her world of being a student at Yale, I was hooked. One of my favourite short stories was The Ingenue. A story about a girl dating a boy who lies. Without giving it all away, it’s really about the little white lies that add up.

And that’s how The Opposite of Loneliness builds — little by little, page by page. I felt like I was growing up with her, like she could have been my university room mate.

This book isn’t good because she died young. It’s so good and that’s why it’s so sad that she died young. It broke my heart every time she wrote about all the opportunities of the future because I know it was cut short for her. (I mean, she didn’t even get to work as a consultant!)

But if it’s the journey that counts, she had a great one regardless.

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