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Lydia's Page

I like reading books about war dogs, shipwrecks, and lady aviators.

Currently reading

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss
Gloria Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper

Oh, erm, hi.


Is anyone still around? 


I gave up and went to GR. :( :( :(

The Singing Bone - Beth Hahn

I read The Girls for a book club recently and was less than impressed. (It was miserable.) The Singing Bone is a huge step up. Interestingly, they're more or less the same story-- sort of cheap knock-offs of the Manson family. Hahn's take is more thorough, well-parsed, and compelling. Some of the threads that make it interesting, folklore woven throughout, aren't fully completed. The book would have been stronger if it was slightly more rounded out, but it was ultimately an interesting read.

The Jasmine Moon Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) - Laura Childs

None of the people in this series behave like people!! I'm officially dropping this, even though I own several more of the books. I can't put myself through any more of this nonsense.

The Girls: A Novel - Emma Cline

If this weren't a book club choice, I would have DNF'd it for sure. 


This was a poorly paced, low-temped narrative that dragged on for what felt like, well, forever. It didn't help that I listened to the audiobook, which featured the most soulless narrator I've heard in a loooong time.



Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes

I knew of Shonda Rhimes only vaguely before picking up this book for a Women's Book Club hosted by my employer. I knew she was a TV powerhouse, but I'd never watched Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, and while I loved the one episode of How to Get Away with Murder I'd seen, I quickly fell behind. Oh, to be a millennial cord cutter! 


Even with my sketchy knowledge of Shonda Rhimes, I felt a closeness and interest almost immediately. The narrative style is extremely causal and conversational, but it sparkled on the page. I love the idea of saying "Yes!" to the things that scare us. And I've found myself thinking about this question posed at book club...


What would you do if you weren't afraid?

The Story of the Lost Child: The fourth and final Neapolitan novel. - Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

This series was so beautifully written and so perfectly told that it truly didn't feel like fiction. It could have been a memoir, it rang so true to life and relationships. I haven't come across such a rich world in a long time.

My rice tastes like the lake - Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

Shout out to the feeling of realizing something beautiful has been sitting on your shelf, unread, for the past three years. Better late than never!

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - Elena Ferrante

I'm glad I became enchanted with this series before the furor around unmasking Elena Ferrante broke. These books are as delicate as they are brutal, as biting as they are comforting.  

The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante

The narrative of Elena and Lila's lives is exhaustive, and I find it utterly compelling.

The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women - Jessica Valenti

I appreciate what she's doing, but I'm again left feeling that I've outgrown Valenti's target audience-- which seems to be, at all times, the lowest common denominator. There's nothing wrong with that; it's important for people to have somewhere to start. But I don't think I'll be seeking out any more of her work.

My Brilliant Friend (Neapolitan Novels Book 1) - Elena Ferrante

I picked this up after hearing Hillary Clinton mention it was her current read on the I'm With Her podcast. I was completely enthralled by the beautiful translation of such an intricate portrait of girlhood, young womanhood, and friendship. 

VIcious - V.E. Schwab

Thank god for book clubs that push you out of your norms. I don't typically seek out sci-fi/fantasy, so I probably wouldn't have come across this on my own. I'm so glad I picked it up, though.


It's a great adventure, with memorable, morally complex characters living out a believable superhero story. The book is very well paced and Schwab is masterful in dropping nothing while moving the story through time and space. 


I sat down and read the whole thing yesterday, and it was a delight all the way through.

Still Life - Louise Penny

I'm always happy to find a new mystery series, and I think Louise Penny's has promise. This first installment was... slow. Really slow. But it was interesting nonetheless and I'm hoping she finds her stride and pacing as the series progresses.

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel - Jessica Knoll

I typically like books with dislikable characters; the flaws are so fascinating. In Gone Girl, the book this one is so frequently (and erroneously) compared to, pure sociopathy came to life in a way that furthered the storyline. 


Here, the characters are horrendous simply for the sake of being horrendous. It was as if the author wanted to see just how far she could explode her unbelievable world. 


It's also highly triggering if you've ever struggled with your weight or relationship to food. The main character is an obsessive binger, again, just for the sake of being one, narratively. There's frequent discussion of the Dukan diet, pounds lost, sizes dropped... none of it put me in a good headspace.


...I guess I don't actually have anything redeeming to throw at this one. :/  

Teen Idol - Meg Cabot

If this book had been any longer it would have landed on my DNF list. Painful.

My Cousin Rachel - Daphne Du Maurier

God, I love Daphne du Maurier. Is there any greater storyteller?