What I Read This Week: December 13, 2020

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Men Things Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Non-fiction/Personal Essays

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I expected this essay collection to be humorous, and while there are small moments worth a chuckle, overall it’s serious and intense. Much of the subject matter is heavy and the writing style is academic. Solnit makes great points and backs them up with references. I recommend this one for readers of personal essays and current issues.

The Maverick by Jennifer Valenti

Contemporary fiction

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Advanced copy from Mindbuck Media, published December 7, 2020 This is a powerful story about one woman’s experience with rape and workplace sexual discrimination. It took me almost halfway to get into the story. Then last third was the best part and I was thoroughly invested. I will definitely read the next book in the series. I’m curious about how Jane’s story will continue and intersect with other women’s #MeToo experiences. I recommend this one for reader’s of current events and women’s issues.

Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon


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Book four in the Ice Planet Barbarians series. This is my least favorite so far but I’m still enjoying the series as a whole. The first half of the book felt really repetitive from the other books. The second half was much better because the pace picked up and the plot intewined with the rest of the storyline. My favorite part of these books (besides the HOT sex) is the way the human women are becoming part of the community on this ice planet. I love seeing how they are adapting and making the best of their situation. I recommend this series for romance readers looking for something different (definitely start with book one)!

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

Audio book/Contemporary fiction

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This is a character driven story about family and life choices. 68-year old Astrid witnesses the sudden death of a long time aquaintance, she realizes how fleeting life is. The writing is sharp and witty, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. The book drags a bit in the middle as it’s meandering around everyone’s personal lives and not quite moving forward. Overall this is a charming, enjoyable novel. I recommend it for readers of literary fiction, women’s fiction, and LGBTQ+ stories.

Layla by Colleen Hoover


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I finished this novel in two sittings! I was hooked from start to finish. This is a sweet love story with a high creepiness factor. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance quite like it. Leeds and Layla have an intense whirlwind relationship and are determined they will spend forever together. An accident changes everything and they are left feeling lost and trying to find their way back to each otehr. I highly recommend this one for fans of romance in general, especially paranomral ones.

Ice Planet Holiday by Ruby Dixon


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Book 4.5 in the Ice Planet Barbarians series is a novella that gives us a fun glimpse into the lives of everyone on the ice planet. I appreciate how the women have embraced their new lives yet acknowledge what they miss about Earth. In this story, they decide to create their own holiday to celebrate what they’re missing and the new community they are a part of. The male aliens are trying so hard to make their human mates happy, yet they don’t understand many of the human rituals. This makes for many touching yet hilarious moments in this book. I recommend this series for romance readers looking for something different (definitely start with book one)!

Did Not Finish

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie

Audio book/Humor/Essays

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I wasn’t familiar with this author before starting the book. I liked it at the start, it’s funny and her writing is sharp. Her narration is yelly and not emotional so I think she missed out on opportunities for connection with the reader/listener. I quit halfway through because the topics got heavy (rape culture and racisim) without any breaks. I couldn’t stand to be yelled at and lectured anymore. I appreciate her over all message that as a whole, we need to do better, treat each other better, be kinder, but her delivery didn’t work for me. This book may have landed differently for me if I’d read the physical copy OR if I hadn’t read it during a pandemic. 

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