User Profile

ahynes1

ahynes1@books.theunseen.city

Joined 1 year, 8 months ago

Old guard geek, with an MDiv, an interest in progressive politics and a desire to become more culturally aware through reading fiction. I especially like post modern and polyphonic fiction

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Asha Lemmie: Fifty Words for Rain (2020, Dutton) 3 stars

Review of 'Fifty Words for Rain' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I really wanted to like this book, the premise seemed so compelling. What would it have been like for the illegitimate child of Japanese aristocracy and a U.S. GI in Japan during the period after WW II?

As I started reading it, the set up was good: issues of looking for a male heir, concern about the fall of the aristocracy, issues around gifted children. Yet as I read more, it began to feel like predictable cliches written from an Anglo-American literature perspective.

In the end, it felt like just another romance novel in an exotic setting that failed to live up to its potential and explore any nuances of the complicated intercultural dynamics.

Anne Boyer: The Undying (Paperback, 2020, Picador) No rating

A week after her forty-first birthday, the acclaimed poet Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly …

@jblxdesign@c.im posted about this on Mastodon, so I thought I'd add it to me 'want to read' list, partly because it sounds interesting, and partly to illustrate how Mastodon and Bookwyrm interoperate.

Julia Alvarez: In the Time of the Butterflies (Paperback, 1995, Plume) 4 stars

It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked …

My review as posted on Goodreads

No rating

I read this book for National Hispanic Heritage Month. I had previously read How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and I enjoyed both books. I always hesitate starting about book about the Domincan Republic during the Trujillo era. It was such a dark and brutal period and I don't want to get mired in books about torture. Yet this book is not about torture. It is about four sisters trying to make sense and meaning in a difficult time. It is a book about resilience and hardship. It is a book about faith and love and how we live our lives. It is a book we can all learn from even today

Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex (Paperback, 2003, Bloomsbury) 4 stars

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day …

This powerful book is written with keen word play and an eye for detail. It takes you through the life of Greek immigrants in Detroit written through the eyes of an intersex person. In addition to the vivid descriptions, and has some fascinating plot twists. When I read books like this, I wonder how accurate the depictions of certain types of people are. How much does Eugenides really know about being intersex? I poked around a little and people claim that he did not engage with the intersex community

Julia Alvarez: In the Time of the Butterflies (2010, Algonquin) 4 stars

It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked …

Review of 'In the Time of the Butterflies' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I read this book for National Hispanic Heritage Month. I had previously read How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and I enjoyed both books. I always hesitate starting about book about the Domincan Republic during the Trujillo era. It was such a dark and brutal period and I don't want to get mired in books about torture. Yet this book is not about torture. It is about four sisters trying to make sense and meaning in a difficult time. It is a book about resilience and hardship. It is a book about faith and love and how we live our lives. It is a book we can all learn from even today.

Oscar Cásares: Where We Come From (Hardcover, 2019, Knopf) 4 stars

Review of 'Where We Come From' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

In the news, we see reports on various aspects of immigration, particularly in terms of human suffering or politicians seeking to score political points. Yet what immigration and the southern border of the United States looks like to regular Hispanic Americans seems to be inadequately explored in the national conversation.

This books helps explore this dynamic through the eyes of a woman in Brownsville, TX, her godson and various other relatives. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking a more nuanced understanding of issues around immigration in the United States

Lisa Genova: Still Alice (Paperback, 2007, iUniverse, Inc.) 4 stars

Review of 'Still Alice' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A friend of mine has Alzheimer's disease. She watched the disease take her relatives, so she knows what is in store for her. I'm not sure if she recommended "Still Alice" to me, or someone else did, but I found it to be a powerful telling of the story of one brilliant woman who develops early onset Alzheimer's disease. If you know someone with Alzheimer's diesease, you should really read this book. Even if you don't, reading this book may make you a more caring and understanding person, which we need more of this days.

Tsitsi Dangarembga: This mournable body (2018) 4 stars

"Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a …

Review of 'This mournable body' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

You start reading this book and find it is written in the second person, which you find disorienting. It becomes further disorienting as you learn of the struggles of the protagonist. Along the way, you meet characters that provide a sense of hope and normalcy, something you recognize, and long for in this story. It is a challenging story, and at times, you struggle to keep going In the end, you are glad the story is over and that you have made it to the end.

This is not a book to read lightly. It is a book to struggle with and it is well worth the struggle.