What Erica Has On Hold

To Download

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper because I had someone tell me they were his favorites from childhood and I’d never heard of them.
To Provence with Love by T.A. Williams because I am all about everything France.
Swing Time by Zadie Smith because a coworker told me she thought I’d identify strongly with it.
Second Star to the Right by Mary Alice Monroe because Peter Pan.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because my friend said she loved it and I haven’t read it.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande because I’m all about lists.
Give and Take by Adam Grant because it’s about giving and I’m a huge fan of Grant.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue because Oprah said so.
My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul because book about books.
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore because women in science.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace because female empowerment.
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn because Jane Austen and sci-fi.
The Liberal Redneck Manifesto by Trae Crowder because I’m curious.
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan because I grew up a stone’s throw from Ontario and I wish we cared for these amazing ecosystems as we should.
The Rules Do No Apply by Ariel Levy
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon because movie and good press and I read The Sun Is Almost a Star and it was pretty good.
Word by Word by Kory Stamper because words.
Blockade Billy by Stephen King because it’s short and about baseball and I’ve never actually read it.

In Print

Beartown by Fredrik Backman because I like his other stuff.
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier because Native American poetry.
White Working Class by Joan C. Williams because I read White Trash and am just on a jaunt on that subject.

Picture books Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, The Banana-leaf Ball by Katie Milway, This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek, and Sea Otter Heroes by Patricia Newman because they looked interesting and also ‘merica, play, otters, and Scotland.

The Sunlight Pilgrims: Abby’s Turn

51yp96i9jnlToday we’re talking about The Sunlight Pilgrims, now that Abby finally finished it.
Erica: So what did you think?
Abby: It made me feel cold
Erica: Me too! How many shells did you give it?
Abby: I don’t remember. Throur?
Erica: lol
Abby: Somewhere in there.
Erica: Me too. What did you like about it?
Abby: I liked the way it incorporated a trans character without making her gender the entire plot.
Erica: Yeah that was well done.
Abby: Yeah she treated her like an actual human and still got into some of the real challenges trans teens face without sensationalizing her.
Erica: That’s pretty much what I wrote in my review. What didn’t work for you?
Abby: It made me COLD. Also it was a liiittle slow and I wanted more from it at the end, but I was pretty happy with it for the most part.
Erica: Yes, that ending! Now I hate ambiguity so I had to immediately forget it. What did you think?
[SEMI-SPOILER WARNING]
Abby: I think it ended with them in a little icy tomb. But that’s ok, because I think the next year would’ve been worse.
Erica:Really? I think they just had to wait it out a while but everything was ok in the end.
Abby: Are you feeling ok?
Abby and Erica’s jointly agreed upon rating: three-and-a-half-shells

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (2016)

51yp96i9jnl

What it’s about: In 2020, a transgender teen, her mom, and their grieving neighbor Dylan plod through a frozen apocalypse together.

What made me pick it up: I read Fagan’s first book The Panopticon which was equally bleak but also hopeful. I enjoy the way she writes characters and her use of language. The Scottish brogue mixed in is also very entertaining and instructive if you’re like me and Google each unknown word. When I saw the press for this I placed a hold.

My favorite things: Fagan makes Stella’s journey as a trans teen extremely relatable and realistic. You feel the depth of all the characters’ confusing emotions, which is one of my favorite aspects of her writing. You also feel the bleakness of their deepening winter, in a way that’s almost too real.

Who it’s great for: Adults who can handle a large dose of heaviness sprinkled throughout with bits of light. Those who like ambiguity. Anyone who wants to feel like it’s deep January somewhere north of Florida.

Erica’s rating: three-and-a-half-shells