October Reviews

To say that I'm disappointed with the lack of reading that happened this month would be an understatement, but it happens. Nonetheless, here's what I was able to get to:

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
336 pages
I discussed this extensively already in this post.

Verdict:I really enjoyed Gay's compilation of essays, as I felt they were honest and offered a perspective on feminism similar to mine. I also appreciated her discussion on race in America, as well.

Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje
208 pages
This memoir was a reread for work. This memoir chronicles Ondaatje's journey back to Sri Lanka to put the pieces of his family's past back together. The narrative structure is unconventional and there are a photographs and poems tossed into the mix. The setting is different, as not many books in English are set in this part of the world, yet many of the themes related to family, identity, and voice are familiar.

Verdict: I really enjoy this book; I enjoy the idea that we can't really trust our recollections of the past but that we should embrace the uncertainty. It's definitely not for everyone, though... just ask my students.

Light Boxes by Shane Jones
149 pages
This short experimental novella is about a town that is stuck in February- gloomy, cold and depressing. February is a character, with whom they wage a war on, especially after he starts taking their children. Jones experiments with font and other formatting techniques, and also narrative voice and content. There is a definite level of whimsy, but one should not overlook the depth of darkness of the story, either.

Verdict: I just finished this book today and am still sort of letting it percolate. I know it's allegorical and I'm in the midst of deciding what exactly Jones is trying to tell us. Is February meant to represent mental illness? The government? Some sort of sociological ideal that imprisons us all? Being experimental, it was different from what I normally read, which apparently suited me well right now. 

693 pages 


  1. I've had Light Boxes on my stacks for a while now. I've started and stopped a couple of times and wasn't sure I'd ever go back to it but now I think maybe it's worth a try? I like books that make me percolate. Cheers to more reading in November!

  2. I've never read anything considered "experimental" -- definitely seems intriguing!