Drawing a Line Under 2020 Reading – Part 2

Am I done with 2020 yet? Almost…

Beach Read by Emily Henry

It wasn’t bad, it was just predictable. And yes, I know rom-coms are predictable but…

2.5/5

Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee

Jessica Lee’s memoir, Turning, was one of my favourite books of 2018 – her writing about landscape is remarkable. Many of the things I liked about Turning are evident in Two Trees (her descriptions of water and land, of the sense of place) but it lacked the intimacy and rhythm of Turning, occasionally getting tied up in a detailed history of her family origins and Taiwan. Lee weaves reflections on language and how it relates to place through the book, which neatly ties together her experience living in Taiwan and the discovery of her family history.

My mother, sister and I stumbled over whether to call ourselves Chinese – we weren’t from a China that exists any longer – or Taiwanese. No single word can contain the movements that carried our story across waters, across continents.

3.5/5

 

Self Care by Leigh Stein

The story focuses on the female co-founders of a wellness start-up, who struggle to find balance between being good people and doing good business. Stein parodies Instagram influencers and the ‘self care’ industry from the outset – it’s humorous and a mite tiring (which I guess is how it would feel to be an influencer). I probably would have enjoyed seeing certain characters get their comeuppance, but laughing at the ridiculousness of it all and knowing that if I looked at Insta I could see the story playing out IRL, made for light reading.

In the next slide, I’m watching the sunrise out the window, holding an earthen Kintsukuroi bowl of overnight oats and chia seeds with coconut sugar.

3/5

5 responses

  1. I shared your feelings about Two Trees exactly, but I’m glad it’s getting some nice prize and readalong attention in Canada. I have the Stein on my TBR but if it’s a lot like Adults (Unsworth) I probably wouldn’t bother.

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