#ShadyGoals Week 7: Book Fail, but Hank!


Dear Shady Ladies:

We have a new member of our esteemed club: Hank the Tank. He's 110 pounds of bulldog love. 

Our cat, The Overlord, is displeased. But as I've explained to him, he was a cruel, cruel Overlord who rarely curled up on my lap during reading time so I had to go and find a new book partner. 

But alas, his presence has severely interrupted this week's reading time. I should be finishing my reading for Week 7 of #ShadyGoals -- my attempt to read 52 books by emerging women authors in 52 weeks -- but I am woefully behind. 

I've started In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt, which will be published in April by Counterpoint Press. I can't wait to tell you more about it next week. 

But last week I did finish Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik. I had high hopes for this historical novel -- which was set in Iran and tells the story of poet Forugh Farrokzhad -- and they were mostly met. 

Farrokzhad was a writer and filmmaker in the 1950s and 60s and is credited with "the birth of feminisim in Iran," according to the press materials. Her poetry would be banned, the presses printing her work burned, and citizens forced to hide their collections. She was a woman who divorced her husband -- in 1950s Iran! -- and chose to live life on her terms. 

She is the ultimate Shady Lady and I'm thrilled to have met this incredible woman whom I'd never before encountered. (I'm not much of one for poetry is probably why.)

But the book itself, for me, was a bit thin. I was definitely engrossed, and Darznik's story absolutely left me wanting to know about this woman (positive!). However, after reading an entire novel, I wanted to feel like I'd had a rich and satisfying meal rather than just tapas of her life.

Still, I'd want to sit down and share a glass of wine with either Farrokzhad (if she were still with us) or Darznik and hear more stories. And for me, that's the hallmark of a good book: Is there a character I want to sit and drink with, swapping stories, late into the night?

I'm happy to have read Song of a Captive Bird because it was a window into a new world, which is part of what Shady Ladies is all about. So I definitely recommend it. 

💫 💫 💫 💫 💫 💫

For those of you following along at home, here's what I've read so far in 2018:

Week 6: Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Week 5: Red Clocks by Leni Zumas ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The lives of five women intertwine in a near future when IVF, abortion and single motherhood are all illegal. Deeply satisfying -- and terrifying to think we could move back to that world for women. (Jan. 16: Bloomsbury USA) 
Week 3 & 4: The Rending And The Nest by Kaethe Schwehn ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Started slow but by page 50 became a compulsively readable dystopian novel that explores the how we rebuild society and the stories we tell ourselves. The end fell flat for me otherwise it would have been 4 stars. (Feb. 20; Bloomsbury USA).
Week 2: Achtung Baby by Sarah Zaske. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Put it down about halfway through and didn’t get back to it. Felt like I’d gotten the gist already and wouldn’t miss the final details. Good for conversation and great for the right audience. (Jan. 2; Picador)
Week 1: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Cullors-Brigniac ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Spent a vacation in New Orleans completely engrossed. This is the story that helps you understand the lived experience of the woman who co-founded the #BLM movement. My first five star book of 2018. A great way to start! (Jan. 16; St. Martin's Press)



Shady Ladies