Review:: I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
by Anne Bogel (September 4, 2018 / Baker Books)

(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation)

Summary: For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them.
I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.
The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone's life, I'd Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.

My Review:
This slim volume is like a peek into my brain. Author Anne Bogel discusses all sorts of topics that I love chatting with my bookish friends about: how we love planning our reading lists, organizing our bookshelves, which books are our favorites and why, how the same books mean something different to us when we read them at different times in our lives, and so many other topics that I love discussing. I read this in one sitting and think anyone who loves reading will love this book. 

***Pre-order your copy now on the I'd Rather Be Reading website and receive some awesome bonuses***  

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Review: Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel (August 7, 2108 / Inkshares)

(I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation)

Goodreads Summary:

The year is 1969. Dick Nixon was just sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. Neil Armstrong just took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. And notable Palm Springs socialite Maxine Simmons just found out that her husband is leaving her for his twenty-two-year-old secretary. After a public meltdown at Thanksgiving, Maxine finds herself not only divorced, but exiled to Scottsdale, Arizona. However, these desert boondocks will not be her end―only her Elba. The former beauty queen sets her eyes on a new crown: that of the Mrs. American Pie pageant, awarded to the nation’s best wife and mother. Maxine only has one problem: to win the crown she’ll need to find―or build―a family of her own.

My Review:
Consider this a public service announcement from your bookish BFF...READ THIS BOOK ASAP! This is the funniest book I think I have ever read. I mean, I was laughing until I cried. I was cracking up so much that I was cracking my husband up. I would be quietly reading in the other room and then just start let out a yelp or squeal or whatever noise you make when think "oh this is hilarious!" Then he would laugh at how much I was laughing! I usually DON'T want the books I like to be made into movies (because they are NEVER as good) but I really hope this one comes to the big or small screen. Oh, it is just too perfect. I've been pushing to everyone on my Bookstagram and I'm immediately mailing my copy off to my mom. 

I would say it is a mash-up of The Great Outdoors and Miss Congeniality, but even that funny description doesn't do it justice.  

Review: Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah

Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah (August 7, 2018 / Delphinum)

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this release from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation.)

Goodreads Summary:
In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of South West Asia, gender selection, war and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and women must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.

Yet there are women who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night, to provide to the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity that nobody can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.

This dystopian novel from one of Pakistan’s most talented writers is a modern-day parable, The Handmaid’s Tale about women’s lives in repressive Muslim countries everywhere. It takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection, and control over women’s bodies, amplifies and distorts them in a truly terrifying way to imagine a world of post-religious authoritarianism.

My Review: 
In the dystopian world of Green City, (not too far in concept from the Gilead of The Handmaid's Tale) women must take multiple husbands in order to replenish the lost population of women who were wiped out by The Virus. One would think the sheltered women of an underground resistance group would be sneaking around at night to provide sexual comfort, but the powerful men of Green City seek the comfort and care provided by women. They want someone to sit in a room with them or to watch over them as they sleep.  

I like that this feminist dystopian novel was written by a Pakistani woman and that it is set in South West Asia. I currently can't think of a non-Western feminist dystopia and find that this novel adds to the genre in unique ways (such as technology and medicine). I would recommend it to readers who loved The Handmaid's Tale but there are also tones of Vox (technology) and Memoirs of a Geisha (cloistered, communal living and providing attentive service to male clientele).