REVIEW: HUNGRY HEART, BY JENNIFER WEINER

Jennifer Weiner is many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and an “unlikely feminist enforcer” (The New Yorker). She’s also a mom, a daughter, and a sister, a clumsy yogini, and a reality-TV devotee. In this “unflinching look at her own experiences” (Entertainment Weekly), Jennifer fashions tales of modern-day womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Nora Ephron and Tina Fey.

No subject is off-limits in these intimate and honest essays: sex, weight, envy, money, her mother’s coming out of the closet, her estranged father’s death. From lonely adolescence to hearing her six-year-old daughter say the F word—fat—for the first time, Jen dives into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.

 

I waited a long time before reading Hungry Heart; (I purchased the book in January 2016). I waited because that’s what we sometimes do to our books to be read, and a nonfiction title occasionally gets ignored for a while. I love her writing and kept reading her fiction along the way.

Just as her fiction grabs me, so did her memoir, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages while she told her story. She is a great storyteller, as we know, and I liked how she approached each topic, not necessarily in chronological order, but in just the right order to leave the most impact. Her college and writing life came first, and I couldn’t wait to learn about how she created Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, not to mention her subsequent titles. I also enjoyed learning about the pieces she wrote for magazines and her time working as a journalist.

Her marriage and childbirth stories came along at the right time, too, and eventually, other climactic moments showed up near the end: details about her father’s abandonment, hoarding, and horrific death, and the emotional losses created by his behavior.Early on we watch as she grapples with her food and weight issues, and later we smile as she shares her social media experiences, including some tweet storms.

Even her special pets get their time in the spotlight. Throughout, her humorous and sometimes snarky voice shines through, making me want to keep going. A book that earned 5 stars from me.#2020ReadNonFic

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CURLING UP WITH STACKS OF BOOKS…

Today I curled up on my bench to read; I’m eager to work my way through the stack of hardcover books I have recently acquired.  On the left, I have fiction versions, and nearby on my nightstand, I have these nonfiction ones.

January 1 launches a Nonfiction Reading Challenge, and I hope to finish these and a few more, some of which are tucked away in other cupboards, hiding behind photos and trinkets…like this one:

Before I start the Nonfiction Challenge, however, I’ll be participating in First Book of the Year.  My chosen tome is ready to go.  I’ll be writing about it on January 1.

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I have plans to read more fiction, too, so next week I will be downloading a preordered book that sounds tempting:  The Playground, by Jane Shemilt.

Big Little Lies meets Lord of The Flies in this electrifyingly twisty follow-up to Jane Shemilt’s breakout debut The Daughter.

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What are your reading plans for 2020?  Will you be joining challenges, or reading whatever you find on Amazon, in bookshops, or in the library?

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