Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Shrill - Lindy West

I was loosely familiar with Lindy West and her writing from some of the bigger pieces she has published over the years, and when I first heard she had a book coming out I made a mental note to follow up with it. Then the first few reviews hit CBR and I was even more interested. I'm glad I made time for it - it's easily one of the best things I've read so far this year, and an all around great read. It's a collection of essays loosely chronicling her life and touching on a number of the incidents for which she is well known - in fact, it's mostly set up as a kind of later reflection of her own experiences, which, when done by a writer as proficient as West, is a delight. Her writing is gorgeous and hilarious, and I laughed out loud more than once. I may also have pumped my fist into the air and shouted "Yes!". It's a good book.

The only issue I had was that I was rushing to read it since I needed to return it to the library (or, thought I did - when I finished I realized it was actually eligible for renewal, oops!) and so I powered through it in less than 24 hours. Some of the topics are quite dark - multiple chapters dealing with rape jokes, online trolls, and rape threats - and I started to feel down and exhausted constantly reading about it.  If I'd planned better, I'd have had time to space the heavier stuff out, and my overall experience would have been better, I think. As it was, it's still a five-star book and nets a place on my faves shelf, since even with the more difficult stories there are a number of uplifting moments, and even heavy stories that still manage to be beautiful and inspiring. I would highly recommend it to anyone who might be interested, and some people who might not be!

This review has been crossposted at CannonballRead, a race to read and review 52 books in a year!

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