The Art of Sleeping Alone [REVIEW]

Instead of explaining the book since I read it a few weeks ago, here’s the description given on Goodreads:

Sophie Fontanel, bestselling novelist and iconic editor of French Elle, tells the provocative story of her decision to stop having sex—a choice that profoundly changed her view of herself and her place in the world.

At the age of twenty-seven, after many years of having (and, for the most part, enjoying) an active sex life, beloved French author, journalist, editor, and fashion blogger Sophie Fontanel decided she wanted to take a break. Despite having it all—a glamorous job, plenty of dates and boyfriends, stylish clothes, and endless parties to attend—she still wasn’t happy, and found herself wanting more. She chose to give up her sex life, and in so doing shocked all of her friends and colleagues. What she discovers about herself is truly liberating and raises a number of questions about the expectations of the society in which we live. As she experiences being the only non-coupled one at dinner parties, weekend getaways, and summer vacations, she muses inspiringly on what it means to find hap­piness and fulfillment alone.

Provocative and illuminating, The Art of Sleeping Alone, which spent eight weeks on the bestseller list in France, offers advice on love and sex while challenging modern-day conven­tions of marriage and motherhood, making this an ideal read for anyone who has chosen to do things a little differently.”

Review

Edition: Hardcover

Page Count: 160 pages

Publication: August 13th, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

My Rating: ★★/★★★★★ (2.7/5)

I bought this on a whim because I saw Whitney had recently read it and it seemed to fit that “feminist memoir” I had been looking for. Not to mention, I  really loved the idea of this book from just reading the title and the description. Also, the cover is so cute! But while reading it, I feel like the writing style was just too much for me? I wanted something much more straight forward which you don’t get while reading this. I don’t know if this is because of the way it was translated but it seemed almost too focused on word choice and what not rather than getting the actual point across. Not only that, but sometimes she came off kind of offensive which I didn’t get offended by personally but some other people might. (men hating talk if you will)

While the premise was fantastic because she did focus on how she went without sex because she felt almost suffocated by the men in her life, it felt lost near the end of the book. The book is very short (like 150 pages?) but she walked the line most of the book. I got bored and kind of confused through out it because she would tell stories that kind of related but not really? This also was worse due to the writing style I just couldn’t get around.

But the most disappointing part to me was the ending. I felt like that short book was a waste of my time. I didn’t understand how that ending was supposed to mean anything and it didn’t make me feel anything as a reader so it just seemed pointless. It made me give this book a lower rating, sadly.

 

**This is an archived review. I’m transferring old reviews from my previous blog. If you want to see whenever I first wrote it, here’s a link**

Becoming [MINI REVIEW]

“In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.

Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: November 13th, 2018

Page Count: 426

Publisher: Crown (Imprint of Penguin)

My Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

Mini Review

I was only 9 years old whenever Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. I don’t remember the election at all and unfortunately, didn’t start truly learning about him and his family until I was about fifteen. But, I did know about Michelle Obama. I watched her speak out about children’s health on TV and I saw her changes whenever it came to school lunches. She worked hard to improve the health of children across America and as a child, I could tell.

I picked up this book out of pure admiration for the former first lady. I loved seeing how laid back, independent and strong she was. She was unapologetic and always herself — that’s why I loved her. In her book, she goes through her life in chronological order from when she was younger growing up in Chicago to her position as first lady. Hearing her talk about living is Chicago was humbling. It was so nice to hear someone so influential talk about the hard things they had to overcome in order to get to where they are. I loved hearing about her experiences in college too. As a college student myself, I saw bits and pieces of myself in her. Her ambition was mutual and I wish I worked as hard as she did.

I think the most interesting part about this book for me was listening to her speak about whenever Barack Obama was getting into government work. She was already working for Chicago’s government at the time as an assistant to Richard Daley. Quick note, I had no idea she worked in the government at the time of Daley’s career. I read a book about him once and can’t believe the things he did. Anyways, back to what I was saying! I loved hearing about how Barack Obama took off so much time to finish writing his book, taking it as far as leaving the country to isolate himself for work. I loved how Michelle decided that corporate law wasn’t for her and went into something that’s more community oriented like city government work. Hearing her speak about her intentions as the First Lady and what she wanted for our country was so heart warming. I can’t believe the things people said about her and her family. It broke my heart whenever she talked about how it made her feel.

Overall, I gave this book five out of five stars because I was never bored. I listened to her talk about growing up in the space above her aunts, going to Princeton and Harvard Law, her family, and her time as First Lady. I would recommend this to anyone, honestly. I think anyone could learn from this book while also learning about Michelle Obama’s life as well.

I apologize if this review isn’t too in-depth. I was reading this book for pure enjoyment and ended up finishing it all in one night so my thoughts are completely scattered. I just thought I’d let you know some of my thoughts anyway!

 

Buy this book for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!

This Will Be My Undoing [REVIEW]

 

“From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today—perfect for fans of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to “be”—to live as, to exist as—a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it’s necessary reading for all Americans.”

Edition: Paperback

Release Date: January 30th, 2019

Page Count: 258

Publisher: Harper Perenial

My Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★

Mini Review

I originally picked This Will Be My Undoing at work on a whim. I hadn’t heard of it but I often scan the social sciences section for new feminist non-fiction because it’s my favorite. I want to embrace reading more diversely, especially in terms of feminist lit, because it’s incredibly important to me to learn, read and share these stories with you. I bought this book because Roxane blurbs it and states Morgan Jerkins is, “a writer to be reckoned with.” So, of course, I bought this book immediately.

I think this might be one of the first feminist non-fiction books I’ve read that focused solely on life as a black woman. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and couldn’t stop. I love the way Morgan Jerkins writes. She’s incredibly talented and lyrical when it comes to writing. Her way of describing situations and memories is so captivating.  Her writing is definitely the first thing I noticed whenever I started this book and it’s why I ended up giving it five stars.

Her story was beyond interesting, emotional, and deeply personal. She’s able to tell her story throughout separate essays that still relate to each other. This book has so much depth to it and I would only hope that people are able to listen to her write and to learn. It hurt knowing the things she goes through daily just because she is both black and a woman. One of the parts that truly got me was listening to her speak about elementary/middle school. I believe this part is in the very beginning but everything she said just resonated with me.

I’m looking forward to reading more of her work because I truly loved this book. I ended up giving it five stars because none of it was ever boring, the writing was brilliant, and her story was so, so, important. I would highly recommend you pick this up if you’re into this genre of feminist non-fiction or are looking for more diverse reads!

 

Buy this book for yourself at your local bookstore or at Barnes & Noble!