Mini-Reviews to catch up: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Samantha Irby, André Leon Talley

I fell out of my reviewing groove some time last year and am only now starting to get back into things. This does mean that I have pending reviews for books that I read nearly a year ago – and I am not good at writing reviews if I leave them too long. Therefore I decided to write mini-reviews to finally catch up and start with afresh, hoping that I will not leave books unreviewed for this long.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

36510722Published by Quercus Books, July 23rd 2019

This book combines very many things I adore in books: whimsical writing in fantasy books for adults, a female main character I could not help but adore, ruminations on godhood and what makes humans human, as well as a mythology that I am not familiar with. I already knew that I would like Moreno-Garcia’s writing, as her short stories are consistently amongst my favourites in anthologies. I did ultimately enjoy this but did not love it. The aloof tone was something I appreciated but which kept me from adoring this. I am still excited about quite a few of Moreno-Garcia’s books though.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

47169050Published by Faber & Faber, April 2nd 2020

I adore Samantha Irby. Her humour and the way she structures her essays in a way that seems effortless but surely isn’t make her books a joy to read. Her third collection of essays is as good as the ones that came before and it came to me at just the right moment. It got me reading in the middle of a pandemic induced reading slump and made me happy. Irby writes about growing older, body positivity, the internet, imposter syndrome, and many things more in a way that makes these topics approachable and so funny. I hope she keeps on writing these books because I love them.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley

51794442._sx318_sy475_Published by 4th Estate, May 19th 2020

This book mostly made me sad. André Leon Talley has written a book supposedly telling it all – and he does tell a lot of things about the inner workings of Vogue, of the micro-aggressions he endured as one of the very few black people in the fashion world and as a black gay man in particular. Weirdly enough I never got a concrete understanding how much of the awful treatment he received was due to his identity and how much was just the way the fashion world worked, and it made me so very sad for him. I enjoyed being able to glimpse behind the curtain and I enjoyed how petty André Leon Talley allowed himself to be. I do think the book promises something in the introduction it then never delivers on: Talley does not spend a lot of time ruminating on the role of race in his trajectory, but rather tells of his life as he experienced it – and apparently he experienced it mainly as a means to wear extravagant clothes which he describes in minute detail, from the way things looked to where he got them to who complimented him on them – and that part of the book I was not that keen on. Reading between the lines, Talley seems profoundly lonely and I sometimes wished he would be more honest about that – but then again, he can choose to tell his story in any way he wishes.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews to catch up: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Samantha Irby, André Leon Talley

  1. Great reviews! Having enjoyed Mexican Gothic quite a bit I was considering picking up Gods of Jade and Shadow as my next Moreno-Garcia novel, so I’m happy to see your thoughts on it. It does seem like most of the reviews I’ve seen find it a little underwhelming so perhaps I’ll start elsewhere with her backlist after all, but it’s good to know you found aspects to appreciate even if it wasn’t a favorite!

    Like

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