Speed Dating from the Shelf (#1)

ft. Queen Sugar, Odd Girl Out, and The Naked Truth

Due to the sheer amount of books that I’m hanging onto these days, I figured I’d try something new. Why not try on a bunch of books in quick succession and decide which ones I actually want to read? 3 chapters per book, boom boom boom, first impression, get it done. #speeddatingfromtheshelf


Let’s start with a quickie, Three Squares a Day with Occasional Toture by Julie Innis. I really didn’t like my first impression of this book. The sentences were mashed together without explaining to the reader what was going on, which wouldn’t be a problem if it were well-written or sparked some intrigue. It didn’t. Taking that book off the shelf. Moving on.


I started my coffee shop book date with a hot chocolate and Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile. This book had a pretty standard trope, a single mom getting into a fixer upper situation that she’s not really prepared for, a single father whose wife died… etc, etc. However, I am intrigued by the fact that they are brother and sister, so it’s probably a story about family ties? Baszile has good descriptors, if a little cheesy, “He was hardcore Nashville and Grand Ole Opry. Jim Beam straight from the bottle.” But yeah, I’d go for a second date with Queen Sugar! Looking forward to seeing where it goes.

I had pretty low expectations with Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons, as I thought it was going to be a pretty bad explanation of why girls bully other girls, etc, etc. Maybe some sexism thrown in. But I was pleasantly surprised as Simmons gathered narrative style research, allowing the girls she interviewed to be the authority of their own experiences. “Silence is deeply woven into the fabric of the female experience.” So, I would have to say I’m intrigued by the sociological perspective offered by this book.

Last but not least, I started The Naked Truth by Marvelyn Brown with Coutney E. Martin. This is a memoir of a girl who becomes HIV+ and her family experience, etc. Brown’s writing is not the most creative or verbose, but she makes keen observations. “When I look back on my childhood, I am struck by how alone I felt, how resilient I was, how much I suffered because of my mom’s outsized, unfulfilled expectations. Niether she nor I had any idea how far I would go, or how the Marilyn part of me would play such a key role in reaching those heights.” Brown has clearly reconciled with her past and is able to speak clearly about her feelings from her past. In conclusion, I’m looking forward to what looks to be an incredible memoir.

That’s a wrap for this week! Feeling confident that I can weed through my shelves and take some more trips to the little free libraries at this rate. Have you read any of these books? Got any feelings you’d like to share about any of these?

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