Auntie Says, My Twisted Writer Brain…

Come See What I Read in April.

This month I didn’t get as much reading in as I would have liked. It’s amazing how time can get away from me.

I honestly can’t believe we’re a the end of April, but alas, here we are.

So, what did you read this month? I’m always looking for that unputdownable read–fiction/thriller/women’s … anyone have any suggestions?

Here are my reads for April. If you’ve read any of these, let me know your thoughts. Keep reading!

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Published by Celadon Books; Thriller; 2021

If you’re a writer, you want to read this book. Simple as that. It’s about creative appropriation. Where is the line?

The question is: if someone tells you a story, but never intends to write and market the story, who’s story is it?

Even if the creative fiction part of it comes from the new writer…who owns the plot to that story?

When is it stealing? Where’s the line of plagiarism?

This books first two chapters nearly bored me to tears, but I’d read reviews on how good it was so I forced myself onward. It definitely got better.

In fact, it got very interesting.

This book deals with imposter syndrome to the nth degree. It’s interesting how the author wove what appeared to be the thoughts of almost any writer I’ve ever talked to, into the thoughts and narrative of the main character.

There are a few twists that take you down a seemingly endless road. While I thought I had it figured out, I was surprised by the major twist at the end.

I’d definitely recommend this book. I’d give it a 4 out 5 but that was because of those first couple of chapters.

Great job Jean Hanff Korelitz.

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Grand Central Publishing, 2021. Suspense/Psych-Thriller Also listed under Contemporary Romance

My favorite genre to read is psychological thriller. I want to get into the heads of people and see their twisted thoughts. In this particular book, the mark was missed.

So, “Verity” is the name of a famous author who has succumbed to illness and can’t complete the work on her series.

Verity’s husband chooses a broke, down and out author, to step into Verity’s shoes and complete the books for her. (This may be where it started to break down for me. I didn’t believe it for a minute…sorry.)

The premise, to me, is unrealistic yet, of course, leads a young woman into the home of a wealthy family who’s matriarch is bedridden, mute, and apparently unresponsive/paralyzed. So, where does this story lead us… to the sex scenes, of course. ugh.

The whole thing was so far reaching and unrealistic that I had problems with this book. The writing was fine.

I did finish it, but where others saw great suspense and thriller aspects, I saw lost opportunities. Who sends a character into a dark creepy basement with a wonky door (mentioned at least twice), and doesn’t do anything.

Sorry. Don’t want to spoil it for you but if you choose to read Verity, read it without too much thought. Don’t question. Just go for the ride.

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Out of the Shadows by Timea E. Nagy and Shannon Moroney

Published by Doubleday Canada, 2019, Organized Crime Bio. Non-Fiction

This is the story of a young woman from Hungary who answers an ad for house cleaners and babysitters in Canada. The agency that arranges the flights, work, and living arrangements, are however, human sex smugglers.

The story that follows is a memoir of a young innocent and naive girl who fell into a trap that she couldn’t seem to escape.

She finds herself in a place where she doesn’t speak the language, she has no idea where she is, and needs to do what she’s told if she wants to survive.

While the story is brutal and heartbreaking, the book is not explicit to a point of over-telling. In this particular case, less is more.

She is starved, raped, and forced to work as a prostitute, all while thinking it her fault. She’s brainwashed to believe her family would be killed, the police are evil, no one cares, and every little thing she gets, means going deeper into debt, and dependency, to her captors.

This book illustrates the desperation, the sheer evil, and the integrity of different individuals.

This book is definitely worth the read.

Remember that Nagy is not a full-time writer, but her story is important to acknowledge as a reality in the seedy underbelly of organized crime. This is all happening in our cities without anyone knowing. It’s sickening and it’s time the truth was revealed.

Nagy, now a survivor and activist, lives in Canada. The story was eye-opening and very sad, but I also want to applaud her strength in coming forward and fighting. Brava.

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4 thoughts on “Come See What I Read in April.”

  1. Finished reading “The Best American Essays of the [20th] Century” (55 essays; ed. Joyce Carol Oates.) A great way to get a “taste” of all kind of famous writers (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, personal essays, etc….) you’ve heard of but maybe never actually read. Dip your toes in their waters, and decide whether you’d like to read more! Also finished reading bilingual (Eng. & Fr.) “Alice in Wonderland” and working my way through the “Romantic writers” (poets, essayists, story tellers…) in “The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol 2. Again, a great way to get a taste of famous writers and classics works you’ve always thought “I should really read that someday” … and decide whether or not to dig deeper 🙂 Now starting a bilingual copy of short stories by famous French writers 🙂

    1. Holy Moly! You’re a deep thinking reader. I’ve often thought that I should read essays and remind myself of their value, but I haven’t got there yet. And, interestingly enough I didn’t know you were bilingual. Wowsers, Norma, Keep going. I love hearing what others are reading. I find it inspiring.

  2. I read Times’s book as research for my first novel. I’ve also seen her speak and I was almost in tears. People tend to think human trafficking happens elsewhere but it’s right here in Canada.

    1. Her book was really powerful, wasn’t it? You’re right–we always think of it happening somewhere else…we don’t think of Toronto as being a recruiting ground. We walk around with blinders on don’t we. Just watched a report on Nygard the other night and thought the same thing….man oh man…

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