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Chorel's Reviews

Chorel is the Events Director at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Mostly she reads books by women. Not intentionally. They're just usually better.














Shrill by Lindy West

Lindy West writes about difficult subjects with a hilarious, sharp style that may make you squirm, and is guaranteed to make you laugh—possibly quite loudly. Shrill is bursting with extraordinary insights into the social system that contains and ruins us, and ways to expand beyond what we’ve internalized (“We were all raised in the same f---ing septic tank,” she writes. “Real change is slow, hard, and imperceptible. It resists deconstruction.”). With a vulnerable (but again: hilarious) rendering of her own experiences, West gives the reader an inside look at what it means to be a brave, troll-fighting, fat feminist, and she somehow does so with simultaneous unapologetic intellectual passion and with a gorgeous empathy. Like me, you might find the packed-on layers of your assumptions soften and lift, your eyes widen in surprise as you come face to face not only with the ways in which you fold yourself to fit into an artificial system of self-hatred, but judge others on their failure to do so as well. West’s resounding concerns are fatphobia and feminism, but she is far from oblivious of the privilege she does possess, and in this way, Shrill also contains the kind of intersectional critique we need today. She also is a gifted writer with lovely, masterful sentences that are a pleasure to read. Be prepared to be more lit and awake through reading these essays! - Chorel

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Shrill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

The Gloaming by Melanie Finn

The Gloaming is a dreamy, dark book about a woman escaping the fallout of a tragic accident she doesn’t fully remember, and the abandonment of her husband, by hopping a plane to Africa. With powerful prose that evokes disturbance and uncertainty, the novel is divided effectively into two sections: the first told from the perspective of beautiful Pilgrim Jones, and the second from the various characters who encounter her. Some view her with conviction and envy, others with desire. With undertones of women’s vulnerability/strength and the ways in which they are preyed upon, the sense of place, and of being out of place, are also strong. Finn's writing has all the hallucinatory pleasures of Paul Bowles, with that language and story so clear yet unsettlingly veiled.

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The Gloaming Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512477
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - September 20th, 2016

People Like You By Margaret Malone

People Like You is, first and foremost, gorgeously written. Each page of the slim collection contains treasures of language that are a joy to behold, and Malone’s writing feels effortless even in its literary intensity. The stories all concern being stuck—in less-than-perfect relationships, addiction, infertility—and the characters struggle within a powerlessness that seeps onto the reader and troubles deeply. By the end, however, the recurring thread of one set of characters comes out on the other side, and hope is restored. I loved this book. —Chorel

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People Like You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780989302364
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Atelier26 Books - November 17th, 2015

Blackout by Sarah Hepola

Blackout is more than a memoir of drinking—it’s a revelation of recovery, with incredibly profound insights (the best kind: simple and striking) that are applicable not just to those emerging from the depths of substance abuse, but to any human seeking to live authentically. Hepola’s story of sobriety is a comment on culture, too, specifically in noting the ways that drinking can, and has, served as an assertion device for women, allowing loud freedom from the constraints of “femininity.” Hepola’s writing is clear and lovely, and Blackout is a read you won’t soon forget.  —Chorel

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Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455554584
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 7th, 2016


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