Sunday, October 16, 2016

(86)Hungry at Heart by Jennifer Weiner


Jennifer Weiner has been a staple in my library ever since I read her first book, Good in Bed.  As an aspiring author, I was excited to read the memoirs of a best-selling author to see what words of wisdom she had to share about writing and publishing many successful novels. She did not disappoint.

Hungry Heart is a compilation of essays covering topics from her childhood, her time at college, her siblings, her relationship with her estranged father and so much more.  I was a little shocked at her openness about some pretty sensitive topics, like her mother becoming a lesbian after many years of marriage to Jennifer's father. She also gets intimate and graphic about her recent miscarriage.  The author gets real honest about being overweight for most of her life, being teased by kids on a trip to Isreal, and pulling the trigger on weight-loss surgery.  She also discusses her role on social media - it isn't all fluffy posts about The Bachelor.

Jennifer Weiner has appointed herself a sort of  tenacious "watchdog" for gender equality in the publishing industry.   And it all started with social media.  She has been very outspoken about the fact that women authors don't get the same kind of "respect" that male authors, like Dan Brown, John Grisham, and others do.  There are many sides to this argument, one being that a "Chick Lit" author is not deserving as more literary authors.  And that is part of the reason for her ire, but her tenacity is starting to be viewed as "complaining" and some of her female colleagues and fans wish that she would just stand down.   I am in the camp that while it was admirable at first, now it just seems like a giant temper tantrum and is borderline embarrassing.   And this is coming from one of the biggest Chick Lit fans ever to read a book.

Bottom line - even though she feels that she is being "slighted" in the publishing industry, Jennifer Weiner is a successful author who has millions of devoted fans. She may never get the literary "kudos" that she feels that she deserves, but there are thousands of authors out there who aspire to have just a fraction of her success.  Even though I disagree with her tenacious ways, I will always read - and likely enjoy - her books.   Her social media on the other hand....

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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