Sharing My Favorite Reads: An ‘Expert’ opinion

Jess Emery enjoying a read on the train.

I have come to the conclusion that I have read some really great books.

And you should read them too, because I have great taste.

A quick disclaimer is that this is not an official or professional book review, these are just my thoughts on some books I’ve read.

I just finished my first Eve Babitz book called “Sex and Rage,” and this woman is a phenomenal writer and beyond captivating.

It follows Jacaranda in as a beach bum growing up in 1970s Southern California and how she evolves into a writer, navigating relationships and struggles with substance abuse.

Eve Babitz, the ‘70s L.A “It” Girl writing about a ‘70s L.A. “It” Girl.

“It made her question why human beings always appeared to be coming along so nicely as a whole when the bottom would fall out once again and they began collecting ears and filings from each other’s heads,” Babitz wrote in one narrative passage.

There is just something about a boss woman who is funny and intelligent and also dresses well.

The affect Jacaranda’s female friends and companions have on her mindset was so comforting for a reader in her 20s who also finds great comfort in female friendships.

I think this is a great read for anyone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing in any aspect of their life.

I read this other book called “Anna K.” by Jenny Lee and I have never heard anyone talk about this book.

It’s a modern retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” set in New York City.

I read this long before I had the guts to stomach all 838 pages of dense Tolstoy.

If you’ve seen the show “Gossip Girl,” this book reminds me of the show, with its huge cast of characters and their high Manhattan Society status.

And of course, there’s plenty of drama following similar themes as the original “Anna Karenina.”

“I used to only care about what everyone thought of me, but not anymore. Now I only care about what the people I love think of me, and everyone else can rot in hell!” Lee wrote.

This book is labeled “Young Adult.”

I know that turns a lot of people away because it’s not seen as sophisticated literature.

But it reminded me of my younger teen years, like when I realized I could say the word “fuck” and not get arrested.

The world was my oyster.

Now, “Pride and Prejudice.”

Jane Austen.

Janey, if you will, is my girl.

I absolutely love everything this woman has graced our existence with.

I love everything about the characters and their relationships with each other.

The women are strong and feminine and funny and perfect.

She had this genius commentary on men and patriarchy and society that was woven throughout the story so meticulously.

I assume a lot of people of the time didn’t even catch it or Austen would’ve been a more controversial writer.

God, I love her.

“Pride and Prejudice” basically follows the Elizabeth Bennet and her older sister Jane and their relations with the rich aristocrats Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingly.

There are also some banger quotes in this book, I mean come on.

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you,” Austen wrote in the book.

Are you kidding? Be still, my cynical heart!

My last rec is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.

I first picked up this book one summer morning in July to read 50 pages over the course of a month and then I set it back down for about a month.

I picked it up for the second time in the dead of winter, when I was desperate for summer. Desperate to peel off patches of sunburnt skin and play hours of Spit with sticky playing cards with my cousins.

The story follows the “Marsh Girl,” Kya Clark as she grows up abandoned by family and making friends with the birds and trees, basically shunned by her community.

Flash forward years later when the town favorite, Chase Andrews, is killed. And guess who the main suspect is?

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would,” Owens wrote.

This book was beautiful and mysterious and left me feeling filled with sweet nostalgia of a simple life.

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