Jeanne Blasberg is a novelist, travel writer, and adventurer. She is a voracious reader and regularly reviews books on her blog, Goodreads, BookBub, LibraryThing, and Amazon.

daddy-emma-cline-transcendent-kingdom-yaa-gyasi-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

Daddy by Emma Cline

daddy-emma-cline-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviewDaddy by Emma Cline

Daddy is a wonderful collection of stories that struck a chord with me for its insights into dark situations. The sense of knowing and revelatory observation kept me reading these sometimes everyday, sometimes twisted stories. Was excited to read because I was a big fan of The Girls. Cline writes about a breadth of life experience that is quite astounding, and her details are fabulous – she gets to the heart of emotion, to the heart of a power struggle and a desire to be understood. I highly recommend.

 

Check out what else Jeannie is reading.

yellow-house-sarah-broom-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

yellow-house-sarah-broom-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviewThe Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

What I loved most about this memoir was Sarah’s voice, and her honest, unsure assemblage of memory, research, and interview that combines to paint a history of a house, a family, and a city. I loved being privy to Sarah’s confusion and frustration along the way, her hesitancy telling the story from the “baby’s point of view.” She is the youngest of 12 children and so much of the family history happened before she was born and that urgent sense of needing to play catch up and understand comes through in the work. A fantastic read if you love memoir, also if you want an insider’s tour of New Orleans, both pre and post Katrina.

 

Read more from Jeanne.

yellow-housvery-punchable-face-colin-jost-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

colin-jost-very-punchable-face-book-review-jeanne-blasbergA Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost

I became a fan of Colin Jost after he delivered the commencement speech at my daughter’s high school graduation – more of a stand up comedy routine than a speech, but he did end up delivering a great message in the end. So I pre-ordered his book as soon as I learned of its pending release and it was like one of those gifts that hits at the perfect moment. Written with humility to the point of self-deprecation, A Very Punchable Face will have you laughing out loud, smiling, and as was the case with the chapter about why he loves his mom, maybe shedding a tear. I suggested my daughter listen to the audio on a recent long drive and it was the perfect travel companion – entertaining yet inspirational. Colin’s honesty and commitment to hard work shines through every page. He is a great guy and Scarlet Johansen is one lucky gal. I highly recommend for any age, to inspire, to make you laugh, to get through a dark time. Really great.

Find more reviews here.

days-of-abandonment-elena-ferrante-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

days-of-abandonment-elena-ferrante-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviewThe Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

Wow, The Days of Abandonment was well written with important things to say, but still pretty tough for me to read. As Olga navigates the dark days and weeks after her husband’s departure, the reader cringes and worries for the helpless beings in her care. It really triggered something painful in me as a wife and a mother (and maybe also from my helpless inner child??) I stressed our vulnerability to our spouses, but also how hard it is for mothers to break down when so much depends on us.

 

Read more.

vanishing-half-brit-bennett-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

vanishing-half-brit-bennett-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviewThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

I was aware of the general premise of The Vanishing Half before I began it, however the structure was unexpected and delightful. I really loved the multi generational component of this novel, the idea that decisions travel forward and backwards, and that lying is a form of loving. Bennett writes with beautiful language and imagery, especially in the scenes set in Louisiana.

 

Find more book reviews here!

musical-chairs-amy-poeppel-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

musical-chairs-amy-poeppel-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviewMusical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

Amy Poeppel is my go to author for funny fresh read. Musical Chairs didn’t disappoint in its laugh-out-loud smartness, its keen observation of family relationships – especially parenting adult children. Love all the musical references and boy did this book hit home in light of my three adult children flocking home during COVID!

 

Read more of Jeannie’s book reviews.

we-came-here-to-shine-suzie-orman-scnall-book-review-jeanne-blasberg

We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

jeanne-blasberg-book-review-we-came-here-to-shineWe Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

Love this novel’s well researched setting. The World’s Fair, New York, burgeoning science and synchronized swimming. Max and Vivi are great characters, bold and ambitious. The book highlights the importance of female friendship in a male dominated society. This is the first novel I have read by Susie Orman Schnall and can’t wait to go check out the Subway Girls.

Read more of Jeannie’s reviews.

jeanne-blasberg-book-review-my-dark-vanessa-kate-elizabeth-russell

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

jeanne-blasberg-book-review-my-dark-vanessa-kate-elizabeth-russellMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

I am a sucker for anything to do with boarding school life, first of all. Second, this book kept showing up places which I took that as a sign it was meant to be my next read. From page one I was addicted and couldn’t stop reading My Dark Vanessa. I am fascinated with Vannessa’s incessant denial of victimhood and instead deeming herself special and just more damned interesting than everybody else. I was so drawn to the psychology behind protecting one’s abuser, not only to keep him out of prison but in order to hold their relationship on a pedestal. What’s more the damaging effects of emotional abuse toward a child are so brilliantly captured in this novel. When Jacob Strane tells Vannessa “I will ruin you,” he wasn’t kidding.

Find more reviews here.

jeanne-blasberg-book-reviews-queenie-candice-carty-williams

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

jeanne-blasberg-book-reviews-queenie-candice-carty-williamsQueenie by Candice Carty-Williams

It was refreshing to read the arc of a strong female protagonist who has to deal with baggage, both family baggage and societal baggage. I also loved that the happily ever after trope is turned on its head and redefined by Queenie, a character I found myself enthusiastically rooting for. This book provided interesting insight into a young woman’s challenges and I can see it serving as a source of inspiration for readers of Queenie’s age bracket.

 

Read more reviews here.

tinkers-paul-harding-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviews

Tinkers by Paul Harding

tinkers-paul-harding-jeanne-blasberg-book-reviews

Tinkers by Paul Harding

A beautiful exploration of paternal love. The writing and language is so moving as is the ethereal dreamlike quality of what it must feel like as a life comes to its end. This book is beautiful in its imagery, in its description of the mechanical workings of timepieces, in the exploration of time itself. It is set in cold, bleak, backwood New England and it rings of female bitterness around raising children and maintaining a home in such impoverished, difficult conditions. I loved this concise book in its artful rendering of male love that is, in so many ways, simply concise.