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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel
Rachel Joyce
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
Ellen J. Prager
Virgin Soul - Judy Juanita Hmm. I really really liked this book starting out. But it kind of fell apart for me partway through. I'm not sure what the precise reason for this was, if the writing declined or if I was just more interested in Geniece's interactions with her family, herself, and the world in general than I was in hearing about the abusive guys she hooked up with, the potato salad she made for the meetings, how Bobby Seale was hiding from police, how many drugs she did...

Geniece was my favorite part of the book, and unfortunately Geniece gets kind of subsumed by the movement. I felt frustrated with that. I also felt frustrated about how female Panthers were sidelined the whole book and near the very end there is only one paragraph dedicated to any awareness or unpacking of that. We have some insights into why her personality might be mutable, but I still wish she had had more character devlopment, whether through internal thoughts/struggles or interactions with people. It didn't feel like enough to me...

Overall I liked this book but there were some choppy bits of writing, where I would scratch my head wondering why the author included a certain sentence, paragraph, or anecdote. At times I wondered if I would have understood more of what she was getting at I was black and/or older--my dad had a class with Huey Newton at UCSC, but all that stuff was definitely old news by the time I was growing up in the 90s/00s. Also, something just seemed...lacking. The spark was there for me early on but it didn't hold and I can't really pin down why.