Mother of Invention

Author: Caeli Wolfson Widger

Published: May 22, 2018

Publisher: Little A

Where I picked up my book: Received free via publisher and Net Galley

Key Words: Motherhood, Science Fiction, Pregnancy

My Rating: 4.5 stars

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Synopsis (via Goodreads):

What will a mother sacrifice to have it all?

Meet Silicon Valley executive Tessa Callahan, a woman passionate about the power of technology to transform women’s lives. Her company’s latest invention, the Seahorse Solution, includes a breakthrough procedure that safely accelerates human pregnancy from nine months to nine weeks, along with other major upgrades to a woman’s experience of early maternity.

The inaugural human trial of Seahorse will change the future of motherhood—and it’s Tessa’s job to monitor the first volunteer mothers-to-be. She’ll be their advocate and confidante. She’ll allay their doubts and soothe their anxieties. But when Tessa discovers disturbing truths behind the transformative technology she’s championed, her own fear begins to rock her faith in the Seahorse Solution. With each new secret Tessa uncovers, she realizes that the endgame is too inconceivable to imagine.

Caeli Wolfson Widger’s bold and timely novel examines the fraught sacrifices that women make to succeed in both career and family against a backdrop of technological innovation. It’s a story of friendship, risk, betrayal, and redemption—and an unnerving interrogation of a future in which women can engineer their lives as never before.

My Thoughts:

I LOVED this book. So much, that I found my mind wandering during the workday, while walking around the city, and while trying (and failing) to fall asleep. It was one of those books that I just became so engrossed in and couldn’t let it go until the end. And even now that I’ve finished it, I just keep going back and thinking what if…

And if I’m being very honest, I just keep looking at pregnant people and going down a slightly insane rabbit hole lol. But that’s neither here nor there 😉

One thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot after finishing up this book are the roles women have in society. At times, it seems like a woman is expected to either be successful in their careers and climb that career ladder, or successful at parenting and motherhood, taking care of household duties, making meals, but rarely do we see plots, or real-life scenarios for that matter, where both of these things happen smoothly. I’ve hit an age where this is a constant thought for myself, and a lot of my friends. How can we hold careers, run a household, make a baby, raise children and do it all successfully? And why are there unspoken expectations that we (women) must take on these roles? Do we need to choose between career and family, or can we have both? Are societal expectations making us feel like we have to choose? Is it the patriarchy that is forcing us to choose? Is it our own self-inflicted guilt that is making us to feel this way? Honestly, this is an excellent story, but it’s also a great starting off point for a discussion about expectations versus reality in terms of motherhood, careers and life. Tessa is a really complex character, as are many of the other women in the book, and they epitomize the realities of real life women in general, but with a Sci-Fi twist.

This is a face paced, thought provoking book that takes you through the complexities of motherhood, the throes of Silicon Valley, government cover-ups (don’t even get me started on this because I’ve definitely had plenty of these thoughts and questions about our government) and what it is like to be a woman in society. Mother of Invention is an imaginative read, yet set in some solid reality that I highly recommend!

Thank you Little A for the free review copy.

bookishfolk…read instead.

Happy Pride Month

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I’ve read a lot of LGBTQ+ books throughout the years, but I’m always, ALWAYS on the hunt for more. To celebrate Pride Month, here are some books that I highly recommend or am putting on my list and getting a hold of immediately (click title to go to link).

1. No other world by Rahul Mehta

2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

3. Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn

4. The Color Purple by Toni Morrison

5. Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

6. When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

7. The Gods of Tango by Carolina de Robertis

8. Guapa by Saleen Haddad

9. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

10. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

11. The Danish Girl by David Ebersboff

12. The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

13. Ask a Queer Chick by Lindsay King-Miller

14. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

15. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

16. The New Old Me by Meredith Maran

17. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

18. Alexander and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sanchez

19. Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

18. Fun Home Allison Bechdel

20. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

21. How to Survive a Summer by Nick White

22. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson

23. Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

24. The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

25. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

26. Tomorrow Will be Different by Sarah McBride

27. America is not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

28. Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu

29. Under the Undala Tree by Chinelo Okparanta

30. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

31. Lies we Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Please let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought! Also…leave a comment and let me know other LGBTQ+ books that I must get my hands on immediately. Happy Pride and Happy Reading!

bookishfolk…read instead.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Published: February 21, 2012

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Where I picked up my book: Library

Key Words: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, LGBTQ+, Coming of Age, Family Dynamics

My Rating: 5 stars (more if I could)

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Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

My Thoughts:

I couldn’t have loved this book any more if I tried. First, it was so beautiful (both the writing and the characters), it was real, brought out true emotions in me and highlighted diverse characters- more of this please! Second, life lessons are strewn throughout this book, but not necessarily as stand out points, but in this subtle way that makes you think, as a reader, you came to the conclusion yourself, but in reality, it’s the writing and characters that led you there. It’s so real. Third, the pace was slow and intentional…and exactly how life really is. So many novels, especially YA novels, take you on trips and adventures and show you characters who have made insanely large life decisions in 200 pages, but this book felt more true to life. More true to a teenage life with small, but important things happening, a few big whammies, and then a lot of mundane things in-between. Also…both sets of parents are everything. It’s rare to see genuine, honest parenting depicted in YA books, but here we have it and it was refreshing to see.

To be honest, I didn’t even know how much I was loving this book until I finished it. I’m not a huge crier during books, but I audibly wept and haven’t stopped thinking about these characters since I finished the book. This would be an excellent book club choice to explore identity, acceptance, family dynamics and how it feels to write your own life story, instead of following the life story that has been laid out for you. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. I’ve said this multiple times to multiple people, but if more books like this were written, I truly believe the world would be a better place.

bookishfolk…read instead.