But is This the Best Book in the History of the World?


Just the Right Book! is different than the other book subscriptions I’m reviewing this year in that a real life person actually picks a book out just for me – as opposed to picking out one book to go to all subscribers.

There are numerous subscriptions to choose from. I choose a 12-month softcover subscription, which cost me $240 and I filled out a fairly long and involved profile to indicate what genres, authors, etc. I’m interested in. You can read my past Just the Book! reviews to see how this subscription has worked out for me overall.

The Nix cover by Nathan Hill.jpgJune’s book was The Nix and I know I’m just joining a very loud chorus that has said this a million times by now but THIS BOOK IS VERY GOOD. I’ve had a really good run of books lately and so I feel like I’ve overused my “One of the best books I’ve read this year!” tag, so let me say this: The entire time I was reading it, I was having a mental debate about who I was going to lend it to first because I want all the people to read it. That’s pretty high praise!

This is a 700+ book and while I do love a *good* long book, I find that I often end up at a point where I’m thinking, “Okay, okay, let’s move this along – I get it!” or wondering why some huge section needed to be included, etc. That was not the case here. Every word of this was necessary and lovely and just great!

I was trying to tell my partner what this book is about and it’s hard. There is certainly a central plot but once you start explaining it, you feel the need to start talking about the millions of subplots and timelines and it just gets complicated. Which would be fine if this was a complicated book to read but it’s not! It’s a complex story but the author does an A+ job of smoothly transitioning from one subject to another, and from one time frame to another, and when he skips back to a story from 200 pages ago, he does a perfect job reminding us what’s going on without making me feel like I’m reading a boring recap.

So! Still! I haven’t explained what it’s about. Well, it’s about a woman who was coming of age during the late ’60s and all the political and feminist turmoil that existed then, and it’s about a boy who fell in love with a girl and never got over here, even 30 years later, and it’s about a man who never got over his mother abandoning him, and it’s about fathers and mothers and childhood friends and just, like, you know — life!

Rating: 10/10

Recommended for: People who are really cool and as a result like really cool books!

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace testYes

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / N / Y

NOTE: This subscription has still never sent me a book by an author of color or with a main character of color.

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