Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (Review)

This book was absolutely fascinating.

Seriously! Not only did it talk about the history of breasts – like how we probably ended up with them in the first place, and how attitudes towards breastfeeding have changed over the years – it also included quite a lot of information about how our breasts function throughout our lives. There was a wealth of information about puberty, breastfeeding, sexual attraction, and health concerns (including breast cancer) that I’d never known before. And it was all presented in a simple, matter-of-fact, friendly manner. It felt a lot like something Mary Roach would’ve written, but with a little more seriousness and a little bit less tongue-in-cheek humour.

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City of Veils (Review)

Even though most of the other characters were different in this book than in Ferraris’ first, it worked well in the overall scheme of things. The citizens and society of Saudi Arabia (and, in particular, Jeddah) were explored in very interesting ways, much like they had been in the last book. For me, this was one of the best parts: catching a glimpse into the inner workings of Saudi society, a place where most readers have probably never been. And it was also a great exploration into the different facets of Islam within this society – including the fairly conservative Islam that Nayir practices, and which is expressed in fascinating detail and through extremely personal inner dialogue.

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Girls of Riyadh (Review)

This novel is the first in a newer form of epistolary fiction that I haven’t yet encountered – the email rather than the letter. I mean, I’ve read books that had a few emails sprinkled throughout them, but Girls of Riyadh is written entirely in the form of emails from a mysterious, unnamed narrator to a listserv that contains as many Saudi email addresses as she could find.

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