Genres: Non-Fiction, Essays
Trick Mirror is a collection of essays by Jia Tolentino, a writer for The New Yorker, in which she discusses social media, gender violence, reality TV, self-optimization and more.
I did not know Jia Tolentino very well before reading her book, but I saw Sarah reading it and it sounded like such an interesting book that I decided to pick up the audio. The author herself narrates the book, and it’s pretty well done!
I found this book to be a mixed bag, with some essays very interesting and thought-provoking, but others felt more like a narration of news I already knew, without adding much more to them than adding them together. Jia Tolentino is a witty, matter-of-fact writer and her essays make for really good reads, even those I didn’t enjoy as much.
My favorite ones:
- The I in the Internet brought me back to my internet-free childhood and experimenting with it on my early teens and creating websites, learning HTML… I think I like this one for its nostalgic feel.
- Always be Optimizing talks about the obsessive need of people (mostly women) to become their “better selves”.
- Pure Heroines was about literary heroines and gender expectation, and was really engrossing.
The others I found not so interesting and bringing nothing too new – I especially didn’t care for the Reality TV one. This was an interesting and at times entertaining or thoughtful read, so I do recommend it if you’re looking for an easy essay collection to read.