Book Reviews in 140: American Housewife, Not Dark Yet, Challenger Deep

Gathering real book thoughts has been a bit of a bear over the past month or so, which has made reviews hard. Still, there are quite a few titles I’ve read and want to share. Enter Twitter. Tweets I can do. I’m sure someone else coined the term Book Reviews in 140, so I hope it’s okay for me to borrow/make my own. Here’s a super quick peek at American Housewife by Helen Ellis (Monika and I felt very much the same if you’re looking for a real review!), Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen, and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.

am housewife twetamerican housewife

not dark yet tweetnot dark yet

challenger deep tweet

challenger deep


  • Good to hear you liked American Housewife. I’ve seen mixed reviews. Also, I have to ask – what’s cli-fi? :)

    • I think cli-fi is supposed to be a riff on sci-fi – basically novels that deal with the threat of climate change (like the MaddAddam trilogy, Area X trilogy, etc…). This one is definitely more subtle, less speculative.

  • Ha – I just heard cli-fi for the first time on a podcast last year….and the entire discussion was about how we’re old and are late to the game with all these “kids terms”. Though American Housewife was hit and miss for me, Dumpster Diving was one of the hits!

  • Now, see, I was on the fence about American Housewife but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE George Saunders…hmm. I’m really torn!! I may have to add it to my list; would make a great Readathon selection. Thanks so much, Shannon! I love this!!

  • I actually prefer these shorter types of reviews, and wish more bloggers would adopt this kind of format :)

  • Ha! Nice, love this premise. I, as a wordy bastard, am totally unable to pull this off. It’s tough, hats off to you! Being a brontosaur, I have not the faintest clue what “cli-fi” is. Thanks for making me feel even older today. Off to Google I go!

    • Bahahaha, I’m dying over brontosaur.

      • Lauren @ Malcolm Avenue Review

        Thank you for this response, because it reminded me I wanted to Google cli-fi. Something shiny must have gone by a day ago. It was not what I thought. :)

  • Suzze Myers Tiernan

    I am not a short story fan, but decided to try American Housewife and love, love, loved it! I have been reading on Twitter for awhile, but just recently started posting. Yikes! Those 140 characters are near impossible, I am way too wordy! But it is a fun challenge, when it says I am 35 characters over, to figure out how to make it fit. Like a puzzle.

    • Twitter is JUST like a puzzle! You totally figure out how to bend grammar to your advantage when it comes to that 140 limit ;)

  • Rebecca Anthony Foster

    I keep thinking I need to make my reviews more concise. Twitter-length, though — now that would be a challenge!

  • Am I supposed to know what cli-fi is….
    I enjoy these super short reviews, and what a clever way to go about it! I think American Housewife needs to be in my immediate future…

  • I have to admit that I don’t know what cli-fi is either… Love these short reviews. I need to do that this year too.

  • What in the world is “cli-fi”? No kid I know is saying that!

    • I keep hearing it in reference to books like MaddAddam and Jeff Vandermeer’s – sci-fi-style climate change topics. Pretty clever, huh?

      • Interesting. Didn’t that used to be called dystopian? ;)

  • Cli-fi? What is this strange thing of which you speak? lol I’ve NEVER heard of cli-fi, and I’m afraid to ask my students. They’re still confused on what other phrases mean. lol I love the short tweets; I need a lesson in condensing my words to 140.

  • I agree that although Challenger Deep was a little difficult to get used to, it was such a powerful book in the end. I felt like you really get a feel for what life might be like in the mind of someone with significant mental illness!

    • Absolutely! It would be great to read a second time, too – I think I’d be more willing to bend to the beginning.

  • This is such a cool idea! I’m envious of your ability to say so much in so few words. (And thanks for the link!) ;)

  • I’ve completely lost the habit of book reviewing. I know I used to do it all the time! But now I keep starting to write review posts and just being like “ruh? how write? words many?” I have a post scheduled for next week about this book on Muslim veiling practices, and I am pretty sure the whole thing sounds impossibly stupid. :/

  • Oh I’ve been so curious about Challenger Deep after all the praise it’s been getting! I’m glad you liked it; I may have to check it out soon. (I love these 140-character reviews!)

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  • Karen

    getting to this level of simplicity takes a lot of effort – and practice

  • Amanda

    I’m glad I read the comments before asking what cli-fi is :) Love the twitter reviews though.

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  • I really like this! I may have to try my own hand at it when my verbosity fails me. :)

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