Skip to main content

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

The Argonauts is the book selection from May for Our Shared Shelf. I know, I know, I'm behind. I'm working on All About Love from March as well, but hey, at least I'm reading them. Originally, I didn't read the book because I had a lot of other books I was working through since May was Mental Health Awareness Month. But upon starting this one, I became extremely glad it was short because I am not liking this book very much. I wanted to like it, but I am really just disappointed with it.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)

Two Sentence Summary

The Argonauts is a memoir about Maggie Nelson and her partner, Harry Dodge, who is gender fluid. The novel is focused on Nelson's journey with pregnancy and Dodge's journey with transitioning, as well as their journey together. 

Likes and Dislikes

This makes me sad to say, but their really wasn't anything with this book that I liked, and this is why.
  • This memoir is supposed to be about Maggie and Harry's journeys. Instead, I feel like the portions of the book that focused on their lives were few and far between. Nelson talks a lot about other people and very little about herself.
(Source: Giphy)
  • I felt like I was reading a term paper.Nelson quotes other peoples works frequently. I don't want to read a memoir that is all other people's words, I want to read a memoir that is your words. 
  • I feel like the book started at a really awkward spot in Nelson's life and I felt like I was playing catch up. It starts when Nelson told Dodge that she loved Dodge, and how Dodge did not feel love was the correct way to feel so Nelson tries to find different poems and writings to correctly depict her feelings. And then it goes into them finding a place to live for them and Dodge's son. It takes some serious context clues to figure out that it is not their child, just Dodge's. 
  • I feel like the book switches back and forth some. In some portions, Nelson talks about life with Iggy (their son), and then it talks about trying to conceive, and then pregnancy, and then first-time motherhood. Also, towards the end of the book, she starts talking about her parents divorce which took place in her childhood, while the rest of the book took place in adulthood. It felt very inconsistent.
(Source: Giphy)
  • I am seriously irritated that she had to mourn the fact that she was having a son, not a daughter. She wanted a feminist daughter, a mini-me, someone whose hair she could braid. And yet, she is married to a transgender spouse. Not only do I believe that just because you have a son doesn't mean they cannot be a mother's mini me, but she should also realize that just like her spouse, they might be gender fluid.
  • For the majority of the novel, I felt like Nelson was extremely vague. This goes back to the amount she quotes other people. Instead of using her own words and thoughts, she uses others words and thoughts and then sprinkles in how she sort of agrees or disagrees with what was just said, but is never definite in where she stands.
Wrap Up

I was hoping for a book that talked about the life of a family whose lives are changing through pregnancy and transitioning so that I could broaden my understanding and world. Instead, I got a book that was incoherent and felt more like the rambling of thoughts you have while you do every day mundane tasks. Harry and Iggy play a very minor role in the book. 

With some of the quotes that Nelson uses throughout the book, I feel like she put them in their to sound wise and beyond her years. Instead, I feel like they just bogged down the book and drowned out anything that Nelson was trying to actually say. In some cases, it even felt repetitive. 

I've read reviews of people who loved the book and I wonder what they saw in the book to make them love it so much, just as I'm sure people will look at my review and wonder why I hated it so much. But I really do not feel that reading this book added anything to my knowledge, it didn't speak to me in any way; it just took up time and space on the bookshelf.

(Source: Giphy)
Rating: 1/10
Pages: 143 (paperback)
Genres: Memoir, Non-fiction, Feminism

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon!

So on Goodreads, I have seen all of these people asking what they should read for "Make Me Read It." Naturally, I was intrigued, but wasn't finding any info on it on Goodreads. Thank god for Google! It led me to The Innocent Smiley, a blog run by Val, who partners with Ely (Tea & Titles) who started the read-a-thon last year and decided to do it again this year.



How It Works
Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book, or ones you've borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. It's up to you how many you pick.
Make a list of these books and then have friends, family, and other bibliophiles pick which ones you HAVE to read. Use the tag #MakeMeRead on social media!
The books with the most votes is read first, the book with the second most votes is read next, etc. If there is a tie between books, it's your personal preference of which you read first.

When Does it Take Place?
The Read-a-Thon takes p…

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers was the first book I received from my Book of the Month Club. I was so excited when I saw that it was one of the books for this month, because I had hoped it would have been selected for another book club I am a part of, but it wasn't. The cover intrigued me, the way Morgan Jerkins described it sold me, I knew I needed to read this book. However, upon finishing the book, I feel like I have been let down. I feel like there was so many places this book could have gone, and yet, I felt like I was reading a story about what could have been anybodies life.


Five Sentence Summary
In college, Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe were in band, Kitty's Mustache, along with another girl, Lydia, who left the band and made a name for herself, before dying at an early age. Now, Elizabeth and Andrew are married and have a son Harry, and Zoe has married Jane, and they have a daughter named Ruby, and a producer is asking them to sign over their life rights so they can make a movie about Lydi…

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Oh my goodness! I am not one who reads a lot of poetry; yes, I have a few favorite poems, but it's not what I usually spend my time reading. I don't remember where I heard about this book. It might have been an article or a friend read it, but it somehow made it's way onto my To Be Read list, and when I was looking through it the other day, I saw it and decided I would buy it, but didn't have any intention to read it right away because right now, my currently reading stack is getting a bit ridiculous. But last night, I didn't feel like reading any of my current books, so I picked it up and I was in love.


Why This Book is Amazing

Because this book is poetry, I can't use my usual format with other reviews. But with this book, I'm okay with that because it fits the theme of the book.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One is told in 4 parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. Each part represents a piece of Amanda Lovelace's life and the things th…