Read, Read, and Read Some More

Oh my goodness, I’m so behind updating this. I may be fully vaxxed, but it’s still an extra good time for reading since all the ding-dongs refusing to get vaccinated are making it very difficult to get back to normal. Anywho, here’s run-down of the books I read in February, March, and April. (These are my opinions. If I didn’t like a book, but it sounds interesting to you, read it anyway. I am not the authority on good books).

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book is crazy and was my first real dive into the Horror genre. It’s a bit of a slow build, but when everything starts to unravel, it is nothing that you expect it to be. The lead character is witty and smart and the exact kind of female lead we all want to root for. It’s very driven by visual descriptors and explores race and eugenics. It’s very nightmare-ish but in the best way possible.

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

I read The Warmth of Other Suns last year and was blown away. Truly one of the most important books I’ve read. This book absolutely met that mark, as well. We don’t typically associate the word “caste” with the United States, but Wilkerson eloquently and brilliantly argues that Black Americans continue to be the lowest tier of the American caste system using the history of the Indian caste system and Nazi Germany as the backdrop of her argument. It’s a must-read.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

If you’re a person who asks yourself a lot of “what if” questions, this is a lovely read. What if I had chosen that path instead of this one? How would life be different and would it be better? What would be missing from that life that I have in my current life. Be aware that there are themes of depression, suicide, and substance abuse.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

I wanted to continue to explore the Horror genre with this one, and I wanted to like this book so much. It didn’t click for me. I was excited to read something with Native American representation because I value learning about different cultures through more than just non-fiction works, but I found the story a little hard to follow and a little slow in parts. A lot of people love this book, so totally give it a try if it sounds compelling.

Nick by Michael Farris-Smith

Another swing and a miss for me, but I did it to myself. I love The Great Gatsby. Love, love, love it. When I saw that someone wrote a prequel about Nick, my gut reaction was, “Why would someone do that?” I read this mostly out of curiosity, and my instincts were correct. Turns out the most interesting part about Nick was always people he knows. This book is about Nick was before Gatsby, yet the most captivating characters are the people he bumps into along the way and not him. It’s well-written, occasionally even beautifully written, but I ultimately hate that it exists.

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

Ali Wong is one of the funniest women in comedy, in my opinion. This book is a series of letters to her daughters. She tells stories about her childhood, the Asian-American experience, dating, marriage, career, and motherhood in the most Ali Wong way possible. It’s funny and honest and gross in all the best ways.

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

While I fully and completely reject the premise of this book (spoiler alert) because there is no god damn way in 2021 America that any woman with any social awareness would invite a possibly mentally disturbed man – or any man for that matter – that she has just met into her car, and then her home FOR MULTIPLE DAYS. No way. That sounds like an excellent way for your friends and family to be interviewed about your mysterious disappearance and murder on a future episode of Dateline. But, that’s kind of the point of the book, I guess. Sometimes we have to trust and let our guard down to help and be helped. I liked this book. It was sweet and lovely despite the fact that it is fully unrealistic and would never, ever happen.

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

It took me a bit to get into this one, but I really liked it. The characters are what drive this book. They’re fun and have interesting quirks and are developed well by the author. The plot was hard for me to grab on to at first, but by the end, it was easy to appreciate the ways that the characters’ lives intersected and the connections that were created.

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

I am the target audience for this book. It’s for millennial women who have been or currently are a little too into social media. A lackluster writer gig, lying on the internet, and a desire to escape your life – it’s all there. I wouldn’t call it a page turner, but it’s quirky and funny, and not like anything I’ve read.

Just Like You by Nick Horny

I have read all of Nick Hornby’s novels, and most I have really loved. Unsurprisingly, About a Boy, High Fidelity, and Juliet, Naked are my top 3 (those were also the ones that became widely released movies). I also loved A Long Way Down and State of the Union. However, this book really wanted to have a point, but it didn’t. A white woman around 40 and a 22-year-old black man fall in love and turns out that despite all the reasons they shouldn’t work, they do… blah, blah, blah. Any explorations of race were lazy and lacked substance and oh my god-what if the young man wants kids someday, what then? The lady will be shriveled up and barren soon! It was vaguely enjoyable, but I don’t think Nick Hornby (very white guy) was the person to tell this particular story.

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway

This is not a genre I typically read, but Harrison and I saw this guy on Bill Mahar (I know, gag) and he was a spitfire, as they say. I love when someone can explain shit I don’t get (the stock market) to me in a way that is understandable. Lots of interesting stuff in this book about where we are because of COVID and where we could go from here. There’s also a sound argument against free college, which I have historically been in favor of. It’s interesting and accessible to the average idiot. Definitely recommend.

Outlawed by Anna North

A Wild West gang of barren and outcasted lady-robbers led by a non-binary cowperson. This book is fun as hell, while also exploring gender, sexuality, and mental health in an unexpected context. It leaves you feeling hopeful, and also wondering, ‘Why are men?’ Okay, not all men, but like, a lot of them. Loved this.

Currently reading: You’ll Never Guess What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Be my friend on Goodreads and you won’t have to wait three months to see what I’m reading. And also, please for the love of god get vaccinated. She didn’t give us scientists for no reason, ya dopes.

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