2017 Reading Round Up, Part Three

2017 Reading Round Up, Part Three

As a reminder, these are off-the-cuff reviews that I peck into my phone as soon as I finish the book. A literary critic, I am not. Here's what I've been reading!

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautifully written, haunting, sad. I didn't get into it as much as I expected based on how much everyone else loves it. I liked it though and it's a short book. I did love the story of Jojo and his sister Kayla. The chapters from Leonie's (the mom) perspective were harder to read.

Startup

Startup by Doree Shafrir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you want a fun way to spend a weekend, pick up this book. It's super short and super fun. I loved it. Weird abrupt ending, but great book.

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Man, this book is so good! I'm biased because I love Samantha Irby and will devour anything she writes, but do yourself a favor and pick up this heartfelt, hilarious book.

The Rules Do Not Apply

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harrowing, gripping, beautiful. Short book that you can read in a couple sittings. If you're a woman, make sure you know what it's about first. Brb, reading every article Ariel Levy has written for The New Yorker.

'Salem's Lot

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scary and suspenseful. This is his second book, and it's from the early 70s, so there's some non-PC language. Great book. Fun to read close to Halloween.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is kind of a companion guide to all the things Brene has been saying in her FB videos and book tour this year. It's a great book that everyone I know has really enjoyed and benefited from. It's also super short. I read it in two days. It's intended to be read by anyone in any political party, but if you're a liberal or progressive living in a red state, this book offers some solace.

Quentins

Quentins by Maeve Binchy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love these Maeve Binchy books so much. Don't @ me.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended I listen to this as an audio book, and I'm so glad I did. Trevor recorded the audio and I loved hearing him tell his story, plus the accents, languages, and impersonations. I especially loved the end when he tells the story of his mom. The way he peels back the curtain of family abuse and domestic violence is thoughtful and well done. The ending had me laughing and crying in my car. Great book.

Do Not Become Alarmed

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down. Kind of brutal, kid violence wise, but great book.

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is so helpful and inspiring. I've been reading it off and on for months and finally finished it. I marked a bunch of pages and passages and plan to flip through it whenever I feel stuck. It's a must-have for women creatives and entrepreneurs, or anyone who just wants to be inspired.

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hilarious and totally worth the read. Favorite sentence: "While I chewed on my eleven brioche rolls, I saw the likes of Gen. David Patraeus, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and that guy from Magic Mike, who also played a hot werewolf and was supposed to have a huge wang."

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So unbelievably funny. It's meant to be read in spurts, but I read it cover to cover in about a week. I couldn't put it down. Hilarious.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two words: IN DEPTH. This book is long and heavy, physically and emotionally. This isn't just a book. It's a masters class on Jim Jones and Peoples Temple. Fascinating, exhausting, deeply disturbing, horrific. People forget this happened in our lifetime. I was two years old when this happened. We haven't learned this lesson yet. Demagogues are still out there. Hell, we just elected one as President. There's a lot to be learned from this book.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally! A work memoir that's not just cliche advice like 'don't cry in front of your boss' and 'never bake cupcakes for your coworkers'. Read this, and then buy copies for all the young women in your life. FYI, this book will make you really miss Obama.

All Grown Up

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I looooved this book! It has all my favorite ingredients: female protagonist, NYC setting, ambivalent single lady in the city, family dysfunction, shitty job, confusion over life goals, alcohol, sex, drugs. I just made this book sound really dark, and it isn't. It's a great book! Just read it. You'll thank me.

Jab, Jab, Jab,  Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Ugh, this book. Why are there books on social media? By the time it's on the shelves, it's outdated. First of all, this book is unapologetically written for men. Aside from the fact that the title is a sports metaphor, the cover is a picture of boxing gloves, and the filler pages are high gloss red, the first paragraph in the intro is a football analogy. Imagine me raising my middle finger into the air right now. If you're a dude who thinks he's good at Facebook, and could be better, here's your book. If you're anyone else, and specifically if you're a woman, just read an article anywhere on the internet and save yourself the excruciating frustration of another man telling you how to do something you probably innately already know how to do.

Exit West

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know what to say about this book. I liked it. The language and the writing is beautiful. I didn't feel an emotional attachment to the book or the characters, but I'm glad I read it. The story and the perspective are so unique, I'd recommend reading it. Plus, it's short and you'll read it quickly. It's a good book.


P.S. Forgot what I read in the second part of 2017? Here you go!

P.P.S. Are we friends on Goodreads?

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