Once again, I don't have even one mediocre book to share with you. I've got four strong recommendations, depending on what you're needing right now.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
This was a really oddball, sweet, amazing book about sourdough bread and a million other things. As I was reading, I kept thinking that the premise sounded kind of stupid and wow, I really love this book. The main character, Lois, was smart and very real to me. Don’t read anything about it, just dive in and go. It’s light but smart and a fairly quick read. Plus, it’ll make you want to make bread! In other words, a perfect book for Spring 2020.
(Note: Sloan also wrote Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which I found to be mostly kinda stupid. SOURDOUGH WAS WAY WAY BETTER.)
Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
Sam Irby is HILARIOUS and then poignant for a minute and then she’s hilarious again. I loved this book of essays and I think I’d better go grab her other books as well. She’s really crass and she will have you spitting out your drink, I promise. I asked Levi if he wanted to borrow a book of essays by a crass overweight black Midwestern lesbian (and he said yes, obvs!)
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Behold this phenomenal and sad story about the American dream, the ’08 economy, money, family, depression, New York City, and humanity. What I loved, and what is referenced at the end with the conversation with the author, is that this is straight up just an amazing story without getting caught up in the right-or-wrong and this-is-how-you-should-think narrative. I really appreciated that while we’ve got plot and drama for miles, it’s just so *real*, especially as the book wraps up. I would really love to discuss this one with someone. I’ve heard people reference books as being “compulsively readable” and although I know what that means and have experienced that with other novels, I feel that this particular descriptor is especially accurate for Behold the Dreamers. In that “Oh sweet, I have to go to the bathroom, I can read my book for a few minutes” sort of way.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a book club book that we’ve not yet discussed, so I’ll be just a little tight-lipped on how I felt about it for now. This was a high school book that explored…..all the things. That would be my main criticism is that so many heavy topics were packed into this one small book about Charlie’s freshman year. Most of the rest of my commentary on Wallflower would be positive, though. I especially loved how Charlie’s narration changed over the course of the year. There will definitely be much to discuss at our meeting!
Next up: I peed my pants when I saw that the new book about The Office was $5 on Kindle, so I’m quickly making my way through that. Spring of 2020 might be crappy in a lot of ways, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve read so many great books in one stretch. Hopefully that continues!
Hello to you from the inside of my house. This is where it all goes down. All of it.
Including reading! I wish I was reading at a faster clip, but alas, I still have to fundraise and rear the kids, darn the socks, slop the pigs. But I did devour some super books in the last couple of weeks and here they are!
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
One of my favorite sources for book recommendations is my dear friend Kara. She recommended H is for Hawk quite a while ago, and I just couldn’t pull the trigger on it until now. Because….I’m not super interested in hawks, and I was concerned that the book would be all about hawks.
So this book was all about a hawk. But if you pluck it out of the line-up at just the right time, when you’ve got the focus to read this terrific memoir about one woman’s quest to deal with the grief of the loss of her father by way of training a hawk…it works. This is gorgeously written, and I would recommend reading it in just a few sittings as opposed to multiple stop-starts. I enjoyed how the author interwove the story of a famous author’s hawk-training with her own.
Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow
I dove into this on my Kindle, not realizing that it was over 500 pages long. So that’s a long book, but it was a swift 500 pages, full of great conversation/interviews with some of the best comedians EVER, including many of my favorites. Of particular interest to me was his interviews with Jerry Seinfeld – one in 1984 and one just a few years ago.
This book definitely WOULD be an excellent stop-and-start option, and one that will have you flagging various movies and shows and comedy specials to check out if you haven’t already.
My ambition used to be stand-up comedy and while I still think I would have been awesome, Sick in the Head really illustrates how tough of a life that can be. Maybe I’ll wait until later when I’m a grandma, and that will be my shtick!
I would highly recommend this book if you love comedy (and why wouldn’t you?)
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Thanks to my resolve to quit crappy books once I realize they’re crappy, I’ve had a string of SOLID READS. Three for three this round!
Horror used to be my genre, weirdly, because now it is super NOT my genre. So I’ve read some Stephen King – Carrie, Insomnia, Thinner, Cujo… maybe a handful of others I’m not remembering. But I came across this book while sorting stuff a few weeks ago and, knowing that it is NOT horror, I threw it on my pile.
I loved it. It’s an adventurous yet meaningful tale of resilience, and family, (and baseball) and what we’re left with when we’re all alone. I flew through it, and appreciated a chance to hear a story from one of our generation’s most amazing authors without having to navigate murderous clowns, or killer dogs, or dirty pillows.
Recommend! Good for younger folks too, despite just a bit of language.
Up Next: I'm about 30% of the way through a novel I'm enjoying SO SO SO much.
How about you!?!?
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.