November brought COVID to the Scheirer-Weeks household and I'm happy to tell you that we're pretty well on the other side of it. None of us fared too badly - some coughing and fatigue, but that's about the extent of it. The worst part of COVID for us was the guilt - who we passed it to and how that impacted their lives. It sucked. But luckily all of our relationships are still intact and nobody seems to hate us too much - we're all just hating COVID.
The silver linings included some nice family time, the tackling of some projects around the house, and a bit of reading. November might have stunk in some ways, but the reading was marvelous!
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
As with Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I waited entirely too long to read this book. Poehler is a genuinely hilarious person who takes her craft of comedy very seriously and has been rewarded with much deserved success in her career. I loved this from start to finish, and would recommend it highly to anyone who even sort of likes Amy Poehler. (I’m not a *huge* fan of any celebrity, really, but I’ll read most anyone’s memoirs/essays!)
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson
Okay, except I am a pretty huge Elvira fan!
Vicky and I used to watch her movie on practically a daily basis (along with the videotape that had Jem, Beauty & the Beast, & Freaky Friday). This memoir is fun and hilarious and filled with superstar gossip. She did the thing where she shared some huge news about herself to boost sales, but I’ll forgive her for it, although I will say Cassandra Peterson is definitely not *gay* but bisexual, as this book illustrates and also outright says that she really enjoys men. I’m so glad that she found happiness, though. She’s had such a wild ride.
A Calling for Charlie Barnes by Joshua Ferris
I love Joshua Ferris. He’s on my short list of authors where I plan to read everything he has written. Plus, he’s from the Danville area so he often has a lot of central Illinois references. This book is full of them. More importantly than that, this was just really, really well done and I really enjoyed this family drama novel that I can’t help but wonder might be more memoir than novel. So good.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Another author on my short list is Taylor Jenkins Reid. How does she take what could be such a boring and predictable storyline and fascinate the reader slowly but surely all the way to the last page?!?! Between sessions with this marriage-gone-wrong novel, I found myself many times staring into space thinking of the characters, feeling awful for them, and feeling grateful for my marriage. My low expectations for this book were greatly surpassed. Now I know to trust TJR. Everything she pens is gold.
World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain
This wasn’t so much a book written by Bourdain as one written *about* his travels and musings about the food and culture of the various countries he was able to visit during his awesome career and too-short life. I enjoyed it, but it felt like such a skimming of the surface. I think this is a rare case where the book was actually better as the moving pictures (in this case, multiple tv series).
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
I’ve read so many books just like this one – the historical fiction with the heroine who becomes a stronger version of herself when faced with hard times such as war and develops friendship with a colorful cast of characters, often including a silent but handsome and bearded lumberjack. A larger percentage of them are enjoyable while they last and mostly forgettable. This one was actually really lovely, though. I might not remember it for the rest of my life, but it was a great story that I’d highly recommend to any fan of historical fiction!
Several People are Typing by Calvin Kasulke
This is a fast and hilarious read that is comprised of private messages among coworkers. I haven’t laughed so much at a book for quite a while. I loved it so much, but it was such a fast read that I had to savor it, so just took it a bit at a time. However, it would make a perfect airplane read (although if you’re like me, you’ll annoy everyone with your constant laughter).
What awesome books did you read in November?
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.