Friday, February 01, 2019

January: What I Read

2019 is off to a very bookish start.  I thought it would be great to knock out 25 books this month, but despite being trapped in the house with the kids for last week (or, maybe BECAUSE of it), I only made it through 23.  Here they are:

You can skip these:

23. And Then You Die of Dysentery: Lessons in Adulting from the Oregon Trail by Lauren Reeves:  Cute.

22. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking:  Yep.

21. Fed Up by Gemma Hartley:  I wanted to like this.  I really did.

20. Looking for Lorraine by Imani Perry:  I really wanted to love this, but it was a show don't tell situation.

Some fun reads:

19. My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper:  Adorbs.

18. Penelope Lemon: Game On by Inman Majors:  Cute.

17. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory:  Is this book fluff?  yes.  Is it totally predictable?  Also yes.  But, is it compulsively readable and totally entertaining:  YOU BET.  I am a Jasmine Guillory fan for fun, light, bubbly fiction.

Liked it:

16. The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu:  So sad.  Also really engrossing.

Four fiction books I enjoyed:

15. The Wildlands by Abby Geni:  This is so sad and gripping.  I really liked it.

14. Elevation by Stephen King:  I think it's a metaphor, you guys.

13. The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg:  I love her.

12. The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell:  Not her usual thriller, but definitely gripping.

A smarter book than I usually read for fun:

11. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight:  So, okay.  This guy is a historian, so i cannot expect this to a rhetorical biography.  BUT.  It is a biography centered around Douglass's development as a writer and speaker, so it;s hard for me to not want a rhetorical biography.  Something that bugged me throughout was how disembodied Douglass was for Blight, even as Blight was writing about the ways Douglass used his body rhetorically.  Also!  I wanted more about Anna Douglass and her material reality, relegated in this book to castaway sentences.  Still, this was meticulously written and researched, ad the book told a compelling story.  Loved it.

Three really readable books you should reserve at the library ASAP:

10. The Swing of Things by Linda Keir:  I mean listen.  Am I putting this book about swingers above an award-winning biography?  Yes, you guys.  Because that's the kind of person I am.

9. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews: This book was slow but ultimately wonderful ad really sad.  I fell in love with characters eventually, but if I was following through on my promise to quit books that I wasn't in love with, I would not have made it all the way through this one.

8. The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling:  This was a lovely, well-written, suspenseful little story.  Suspenseful because it covers a spam of about a week, and the narrator is taking care of her baby and simultaneously losing her shit.

Two excellent nonfiction books:

7. Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenberry: This book mad me so mad and also made me pretty sure I have had a couple of heart attacks.

6. The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum:  OH MY GOD.  Read this.  You will never eat again.

This right here?  Is a REALLY STRONG top 5:

5.  There There by Tommy Orange:  WOWZERS.  This book is just as good as everyone says it is.

4.  America Is not the Heart by Elaine Castillo:  Read this one!  It took me awhile to warm up to it, but when I did, I could not put it down.

3.  The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison:  Oh, wow.  This book is a gut-wrenching memoir and also a deeply emotional trip to the archive.  Jamison is a wonderful writer.

2.  The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner:  OH MY GOSH.  So funny.  So sad.  So well-paced.  I loved this one!

1.  Circe by Madeline Miller:  I didn't read this last year because I didn't think I would like it.  But!  I WOULD!  I DID!  I highly recommend.

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