I haven’t shared my books since September. Grab a cup of tea and a comfortable chair and I’ll catch you up.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. This book is about a woman’s journey to the United States with her son after the rest of her family is killed by a drug lord. Two words to describe this book: Amazing and Exceptional. You should read this book. I give this book five out of five stars.
Excuse my While I Disappear by Laurie Notaro. Notaro’s essays about her twenties made me laugh out loud when I read them in my twenties. She does the same for entering middle-age in this book. I really enjoyed it. I give the four out of five stars (although one of the stars in my journal appears to be crossed out, so maybe it was three stars? I’ve read 27 books since I read this book, so cut me some slack for not remembering clearly, please).
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey. I want to raise kind children who speak up for injustice when they see it. I don’t think sheltering white kids from the idea of racism until they are teenagers is the right way to handle the situation. I also don’t think telling kids to be colorblind makes sense. This book taught me a lot. My kids have learned a lot based on what I read, which they might not like, as I tend to give a lot of “that’s sexist because…” or “that’s racist because…” lectures while we watch shows and read books. If you are a parent I highly recommend this work. Let’s do the work to teach our children to be anti racist. I give this book five out of five stars.
We Had A Little Real Estate Problem by Kliph Nesterhoff. This book explores Native Americans in comedy. It made me want to spend a day looking up Native comedians on YouTube. I give this book four out of five stars.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna. A book about magical orphans who form a family together? Sign me up. It is adorable as you think it would be. I give this book four out of five stars.
Bonk by Mary Roach. Finally! An answer to the age old question: Can Mary Roach make a book about the scientific study of sex funny and educational? Yes. Yes she can. I give this book three out of five stars.
Will by Will Smith. I love DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I loved the Fresh Prince of Bell Air. I loved Bad Boys. After that I stopped watching Will Smith movies, only because I’m usually not an action movie fan. I found the first 80% of this book gripping. I couldn’t stop reading it. The last 20% I kind of wanted him to stop talking. If he would have stopped at the end of the first 80% this book would get five stars. As it is I give the book four out of five stars.
The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. I read this book about a modern woman kind of obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was in the thick of a personal obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I really related to her stories of trying to do things the way Laura would do them. I also liked hearing about her travels to the different homesteads, as I plan to travel to them all this summer. I give this book four out of five stars.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. Do not let the name of this book keep you away. It is incredibly interesting. I wish for McCurdy all of the help and therapy she deserves after her childhood. This book was a toothbrush read – the kind of book so good you can’t stop while you are brushing your teeth, you just read while you brush. I give this book five out of five stars.
The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager. Oh gosh! The twists! The turns! A delightful thriller. A fun, yet dark, read. Please just read this so I can talk to you about it. I give this book four out of five stars.
Grunt by Mary Roach. Can she make a book about the science of keeping humans at war alive funny and interesting? She sure can! I give this book three out of five stars.
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen. So it turns out I love the magical realism genre. This book is about an condo complex on a small island populated by people who need family. This is the story of them coming together. And ghosts. There are also ghosts. I found the story very enjoyable and I wanted to hug all of the characters and tell them it would all be ok. I give this book four out of five stars.
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. A romance novel, but with scientists. Spoilers: he doesn’t hate her, he actually loves her so much the only way he can express it is by being a controlling asshole who ends up saving her in a bad situation, but don’t worry guys they fall in love, because who doesn’t want to marry someone so incapable of communication you are convinced they are your enemy even though obvi you just want to bone and also in these books sex is the same thing as love, and I have to say, for people who have no qualms about smashing with someone they hated ten minutes ago they really need to learn to separate love and sex. I give this book three out of five stars.
Don’t Trade the Baby for a Horse by Wendy McClure. Another modern day Laura Ingalls Wilder book by McClure? It turns out she really could have stopped at the first one. Side note: McClure writes for Bust magazine, which is a fabulous feminist magazine and I think you should check it out. I give this book two out of five stars.
Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell. Short stories around the holiday season featuring characters from some of my favorite books? Sign me up! I give this book four out of five stars.
Kiss Her Once For Me by Allison Cochrun. Woman down on her luck agrees to fake marry rich property owner before Christmas so he can inherit money from his grandfather’s estate. I’m sure you are thinking nothing could go wrong…but wait! His sister is his fake fiancé’s dreamy one night stand from last Christmas Eve! What on earth will happen? I won’t give it away. You will have to read it because I know you would never be able to figure out the plot of a romance novel, dear reader. I give this book three out of five stars.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. Imagine of Zoey Dechenel and a hot Korean American actor (look, I know I should have a name here, but I don’t actually know of any hot Korean actors, and a Google search led me to K Pop stars, and then a Korean American actor Google led to a Buzz Feed list and I started reading it but I stopped myself because I have so many books to tell you about and I think we can all agree that it is best to imagine our own best looking generic Korean person in this situation) became best friends and then fell for each other. It was cute, but a bit more graphic than I was expecting. I give this book three out of five stars.
The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. If you are a fan of the office and you want a book you don’t have to think much about this is for you. I give this book two out of five stars.
Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood. At this point Hazelwood is just writing NASA porn. I give this book three out of five stars.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston. A ghostwriter sees ghosts. She has to return home for a funeral where she becomes haunted by her editor. I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but I feel like you should know: she falls in love with the ghost of her editor. Yes, the book is that dumb. But it is also delightful, so I give this book three out of five stars.
Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood. Refill your cup. I have a lot to say. Why are women in romance novels always short? Why are they so tiny they can’t reach things? Why do they ask existential questions when clarifying questions are a better choice for the situation? Why are the men so in love they don’t care about the personalities of these women? Why do I keep reading these books? Whatever. This is more science porn for ladies (I really should trademark that phrase). I give this book two out of five stars.
Movie Star: They Always Say They’re Single by Jessica Simpson. I love her writing. Even when it’s an essay about people trying to get in your pants. I give this book four out of five stars.
Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood by Jessica Grouse. I borrowed this book from the library, which is the only reason it isn’t highlighted and filled with post-its. I think any mother with kids in the house should read this book. Kirsten and Claire, you should both buy copies of this book. I might buy a copy. I give this book four out of five stars.
I’ll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein. This book, full of essays on midlife and motherhood, really hit home. I laughed out loud. I felt seen. I five this book four out of five stars.
The Rules at the School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan. Is this series, about a boarding school, as good as her other books? No. Did I enjoy it? Not really. Will I read the next one? Yes, I’m not a quitter. I give this book two out of five stars.
The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar. Racist things that have happened to these sisters and their family. Sad and angering and hilarious. They can make any story funny. I give this book four out of five stars.
Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn. A modern romance. That is all you need to know. Or you can wonder why she finds a man when searching for herself? She should look in the mirror to find herself, not his pants. I give it three out of five stars.
Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren. I should have skipped this one. It wasn’t worth my reading time. It’s not bad, it’s just not worth it. I give this book one out of five stars.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. As a former weight cycler/chronic dieter this book was refreshing and eye opening. I loved it. I give this book five out of five stars.
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around. I hope I remember to keep up on my book reviews in the future. If you have read anything great lately please let me know about it.