Apparently I read a lot this month! And I really enjoyed a lot of the books, only one “dud.” I think I read almost every night before bed, even the weekends and I found myself doing an extra loop around the neighborhood with the dogs to listen to another 15 minutes of an audiobook!
OLIVE KITTERIDGE: 3/5 Stars
by Elizabeth Strout
Starting off the list with a bit of a dud. Ultimately, I found Olive Kitteridge to be beautifully written…. albeit incredibly depressing. I forced myself to get to the end just to finish it and found myself relieved when it was over. There wasn’t much of a plot and I found the side stories of the tangental characters to be a little all over the place. It won a Pulitzer Prize, so I felt kind of like an idiot for not enjoying it but I just couldn’t get into it. It was also adapted for a series on HBO, which I tried watching, but also found too depressing!!
by Anne Boyd Rioux
I picked this book up after falling in love with the latest Little Women movie. I couldn’t quite get into the book, but wanted to know more about the story and Louisa May Alcott’s life. I found Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy to be fascinating!!! It’s definitely a research-y book but I couldn’t put it down. It goes through the background of Alcott’s early childhood and how that influenced the writing of Little Women and goes through the different decades of how it was received all the way to today. It made me wish I had read Little Women as a kid!
by Sam Quinones
Okay, this book. UGH. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying. I think everyone knows at least a little bit about the opioid crisis, but Dreamland goes into the whole history of how this kind of epidemic came to be. It is INSANE to me. Almost like a perfect storm of economics, changing industries, greedy companies, lack of opportunities. My blood was boiling while reading it. It’s truly infuriating to know the disregard for human life by the pharmaceutical companies.
TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: 5/5 Stars
by Lauren Graham
This is a super short, really enjoyable book. I listened to the audiobook because Lauren Graham narrates it. If you’re even the slightest bit a fan of Gilmore Girls you must read this. Not only do you get an “insider” peek into the show, her life advice throughout the book is also great. I finished this wanting to be best friends with her!!!
CATCH AND KILL: 5/5 Stars
by Ronan Farrow
Catch and Kill sat on my nightstand for months. I finally got to it and. Wow. Mind. Blown. I had followed the Harvey Weinstein case a little bit, but reading the first hand account of Ronan Farrow as he worked to break the story is insane. The story is stranger than fiction and sometimes while I was reading it I was thinking there is NO WAY this could be true. But it is!
OONA OUT OF ORDER: 4/5 Stars
by Margarita Montimore
So I have kind of mixed feelings about Oona Out of Order. It’s a very inventive concept: the main character time travels throughout her own life, jumping forwards and backwards every New Year’s Eve at midnight. I was into the book from the very beginning, which I liked, but I was kind of over the story by the end. There are some weird “holes” in the story or maybe they’re not holes but I couldn’t wrap my head around how it worked. (Like she had a binder filled with current events/stock market information for income but couldn’t do the same for her personal life so she wouldn’t be totally confused?!)
That said, I wish I hadn’t thought too much about it because the story does tie up by the end filling in a lot of the confusion. It’s better to just get swept up into the story and to accept the creative licenses for what they are. It is about time travel after all, so I think it’s okay for it to not be totally realistic.
MODERN LOVE: 5/5 Stars
by Daniel Jones
Are you familiar with the “Modern Love” column in the NY Times? This is a compilation of some of the essays featured throughout the year. I LOVED reading them. I am not usually into books of essays, but these really spoke to me. The essays are all about love– all kinds of love. Parental love. Heartbreak. First loves. Just all about love. To be honest, I couldn’t put this down and was reading it in 50 page chunks. I wish I had spaced it out more and read one essay at a time just to make it last longer!!