Another high/low month of reading…
MY LAST INNOCENT YEAR by Daisy Albert Florin
This is a novel set in a New England college and kind of in the vein of My Dark Vanessa. I’m going to be brutally honest here and say that while I enjoyed the book enough, it was kind of a forgettable read. I feel bad even saying that, but I think I’ve just read so many books set on these campuses (prep schools and colleges) with these darkish coming of age stories and they all end up blending together? The narrator of the book is reflecting back to her time at college in the 90s. If you’re into “dark academia” books, I think you’ll like it. The most compelling aspect of the book is that the main character is Jewish, so there’s great cultural Jewish references that you don’t always see in novels.
KINGDOM OF PREP by Maggie Bullock
Best book of the month and a top contender for best book of the year. I tore through Kingdom of Prep. Simply couldn’t put it down! It’s all about J. Crew– its history of how it started, its rise to retail glory, and the near-demise of the brand. It was an interesting glimpse into a brand I love. I listened to the audiobook, but honestly I would recommend getting a physical copy since the book has an insert with a bunch of photos to reference to. (I kept having to make notes to look different things up on Google images!) I rarely say this about non-fiction, but I wish it had been 2x longer. I could have used more anecdotes and more details!! I loved learning about all the different players over the years, what worked for the brand, and what didn’t.
I recommended this to a bunch of people and so far it’s been loved by everyone. Highly, highly recommend.
HANG THE MOON by Jeanette Walls
Let me preface this by saying: I loved The Glass Castle– I first read it in high school. I was really excited to try Jeanette Walls’ newest book Hang the Moon and I downloaded it without even reading what it was about. So definitely my mistake there. The second mistake is that I wasn’t clicking with the book, but I didn’t stop… I just kept going. It just…. didn’t work for me. It’s about the prohibition in Virginia during 1920s with a (very) strong female lead and lots of family drama. There was so much going on and so many characters and loads of feuding. Ultimately felt a little cheesy? I don’t even know. (If someone else has read it, let me know what you think?!)
MAAME by Jessica George
I really enjoyed reading Maame. If you read and liked Crying In H Mart, I think you’ll like this one too. The main character is a little quirky and quite sheltered. Throughout the book she comes out of her shell, starts a new job, dips her toes into the dating world, makes new friends, and tries new things all while dealing with grief and pressure (financial and emotional) from her family. Someone DMed me that it was a bit of a “slow burn” and that’s how I would describe it too. It wasn’t a book I tore through quickly, but I overall liked it.
THE FAREWELL TOUR by Stephanie Clifford
Stephanie Clifford’s first book Everybody Rise was a favorite of mine. (And I even had the chance to meet her once!) The Farewell Tour took quite a bit to get into… like so much so that I almost quit but kept going and I’m glad I did. The last 25% was great and tied the book together so nicely– I loved the ending. The book alternates between the past and “present day” (in the book it’s the 1980s) as a young woman leaves her family at the age of 10, builds a life for herself, and attempts to break into the very male dominated country music industry.