I missed last week and as usual, there’s a lot to catch up on! I finished two middle of the road books- but, I’m in the middle of two that I’m enjoying quite a bit.
Linking up with Kathryn at The Book Date- the host of “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?”
A very ambitious August TBR stack. I can tell you one of my current reads isn’t even in this stack, so I’m really nailing it :) I’m such a mood reader, but would really like to get better with reading in time with publication dates!
I Finished Reading
Toil & Trouble | Augusten Burroughs | Sent to me by St. Martin’s Press | This is a book about witches- and this is a memoir. Only Augusten Burroughs can get me to go from thinking beloved author has gone off the deep end to making me wonder if I don’t have some witch in me myself. I love his writing style- he makes the every day banality compulsively readable. He’s hilarious without trying. This won’t be for everyone but true Augusten fans ill be happy to be back with an old friend. Loved his anecdotes about buying a house in the country, his dogs, and neighbors. Domestic bliss at its finest!
This Will Only Hurt a Little | Busy Phillips | Books like this are the reason I rarely DNF! I picked it up because so many people on bookstagram were talking about how they loved it. I started it on audio earlier in the year and just was not connecting to Busy’s stories from adolescence. For whatever reason, I picked it back up just as she was getting hired on Freaks and Geeks and it totally changed things for me! The second half was SUPER strong- it’s toward the top of my favorite celeb memoirs. She gives awesome commentary on fame, feminism, motherhood, and marriage. I’m Busy’s newest fan! 4/5
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing | Jen Waite | Man, I have a hard time rating memoirs. On the one hand, its the author’s story. Who am I to criticize? But I do like to share what I liked and what I didn’t, so here we go. In this book, the author talks about finding that her husband was having an affair throughout their marriage. She finds out very shortly after shes given birth and it comes as a complete shock. We find out more and more about the second life he’s been living, until she takes it upon herself to make sense of the situation by researching sociopaths and coming to the conclusion that he is one. The story is sad- and the ex definitely did some terrible, manipulative, unthinkable things- but I don’t know about the sociopath diagnosis. Sadly, there are a lot of people who do things in this way and it doesn’t necessarily mean they have personality disorders. I also couldn’t look past her privilege. At one point she invests 25K of her savings into a restaurant her ex wanted to start and when they still came up short, she gets 50K more from her parents. I want to say they weren’t even married at that point. Her parents involvement in their relationship also struck me as odd. I hope I don’t come across as victim blaming- something about the whole story didnt connect with me. The author narrates the story herself and she does good job- I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. I ended up giving this a 3, though I think I’m getting burned out on memoirs of people with means so I think it was a case of this being a decent story but not for me at this time.
Theme Music: A Novel | T. Marie Vandelly | I’ll come out and say it- this book was bonkers. Trigger warnings abound- this is definitely the most gruesome book I’ve ever read. (But in kind of a slapstick shock and awe kind of way?) Dixie Wheeler has had an unimaginable childhood- her father killed her 2 brothers and mother with an axe, before slitting his own throat. Twenty-five years later the house they lived in is for sale- and she feels an unshakable compulsion to move in. Weird things start happening and her life goes into a tailspin- is something supernatural going on? Or is someone trying to send her a message that the things that happened that night might not be all as it seemed? This book had a lot going for it- but there was a lot wrong. I loved the dark humor and unexpectedly, parts had me laughing out loud. The story itself was unique but I found myself getting frustrated by the end- lots of things came together in ways that were just too convenient and many points were downright ridiculous. That said, props for writing a unique story. This was a debut and I’d definitely read the author again. In the end I’m going with 3.25 stars. (For reference, 3.5 and higher are books I liked and I’d recommend).
Hollow Kingdom | Kira Jane Buxton | Sent to me by the author | If you are looking for something a little different, look no further than Hollow Kingdom. Someone bad is going on with the human race and the animals have noticed. Our narrator is an anthropomorphic crow Shit Turd, or S.T. for short. Together with his friend, a hound dog named Dennis, they want to try and find a way to help the MoFos (humans) out.
With respect to the author, I normally wouldn’t touch a book like this with a 10 - foot pole because it sounds just too weird. But I’m noting if not a sucker for a good post- apocalypse story and since I was craving something different, I picked it up. It’s so good! It’s not nearly as weird or hard to follow and I thought it would be and I’m genuinely enjoying reading about our world through the animals’ eyes. You can tell the author is very passionate about the Earth and conservation. I have to see how it all comes together before I can fully recommend, but I’m thinking this is a good one!
Never Have I Ever | Joshilyn Jackson | Free from TLC Book Tours | This book has all of the makings of a book in my wheelhouse: girls night, too much wine, drama, and deception. When a new neighbor comes to book club with an agenda, Amy begins to suspect that the past she’s worked so hard to conceal is coming back to haunt her. Bring it on! I just started am I’m digging it. One of my pet peeves is when a book references a REALLY BAD THING from someone’s past for pages and pages without revealing it, but this book does a good job with setting the stage pretty quickly.
The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue | John Glatt | Free from St. Martin’s Press | This is an absolutely astounding story. The thirteen Turpin siblings are being held captive by their parents and are living in the most extreme conditions. They don’t get to go to school, bathe, rarely eat, and spend most of their time chained to the bed. This is a true story so it’s most definitely not for sensitive readers, but true crime fans will appreciate the author’s research and respect for the story.
Upcoming Reading Plans
Whisper Man | Alex North | Out 8.19.19 | My Book of the Month got here insanely fast this month so I think I have to go with this one! “In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.” Say no more.
All of the following were sent to me by the publisher. Click on their title for a synopsis/affiliate link!
Pretty Revenge | Emily Liebert | Gallery Books | Out Now
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill | Abbi Waxman | Berkley | Out Now
That's What Frenemies Are For | Sophie Littlefield, Lauren Gershell | Out Now
You’ve Been Volunteered | Laurie Gelman | Out Now
The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America | Karen Abbott | Crown | Out 8.6.19
The Wolf Wants In | Laura McHugh | Spiegel & Grau | Out 8.6.19
How to Be An Antiracist | Ibram Kendi | One World | Out 8.13.19
The Doll Factory | Elizabeth Macneal | Atria | Out 8.13.19
The Warehouse | Rob Hart | Crown | Out 8.20.19
All This Could Be Yours | Jami Attenberg | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Out 10.22.19
A Hundred Suns | Karin Tanabe | St. Marin’s Press | 4.7.2020
I cannot believe it’s August. What are the reading goals you’d like to focus on for the rest of 2019? I want to read more of what I own, hit some back list, read the ARCs that I get, and read some of the titles that are likely to be on the “best of” lists of 2019.
Find me here-