I’m excited to share another couple of months worth of reads with you today!
In August and September: I listened to:
- The Bassoon King: Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room by Rainn Wilson. I’ve been a huge fan of The Office for years and knew that this book wouldn’t disappoint. It didn’t. Rainn Wilson is a great writer and does a terrific job finding that balance between childhood stories and professional accounts with just the right amount of humor and personal opinion in the mix.
- I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron. I Remember Nothing is okay but not amazing. There wasn’t a lot of substance, and many of the stories simply weren’t relatable (and worse yet, weren’t interesting) on any level. It had its ups and downs, and there were a few chapters worth listening to. But there are so many better celebrity memoirs to read.
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. I don’t think that I could have picked a more random book to finish out the last two months of audio books. Jake has been a huge Lord of the Rings fan for years…and I’ve never read them. It’s awful, I know. So I’m working my way through the audio books. I could only get them on CD, and it’s been fun to listen to together in the car the past couple of months.
While not a book, I also listened to David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall (you can rate it on Goodreads, so that counts for something, right?). If you’re a David Sedaris fan and can get this for free through the library or as part of your Audible subscription, it’s definitely worth a listen.
In August and September, I read:
- The Rosie Effect: A Novel by Graeme Simsion. I’m a huge fan of The Rosie Project. It’s one of those rare, really memorable novels that sticks with you for years. The Rosie Effect has the same great writing and characters as The Rosie Project, although not quite the memorable scenes. It’s hard to beat the DNA party collection and other such scenes from The Rosie Project. I still enjoyed The Rosie Effect a lot and loved getting another segment to this story.
- The Impossible Fortress: A Novel by Jason Rekulak. The Impossible Fortress is a sweet story. I love the 1980s time frame, and the ending is generous and touching without being cliche.
- Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir by H. Jon Benjamin. I love Archer and really enjoy Bob’s Burgers and would have read just about anything by H. Jon Benjamin. I was hoping for a little more substance, particularly about his professional life. But the book grew on me. I think some of the stronger chapters are later in the book, particularly the chapter about his parents thinking that they’ve discovered this little hole in the wall restaurant called P. F. Chang’s. (Again, not exactly a deep story or incredibly interesting professional account, but very entertaining.)
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Hands down, Born a Crime is one of the best books I’ll read all year. I sped right through it in just a few days. Trevor Noah is a fantastic writer. If you know anything about his background, you know that he has quite the story to tell, and he does so brilliantly. I learned so much about South Africa from Born a Crime. Whether or not you love Trevor Noah’s humor and political bent, Born a Crime is well worth a read.
- 32 Yolks by Eric Ripert. I liked 32 Yolks but not nearly as much as I’ve liked a few other food memoirs/non-fiction, namely Life on the Line and Back of the House. It was heavy on the memoir part, which frankly wasn’t that interesting, and light on the professional food/restaurant side, particularly his most successful years.
- The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase. The One That Got Away is about as good as it gets for chick lit, which is to say solid but nothing amazing. It’s well-written, and there is some depth to the characters. It’s incredibly predictable, one of those books where you know exactly what’s going to happen by the end of the first chapter. I think that there was potential here for real character growth, and that just didn’t happen.
- The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum. The Opposite of Love grew on me. Initially, it was really generic. But it actually had that growth that was lacking in The One That Got Away. I am a huge fan of Julie Buxbaum’s young adult books, Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next, and I’m not surprised that she does such a good job with her adult fiction as well.
- Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. Moxie is a fun read and exactly why I love young adult fiction. The characters and plot are so strong and relatable.
I actually don’t have any re-reads for August and September, which is a first for 2018. I’m still re-reading Ready Player One and haven’t picked up Harry Potter again after finishing Fellowship.
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What have you been reading and loving lately?
I’m always looking for new suggestions!
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