what I’ve been reading…

At the end of last month I bought a Kindle Paperwhite on a whim, hoping it’d help me get back into reading… and it did! I’ve read more in this last month than I did in all of 2016. It feels great. I swear I read faster on my Kindle, and of course, the fact that it’s so portable certainly is a plus. Seriously, if you’ve been on the fence about getting a Kindle, just go for it! 

What I’ve been reading…
Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve finally joined the huge number of people who don’t quite get Chuck Palahniuk’s newer work. I hate saying it but it’s true. The only reason I was to determined to read the whole book was because who it was written by, and that’s not really a good thing. While a few of the stories were fairly entertaining, all in all it wasn’t that great. It was sloppy, and a little too strange to be relatable. I still consider Mr. Palahniuk one of my favorite authors but I’d recommend sticking to his older stuff. Rant is INCREDIBLE.

Mattress Actress by Annika Cleeve. I’ve always loved reading books by sex workers. I’ve read a ton that I really enjoyed, and a handful that were, uh, a bit of a struggle to get through. This one falls into the latter category. It wasn’t completely awful but a lot of it sounded fabricated. Obviously I could be wrong but so much of it just seemed like it was made up to be shocking which ended up having the opposite effect. All in all, not a terrible book, just not one I’d recommend. If you’re looking for books on sex work, I recommend Stripped, Chicken, Johns, Marks, Tricks and Chickenhawks or Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. So, right now I’m going to admit that my memory is failing me. I rated this book three stars out of five over on Goodreads but honestly don’t recall feeling one way or another about in. On my Kindle I highlighted one passage that I loved but other than that I’ve got nothing. In the future I’ll try to write my reviews as soon as I finish reading a book so this doesn’t happen again.

If you’re curious, I highlighted “We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people.” from page 238. As someone who is not interested in having any children but is constantly being told I’ll change my mind, or something along those lines that sentence really struck a chord.

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks. Hallucinations was my first book by Oliver Sacks but certainly not my last. In fact, I’ve already downloaded Awakenings to read next. I’m very interested in medical writing but am often turned off by the fact that a lot of it is hard to digest as a layman. This book was filled with case studies, and information that even as someone who has no previous knowledge was easy to understand. I had NO idea how common hallucinations were and thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the different types. The human brain is really wild!

Shrill by Lindy West.  You guys, I LOVED this book. That’s right capital L-O-V-E-D. I devoured it. I read the full book in two sittings which for my short attention span is a miracle. Lindy West is hilarious! Not only that but there were so many times I was like “YAS MOMMA!” I highlighted the heck out of that book. Definitely read Shrill if you liked Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson… or read some Jenny Lawson if you liked Shrill!

I also started and quit The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop. The title is very intriguing to me as someone who watches every single Prison documentary they can find, and has enjoyed the show Cops since childhood. This book though, it was a struggle. I made it about a quarter of the way through before reminding myself that life is too short to read things you don’t enjoy at all. The author pointed out numerous times he was just a regular guy, not a writer which was fairly apparent seeing as he seemed to just be writing in circles. Glad I got that one from the library and didn’t actually buy it.

What have you been reading? 

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  • I read Furiously Happy and loved it so much I had to read Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I preferred the FH over the latter but both were great. I don't usually read anything like this so maybe I should give Shrill a shot next.

  • I actually checked out Gulp by Mary Roach based on your recommended reading posts and I am really loving it! I don't read much non-fiction (I'm a die hard sci-fi fanatic) but that definitely made my change my tune a little bit and start reading outside my comfort zone. I also picked up Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty from the library and I'm excited to give that a go, as well! Thank you for your reading posts! It fills my little bibliophile heart to the brim!

  • I just started reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, & it's beautiful. I'm also slogging through Liane Moriarty's Truly Madly Guilty, which I'm intrigued by but a,m not necessarily enjoying, only because it's way too long for what it is – but I have to keep reading because I need to know what happens!

  • I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat" by Oliver Sacks – It wasn't as easy to get through as I thought it would be, but it had some fascinating information. I agree – the human brain is so intriguing. Speaking of medical writing, you'd probably like "How We Die" which dealt with some pretty heavy issues but was very readable (and a book I think about often). I've heard from multiple sources about Shrill so I'm adding that to the list!

  • That's great that you were able to get an ebook from the library on your Kindle. Not all libraries are able to offer ebooks for Kindles due to the cost.
    Also, Love, Love, Love Lindy West!

  • Ugh I too LOVED Shrill. I recently watched Love Actually for the first time and texted my friend about how much I hated it and the problems I think it had. She immediately sent me a link to a Jezebel article Lindy wrote a few years ago about it and the article perfectly articulated my feelings about the movie. She's such a great, truly funny writer. Anyways, highly recommend reading her hot take on Love Actually: http://jezebel.com/i-rewatched-love-actually-and-am-here-to-ruin-it-for-al-1485136388

  • I loved both of Jenny Lawson's books so I will definitely check out Shrill. I finished Anna Kendrick's book, Scrappy Little Nobody, recently. Also, Lauren Graham's, Talking As Fast As I Can. Both really good books.

  • You and I have such similar tastes so now I have a whole stack of books I want to try! Also I totally hear you on the whole kids thing and HATE HATE HATE when people say "You'll change your mind" O.M.G. Murder.

  • I just finished reading Columbine by Dave Cullen last night, and up next I'm going to give Sue Klebold's memoir a go (sticking with the theme, I guess). I read Shrill a month or two ago and LOVED it, and your rec of Jenny Lawson is spot on–I think they're both very complimentary. I'm a little disappointed to hear Mattress Actress wasn't up to par, simply because the title's so great!

  • High-five of solidarity for being part of the Not Interested In Kids Club. Everyone tells me I'll change my mind too, but I'm 33 and still not baby-crazy. Maybe once we hit 50 they'll take us seriously? 🙂

    (Also, but unrelated, Mary Roach is my favorite.)

  • Ohmahgod. I'm such a Lindy West fangirl and have had Shrill on my bookshelf since its release last spring. Her wit is killer and her insights brilliant. Thanks for reminding me I've still gotta read it, taking it on the road this week!