Have you finished Christmas shopping yet? I’m nearly finished and this is the first year I’ve had it done so early. I really love the feeling of being able to enjoy December with a lot less stress. I’m usually a basketcase in December, but I’m loving this carefree attitude early shopping has allowed me. This is a habit I need to get used to!
Last week, I finished my first 2021 release and started my second one!
Last Week’s Reads:
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Interior Chinatown just won the National Book Award for Fiction for 2020. I had heard about it months ago on #bookstagram, but the NBA was the push I needed to pick it up. I’m not really sure how to describe the book. For me, it was a satirical look at how Asians are viewed in America. The format of the book was incredibly unique – Willy Wu is an actor. He is trying to climb the unspoken about ladder from Generic Asian Man to the top where only a select few can be crowned Kung Fu Asian. Often times, the book would blur the lines between what was reality and what was part of the script, which made this one of the most unique book formats I’ve ever seen.
Within the first few pages, I had tears running down my face. Then a few pages later, I was chuckling under my breath. This book really has it all – and there’s a lot of nuance you have to dig through as a reader.
I’m not sure I’ve sold anyone on giving this book a try, but I am so glad I read it. It profoundly affected me and I have found myself thinking about it off and on since I finished earlier this week. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
*** 🎧 The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
The Wife Upstairs has not one, not two, but three super unlikeable, cringeworthy human beings at the center of its story. The big question is: who will prove to be the most manipulative? The most messed up? (The Wife Upstairs will be released on Jan 5, 2021!)
With multiple twists I didn’t see coming (and quite a few I did), this one kept me interested and engaged. There’s a lot required from the reader in respect to suspending belief, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t read thrillers because they’re realistic!
Thrillers are quickly becoming a genre that works well for me on audiobooks. They’re low stakes but have enough mystery to keep me engaged. I think I DNF thrillers more when I read them in book form. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
I’m halfway through this one now. The first ¼ of the book was really interesting to me, but the other ¼ has been painfully slooooow and boooooring. 😴 I hope I can convince myself to even finish it. I’ve gotta say: I knew this would be politcal, and I was okay with that. But I was hoping it would be a bit more personal and emotional (like Michelle Obama’s book was), but this is dry and bland…and dare I say it, narcissistic. 😬
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
I’m so close to finishing this one…and it has been eye-opening. While I think this would have been more impactful had I read it before A Knock at Midnight, it’s still a fantastic read!
*** Dog Flowers: A Memoir by Danielle Geller
Boy, this book is heavy! That’s not to detract from it – I can handle dark and I sometimes even like it. But, halfway into this book, there isn’t much light to be found as Geller’s life is relentless. There’s a lot of dyfunction, drugs, homelessness, and hopelessness in her story.
*** 🎧 The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans
I’ve only listened to the first story, but I loved it. It’s about grief and a dying mother…something I can unfortunately relate to all too well. I’m excited for the other stories.
DNF (aka: Not For Me and/or Skipping For Now):
*** Daddy by Emma Cline
Short stories are so hard for me. But I had really enjoyed Emma Cline’s debut book, The Girls, and wanted to give this one a try. Sadly the stories just didn’t work for me. I found it hard to focus on what she was writing, so I eventually started to go to each new story in hopes that one (or a couple) of them would grab my attention. None of them were working for me, unfortunately.
*** Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
With the year ending, books have to be blowing me away in order for me to keep reading them. At a different time, I probably could have appreciated this book more – it’s main theme is about grief, which I’m always on board with. But the formatting of the book (maybe just a problem with the ARC I have) made it difficult to sink into the story. I may try this again in the future if I ever run across a hard copy of it!