What I Read In May

Jacob has been really busy training for his MMA fight (coming up in ten days. Eeek!) so I've had a lot of time alone lately. I've been watching tons of movies, clearing out my TiVo, and reading, reading, reading. I seem to be finishing a book every two days! Here are the ones I read in May.  

Cutting Teeth This book takes place over one weekend as the families of an NYC playgroup spend time together at a shabby beach house on Long Island. It's told from multiple perspectives (six, I think) and it was hard for me to keep all the women, partners, and children's names straight for a while. Almost none of the crazy characters are likable and the situations are ridiculous, but I enjoyed the insane story for what it was. 

What If? You might know Randall Munroe from his comics on xkcdThis book of hypothetical questions came from reader submissions, and though it was a little over my head (I'm an idiot when it comes to math and science), it was pretty fun to read. Some questions were: How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? How high can a human throw something? Would the common cold be wiped out if everyone stayed away from each other for a couple of weeks? If you called a random person and said 'Bless you,' what are the chances they just sneezed? See? These are absurd! But the answers were completely scientific, the drawings contributed to my understanding, and it was an amusing read. 

The Good Luck of Right Now After his mother dies, 38-year old Bartholomew finds a form letter from Richard Gere among her things and decides to write to him to cope with his grief. While working out his issues he meets other quirky/troubled misfits and finds his place in the world. It was well written, with a lot of heart, but I didn't really connect with any of the characters. It may have been just a little too odd for me. 

Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One I judged this book by it's title and thought it would be about being a real man this day in age. He's very outspoken about being a feminist and completely against gender roles and stereotypes, so I was looking forward to hearing more. Unfortunately this is just a memoir. It was well written and I finished it quickly, but there wasn't much to his life story. He's a stand up guy despite his upbringing and takes Hollywood with a grain of salt, which I love about him. 

My Heart Is an Idiot: Essays Davy Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine. You know, where they publish notes, lists, drawings, and photos that have been thrown away or littered onto the streets. The magazine turned into books and he has toured the country to promote them. Along the way, he searched for love, but wound up with a broken heart every time. I thought the essays were funny, quick and thoughtful, even if some felt exaggerated. It made me want to be friends with him. 

The First Bad Man Uhhhh, I don't even know where to begin. I liked the plot: Cheryl, a 40-something single woman has to take in, Clee, her bosses' 21-year-old daughter who is nothing like her. The beginning of the book starts off fine then things get unusual and I almost stopped reading it about ten times. Cheryl and Clee start physically beating each other up, Cheryl sees a strange therapist, and her best male friend, whom she's in love with, wants her permission to start dating an underage girl. It's even weirder than I'm describing. Parts of it don't make any sense, others are unpleasant to read, and the characters are gross. The last third of the book returned to a more normal vibe and I finished it, but it still left me baffled. 

Luckiest Girl Alive Ani has a glamorous job and the perfect finance in NYC, but something from her high school life prevents her from being truly happy. First of all, I wish people would stop comparing books to Gone Girl. Though this was a good story, it doesn't come close to Flynn's book. I do agree that it's a page-turner and I couldn't wait to figure out what was going on. The end was a little bit of a let down for me, but I still enjoyed it thoroughly. It's going to be made into a movie, which I'm sure will be a fun ride. 

My Heart and Other Black Holes This is the third book in five months I've read about teenagers wanting to kill themselves. It's so depressing! Aysel finds Roman online and they vow to help each other follow through with their suicides. Then they fall in love and Aysel has second thoughts. I thought the author did a great job describing what depression feels like and I enjoyed both characters, but I felt the love story was rushed and unrealistic. 

Every Day "A" wakes up every morning in the body of another person and lives that way just for one day. When A inhabits the body of Justin, meets his girlfriend Rhiannon and falls in love, A tries to figure out a way to be with her forever. I thought the concept of this book was totally original, I really liked how open and honest A was, and it was a quick read. 

Six Earlier Days This short companion to Every Day detailed six random days in the life of A before Rhianna entered the picture. It doesn't give any more information about how or why A's life is this way, but I didn't mind. I liked the glimpse into the lives of a few more bodies. 

Crank Hopkins based this book about a teenager addicted to meth, on the life of her own daughter, which kinda broke my heart. The entire book is written in free verse form which annoyed me at first, but ended up being a breeze to read. I've worked with meth addicts before, so to read about how innocently it can all start was powerful and sad, although this particular story was a little cliche.  

Glass I had a harder time feeling sympathetic for Kristina in the sequel to Crank, but think it's a great cautionary tale for teens. Her life is an absolute mess and she's not a nice person, which is the direct result of addiction. I felt this story was even more cliched than the first one which is why I didn't rate it as high.

 I also read these three books I received from NetGalley. Check out my reviews right here.

I can't wait to see what you read!

Life According to Steph


Jana @ Jana Says said...

I just saw Every Day on a lit post and added it to my list and then you mentioned it and now t solidifies my choice to read it! I have Crank, Hausfrau, and Inside the O'Briens on my list already.

I felt the same way you did about Cutting Teeth. It was an easy read, I finished it in a weekend, but it was just okay for me. Nothing spectacular but not a waste of time, either.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'm #32 for The Luckiest Girl Alive. I also wish people would stop comparing books to Gone Girl because the expectations and realities are quite different.

I liked Crank but am not in a hurry to read any more.

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

Crank has been on my "to read" list for a while. Need to get on that one. I usually adore books with quirky characters, so I read up on The Good Luck of Right Now. I think I agree with your assessment. Almost too quirky to identify with any of them.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Luckiest girl alive sounds really good. I thought your comments on Inside the O'Brien's was funny because the characters were a little cliche but so is the people of Boston. Haha! I can say that since I'm from here though. ;)

P!nky said...

Luckiest GIrl Alive sounds awesome!!!

Karen Peterson said...

Holy cow! You've read a TON!

Some of these sound like books I would really enjoy. I need to read more.

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

Good job on all the reading! Cutting Teeth sounds good as well as the 2 books from David Levithan. I'm reading your net galley reviews now :).

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

every day has been on my list for ages! glad to hear you liked it. i totally had a dream and i said to my husband wouldn't that make a great book? and then i found every day like a few weeks later and i was like darn it he beat me to it ;)

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

You got a ton of reading done in May!! Every Day sounds very interesting and unique, I added it to my hold list. I have to say The First Bad Man sounds awful...just one of those books where you are like WTF every other page.

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

Dang girl, you read A TON! I read (listened to) something similar to Cutting Teeth...Big Little Lies...it was okay-ish. I just added Luckiest Girl Alive to my list! And now I am off to learn about that Chuck P. book...although I couldn't even get through his last one...

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

Luckiest Girl Alive is on my list to read soon.