12.12.2017

What I Read In November

I didn't realize it at the time, but most of my books last month were light and celebrity heavy. I must have needed a brain break. That said, my three heavy picks were written by a psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in NYC, a climber on Mt. Everest, and a reporter on the Trump campaign, so not everything was mind-numbing. Take a look at what I read in November.


Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks I'm not super into short stories, but when it's Tom Hank's first book, you gotta check it out! I really liked the first few and then I just didn't feel as invested. He's a fine writer, and it was fun listening to the audiobook (he narrates it), but it didn't do much for me. 


We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories by Gabrielle Union Gabrielle is smart, strong and honest and these essays reflect that. They're also pretty funny. She discusses everything from her childhood, insecurities, and relationships, to race issues in Hollywood and her community, and sexual assault. I like her more than ever after reading it. 

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward by Elizabeth Ford Dr. Ford's book recounts her time as a psychiatrist working with mentally ill NYC inmates. It's tough content, which will piss you off and break your heart, but it's a compelling read. I have so much respect and admiration for people who do this for a living. 


There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins Easy, breezy slasher read. It wasn't amazing by any means and it didn't actually scare me, but it was fun enough. It reminded me a lot of the movie Scream, in a good way. 


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover Dysfunctional family, secrets, sexuality, abuse, mental illness. I like that this wasn't a typical, cheesy Hoover romance, and I'm a big fan of family dramas, but this was TOO MANY topics. It just wasn't executed well and the end came too fast, tied up with a nice little bow, which bothered me. 


Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin Quick and fun. I loved the writing style and multiple narrators. Great characters and entertaining from beginning to end. 

 

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips Ever since that mass shooting in a Nairobi mall, where a mother and her two young children played dead for hours in order to survive the ordeal, I've been terrified of having my kids with me in a tragedy like that. This book played on those fears. It started out really strong and totally creeped me out, but Jane annoyed me after a while, there were parts of the story that didn't need to be there, and there were a few questions left unanswered. I could not put it down though. 


Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner Dark, quick, engrossing. I enjoyed the writing style, but felt like it could have been so much better if it was longer. 


Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer  I will never understand why people do this! Of course the 1996 incident was a horrible tragedy, but beside the blizzard, the trek is totally bonkers and so horrible for you, yet people keep going up. This book is an expansion to his article in Outsider Magazine, and details his first hand account. It also goes into the commercialization, skill, drive, toll on the environment, health issues, death, bravery, guilt... I was riveted and sickened. 



Unqualified by Anna Faris I've always loved her. She's so relatable and funny, never takes herself too seriously, and always wants to learn. In this book, she weaves personal stories with relationship advice. I wish it was a straight memoir about her life and career, but I appreciate her complete honesty about her family, friends, and men in her life. It's a quick, breezy read. 



Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity by Iliza Shlesinger  She's funny and smart and great and I've been a fan for a long time. I love that her comedy has progressed and I agreed with just about everything she says in this book. I just wish it was more memoir, less dating advice. It was still a quick, easy, witty read. 


Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur It was hard to relive the insanity of the election and "unbelievable" doesn't seem like a strong enough work for all of Trump's shenanigans, but this a good read! I love Katy and don't know how she stayed rational or stable while working on the election. There's no doubt I would have had a breakdown on live TV. Katy's account is from her POV only (don't expect an investigation into the campaign itself). She's honest and kind of funny and I loved learning more about her and even a little bit about her parents. 


Life According to Steph

18 comments:

Nadine Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadine Lynn said...

Adding Young Jane Young to my list. I love listening to Tom Hank's voice thanks to You Got Mail, so I may have to see if my library has an audio version of his book.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Heather is on my list!

I don't think I'll ever be able to read a book about this shitstain candidacy or presidency.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I do want to read Unqualified; I love Anna Faris. And I really liked There's Someone Inside Your House. I don't think it's meant to be scary - more like light "horror" haha

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

Carly Blogs Here said...

I'm so glad you mentioned Uncommon Type, I'm on the wait list for it right now, but now you have me wondering if maybe I should try the audio. I usually don't care for audio unless it's non-fiction, but maybe since these are short stories I might like it. I really want to read Gabrielle's book, so I'm glad to hear you liked it!

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I have Young Jane Young on my Kindle from when I received the ARC from NetGalley. It's on my January list because it's about time.

Misty said...

Maybe 2018 will be the year I start reading again. It's been a big, fat fail this year.

Tanya said...

Generally, I'm not a huge fan of memoirs but I may make an exception for Gabrielle Union. I really like her and have heard so many good things about her book. I actually had to quit Fierce Kingdom because I tried to read it right after Charlottesville. Even though it has nothing to do with Neo-Nazis, it was just too hard. Something about those boys. Someone is Inside Your House sounds right up my alley. Adding it to my TBR!

Heather @ Heathers Hurrah said...

That Heather books sounds like something I should read ;)
I am curious about Anna Faris' book!!

Audrey Louise said...

SO many books read! You're killing it! I don't read celebrity books very often, but I almost always enjoy them when I do. Maybe that means I should read nonfiction more often. Lol

Laura said...

Wow! You had a great reading month!

Ana L said...

I'm waiting for a few of this books, the Tom Hanks one got some good reviews. I think I might check out Fierce Kingodom.

NY Foodie Family said...

I love Hoover, but agree Without Merit wasn't my favorite. Sometimes Amazing Things Happen sounds like an interesting read. I've heard good things about Gabrielle Union's books. You had a great reading month!

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i am currently working my way through Gabrielle's book and so far i am enjoying it! i'm not really a fan of hers but i am a sucker for a celebrity book and i already like her more than i did when i started lol.
i think i will skip without merit.
young jane young is on my kindle - my goal is to get to it before the end of the year. we shall see.

Kristin said...

I've never read a Colleen Hoover book. That seems odd right? I think I need to find one.

Jo said...

I saw Trevor Noah's interview Gabrielle Union about her book. I really want to get my hands on a copy. I just finished Home by Harlan Coben. Enjoyed it, didn't expect the twist.

lauren alford design said...

wow, you read so much! I had no clue tom hanks has a book.

Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... said...

Diverse reading month for you! Gabrielle Union's books looks interesting.