Another month in the thick of Book Review Season. I found my assignments a little easier to get through this month than last, but I am finding myself growing so, so weary of the following in YA lit:
- Therapeutic Road trips (2/8)
- Car crashes (3/8)
- Dead siblings/parents/best friends (4/8)
- Bucket lists, especially tackling someone else’s bucket lists (just 1 this month, but they really annoy me)
I feel like I am getting pickier with my YA reading, but really! Authors! Write anything that isn’t a spin-off of the same dozen stories, and I’m totally with you.
- Good and Gone by Megan Frazer Blakemore
- HelloFlo: The Guide, Period. By Naama Bloom
- A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
- Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman
- Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan
- Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan
- The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims
- Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi
- You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow
My recommends for the month are as follows: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares was certainly my favorite; great voice, jokes that are actually funny, and a weird “is this supernatural or realism?” vibe that I liked. The Art of Feeling was a somewhat distant second, but recommended, especially if you are, like me, have just been waiting for a YA book about MBTI personality types. Such a Good Girl if you are in for a good mind fuck. You Don’t Know Me But I Know You if you want to read a relatively drama free unplanned pregnancy tale with a biracial heroine.
In my listening-life, podcasts and audiobooks are always battling it out. Sometimes I get caught up getting caught up on my multitude of podcast subscriptions and can’t be bothered to finish an audiobook; sometimes I enjoy a long string of audiobooks and ignore my podcasts altogether. But I will admit this: when I’m in an audiobook mood, I’m often listening to books that are pretty similar to podcasts: works of nonfiction covering “hot topics” that pique some sort of pet interest of mine with a strong narrative voice – and actual narrator.
- 7: An Experimental Mutiny on Excess by Jen Hatmaker
- Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-up Notes to Books in her Life by Annie Spence
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam
All of my November audiobooks fit this bill. Dear Fahrenheit 451 was an absolute gem, and The Happiness Project still holds its sway over me, even after many re-reads. 7 was occasionally thought-provoking, but a little too Jesus-y for my tastes.
I did enjoy listening to All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam; I feel like there are woefully few books out there about personal finance that aren’t just *really* basic primers for banking, savings, etc. I’m not interested in investment strategies; I’m interested in how normal, middle class folks manage their budgets on a day-to-day basis. This fit the bill, but I wish Vanderkam had spent more time on the nitty-gritty of spending and savings and less time profiling the lives of chicken farmers, foragers, and other folks whose financial decisions she then went on to discourage. I also had enough beef with her section on teaching kids about money to fill up another blog post. Which I should probably restrain myself from doing since my kid is still at an age where if I handed him some money, he would eat it. But yes, I did enjoy the book; perhaps even enjoyed disagreeing with it, which is a somewhat familiar feeling regarding Vanderkam’s books.
I had no time to finish any non-audio, non-required books in November. I flipped through some new cookbooks and put in a little time with whatever books happened to be at my bedside. My library copy of An Age of License got lost in my toddler’s board book bin until it went massively overdue. And now it is December! I’m on my last stack of review books for the season (fingers crossed, anyway.) Shouldn’t be too hard to muscle through a huge pile of reading – and reviewing – while also shopping, decorating, traveling with a toddler, and preparing for the world’s most competitive work holiday party on Friday. Now I really should be going… it’s already Wednesday and I’ve only made 4 dozen cookies…