Picture this: you went to bed early to read your favorite book but now it’s 2am and you’re not even tired because you’ve been fully transported elsewhere and you need to read just one more chapter to find out what.happens.next. This was me last week reading Fleishman is in Trouble every night. Sharing books, thinking about books, and having conversations about books are some of my favorite things in life. So here are some really great ones I read in November that I am so excited to share with you.
Books I Read in November
Fleishman is in Trouble – This is a novel that gave me a book hangover. I finished it yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. The author, Taffy Brodesser-Akner tells the story of what happens when a marriage is over but told from both participant’s perspective. It felt like I was getting a fair account and the narrator wasn’t steering me to favor one spouse over another. There is no villain and no victim in this story – it’s simply about flawed human beings, which feels more like real life. It’s one of those books that I can talk about for hours and in fact have been talking about it to whoever will listen but I will spare you the details because it’s more fun when you discover everything for yourself. It’s a bit of a mystery too since for most of the book, we’re left to wonder what happened to Rachel – hence why I was up until 2am everyday. I highly recommend this book as your next read, especially if you plan to watch the show!
Sick in the Head – Do you love comedy? Do you like to laugh? This book is a collection of essays by some pretty spectacular comedians interviewed by Judd Apatow. I loved reading about their process and the behind the scenes of what goes into putting together a show or even one joke. It’s all about what makes a story and how they’re able to make observations about society in a clever and subtle way. The best acts are the ones that are hilarious but also leave you questioning civilization as a whole. That’s the fun part! 🙂 Some of my favorite interviews are with Stephen Colbert, Steve Martin, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, and Albert Brooks but truthfully, they’re all engaging and a wonderful glimpse into the life of a comedian.
The Nesting Dolls – The Nesting Dolls was on my bedside table for months before I finally decided to pick it up and start reading. This is a historical fiction story of three generations of women from a Russian Jewish family, beginning in the Soviet Union and eventually ending with immigration to America. I was drawn to the book as someone who is Jewish and born in Ukraine. As an immigrant, my family and I came to America when I was two years old. I grew up listening to the stories of my grandparents and parents being discriminated against for being Jewish and creating a new life for themselves in Brooklyn. Alina Adams is a beautiful writer. As I read about each generation, I was reminded of dinner table conversations at my own grandparents’ house. I recommend this story for anyone curious about life under communism, the Soviet Union, WWII, immigration and how families were affected for generations to come. These stories make me grateful to live in a free country based on my parents and grandparents decision to immigrate over thirty years ago.
Crying in H Mart – As a fellow Philadelphian, I was excited to read indie rockstar and author Michelle Zauner’s memoir, Crying in H Mart. This book turned me into a hermit. All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and enter Zauner’s world. The story begins with her life as a child and one of the few Asian American kids in her school, details the effect her mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis had on every aspect of her being and her present day life as the lead singer of a successful band, Japanese Breakfast. She writes about her relationship to her mother, filled with both love and friction, and food as the connection to her Korean mother and culture so beautifully. As I was reading, I thought to myself – What is making me so excited to turn the page and read more? The answer is Zauner’s masterful storytelling and honesty at all times. The story covers themes of family, grief, love, food, parental expectations and coming into your own. Buy this book for yourself and your closest friends – you will not be disappointed.
Mean Baby – I’ve been a fair of Selma Blair since first seeing Cruel Intentions but of course, no one really knows what’s going on behind the scenes in someone’s life. In her book, Mean Baby, Selma Blair writes matter of factly about everything with a level of self-awareness that I think is missing in many other memoirs. Her voice is smart, reflective, and truthful. She chronicles her early childhood and traumatic adolescence all the way through becoming a mother and a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Blair discusses drinking and becoming addicted to alcohol as a seven year old, an eating disorder, depression and of course, complicated family dynamics. Whatever preconceived notions you have of the actress, read this book to discover her real story.
For next month’s Girl Meets Library, I’m taking suggestions. What should I read next? Leave a comment below with a book that gave you a book hangover and kept you from living your life because all you wanted to do was go to bed early so you could read a few more chapters. 🙂
Welcome to Girl Meets Library, a monthly book series with my latest reading recommendations. For me, it all started with a library card. I can still remember the feeling of scanning the book aisles of my local public library when I was six-years-old, searching for the newest Sweet Valley Kids or Goosebumps book and escaping into a new world. In high school, I worked at our local library and when I say worked, I mean I pretended to reshelve books while reading behind strategically placed carts. My love for reading has continued into adulthood and I’m so happy to share it with you.