Hello! I know October has already ended but figured you’d all cut me some slack as I’ve been a bit busy. When I posted about taking a break because I was driving from Seattle to Ann Arbor I used a stock mountain photo, but I’m happy to report that I took this photo myself while driving through Montana. What a stunning state! I now understand its nickname Big Sky Country. There were gorgeous views in every direction.
I’m still immersed in unpacking, organizing and doing all the fun stuff you have to do when you move to another state. Have you ever had that feeling when you are so exhausted you’re falling over, but your brain continues to fizz with to-do lists and things you need to remember? I’m still there. I swear I heard my brain crackle the other day.
I did manage to read and listen to more books than I expected during October so wanted to share that. I just can’t do it in the same way I normally do, so some of these are going to be really brief recommendations. Hopefully, if you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you trust me.
Published by Simon Schuster Audio
Publication date: October 16, 2018
Busy Phillip’s memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little was one of the books I listened to while driving. It worked well enough because she is vivacious and funny, a natural born entertainer. Her stories of trying to make it as an actress are both entertaining and enlightening. She is, in her own words, a lot to take, with no filter, so listening was like your first time out with a new friend after a few too many cocktails—a bit overly dramatic, too much information, but hilarious. The only problem is that her vocal fry, Valley Girl intonations made my ears ache. I listened to the entire book in one day, so maybe split this one up into separate sessions.
Published by HarperAudio
Publication date: April 30, 2019
Fall and Rise is a detailed account of 9/11 and another book I listened to on the road. Zuckoff covers the day in exhaustive detail, using transcripts, voice mail messages, 911 calls, government records. I learned more than I wanted to know—mostly about how arrogant and ill-prepared our country was. Signs that were ignored, no communication between government agencies, firefighters with outdated equipment. Still, the human aspects of the tragedy far outweigh the more logistical, technical information. Sobering listening.
A Fist or a Heart by Kristín Eiríksdóttir, Larissa Kyzer
Published by Amazon Crossing
Publication date: September 24, 2019
I love experiencing different cultures through the translated work of native authors, but…it may be that the Scandinavian mind is not one I understand. A Fist or a Heart is about an older woman with a secret, a 19-year-old playwright and that’s as far as I got before I gave up. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto.
Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey
Published by Penguin Press
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Apparently, 2019 is going to be a breakout year in nonfiction for me. I don’t read a lot of it, but this year every bit of it has been 4 stars or higher. I’m adding She Said by Jodi Kantor to the list. It’s the behind-the-scenes story of how Kantor and Megan Twohey brought down Harvey Weinstein through meticulous journalism and fierce determination and launched MeToo. It’s appalling, addictive reading.
The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Sondra Silverston
Publication date: September 24, 2019
A bored teenager who wants to be noticed tells a lie. A massive one with the potential to ruin a life. I can’t say more without spoiling the novel, but honestly, while I appreciate authors pushing boundaries in their fiction, not this time. The Liar gives weight to what is a dangerous statistical anomaly used against women all the time. Gundar-Goshen writes a nuanced story, but it wasn’t enough to change my antipathy towards the premise itself.
That’s all for now! I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things once the mound of boxes in every room disappears.
How was your October reading?