August Reads

Look at me- writing in this thing again!!

I have some book reviews to share for what I read (or listened to) in August!

Headphone icon means I listened to the audio; DNF means I didn’t finish. Find out why in review!

The Wreckage of my Presence (Audiobook): I loved this! I don’t always love memoirs but when I do they tend to be funny, emotional, and read by the author and this hit all of the above. Casey Wilson is hilarious in Happy Endings and also her podcast Bitch Sesh which, like me, is Bravo-powered. This book captured all the personality she has on the pod while also being compellingly written and a tear-jerker at times. I particularly loved the stories about her mother. Really recommended, especially as an audiobook.

Mary Jane (Audiobook): I loved this book a lot, and felt it really gained something in audio form. It’s a little Daisy Jane and the Six (which is also great, as is Malibu Rising, which also feels like kin here) and a little coming of age mixed up and set to a rock and roll score. Straight-laced girl is hired to nanny for an unconventional family in the 60s right when a famous actress and rock star move into the house. I loved all the characters, especially the little girl who reminded me of a little girl I know and love! Hijinks and growth occur. There’s even original music in the audiobook!

We are the Brennan’s: I didn’t like it. Multiple points of view with a repetitive and annoying “trick”. I also found it to be a little sexist in ways. Not for me.

Memorial: A really beautiful character study of two men in a relationship but it’s not really a love story. Slow and deep but lovely. I felt I knew everyone by the end and also like we could never really know anyone.

The People We Keep: I really enjoyed this one too! It sort of reminded me of Where the Heart is, which I also adored. Set in the college town of Ithaca, NY in 1996 made me approximately the same age as our protagonist and I really was invested in her story. Another tear-jerker but that good kind of cry, like Oona Out of Order, where you cry because the world is kind of beautiful sometimes.

56 Days: As a thriller it was ok. I didn’t figure out the twists but I also didn’t super care. Being set during the pandemic is incredibly weird and there were some jarring TOO SOON moments that made me wonder why I was reading it. I liked it fine, but I probably won’t remember the plot if you ask me about it next year.

The Atmospherians (Audiobook): I liked it! I didn’t love, but I was close to loving it. It’s a satire that takes on celebrity, influencers, cancel culture, Men’s Right’s Activism, and cults (cue “this book has everything…”) Dark humored, if felt like it could be on the bookshelf near Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I looked forward to listening to it. It was an enjoyable audiobook.

The Plot (Audiobook): even though I figured out most of it 63% in (I checked the audio stamp because I was like GOT IT), I really liked it. A book about a writer and also a mystery. It’s a story in a story and that’s a really fun framing device. Writer who didn’t become as famous as he thought he was going to be becomes writing teacher for a guy who has the plot of a book that’s going to be the name on everybody’s lips but he dies before it’s written. The teacher takes the idea and runs with it until someone says they are on to him. Twists and turns are in here including the plot of the book that does become a smash success! Very enjoyable in audio.

And I got more than halfway through Good Neighbors on audio and quit. Very strange story set on Long Island, Nassau County even, which is where I’m from so that kept me interested for awhile. Once I understood the basic premise I was no longer interested in all the various ways the information was being presented (time jumps, papers, documentation, etc.). Maybe would have preferred it in print but either way didn’t care enough to finish it. Life is too short to listen to or read stories that are boring you!

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