Three books I actually finished while having a newborn, which definitely counts for something.
Liked two, loved one. The first is perfect for Halloween, the last is perfect if you just want to laugh.
Their reviews below. As always, they are spoiler free.
1. The Grownup.
If You’re Looking For: a creepy book for Halloween
If You Like: Gillian Flynn, spooky stories, short stories, ghost stories
My Review: Have you read a Gillian Flynn novel before? If not, this isn’t the place to start. Start here–> Gone Girl. And if you can swallow that and want something even more haunting, read Sharp Objects (but don’t say I didn’t warn you). First of all, this book is not actually a full length novel, something I didn’t know before I got my hands on it (I was very confused). Instead it’s a short story! When I started it, I really liked it. The main character is intriguing, the plot thrilling, and by the middle you are turning the pages as fast as you can. The end was a little lackluster, however, and left me wanting more (or at least something different). I did enjoy it though. Very scary and psychologically trippy. To sum it up: This little ghost story isn’t perfect but is perfect timing for our current Halloween season.
Their Review: “A short story written for George R.R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, The Grownup is a tightly wrought psychological thrill ride that will leave readers replaying every well spent moment.” -Seira Wilson
Quoted: I lack formal education. So I’m left with the feeling that I’m smarter than everyone around me but that if I ever got around really smart people—people who went to universities and drank wine and spoke Latin—that they’d be bored as hell by me. It’s a lonely way to go through life.
2. The Nest.
If You’re Looking For: Dysfunctional family fiction
If You Liked: This Is Where I Leave You
My Review: Have you read This Is Where I Leave You? This book is kind of like that. Similar dysfunctional family, slightly more unlikable characters, with a brand new set of flaws and quirks. It’s also about New York and its elitist art/parenting/literary culture. I liked it. Definitely a quick read. My biggest complaint was too many side characters with not enough reason to have them. I did laugh a bit, and it is structurally sound and well written. To sum it up: Breezy, entertaining, predictable. A nice way to pass the time.
Their Review: “A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale…not only clever, but emotionally astute. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is a real talent.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
Quoted: Everyone’s always on the hunt for a mirror. It’s basic psychology. You want to see yourself reflected in others. Others—your sister, your parents—they want to look at you and see themselves. They want you to be a flattering reflection of them—and vice-versa. It’s normal. I suppose it’s really normal if you’re a twin. But being somebody else’s mirror? That is not your job.
If You’re Looking For: Humor, memoir
If You Like: Irreverent reflections on womanhood, Liz Lemon
My Review: First of all, let me say that this book is right up my alley. Funny, forward, self-deprecating, silly. Basically it was written for me. Klein’s chapter on how to be a comedian should be required reading for anyone going into a creative or non-traditional field. Other favorite topics include birth, epidurals, the bar method, The Bachelor, baths. Over and over again I found myself laughing out loud at her reflections on everything from career struggles to romance. She also tackles serious topics like depression and infertility with honesty (and light-heartedness too). To sum it up: Funny, sharp, entertaining, real. Like having a 300 page conversation with a great friend. Will read it again. PS: I’m a wolf (you’ll get it after you read it).
Their Review: “YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT does an amazing job making me understand what my life might be like if I were a woman. Or if I were Jessi Klein. I laughed. Lots. Not at what it’s like to be a woman! That would be sexist. I laughed at the parts that you’re supposed to. Which are plentiful. Because Jessi Klein is truly really funny.” – Ira Glass
“A stand-up comedian and former writer for “Saturday Night Live,” Klein is currently the head writer and executive producer of “Inside Amy Schumer.” In these 24 short pieces, her irreverent and inventive brand of humor almost seamlessly transfers to essay form. Riffs on dating, aging, marriage, infertility and childbirth have the zing-and-run rhythm of sketch comedy, but structured for the page.” – Sloane Crosley for The New York Times
Quoted: I wanted to structure a day where a hypothetical random snapshot of me looked like Carrie Bradshaw in her kimono, totally relaxed, not Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted, diddling an old chicken under her bed.