I haven’t read a full book that wasn’t for school (let’s be real, I haven’t even read a full book for school) since the last time I was on vacation. I used to be the biggest book worm- one of my mom’s favourite stories to tell is when she came to pick me up from grade two, the classroom was a mess, pencils were flying, kids were screaming, and I was sitting there with my head in a book. I love to read, but if I have a lot going on, I feel guilty and distracted and unable to focus. But since I’ve been on vacation, I’ve torn through quite a few! Here are my reviews of these books, for your reading pleasure.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Recommended by: my friends Natasha and Jocelyn
Number of times cried: numerous
Number of times laughing out loud: 1- I laughed so hard I had to stop for a bit, made Henry read it, then re-read it. Barack, you are ridiculous!
I’ve always thought this woman was incredible- reading the book opened my eyes to just how real she is as well, I thought it was absolutely hilarious that, despite coming from a less privileged background, she was talking about making $120 000 a year at 25 like it was standard. I also found it interesting how she kind of glossed over certain events- like getting into Harvard Law school, as though it was no big thing.
Honestly, the last third of this book was boring. It was stuff I already knew- things that she accomplished as First Lady. What I found engaging and exciting was learning about the Michelle before we knew who she was.
Rating: 9/10. Definitely recommend.
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
Tears: none, except those of boredom
Lols: some chuckles, but not enough to be worth it.
Want to read a book that is just a conversation between two people? What if when one of them starts talking about something interesting, the other person talks over them about something way less interesting? If you like those things, this is the book for you! If you like books, or interesting things, give this one a pass. I didn’t finish it. The pictures are cute though, and I’m glad they like each other. I’m a big fan of both of them but this was a waste of my time.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Tears: I almost teared up once
Lols: a few outward chuckles
Who doesn’t love teen fiction? Honestly, sometimes there is nothing I enjoy more than powering through a YA novel. There was a lot of hype around this book because of the movie Love, Simon. Author Becky Albertalli does a fabulous job of replicating the thoughts and speech patterns of a teen. Scores definite points for diversity and forgiveness and inclusion. I also liked there was a mystery to it, which I totally called! Take that, 14 year olds! I enjoyed this book a lot, and it made me want to watch the movie as well, but it probably won’t be as good.
Rating: 6/10. Worth a read.
Shrill by Lindy West
Tears: also multiple.
I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while, just haven’t had the time. I heard about Lindy a few years ago on This American Life, and really enjoyed listening to her. She is smart, she is funny, and she is not sorry! This book is great. I don’t even really know what it was about, I just know that I really like Lindy West and what she has to say. She makes you think about a few things differently: namely, inhabiting a fat body, and being an outspoken feminist in a world that is deeply unkind to both of these groups. She’s a badass. The footnotes are definitely make it for me, where she kind of strays off path and says what she wants to, including a half page long footnote about the Disney bear Baloo.
Rating: 8/10. Be warned, you may become a feminist!
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Recommended by: my friend Nadia
Lols: too many to count
Whoaaaaa. First hand accounts of the effects of Apartheid growing up as a biracial man in South Africa. I was extremely ignorant to the ins and outs of the structural racism in place WHILE I WAS ALIVE. (I knew about Apartheid and Nelson Mandela, but to hear someone who, age-wise, is my peer, talk about it first hand is incredible.) This dude had a crazy life. I can’t even explain how many heartbreaking, fascinating, hilarious stories are contained in this book.
If you like: comedy, human beings, crime, history, you will love this book.
Rating: 10/10. Please do yourself a favour and read this!!!!
I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
Recommended by: my friend Tiffany
Lols: more like those internal giggles where you’re like omg i feel you girl
Tears: one chapter had me sobbing on the airplane, but that may have been because I woke up at 4am. Still beautiful though!
Whether you are an Ilana or an Abbi, chances are you will love this book. The author writes about her experience driving cross-country after a heartbreak. She also talks about the stuff I was really interested in: how her show happened. Honestly worth it just for that, but I relate deeeeeply to her anxieties, particularly a chapter in which she describes different situations in which she might run into her ex and why those might be bad. I am a huge fan of Abbi, and definitely feel like I got to know her better after this book. It is intimate and raw and very sweet. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it is a little slow moving at times.
Rating: 6/10 for normies, 9/10 for Broad City fans/highly anxious people/stoners
Truly, Madly, Guilty by Lianne Moriarty
Lols: minimal, but that’s not what I’m here for.
Tears: surprisingly there were a few teary moments!
She is the author of Big Little Lies, so I was expecting a highly digestible, intriguing page turner and that is exactly what I got. Less sex and glamour than BLL, but just as fascinating and mysterious. Girl knows how to keep you hooked! I really liked the characters in this book, I found them charming and relatable for the most part. I feel like I could buy anything from Moriarty and get pretty much the same structure, and that kind of consistency is nice.
Rating: 7/10- kind of mommy fiction.