So if we’re friends on Instagram, you know that I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading in recent months (and if we’re not friends on Instagram, then I have nothing to say to you). Some of these books I’ve absolutely loved, and others I could take or leave. But hey, they can’t all be winners. So I’m here to save you the trouble of forming your own opinions and doing the dirty work of actually reading a book. Below I give you summaries of my latest reads in three sentences or less (listed in no particular order). You’re welcome.
- Girls on Fire Robin Wasserman : This is the story of a toxic friendship. It reads like a very disturbing coming-of-age novel. Honestly it just made me really uncomfortable.
- Lily and the Octopus Steven Rowley : This might be my favorite book to date, and not because it’s about a dachshund. But it is the love story of a man and his dachshund trying to cope with life. Prepare to cry for the next week.
- Sweet Bitter Stephanie Danler : If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, this is the shockingly accurate story of your life.
- Wild Mama Carrie Visintainer : The true story of a woman finding the balance between being a mother and following her inner adventurer. Don’t let the mom aspect of the book scare you away – this is not just a book for mothers, or even parents. This book gave me a lot of insight on being my truest self.
- Smoke Meli Cady : The “true” story of a drug smuggler. Though, I’m skeptical about how honest this actually is; I can’t really bring myself to believe anyone is that naive. This book left me more frustrated than anything else.
- The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer : Amy recounts a lot of different times in her life, and it’s not all laughs. She tackles some really heavy topics. It’s not the light hearted easy read I was expecting, and I’m really thankful for that.
- The Girls Emma Cline : Like Girls on Fire, this reads a lot like a coming-of-age novel. However, it offers a look inside the mind of a teenage girl that is far less shallow and superficial than any coming-of-age / young adult novel I’ve ever read. There’s also a Manson family-esque storyline going , which I enjoyed.
- The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath : A classic story of depression. No further explanation needed.
- This is Where I leave You Jonathan Tropper : You may have seen the film adaptation staring Tina Fey and Jane Fonda (I haven’t, but not because I’m a snob about film adaptations. My boyfriend hates going to the movies and it’s not on Netflix). Anywho, it’s a pretty accurate look at dysfunctional family dynamics, and also finding humor in tragedy.
- Just Kids Patti Smith : A really sweet and loving retelling of a boy and girl who find themselves in one another.
- Problems Jade Sharma : A pretty dark look at heroine addiction. It drew some parallels to my own life and helped me realize some things about myself (I don’t do, nor have I ever done heroine). Not the feel good book of the summer, but certainly worth checking out.
- Eight Hundred Grapes Laura Dave : Another story of dysfunctional family dynamics, but more so a story about the power of love in its many shapes and sizes. And also new beginnings.
- Rich and Pretty Rumaan Alam : This is not an especially complex book. It’s a story of two friends throughout the years, who remain friends despite their dwindling commonalities. I think it’s a very true look at childhood friendships that remain throughout adulthood.
- The Woman in Cabin 10 Ruth Ware : I so wanted this book to be like Gone Girl or The Woman on the Train, and it really tries to be. But while the those two are totally over the top, they still maintain a sense of reality. The Woman in Cabin 10 takes it just a little too far over the line of unbelievable.
- The Luckiest Girl Alive Jessica Knoll : I liked this book because once you get to the end, you realize it’s not at all what you though it was about. It’s the story of a woman recalling her adolescence, toggling between past and present, and revealing a really dark past.
If you made it all the way through the list without losing interest, I’m seriously impressed. If you’ve read any of these books and have any thoughts I’d love to hear them. I don’t have any delusions that I hold authority over arts and culture, so let’s talk it out!