Reading Lately: July 2020
Just 3 books this month - we were in the thick of looking for a new house, and also went camping once or twice. Luckily the books I chose were great!
This was an exceptional, if not life-changing, romance novel. A big-shot movie director, Jo Jones, begins to fall for her googly-eyed assistant Emma. I'm a sucker for anything set in SoCal, but even for those who aren't the plot is thick with interest. The public eye never sleeps in this book, and the characters have to handle intense pressure throughout their relationship. Not only that, but the power imbalance between boss and employee raises questions about whether they even should get together. The conflicts in Something to Talk About are organic and compelling, while also being new since I'm certainly not famous enough for anyone to care about who I kiss (if you are that famous OH MY GOD HI!). The result is a fantastic FF romance read that will certainly sweep you away, while also providing some real substance.
RIYL: La La Land, Ali Wong, celebrity memoirs
One of my goals in 2020 was to read a sci-fi book, mostly to try a new genre and hopefully read some fresh, new ideas. I was honestly dreading it, having started-and-stopped many sci-fi books for being too toxically masculine, too confusing (so much jargon), or just plain boring. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had me doing a complete 180 on sci-fi as a genre. The multi-species cast was brilliant - rich, hilarious, empathetic, and...is it weird to say "realistic" about a species that communicates through the color of their cheeks? I realized that a lot of sci-fi takes itself so seriously, and this was a breath of fresh air. It still covered serious topics, like workers' rights, classism, and grief, but with healthy doses of levity throughout. The world was intricate and interesting without being too complicated (I never had to keep track of what a Zerborgler was), and the story was interesting enough to keep reading without being so "thought-provoking" you can only read it in small doses (as so much sci-fi tries to be). This was a fantastic read for sci-fi novices and veterans alike - I liked it so much I got two people this book for Christmas!
RIYL: Music Festivals, road trips, being anti-capitalist, otter pops, calling coffee "java" or "joe" or other silly names
I appreciated this book, but it wasn't for me. First, I definitely don't have the Christianity knowledge required to understand all the jokes. I have Level 1 Bible knowledge: Mary Magdalene, Noah's Ark, Lazarus, all that good stuff. But idk who tf Balthazar is, or if he's even in the Bible and it's an elaborate joke or if he's just a weird character in this story? The jokes that did land, like Biff accidentally inventing the latte, were also not exactly my sense of humor. I appreciate the premise of the book and think it certainly deserves its high rating on Goodreads. I'd readily recommend it to a number of friends. It just wasn't for me.