Sorry the post is a little late today guys! I was up late watching the travesty that was this season of The Bachelor. Perhaps because of my dedication to this terrible show I only completed four books this month, only two of them were on theme and I did not finish my classic (although I am really enjoying Crossing to Safety and will probably finish it in March). I think I enjoyed trying to read on a theme but, as is my habit, I was distracted by other new books coming into the library.
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo was the first book that I finished this month. This was my first time reading a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine book club book and I was underwhelmed. Lucy and Gabe meet as freshmen in college and fall into infatuation. When he decides to leave the country to pursue wartime photography they break up and she moves on with her life, marrying someone else and pursuing a more conventional life in New York City. But did she ever really let go of Gabe? Even though I thought this read like a YA book and I did not love the characters I did feel like it would make a good book club book. There was a lot to discuss about marriage, love and what it means to have a fulfilling career.
During a weekend trip I read Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, the actress’s story of her long journey to become a successful female comedian. For those of you who saw Girl’s Trip you know that this women is hilarious. If you need a laugh today watch the clip of her meeting Oprah on ellen. The book also touched on some difficult topics as well- Haddish was raised in foster care, she was in an abusive marriage for many years and her mother suffered from a debilitating mental illness. However, her infectious joy and honesty carries throughout the book and I laughed out loud on the plane reading about Haddish’s Groupon booked swamp tour with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.
My Book of the Month Club pick was also Oprah’s Book Club pick this month: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. This book reminded me a lot of Taylor Jenkin’s One True Loves, but addressed more serious societal issues. Celestial and Roy are newly married when Roy is convicted of a crime that he did not commit and sent to prison for twelve years. Over the years the distance and disagreements slowly erode their relationship and when Roy’s conviction is overturned after five years he does not know what life he is returning to. This would be another good book for discussion as it touched on the impact of race, class and family in a marriage as well as what success looks like to African Americans in the modern South.
I finished off the month with a book I received for my birthday and devoured in two days: I’ll Be Gone In the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. McNamara passed away from an accidental overdose before this book was completed and her husband, Patton Oswalt, along with her editor, took on the massive task of bringing this compulsively researched true crime memoir to publication. Because it was incomplete on her death I did feel that the book was a little uneven and I’m sad we will never get to see what it could have been. If you don’t like true crime- DON’T READ THIS! I had trouble sleeping reading this terrifying story of the Golden State Killer that terrorized California for almost a decade and was never caught. But the sections I liked best were about McNamara’s experience researching the book, how she became obsessed with bringing criminals to justice and her Irish Catholic family. If you were a fan of Making a Murderer or Serial, I would suggest you check out this book.
Hope there’s a little something here for everyone. In March I am going on a beach vacation so I hope my read pile is a little longer- I need to make some progress on the stacks of books lying around my house!