June 30: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2015
I could not recommend Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel more. It is literally what I’ve been looking for in a post-apocalyptic novel. Station Eleven is about living the apocalypse, not merely surviving it. If you’re tired of the “One (most likely girl) must rise up to lead civilization back from apocalypse and only she has the gall to do it!” story than this will be as refreshing to you as it was for me. Bonus if you love Shakespeare.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro had a pretty slow start, but I’m finding that common with Ishiguro novels. If you like a novel to confuse you as much as it’s protagonists than you’ll enjoy this novel. Recommended for the fantasy and history buffs (not many books are set as far back as this one).
Horns by Joe HIll is one of those “That looks like a cool movie, I bet the book is better.” situations. Little did I know, I would end up loving the movie adaptation as much as the book, differences and all. I would recommend the book regardless of your opinion of the movie though. I will admit, I enjoyed this book much more than any of his dad’s that I’ve tried to read. (Side note: his dad is Stephen King.)
In the same vein of “I went to Sunday school as a kid so this book is amusing”, I finally got around to reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I had previously attempted “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman and did not make it far. This book on the other hand all but cemented my new weird favorite subgenre of “Religious Comedy with the decency to actually quote The Book”.
When I bought Everything I Never Told You. I actually met the author Celeste Ng, so this is a little bit biased. The novel was an interesting break from what I normally read. Despite the main character living a completely different life from mine with completely different day-to-day issues from mine, I still find myself connecting with her and sympathizing with her. For characters to be so completely fleshed out and detailed, and yet universally understandable is a testament to Ng’s writing.
Tina Fey’s Bossypants broke the dam of “Funny women memoirs” that I read this year. I personally find it amusing that I was never a big fan of Tina’s work (SNL and 30 Rock) and yet I’ve always connected to her personality and what I’ve seen of her. It wasn’t until after I read this book that I watched 30 Rock in it’s entirety. She was a kind Wine Mom when I needed one most, giving me slurred encouragement, sage advice, and wacky stories.
I actually enjoy “The Mindy Project” more so than “The Office”, which was one of the reasons I picked up Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I never would have thought I would connect to her, but comparing her voice in her memoir and her voice on her show I can safely say I would love Mindy Kaling as a friend. We have the same opinion on eating (yes please), celebrity news (better than crack), and drunk people (get away from me). I think we’d get along.
Amy Poehler’s Yes Please has me in conflict and still does. On one hand, I really wanted to love it. I wanted to feel the sense of “YES! I’m going to go do something now!” That I felt after Bossypants, but it just didn’t do it for me. Perhaps it’s just cementing my place as a Tina instead of an Amy. I connected to some of what she had to say, but a lot of the endings of the essays (and especially the ending of the book) left a bitter taste in my mouth from the conclusion.
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie was a very quick, very interesting read. I love history trivia, I love knowing little tidbits about history which is what this book was; a series of tidbits. Small chapters about princesses and queens who didn’t act necessarily as they were supposed to. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an afternoon read, who enjoys history with a casual narrator.
I never would have thought I would cry over Queen Victoria, but then Gillian Gill got to Prince Albert’s death in We Two and there I was on the bus trying not to look too obvious.This was a particularly well written biography. Capable of presenting facts and information, and yet keep a flowing narrative that didn’t fill bogged down. At times, the choice of focus is questionable, but in all I enjoyed this presentation of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.