We’re on the homestretch of this goal, my friends! With another 6 books, I’m at a total of 37 of 52!
32. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: 4.5 Stars
This is one of those Thanksgiving dinner books: you feel sated after reading it, like you’ve actually lived another life with the main character. This novel following the life of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, covers romantic relationships, familial relationships, immigration, class, race, religion, and more. It is so cleverly woven with tons of depth. I took half a star off because the ending felt abrupt. I’ll leave it there, no spoilers. Highly recommend.
33. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish: 5 Stars
I’ll be honest, I picked this up because of how charmed (and a little envious) I was of Haddish’s humor and personality during her interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He described her as “what the sun would be like as a human being”. Jesus, I’d marry the crap out of this woman. Haddish has lived a very full and crazy life and tells her story with heart and humor. I found myself laughing out loud, while simultaneously tearing up on the train. I think I might be banned from public transit because of this book. This book should be required reading for all humans.
34. Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris: 4 Stars
David Sedaris is always weird and wonderful and anxiously funny. If you’ve read any of his other books, be warned that this one reads a little differently. Yes, he’s writing essays about his experiences, similar to many of his other books, but these are diary entries, originally intended just for him. 1977-2002 is a long time and it was almost voyeuristic watching Sedaris live through drug abuse to sobriety, being broke to self-sustaining, homophobia, falling in love, moving around the world over the span of three decades. It takes a little bit to get into it, but once you do, it’s worth the read. Anxiously awaiting 2002-2018!
35. Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight: 3 Stars
A baby is found beaten and drowned in the lake of a small town. Our main protagonist is the reporter assigned to the story, but struggles with her own recent miscarriage. This story is all about small town secrets spanning decades. The other main protagonists (Shifting POV! Hey-o!) are the high-strung wife of the head detective and a teenage girl for whom life had dealt a bad hand. I love a good murder-y tabloid-y mystery as much as (if not more than) the next person, but this story was so ridiculously unbelievable that it was hard to really enjoy it.
36. Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon: 3.5 Stars
I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg was exactly who Biggie had in mind while writing his song. RBG is the badass classy lady we all want to be. I jumped at the chance to read this biography, but I wanted more! I felt like this biography really only scraped the surface, starting to get into the emotional stuff, but then pivoting away. But, did you know that RBG can do 20 push ups as an octogenarian? You do now, and if you’re like me, you feel a little bad about yourself.
37. The Poet by Michael Connelly: 3.5 Stars
God damn, this book is super 90s. Huge plot points are tied to pagers, chat rooms, new-fangled digital cameras, faxes arriving at just the right time. The Poet is undeniably binge-crime-lit. In the full title, it even does the thing with the parentheses telling you which main character Connelly is using and the volume number. The main character is Jack McEvoy, a Denver-based reporter, whose cop brother recently committed suicide. Or so everyone thinks. McEvoy discovers a string of cop suicides which are really murders and sets out to find the killer, with the help of sexy FBI lady, Rachel Walling. Speaking of 90s, the casual misogyny around that relationship was a little irksome (her breasts under her no-nonsense cream shirt, lauding her passivity in bed, etc.). Anyway, on the whole, it is an enjoyable mystery, with twists, turns, and red herrings. If you like a good bad-mystery, or you have an extended vacation coming up and need beach reading, get into it.
Recommendations? I’m a little fluff-mystery-ed out at the moment, but let me know what you’re reading!