Here are the new books I read in February 2020, in the order I read them:
They Both Die at the End (Silvera)
This book was so good and I immediately begged people I knew to read it, so that I could discuss it. Based in a future wherein people are called and informed that they will die in the next 24 hours, two boys meet up and have a last adventure. The plot of the book is good, but the premise of the book is so compulsive and curious that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I dreamed about this book and still had questions about it weeks later. If they hadn’t met, would they have died in the same ways? This is a very thought-provoking book and a pretty quick read.
I would give this book 3/5 stars. The essays are funny and Wong’s voice comes through, but I didn’t feel compelled to keep reading at any point. I like Wong, but I think maybe she’s just an occasional option for me, not a “must have”. Not in the right space for her, it took me a while to finish this. If you love her, especially her comedy, get the audiobook, since she reads it herself.
Upright Women Wanted (Gailey)
Post-apocalyptic western with queer librarians, you say? TAKE MY MONEY! In a novella form any single one of those things would probably actually be a pass from me, but together- my interest was piqued. The novella is compelling and I presume it’s a set up for series. The librarians are disseminators of government approved information, but they use this cover to also spread forbidden information and to help people who are in danger from the same government. I will definitely be looking out for the novels that follow set in this same world.
A Load of Hooey (Odenkirk)
I needed something funny and light to read before I went to bed. This fit the bill. I would read the description, if it sounds like other things you might like- try it. If you aren’t really sure, it’s skippable.
I really liked this book as Handler talks about doing deep work with a therapist and learning to recognize her behavior patterns. The other thing that’s significant is that she comes to understand that not everyone reacts in the same way she does, which means she does- in part- have to change some of her expectations. I enjoyed her journey through this book. The first chapter is somewhat political and may be off-putting to some, but it’s her own real experience in perceiving her bubble. Again, she reads her own audiobook, so that’s recommended.
This is a long memoir about growing up and being an adult in the Jehovah’s Witnesses and about living in China. I would recommend this for anyone interested in either of those things, as well as reading about people taking apart mental frameworks upon which they’ve built their lives. This is not a slim book and the lows are very,
very low. It is, however, an honest book. It helps a reader build sympathy for why it can be hard to change and what it is like to keep going after some of the most unimaginable life experiences.
Southern Lady Code (Ellis)
I found this book amusing. Many reviewers on Amazon did not. The author is a formerly of the South and now living in New York City, perhaps for some years. This is not about how to be a Southern lady or even how to be a “lady”, but about the coded way Southerners talk snidely about people and pretend not to do so. Apparently, some people purchased the book, believing it to be Emily Post for people near Charleston. It is not. I don’t know what that would be, but don’t get this if that was what you wanted. If you want a snarky, not-safe-for-work take on things like “how to watch porn like a lady”, then this is for you.
American Housewife (Ellis)
If you don’t know what Southern Gothic is and you’re curious, but you only have an attention span for essays. Try this. If you do know what SG is and you don’t like it, give this a wide berth. If you do know and you love it, you’ve already read this. It’s not usually my thing, but I enjoyed her other book so much that I tried it. Glad I read it. Glad I got it from the library.
Ninja at First Sight (Reid)
I read all the other Knitting in the City books and missed this one somehow. Loved it. It’s a slow burn, but since Fiona and Greg were in my top couples from the series, I appreciated more time with them. I love how he loves her.
In February, I re-read Happily Ever Ninja.