Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I love me some TJR (especially Evelyn Hugo) and this is a big departure for her! It’s written like the transcript of a documentary, if that makes sense. Because of that, you MUST LISTEN TO IT. They have like 15 different people narrating the different characters and it was incredible. About a band back in the 70s but (contrary to my belief for the first 2 hours of listening until I Googled) not a true story. They are also turning it into a miniseries on Amazon! Must read. I mean listen.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. This is one I’ve seen all over the place (e.g. Reese Witherspoon’s instagram) and it wasn’t what I expected. For starters, it’s nonfiction. It’s about the public library system in LA. Initially I thought it might be interesting because there was an insane fire there in the 80s, but I had to quit it about a third of the way through because I kept falling asleep while reading. If you want to learn about libraries I recommend the episode of This American Life called “The Room of Requirement.”
Educated by Tara Westover. It’s about damn time I read this. It is one of the most insane memoirs I’ve ever read (probably since Coming Clean) and completely riveting. Tara was born in 1986 and grew up in rural Idaho in a Mormon family, with parents who did not believe in obtaining birth certificates, sending their children to school, or any form of modern medicine. It is incredibly eye-opening and really well written. Highly recommend!
My Life as a Goddess by Guy Branum. You would know him from Chelsea Lately or Talk Show the Game Show. He was also on an early episode of My Favorite Murder because he has a law degree but is now a comedy writer. Not my favorite comedian memoir ever but there were some LOL moments because of his narration of the audiobook.
Marriage Vacation by Pauline Turner Brooks (but actually it’s by Jo Piazza). The pseudonym has something to do with the TV show Younger which I don’t watch. I like Jo Piazza, though, and this book was in keeping with her usual stuff. My only complaint is a few graphic sex scenes in there which just did not fit in with the rest of the book. But overall the story held my attention!
My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper. I love Ellie Kemper: The Office, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Bridesmaids would be what you know her from. I was really torn on whether to do an audiobook here or the Kindle edition, and ultimately got the Kindle version first. I thought her book was VERY funny, and felt like I could hear her reading it. So if you’re a fan of any of her stuff I highly recommend it.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. My sister recommended this to me and I waited forever for it but it was worth it! It’s about a girl who is basically abandoned by her entire family and raises herself in a shack in the marshland of North Carolina through the 1950s-1960s. But there’s also a love story and a murder mystery element. Recommend!!
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. This was one of my favorite episodes of Armchair Expert EVER (Jonathan Haidt) so I wanted to read the book. It was interesting but I think getting the content condensed into a podcast is probably enough. He’s also been on Sam Harris and probably a million other podcasts.
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry. This is a scary book. I picked it as my Kindle First a few months ago and got around to reading it. It was really good, but also bone chilling. It’s written by a child psychologist, though, so she’s coming from a place of knowledge at least and not just pure horror. If you like to be a little creeped out, go for it.
I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland. I downloaded this on a whim expecting it to be A) trash fiction about a model/magazine/fashion industry or B) trash memoir about a model/magazine/fashion industry. I was right about the content but not about the trash level- it’s actually much better than I would have anticipated given the title. It’s dark and satirical and pretty good, if a little long.
And I re-read all 7 Harry Potters again in preparation for Harry Potter trivia. It was VERY intense trivia (aka on my level) and I was really glad I read them again. I never regret it but it’s good to have a concrete reason for reading a book for the 34th time. We placed second and I was initially disappointed until I saw that the two girls who beat us were dressed in full Hogwarts garb. So I’m okay with the silver.