What I Read This Month: July

81. Crazy Rich Asians

crazy rich asians

The best part of this book was the title.  Seriously, though, it was so boring I had to skim the last half.  I hate to say it but you could really tell that it was written by a guy.  At the end there’s supposed to be this wedding of the century and the description makes it sound like they’re getting married in that ice palace that Superman goes to where he finds his father.  Meh.

82.  Sisterland


Prep is one of my favorite books of all time, and none of her other books have come close for me.  I think I understand this book a bit more after finding out that Curtis Sittenfeld has recently had a couple of children, but ultimately I just didn’t love it.

83.  Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

lets explore diabetes

I really only like when David Sedaris writes about himself. The made up stories are not for me, so I had to skip every other chapter in this book.  I will always love his book “Naked” so incredibly much and nothing he writes now really holds that same scalding humor for me.

84.  The House Girl

the house girl

I really liked this book.  I don’t know that it’s going to win any  major awards, but I found it engrossing, if not terribly terribly sad.  Also, after you read it you might find yourself getting into a one sided screaming argument with random white Southernors bringing pictures of “much loved” slaves to get valued on Antiques Road Show. Maybe just me, then.

85.  Crapalachia


I was worried this would suck. It did not. I just loved it. I could see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, but I thought it was absolutely amazing.

86.  We Need New Names

we need new names

I thought I was going to loooooooooooooove this.  Alas, I did not.  I was just so long and drawn out and then the resolution took place in three pages at the end.  Hmmmmm.

87.  A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

constellation of vital phenomena

I thought I was going to get 20 pages in abandon this due to sheer boredom.  But if you can get past the first 20 pages, OH MY GOD.  This is not an easy book (it takes place during the Chechen war) but it was utterly amazing.  I thought it was a tour de force.  I am so glad I read this book, it restored my faith in everything and anyone and books and life and it was incredibly wonderful. It was sad, it was rough, it was not an easy read, but it was EPIC.  Five stars.

88.  The One I Left Behind

the one I left behind

This was a perfectly serviceable mystery, but I am going to go ahead and say it was a little on the stupidly obvious side.

89.  Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

mr penumbra

Early on in the hype over this book, while I sat in the world’s longest library hold request line, I read a review where someone was gushing about this book which said “Google is a character!” and it made me want to vomit and I decided that this book must be TERRIBLE.  Well, it’s not terrible. It’s absolutely wonderful, I loved every minute of it.  And Google is not a character, thank you god.

90. Nantucket Blue

nantucket blue

This was a perfectly serviceable YA beach read. I liked the main character, although the romance was not my favorite because of a certain demographic issue which bugged me and which could have easily been fixed.  Irritating.

91.  The Spectacular Now

the spectacular now

I gather this is a movie? I am just going to tell you now that I LOATHED this book. It might make a good movie but I thought the main character was an insufferable dick and the female character was such an incredible wet blanket as to make it basically unreadable.  GROW A SPINE YOU BIG LOSER. GOD. There’s a way to write “very confident male protagonist and less confident female love interest” successfully (see My So Called Life) and this is not it.  Yuck.

92. Life After Life

life after life

I was VERY suspicious of this book because it sounded so gimmicky and it looked really long and tough to get through and confusing, and then I looooooooved it. I loved it.  It was WONDERFUL. Depressing as all get out, but just wonderful.

93. Zebra Forest

zebra forest

This was just weird. Luckily it was short.

94.  You Are One of Them

you are one of them

The first half of this book was kind of interesting, but the second half was SO INCREDIBLY BORING.  It was just endless reams of pointless dialogue.  I think it was supposed to be mysterious? Instead it was just pointless.

95. The Good House

the good house

Oh man.  Not for me.  Everyone in this book was a buttface.  Especially the main character who got really old, really fast.

96. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


This got nominated for a Printz award. Sigh.  It’s very Printzy.  I did not care for it at all. I literally could not figure out what the point was of the whole thing.  However, every single other person who reviewed it on Goodreads gave it five stars and gushed as though it was the best thing since sliced bread, so maybe it’s just me.

97.  Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed With My Head

stranger here

I liked this, and I read it in a night, so it’s an easy read, but I kept wishing for more.  She leads off with a lot of talk about losing weight didn’t fix her life and then…it kind of did.  Except she also kept eating and drinking and binging and smoking and never really seemed to stop doing that, but still lost 180 pounds, all the while talking about how she never solved the root problem that made her fat and that she hadn’t learned anything.  Um, ok? It was a little weird.  I felt like the premise of the book was not delivered on.

98.  The Coldest Night

the coldest night


This gets criticized as being derivative of Cormac McCarthy, and I can definitely see that, but I can’t stand Cormac McCarthy and I liked this.  I was wonderfully written.  By the time I read this I had already read two war books this month so another one (about the Korean war this time) was a bit much, but it was an incredible read nevertheless.  It’s not a page turner, I kept having to make myself go back to it, but it was really wonderfully written and oddly beautiful for a brutal book about a brutal war.

8 Responses

  1. I started The Spectacular Now last week and about 10 pages in thought, this main character is awful. I returned it without reading more.

  2. Oh, I loved Mr. Penumbra so much.

  3. I read that Noviolet book too and the only thing that stuck with me was crapping guavas.

  4. I really wish I had waited to see what you thought of Crazy Rich Asians before I spent two days of my life on that drivel.

  5. I love being able to see the book covers! It helps me keep them all straight in my head:)

    I wish in Stranger Here that she had learned something. Anything at all. It just seems like at the end she’s the exact same person in a different dress size. Which maybe was the point? But if so, is kind of pointless, book wise.

  6. Why does David Sedaris write stories about talking animals? I do not like these stories.

  7. Wasn’t the Spectacular Now so horrendously terrible? I remember nothing about it except that I hated it.

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