As a reminder, these are off-the-cuff reviews that I peck into my phone as soon as I finish the book. A literary critic, I am not.
Here's what I've been reading!
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People by Wilma Mankiller
I first learned about Wilma Mankiller in Gloria Steinhem's book, My Life on the Road, and made a note to learn more about both Wilma Mankiller and the role of women in Native American culture. This book is long and filled with facts, history, quotes, stories of origin - but it's worth the read. My favorite part of the book is the second to last chapter, Dancing Along the Edge of the Roof, where Wilma describes her campaign and election to Deputy Chief in the Cherokee Nation, and later to Principal Chief. This was 1983-1985, but it could be today's election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Chief Mankiller experienced the same sexism that we are seeing play out today. It's frustrating, but at the same time, a reminder that what's going on in American politics today has been going on for a long time. Women in power are as threatening to some men in 2016 as they were in 1983. And the same sexist tactics are being used to try to tear them down and make them appear weak and small. Chief Mankiller went on to serve two terms (ten years) as Principal Chief and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Commonwealth just topped Bel Canto as my favorite Ann Patchett book. The storyline is great, the characters are endearing and familiar - and hard to let go once the book is over. I LOVED this book.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
I really loved this book. It's hilarious and way more emotional and personal than I expected. If you like Amy Schumer, you'll love this book. I highly recommend it.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Weird little book. I liked it okay. Quick read. I wouldn't recommend it to people who don't like mildly scary stories. Also, dogs die in this book and it's described in a longer way than I was comfortable reading. It's a dark book, but YA, so fairly tame.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
I loved every single story in this book. I want all of my friends to read this. Highly, highly recommend. I would take this to a desert island.
Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook by Alice Waters
This book is a little too precious for me. I will never, ever cook like this. It also reads a little preachy. Meh.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
Possibly best book I've ever read. Should be required reading.
LaRose by Louise Erdrich
I loved this book. It's my second Louise Erdrich book. She is such a beautiful writer. This story is sad, which made it hard to binge-read. It took me a long time to read, but I loved it and cried at the end. Definitely recommend. (See also: The Round House)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8) by J.K. Rowling
I always get a hankering for Harry Potter around this time of year, probably because it's back to school season. I'm glad I read this book, but it's more of an appetizer than an entree. It's okay, but you're still hungry.
End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3) by Stephen King
This is a really great ending to the trilogy. I've loved following all these characters. Great book, great trilogy.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I bought this to read on my Kindle during a flight to/fro Boston. I wanted something quick and easy to read, and I've enjoyed Rainbow Rowell's other books. This book is great! Unlike the other Rainbow Rowell YA books I've read, this one is about two women in their twenties, as opposed to teenagers. The two women are friends and co-workers at a newspaper. The story of their friendship is told through their daily work emails to each other. It's a surprisingly touching book, and a super quick read.
I loved this book!! I just finished it and want to hug it. As someone who toys with the idea of writing something longer than blog posts, this book is a great motivator. The general life advice is great, and something I didn't expect to get out of this book, and the instructions and insight on writing are so simple and helpful. Very motivating book. Highly recommend.
P.S. Forgot what else I've read this year? Here you go!