[The Taboo Text]book Club

As ya'll know, I ruv to read. 

I try to read a little bit every day, and I'm not talking about consuming online articles through the backlit screen on my phone. (Although, I do my fair share of reading this way). 

No, I'm talking about paper books. I fell out of my reading rhythm for a little bit, but as of about 6 months ago, I'm back in full force!

I'd like to start reviewing the books I read on a monthly basis here, but I'm playing catch up right now, so here's a brief review of all (well, most) of the books I've read over the past few months. 

Eligible: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

Joe got this book for me two birthdays ago, and I finally got around to reading it this past Spring. As you can see on the cover, it's a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice. And as someone who has not actually read Pride & Prejudice, I cannot accurately compare the two, but I know the author kept all the same names, and my sister has read P & P like 5 times and says it follows as closely as it can for a modern rendition. I was partial to this book because it's about 5 sisters, it incorporated a fictional version of The Bachelor into the story, and the dialogue was hella on point. My overall rating: B+

The Assistants by Camille Perri

This is a goofy tale about some executive assistants (umm, hi) who start stealing from their billionaire boss through fake expense reports in order to pay off their student loans. It's kind of a funny commentary about the post-grad millennial financial culture and I think it would be an excellent book to adapt to film. However, I didn't love the main character because she did a couple dumb things that her love interest frankly shouldn't have forgiven her for, and she frequently bagged on girly girls. Like, more power to you, tom boy, but we're on the same team, you know? C+

My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

This is a delightful novel by the author of Confessions of a Shopaholic about an entry-level-assistant-wannabe-designer London gal who works at a super dope ad agency. It's quite a fun read. The book is very comical, very current, very sweet, and made me think in an English accent for a little bit after reading it each night. Overall rating: A

Startup by Doree Shafrir

Speaking of dope millennial-run work environments, Startup is Doree's first novel and follows a handful of young people as they navigate careers at various startup companies in Brooklyn. For anyone that's worked for an agency or startup, the commentary on the abundance of snack food, lack of HR, and loosey-goosey 10:00am start times will hit close to home and make you chuckle along the way. A-

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Okay, this is one of the best books I've read all year, and really high up on the list of my favorite books ever. Well, at least in the romance novel category. The Hating Game is Sally Thorne's debut novel and she really hit the ball out of the park. It's modern, it's sexy, it's funny. It's just a lot of fun, really. I hope it gets optioned for a movie, 'cause I have some consent-related hangups about the Fifty Shades saga and I think there's room for a better sexy-romance-novel-turned-movie franchise to take over. A+

Body Love by Kelly Leveque 

I've talked about Kelly, her book, and her method in a few of my previous posts. She's Chelsea Handler's nutritionist (as well as other A-list ladies) and her approach to food makes a helluva lot of sense to me. She talks clearly (albeit, with a couple typos) about the science of nutrition, hormones, blood sugar, energy sources, etc., and guides her readers to some pretty dope life-changing smoothies. A- 

Whew! I've read a lot of books this year. Let's continue.

Breaking Vegan by Jordan Younger

Jordan Younger's memoir tells the story of her experience eating only raw, vegan (and sometimes liquid!) foods for a few years after college. She ran a popular vegan blog and Instagram account and was a controversial figure when she "broke vegan" publicly. After undergoing the Internet wrath of hardcore ethical vegans, she was featured on The Today Show and People magazine (among many others) and got a book deal. The writing was a little repetitive, but the book kinda hit close to home for me because a) I went vegan in college and would have had a similar eating disorder had I more self-control, and b) I am hoping to someday be a blogger-turned-author. C+

Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman

Crimes Against a Book Club is a so-so novel about a couple women who trick the snooty members of their La Jolla book club into buying expensive face cream. This book was okay. I have a similar sentiment about this book as I do of The Assistants in that the main character was unnecessarily judgmental towards rich, girly women whom she knew very little about. C+

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I just tried to type out what this book is about a few times and deleted it all, but my description contained some arrangement of the words poverty-strickenAppalachian Hills, family's struggle, middle-class, and Middletown, Ohio. The cover summary "A Memoir of a Family & Culture in Crisis" will do here. Anyway, the book has like 15 thousand Amazon reviews right now, probably because it's gonna be a major motion picture, and there's nothing white people like more than reading the book before the movie. B-

How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

This is my favorite book I've read all year. It might even rank in the top two or three of all time, except that Harry Potter is untouchable, but maybe if we just count the whole franchise as one book........Anyway, this is an honest memoir written by a self-proclaimed selfish, privileged, addict with an eating disorder who worked for various publications at Conde Nast for several years before becoming an associate editor at Lucky and then a founding editor at XO Jane. This book is fucking delicious. Seriously, go look at her Instagram and tell me you don't wanna read her book. Cat Marnell gained notoriety when she wrote this article after Whitney Houston's death. What I like about her is that she was a writer writing about being an addict while she was still an addict. Regarding this, she asks, "Why does a person have to have resolved their drug issues in order to be allowed to write about them? Can't a writer be conflicted?!" And I think this is a very good question. At the end of most drug memoirs, we expect the author to be over their dark phase and for everything to be tied up in a bow. Cat began writing her memoir on the day it was due and she was not completely squeaky-clean and sober upon publishing it. I appreciate this type of honestly. Plus, her hilarious use and pure volume of dialogue is almost unheard of for a memoir. It's a roller-coaster. Must read. A+

I also started reading Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, which, as a person who goes to bed and gets up super early on a regular basis, is a concept I can totally get down with. But the book was a little too Tony Robbins-y for my taste, so I decided not to finish it. 

Joe got inspired by me and reads before bed now sometimes too. He's currently working on Al Fraken's memoir, Giant of the Senate, and may read Phil Knight's Shoe Dog next. 

I like paper books because 1) they look yummy on a bookshelf, and 2) I like lending (well, let's be honest: giving) them away to friends who I think would enjoy them when I'm done. Also, I've been following a bunch of these sexy book-themed Instagram accounts that keep me constantly jonesin' for my next read.

Well guys, I'm off to go stick my nose in my current hardcover, Fitness Junkie, which you'll be hearing about next month!

best books 2017