Hey guys, here’s today sad excuse for a blog post! A book haul! Sorry for the lack on content lately, work has just been crazy busy the last couple months (and I do most of my blogging while at work lol – don’t tell 😉 ). But hopefully I’m back… like I don’t say that every time I come back from a short hiatus lol.
Since I want to do more book related posts, along with the travel posts of course, I decided to do my February book haul. I bought a shit ton of books – excuse my language, in the month of February and I’m excited to share them with you!
Also – stay tuned for some Europe related posts! I am starting to plan our itineraries!! 4 and a half more months! I can’t stop using explanation posts! !!!!!
Okay, here comes the book haul.
February Book Haul
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
“It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde – fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer – like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes – but without the dying young bit.
By 16, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.
But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?”
I just finished reading this book and OH MY GOD, I loved it. I loved it so much. I’ve been wanting this book for a year now and I’m so happy I decided to pick it up. If you like bad-ass women and rude humor, this is the book for you.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
“As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.”
I just read this one as well and ehhhhh. I actually didn’t finish this – I made it 51% of the way through. It couldn’t keep my attention and the vocabulary kept throwing me off. However, I think I just wasn’t in the right mindset for it and I know I’ll pick it up again in the future. Either way, I’m glad I finally own it.
Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
“Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.”
I loved The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick so I wanted to read something else by him. Naturally, the summary of this one caught my eye so I decided to buy. I’m very excited to get to this one, I hope I love just as much as The Silver Linings Playbook.
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
“A harrowing story of breakdowns, suicide attempts, drug therapy, and an eventual journey back to living, this poignant and often hilarious book gives voice to the high incidence of depression among America’s youth. A collective cry for help from a generation who have come of age entrenched in the culture of divorce, economic instability, and AIDS, here is the intensely personal story of a young girl full of promise, whose mood swings have risen and fallen like the lines of a sad ballad.”
Memoirs about mental health and addictions are like my guilty pleasure. My favorite one is Smashed by Koren Zailckas so I was looking for others that are similar and I found this. I mean, I’ve seen the movie but I didn’t know it was book so I am very happy to own it now.
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
“In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele — Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles — as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.
Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.”
Same story as Prozac Nation, I was looking for more mental health memoirs to read. I actually haven’t seen the movie for this one yet but I’ll probably watch it after finishing this book.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweler, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.”
I’m currently reading this one right now – I’m about 28% of the way through and it is SO GOOD so far. I keep having to put it down because LIFE but when I pick it back up, it’s like I didn’t even put it down. That’s a good sign to me.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
“With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.”
I’ve heard great things about this one so I wanted to pick it up as well. I’m hopeful for it since I’m enjoying Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close so much.
Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm, and Survival by Victoria Leatham
“On the outside, she appears to have it all. She’s creative, beautiful, confident. But inside Victoria Leatham struggles with silent, secret, and unbearable pain. In her late teens, Leatham is struck with an undeniable urge to cut herself. Oddly, the wounds she inflicts on herself mute the pain she feels inside.
This memoir, a darkly humorous and often chilling account, vividly details Leatham’s ordeal and reveals her most intimate thoughts as she struggles with cutting and a range of other psychological problems including eating disorders, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder. And finally, it describes her discovery of the psychological secret that helps her escape from this spiral of self-destruction.”
I think I thought this book was something else when I bought it but it still sounds interesting, so I’m okay with that.
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S King
“Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?”
I recently read Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future and I loved it so much that I just had to buy as many of her books that I could get my hands on. I also read Reality Boy a couple years ago as well (and loved it) so I think A.S King is a must read author for me.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S King
“Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?”
No explanation needed for this one!
Ask The Passengers by A.S King
“Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions–like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.
As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even know she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives–and her own–for the better.”
This one also doesn’t need an explanation – I can’t wait to binge read all of her books. I also want to read more LGBTQ+ novels because while I don’t identify as such, it’s very important to read more diversely. Especially with the current state of the US. It’s kind of like a big “fuck you” to Trump. If you have some good LGBTQ+ books, let me know in the comments below. Or really any book that’s more diverse!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.”
I’ve never read this before because it never was a part of my required reading for school. One of my goals for this year is to read more classics. Since this is super short, I’m gonna start with this one.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
“It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.”
I know virtually nothing about this book besides what you’ve read above. But it sounds right up my alley so I hope I enjoy it!
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
“Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby’s and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights–and, at times, the dark lows–of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.”
I also know nothing about this book lol oops. But the plot summary sounds quite interesting and similar to How To Build A Girl so I’m hopefully.
So that’s my February book haul! I purchased all of these books used from Thrift Books for only around $45!! Which is so insane. This isn’t sponsored by them but I do highly recommend you check them out!
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