Becoming–Michelle Obama

Not going to lie, I thought this would be boring. I love Michelle Obama, she is a fun time for a First Lady. But because of BEING a First Lady, I thought she was going to have to shove a bunch of stuff under the rug.

And she didn’t. 

She was honest about how she felt about the Presidency affecting her family, her career, and what everything would look like going forward with a President that lacks any sort of maturity or decorum.

She said it nicely though but still made it obvious how she was feeling about it all.

This book was just as classy and sassy as Michelle is in real life. Or as far as I’ve seen her in real life, which is interviews and clowning around with people like Jimmy Fallon and James Cordon. 

Either way, I love her. And her relationship with her husband seems to be really healthy and forward. 

The part I really enjoyed, besides her love story with Barack, was her telling HER history. I liked learning so much about her as a human being and her career. 

Damn this was a good book.

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This Will Only Hurt a Little–Busy Philipps

I haven’t always loved Busy Philipps. Or rather, her characters. I’m looking at whoever she played on Dawson’s Creek. But I was also like early teens when I was watching that show, so really, I had no stake in the game. 

BUT. I did love her in Freaks and Geeks. And Cougar Town was hilarious.

Then Instagram came along and eventually her fame on there for being incredibly hilarious. 

Which inevitably gave her a book deal, which makes sense. Or does it? What world are we living in anymore? 

Anyway, I’m happy that she got a book deal.

I read this when I was still running my book club and this was one of the picks from my sisters. 

It was well written and funny in the bits that needed to be funny, sad in the parts that were incredibly upsetting, and overall, a beautiful book.

She covered a lot of stuff and I’m grateful she was brave enough to share her story in the way that she did. Busy talks about her first time having sex, her relationship with her husband, and her friendships. It’s an honest book and I really loved her being so candid with us.

Which is how she just lives her life, so that was impressive to see she wasn’t sugar-coating anything for the benefit of others.

She was incredibly real in this.

I loved it. And her. 

Constant vigilance! busy

Beowulf

No one knows who originally wrote Beowulf? How am I just realizing that now months after reading the book?

That’s not normal.

But I guess it’s folklore type stuff, so here we are.

This has been on my shelf for a bajillion years and I never got around to it. Then I started going off the ‘Rory Gilmore Book Challenge’ and was like Okay. Well I have this one. And it looks pretty simple to read.

So again: Here we are. 

It’s the tale of a hero called Beowulf who fights a bunch of mythical stuff and everyone dies. 

The end. 

I liked it but kept getting lost because if something isn’t moving along at a fair pace then I start losing interest. It’s becoming an actual problem with me. 

Overall: Interesting. 

beowulf

Born a Crime–Trevor Noah

This man. 

Born in South Africa, raised by a loving but hardheaded faith-driven woman, his father a Swiss-man that he barely had a relationship with because he was white and it was legitimately a crime for them to be family.

This was another book that I listened to on audiotape because I got into a real NEED TO DEVOUR ALL BOOKS IN ALL FORMS type of mood. So I was basically reading all hours of the day.

And let me tell you, you don’t mind being told a story as an adult as long as the persons voice is as smooth and sweet and charismatic as Trevor Noah’s.

He put so much personality into his stories and it’s always great to have authors read their books to you because then you know how the story was meant to be told. 

I love reading about real-life people’s lives and how different they are from mine, so this was pretty dang far off from how I grew up. 

Because I’m a white girl from small-town Ontario who grew up with both parents and four siblings and essentially boring on top of beige on top of bland. 

Except not because I had four siblings so we were actually wild fucking animals. 

Anyway, read this book, listen to it, it was lovely and smart and I really love him.

trevor

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things—Jenny Lawson

After reading the horror show that is ‘A Simple Favor’ I needed a HUGE laugh and a promise of no incest. 

Enter Jenny Lawson. 

I had read one of her other books so I knew what I was getting into. The issue I had with this one is simple:

I listened to it on audiobook read by her and nearly crashed my car a million times from laughing too hard. 

Stories about her pets, daughter, and long-suffering husband Viktor are always funny and amazing and I love how she touches on mental health and what hers is and how she (and her family) handle it. 

It was lovely to read about how she’s not okay, but she’s okay. And how scary it can get, and how putting her story out helps her and helps us. 

I just love her. This one goes on the shelf of ‘Everyone needs to read this’ because I love how it touched on mental health and family and it still felt like she was talking to us as a friend and not just telling us about her life matter of factly and that’s that.

You know? 

I love her writing, I love her penchant for loving horribly done taxidermy, and I love that I can expect more and more books from her. 

She’s wonderful. 

Constant vigilance.

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A Simple Favor–Darcey Bell

The first for the new book club! (Check on instagram for @derangedbookclub where I post all about books and do a live book club at the end of each month.)

[Editors Note: DerangedBookClub has since been cancelled because I got too busy with schoolwork and trying to become a librarian. However. I stand by the choices for bookclub.]

I was excited to read this because they were turning it into a movie which is how I know something is really really great. Or that they are going to make better somehow. 

Well. Everything failed me. 

It was good. But it wasn’t great. And the movie had a weird ending. 

Not to mention one important thing that I could not let go of if my life depended on it.

INCEST.

Stephanie was boinking her stepbrother. 

I DON’T CARE IF IT WAS YOUR STEPBROTHER. YOU SHARE A FATHER YOU TWO PIECES OF HUMAN TRASH AND THAT’S FUCKING GROSS. 

And the fact that she kept saying he looks like her dad in his wedding photo, and she looks like her mom was a TURN ON?

*insert Exorcist level vomiting*

It could have been such a good book but once that was all mentioned I was OUT. 

It had very ‘Gone Girl’ vibes about it and I wasn’t really into that book either.

So ‘Gone Girl with Incest’?  I was super out. 

I didn’t like ANY of the characters. And sometimes you just need ONE person to like in a book to redeem the entire thing. 

Maybe that was the point though?

I don’t know anymore.

Constant vigilance.

asimplefavor

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

My beautiful Dumplin’. This book was so wonderful I started a book club.

Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m a chubby bunny. I mention it whenever I read a book by or about chubby girls.

So reading about this chubby teenager who is constantly crapped on for being fat broke my heart and then FULLY MENDED IT.

If you’ve watched the movie: STOP AND READ THE BOOK.

Because while the movie was adorable and fun, the book is actually 100 times better.

No joke.

There are so many more sweet moments between Dumplin’ and her mom. There are a handful of fights between them that didn’t make the movie.

And her Aunt Lucy isn’t the same as in the movie, where she’s pictured as a lovely larger than life woman who in spite of being fat lived her life to the fullest.

In the books, she was a recluse who was too scared to do anything because she was afraid of what she looked like and didn’t want anyone to see her. Which I think was really important to the narrative. It made Willowdean want to be braver. Made her want to grow, while also loving her aunt more than anyone 

Willowdean was so frickin’ great and touched on so many things that I worry about too. (Like when someone touches my back or chubby bits and how I would/do react.)

PLUS the movie left out the very loveable and friendly Mitch. How could they do that?! Especially when they left out so much of her relationship with Bo.

And the romance with Bo was GREAT in the book and they barely touched on it in the movies.

I realize that it was supposed to be all about Dumplin’ but really. There was a reason her life started to shift and she started to examine her life more.

And the reason was her Aunt Lucy’s death and what that meant to her.

You totally thought I was going to say Bo. Pfffffffft nah.

Read this book. Just frickin’ do it.dumplin

Leah on the Offbeat–Becky Albertalli

Good morning! Let’s talk books! More importantly LGBTQ+ books.

So apparently Simon VS the Homosapiens Agenda fans were bombarding the author with information on HER characters and one of them was that Leah is bisexual.

Sure she had a thing for Simon, but she was also interested in girls. Which is why she was always so surly. Because she knew but wasn’t admitting it quite yet to herself.

This book was so dang good. 

I think that anyone should read it because it was just sweet and shows you how to be kind and not to ever fucking say “It’s just a phase” to bi-people because BLOODY HELL JUST STOP THAT.

Why do people think it’s okay to tell other people what their sexual orientation is??? 

I never understood that.

I remember one of my friends being SO SCARED to tell me they were bi and I was like ‘Okay cool.” and shrugged. I was 14 I think. And living in a small town where that stuff “never happens.” 

(I’m sure it did but no one ever fucking talked about it because it was the 90s and my hometown was a loveable but stunted place. I say ‘was’ because the whole town has managed to grow up a lot since then. Really quite amazing.)

I’ve had plenty of people admit to having feels for members of the same sex and each time my reaction is basically the same: “Okay cool. Do you have anyone you’re interested in right now?” And basically continuing to talk to them like they are a person because (spoiler alert) THEY ARE A FUCKING PERSON. Plus I loooove when my friends are falling for people and I get very excited about it. I’m that person you need when you want to talk about who you like or love over and over again. I love that level of honesty.

Ain’t no shame ladies do your thang. Missy Elliott. Never wrong.

This book and Simons should be read in schools and be required reading because DAMN. 

They are sweet, funny, smart, and the characters are so loveable and kind and deserve everything in the world. 

I love reading LGBTQ+ books because it always opens my world a little bit more. And I love that. 

Constant vigilance.

leah

Something From the Nightside–Simon R. Green

My brother recommended this book. Which sometimes when my brother recommends things I’m like “What? You liked this?” And then he tells me it wasn’t his favourite but I would like it. And I’m like ‘Why would you recommend a book that WASN’T your favourite?’ and he’s all “I don’t know, it was a good book.” *shrug*

And then he declares war on my nation and we argue for a year until something nice happens and we reach a treaty.

Although I think this years war was declared because we are in a fight for a werewolf cat creature? I’m not entirely sure if that thing is even real. I just know it was cute as all hell. 

(*Editors Note: It IS real. It’s just a baby Maine Coon.)

Anyway, this book is about a detective who can go into another world called the Nightside. 

It was interesting and cool as far as detective novels go. I liked that the lead character had magical powers, it kind of reminded me of Nevermore by Neil Gaiman, and I will definitely be borrowing some more of these in the future from my brother once my book list is dwindled a bunch.

(It’s never going to be dwindled, who am I kidding? I literally have plans to go raid thrift stores next week with my bestie.)

(*Editors Note: This was written before quarantine. We did raid thrift stores, but this was written last year. That’s how far behind I am.)

Constant vigilance!

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This is Me–Chrissy Metz

Classic. After I said I was going to write every day I immediately forgot and here we are four days later.

But here we go.

SPOILERS TO “THIS IS US” FIRST SEASON. 

Now, I knew I was going to like this book immediately because I really like Chrissy Metz as a human. (Not that I know her in real life. What an assumption I made based off of interviews and the like!)

I’ll admit that I don’t fully like her character in This Is Us and it’s because of one thing. 

After her father went back into their burning house and saved her dog because she was losing her mind crying because the dog was stuck and dying, she did something unforgivable. 

(Hello. Who WOULDN’T be LOSING THEIR SHIT AT THAT. I would’ve gone back in for my dog in a HEARTBEAT.) 

After Jack dies: SHE STARTS HATING ON HER DOG.

EXCUSE YOU!!! 

Your dog didn’t kill him. Don’t you dare pin that on a dog! It was just a horrible circumstance. 

If my dad died saving my dog I would be like YOU’RE A HERO JOE. AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR SAVING MY SWEET ANGEL DEXTER. AND I WOULD LOVE THAT DOG MORE BECAUSE MY DAD SAVED HER FOR ME AND I WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS BLAME A DOG FOR THE DEMISE OF MY FATHER.

Unless Dexter tripped him on the way out the door and somehow kicked it behind her and my dad got trapped and burned to death.

THEN I would probably be like “Damn it Goose you fluffy adorable murderer.” (We call Dexter ‘Goose’ because she gooses your bum when you come in the door like a perverted old man.)

Wait. I’m supposed to be talking about a book. Not why I don’t like Kate. Or at least, teenage Kate. 

THIS BOOK WAS LOVELY.

It gives you the feels. It makes you feel like you have a comrade in arms. It makes you feel like you aren’t alone in feeling like you are a fat piece of trash and then she lifts you right back up to show you how you are BEAUTIFUL and MAJESTIC and everything is just as it should be. No matter what size you are you are fucking amazing. You hear me?!

Chrissy’s writing was full of heart and kindness, and past self-deprecation and it was lovely.

Plus I love seeing women living their dreams on their terms and how they became that way.

She is a fucking star and amazing. 

But teenage Kate can get bent. Ya hear me?

Constant vigilance.

chrissy