Kicking of the yearly list with 4 books I read in January.
First, I finished “Not that Kind of Girl” by Lena Dunam.
In case you’re living under a rock, this is an episodic/essay type memoir written by the creator and star of HBO’s “Girls.” It’s broken down in parts, describing various topics from love and sex, body, friendship, work and big picture. I wanted to like it. I like “Girls,” I’m a fan of reading about any woman’s success, plus I just wanted to identify with someone who I view as being uber successful and my age.
There was some controversy about the rape chapter and the ‘little too close for comfort’ relationship with her sister, but those chapters didn’t bother me at all. The sister thing seemed like genuine curiosity that people read too much into.
It had its moments that I liked. Some of the essays were really funny, and it was an easy read. But, after a while, it became a little bit too self-centered. The chapter dealing with her grandmother’s death is what killed it for me. The death became an event in which to view herself, her relationship with death, and her fears over her death. Not one bit seemed about the grandmother that died, or what her life meant, or really anything outside of the Lena show, and it took a 4 star review down to a 2.
Next, I read the graphic novel “Saga.” “Saga” follows a couple from opposite sides of an alien war as they struggle to find a safe place to raise their child when both sides share a common goal in finding and destroying them. Along the way, they meet a spirit who helps them escape in return for latching on to the baby’s soul.
“Saga” was a recommendation from a coworker that I fell in love with. It’s a weird book, but the art is amazing and the story pulls you right in. I may have went out and bought the next 3 novels in the series after finishing it. 4 out of 5 stars.
Then, I read a work recommendation all about entrepreneurship and finding success. It was written by one of the founders of Paypal, Peter Thiel, and it’s called “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.” I feel like I learned some things, definitely an interesting look into what makes an idea/startup successful. 3 out of 5 stars.
Lastly, I finally finished the book “Up for Grabs” by my author-friend Heather Young-Nichols. “Up for Grabs” is a NA read from the main character Flannery’s point of view as she falls in love with Cain and then has to come up with some interesting means to stay not only with Cain but in college once her scholarship is taken from her.
I hadn’t read an NA in a really, really long time, and this book made me kind of regret that. It takes place in Michigan-point 1 for the novel-at the University of Michigan-point 2. The premise is this desperate for money college student, driven to selling her virginity to keep the life and future she had been cultivating at University.
I think the book handles that idea in a way that highlights Flannery taking ownership of her virginity and moving outside the lines of it being something that makes her ‘pure.’ That whole virgin-to-pure equation never really sits well with me. If someone believes the contents of one’s character rests on the state of her hymen, that’s showing more problems with that person than the hymen bearer. Anyways, went on a tangent. 4 out of 5 stars. Buy it, read it, love it.
Leave any book recommendations in the comments! My TBR list is ever growing.