Thursday, June 14, 2018

Business Trip Reads

I went to Austin on business and read some books on the plane, as you do.

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know (by Retta)
I deeply enjoyed this celebrity memoir by Retta, best known to me as Donna on Parks & Recreation. She's a comedian, so she's hilarious and conversational, but she's also super smart (she studied medicine at Duke) and it shows. This does not come across as crafted or ghost-written, but as a chat with your new bestie, an actual real-life human person. (She loves Memphis Belle! She shops at Dress Barn! She's obsessed with Hamilton!) Anyway, Retta is the best and this memoir is great.

The Immortalists (by Chloe Benjamin) The premise of this novel is that four siblings find out (supposedly) when they're going to die -- how does this affect their lives, or their deaths? Also really enjoyed this, a litfic page-turner that shifts point of view from one sibling to the other. The only one that didn't really gel for me as a character was Daniel, and the climax of his story was ludicrous to me. But I loved reading about the other siblings and I enjoyed meditating on what it means to live a meaningful life.

The Word Is Murder (by Anthony Horowitz)
Yay metafiction! In this book, a Sherlock-esque detective named Daniel Hawthorne approaches Anthony Horowitz and asks him to follow him around solving a case and then write a book about it.  Horowitz weaves together real life elements (such as books he's actually published, people he's actually worked with) with the fictional murder plot to make a satisfying, page-turning read.  I'm usually surprised by murder mystery twists, but in this case there was one clue that gave away the ending for me. However, I didn't guess everything, so there were still some surprises at the end, and it all hangs together very satisfyingly regardless. So happy to hear this is the start of a series!

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