here if you are so inclined. Oh, and add me on Goodreads--I've actually been updating it lately.
"Cat's Cradle" - My mom is a long time fan of Vonnegut and this is my girl Emma's all-time favorite book, so it's silly it took me so long to get to. I enjoyed it a lot and I see why it's a classic, but I also kind of think I need to read it several more times before I fully grasp its significance. The drawings and humor were on point, as expected, and having recently wandered into a Scientology church just out of curiosity, many themes in this book made me giggle.
"East of Eden" - I was intimidated by this large book at first, but within a couple chapters I was entranced. There is so much happening in this story and Steinbeck's ability to portray the good and evil all people/characters are capable of is truly impressive. I might also be in love with all the descriptions of Northern California over the span of many years (mostly the beginning of the twentieth century). It's incredibly interesting, but be warned: it's not the most uplifting story there ever was.
"What It Is" - Lynda Barry is a boss. I picked up this book at a store in San Francisco and even after flipping through it, reading the front cover and staring at it, I had no idea what it was about or why, so naturally I bought it. It has writing prompts, comics and the coolest collages I've ever seen. All I knew was that it inspired me and I needed it. I now display it proudly and have already turned several people onto Barry's work (she also wrote "100 Demons").
"#GIRLBOSS" - I think everyone and their mom in Blogland has read/talked about/at least seen the cover of this one. I read it in, like, a day and it was pretty motivational. It's the highly unusual and awesome success story of Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso. I love a girl boss any day, so I ate it up. Grab it for a quick, inspiring story that might just give you lost 20-somethings hope.
"Looking for Alaska" - This is the author of "The Fault in Our Stars," John Green's first young adult novel and it's pretty fantastic. It's the story of a misfit high school boy who's obsessed with famous last words and goes off to boarding school to "seek the Great Perhaps" and finds perhaps more than he bargained for. I'm still a huge fan of John Green and I will eventually read everything he has written. I definitely recommend this one.
"Belzhar" - This story is strangely similar to "Looking for Alaska," -- boarding school, troubled kids, self-actualization and suspense. The suspense part really drew me in, but I didn't connect with (or believe in) the characters nearly as much. I have since read another Meg Wolitzer book in which the character development was phenomenal, but that's for the next book review roundup. The title is a play on Plath's "The Bell Jar" (which also happens to be one of the first books I ever wrote about on this blog) and it was a quick, young adult read.
"The Catcher In The Rye" - I was never required to read this back in high school, so when my mom sent it to me in a book-care-package, I read it immediately. My roommates can attest to the exponential rise in my usage of the word "phony" while reading it. I loved this conflicted and emotionally effed teenager's observations of life. If you haven't read it yet and have strong feelings about phoniness on a daily basis like myself, I strongly recommend you read this one.
"One Hundred Demons" - I mentioned Lynda Barry above, and this book just solidified her status as my idol. Her demons--the memories that plague her--are sad, disturbing and freakishly real while also hilarious, perfectly illustrated and worded in the most effective, wonderful way. This one is a lot easier to follow than the previously mentioned one, and I think you should go buy it. Now.
"The Vacationers" - I sort of hated every character in this novel, with one very specific exception, but I still enjoyed the book (and let's be real, I loved the cover). This is the story of a family's 2-week vacation to Spain and all of the drama playing out in each of the characters' lives while they attempt to stay in the same house and not rip each other's heads off. Perhaps I sense a theme here, but if you're interested in the good, bad, selfish and all-around human things each person's story entails, check this book out.
What have you been reading lately? Are you looking for a book club type situation to get involved with? If so, click here and let my plucky BFF know. I'm beyond stoked to connect with bloggers over good books and cheap wine.