Books I Read in October

Look Alive Out There, by Sloane Crosley. Oh, I like this lady, you guys. Hilarious book of essays. I especially loved “The Doctor is a Woman.”

Mrs. Fletcher, by Tom Perotta. Kept feeling like he was writing for a movie, which makes sense since other books of his have been adapted to movied (Election, for one). My book club read this and the consensus was not very enthusiastic. I found it interesting and thought-provoking, and I did think the author was compassionate to his characters, even the less sympathetic ones, but I – the whole group, honestly – was puzzled by reviews from very smart people calling this book “sweet.” It was…a kind of a bummer, actually? And we are all pretty sure it’s satire, but can’t quite seem to figure out or agree on what exactly it was satirizing. Something about sexual politics and participating in one’s own objectification and porn addiction. Maybe we just aren’t as smart as the New York Times Review of Books, I guess?

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, by BrenĂ© Brown. It’s like a culmination of all her books to date. If you only read one, read this one. I love her, as you can tell by the frequency with which I quote her. Recommended if you have ever experienced human emotions.

Calypso, by David Sedaris. I mean, yes. My favorite one of his. I think I’ve read all his books? Here’s a sample chapter – still one of my favorites from the book.

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett. Sooo challenging. The more I sit with this book, the more I get out of it. Lots of Heart of Darkness inspiration, but with science, in the Amazon, and centering women, some of whom are very dark and complex characters. Themes of extractive colonialism and how personal moral conduct is or is not distinct from one’s political ethics…and lots to say about disentangling femininity and reproduction.

It is important to note that there are so many pregnancy, child loss, and fertility-related triggers in this book, good lawd.

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