Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance – As a rule, I do not discuss politics. Ever. So all I’ll say is Appalachia, and the people who live there, have gotten a lot of attention lately, for reasons both political and not. This book was fascinating. A look into a culture that has been around for quite some time, and is often misrepresented and misunderstood. I love the way Vance writes honestly about his family and his hometown. He doesn’t apologize for his family, nor does he try to sugar-coat them. It’s his story, so of course, I can’t paint broad strokes and say I now understand all about the hillbillies of Appalachia, but Vance’s story is a great one.
Someone Could Get Hurt, by Drew Magary – If you haven’t read Magary’s annotated guide to the Williams Sonoma catalog (it comes out every holiday season), you are missing out. Magary is hysterical. He says the things we’re all thinking, excessive expletives included, and wouldn’t dare say out loud. Thank goodness someone is speaking these truths. I attacked this one, a couple chapters at a time, before bed over about a week. And there were multiple times I feared I would wake my husband because I was laughing so loud.
The Secrets of Happy Families, by Bruce Feiler – This is like The Happiness Project (a favorite of mine) with a family twist. I loved this book. Feiler’s writing is honest, and most important for a book like this, it’s not preachy. I guarantee if you read it, you’ll find one or two ideas you want to bring into your own family. That said, I’m a big-picture person, and took away a couple of over-arching ideas that make me warm and fuzzy inside. First of all, families (and the dynamics associated with them) are always changing and it’s supposed to be that way. Move with the cheese, anyone? And second, families should be safe spaces. You don’t have to get everything right, you just have to be loving, and try your best. I would put a copy of this book in just about anyone’s hands.
The Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell – This title screams my name. I’m a total sucker for books where people try things for a year, and I am absolutely taken with Scandinavian culture.
Want to Read:
Modern Love, by Aziz Ansari – I’ve started and stopped Parks and Rec about a zillion times, and that was the extent of my knowledge of Aziz Ansari for a while. But this summer, my husband and I watched and adored Master of None, and I recently listened to his podcast on Freakonomics. I don’t mean to sound unintelligent here, dear readers, but he’s much deeper than I gave him credit for. (Did I think he was true to Tom Haverford? Do I really not know how TV works?) Excited to get my hands on this one.