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Ms. Moayeri's Book Talks

Book Talks on Ms. Moayeri's Continued Reading Challenge for the 2021 Year of an Average of One Book Per Week for a Total of 52 for the Year.
According to my Goodreads, I'm on book 36 for 2021 at the start of this school year.
 
Book 36: 22 August 2021
Tiffany D. Jackson "Grown"
A young girl who is an aspiring singer gets picked by a big star of the day who takes her on tour, keeps her trapped, drugs her and abuses her and plays with her mind so she feels like she can't leave or even reach out to her family. Very, very similar to Tami Charles' "Muted," which I read earlier this year and did a book talk on, but about 2/3 of the way through, it becomes a different story. Read it in one day.
 
Book 37: 27 August 2021
Erik Larson: Devil in the White City
A classic non-fiction dual story about the World's Fair in Chicago at the end of the 19th century and a serial killer who made his base there at the same time. Many of the products that we use today were launched at that World's Fair and the sheer number of people murdered is astounding.
 
Book 38: 30 August 2021
Camryn Garrett "Off the Record"
A story ripped from the headlines, specifically the #metoo movement. A high school senior wins a contest to write a cover story for a high profile entertainment magazine and ends up with the responsibility of exposing a big Hollywood producer who has been abusing people who work with him and for him for years. At the same time, she is working toward acceptance of all parts of herself, physical and mental. Garrett herself is almost as young as her main protagonist and personality comes through in her words.
Read my listicle "An Exciting Year for Black Young Adult Authors" and my interview with the illustrator of the book's beautiful cover, Erick Dávila, both for Book and Film Globe.
 
Book 39: 8 September 2021
Michelle Zauner "Crying in H Mart"
A deeply moving memoir from the musician behind the indie alternative Japanese Breakfast, reflecting on her relationship with her mother growing up, but with a particular focus on her mother's cancer diagnosis, treatment and eventual demise. Beautifully written, absolutely wrenching and completely stunning.
 
Book 40: 12 September 2021
Amy Spalding "We Used to be Friends"
A story about two friends during their senior year of high school whose friendship is unraveling as their lives go in different directions and their widely divergent personalities are not fitting together anymore. Told back and forth in time from alternating points of view of the two main protagonists, James and Kat. Interesting concept, but the personalities of the girls kind of rub me the wrong way.
 
Book 41: 17 September 2021
Carlos Sampayo and Jose Muñoz "Billie Holiday"
A graphic novel biography on the life of one of the most iconic voices in jazz and blues whose life was fraught with abuse: race, sexual, drugs. Drawn in black and white, the images are as harsh as the content, which doesn't hold back and is raw and real. Under 100 pages, a quick, but heavy read.
 

book 41

My personal challenge to read a minimum of 10 books this summer break, one for each week we are off school, with no maximum limit.
 
Book 1: 14 June 2021
Mercy Fontenot with Lyndsey Parker "Permanent Damage: Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl"
First book is Permanent Damage Memoirs of an Outrageous Girl by Mercy Fontenot with Lyndsey Parker, a one of a kind story about one of the famous groupies of the '60s who was so much more than just that label as she was everywhere that music that mattered happened. At the same time, she was heavily into drugs, came from a chaotic childhood and spent most of her life on drugs. A unique read.
 
Book 2: 21 June 2021
Mary McCoy "Dead to Me"
A historical fiction whodunnit tale set in Los Angeles in 1948. Mystery upon mystery in this story about Alice whose older sister Annie disappears and years later turns up unconscious and hurt in the county hospital. The further she investigates, the more more sinister details Alice uncovers about Annie's disappearance and her Hollywood executive father's involvement in criminal activity. Intriguing and exciting.
 
Book 3: 28 June 2021
John Berendt "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
A classic narrative non-fiction story about a murder in the city of Savannah, Georgia which is just as much about the city and its colorful inhabitants and quirky characteristics as it is about the underscored plot of the murder. This book reads like the best and juiciest fiction tale about wacky people in a unique setting and it's all that much better knowing it is a true story.
 
Book 4: 5 July 2021
Kelly Loy Gilbert "When We Were Infinite"
The third novel from Kelly Loy Gilbert deals with a multitude of intertwined issues: divorce, abandonment, suicide, friendship, romance, family dynamics, race, panic attacks, anxiety, moving from young adulthood into adulthood, and music. This book is a heavy read and a slow read, but ultimately, many of the issues are resolved in one way or another.
 
Book 5: 12 July 2021
Deborah Heiligman "Charles and Emma"
A narrative non-fiction book about Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, which focuses more on their love, their married life together, their family, their home than it does on his scientific observations and theories. A wonderful portrait of life in the Victorian era in England, including many illnesses and cures, and a deep look into the man behind the science.
My write-up on Charles and Emma for my listicle for Book and Film Globe on YA non-fiction books for Women's History Month.
 
summer reads
 
Book 6: 19 July 2021
Kristin Hannah "Four Winds"
Another historical fiction novel from the author of "The Nightingale." This one takes place during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, focusing on a family of farmers who start out prosperous and living the American Dream and end up destitute and decimated by dust. The main character, Elsa, goes West to California with her two children only to be faced with more difficulties and less hope than she had before. A vivid account of that time from a personal perspective that provides both historical details and the emotional element.
 
Book 7: 21 July 2021
Tam O'Shaughnessy "Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space"
The story of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, told intimately and thoroughly by her partner, in life and in work, through photographs from her friends and family. Everything you wanted to know about Sally Ride, complete with images and simple prose that is still a very comprehensive biography of her life.
My write-up on Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space" for my listicle for Book and Film Globe on YA non-fiction books for Women's History Month.
 
Book 8: 23 July 2021
S.F. Kosa "The Quiet Girl"
A psychological thriller in which a woman goes missing and her husband tries to find her. In the process of tracing her footsteps before her disappearance, he unearths a lot of secrets about her. At the same time, in between this story, another story is embedded in the book which ends up crossing over into the main story line, which helps in discovering the mystery behind the disappearance. Sinister and thrilling, emotional and painful. couldn't put it down.
 
Book 9: 26 July 2021
Ronnie James Dio "Rainbow in the Dark"
The autobiography of the late revered vocalist and songwriter written alongside his wife Wendy and music journalist Mick Wall. The book starts and ends with Dio's performance at Madison Square Garden in 1986 so it doesn't go all the way to his death in 2010, but it covers the meaty part of his life. Nothing wild or scandalous here, just a musical journey from a personal perspective.
 
Book 10: 1 August 2021
Taylor Jenkins Reid "Daisy Jones and the Six"
Loosely based on Fleetwood Mac and the recording of their monster album, "Rumours," but very loosely, "Daisy Jones and the Six" is a story about music, musicians and their dynamics with each other, songwriting, the '70s, addiction and overwhelming emotions, this fiction book is told in an oral history style which makes it feel like a real-life story and is all the better for it. A limited series based on the book is coming to Amazon Prime Video.
 
book ten
 
Book 11: 5 August 2021
Ben Apatoff "Metallica: The $24.95 Book"
Everything you ever wanted to know about one of the world's greatest; most enduring and most beloved bands thoroughly researched and completely examined.
 
Book 12: 9 August 2021
Mary McCoy "Indestructible Object"
The fourth book from this Printz Honor author takes place in Memphis and has multiple, overlapping storylines. That of the main protagonist, Lee, who is coming out of a two-year relationship with her boyfriend who is moving away for college, without warning. But Lee has given no warning to him that she is bisexual and has been cheating on him the whole time. Her parents are getting a divorce and that storyline is a multi-layered and deep in itself. Lee also meets a new person she likes and is reunited with the son of her parents' friend who is helpful in helping her unravel her confusions while repairing his relationship with his own queer parents who seem to only accept him if he's the kind of queer they understand. All of this threaded through with podcast episodes that Lee is producing, a lead up to her future career as a sound engineer. Phew!
 
book 12
My personal challenge to read one book every week this 2020-2021 school year continues into spring semester.
 
Week 22: 17 January 2021
A frequent "banned book" about a transgender girl, Melissa, a fourth-grader who tackles obstacles and find allies as the rest of her immediate world slowly begins to realize what she's known all along, that she is a girl, an enlightening story about what it's like to be a young transgender person.
 
Week 23: 24 January 2021
Best known for "Big Little Lies," as with most Liane Moriarty's books, there is an ensemble cast of characters, each unique and interesting, whose lives are intertwined. This one is about inhabitants of an island off of Sydney, Australia and its unusual tourist attraction. There is a mystery and another bonus mystery, which is revealed at the very end. Very entertaining and satisfying, written for adults, but could be appealing for young adult audiences, loved it.
 
Week 24: 31 January 2021
A dystopian novel set in a time where water is the most precious commodity. The main protagonist, Lynn, lives with her mother, out in the country, where their water source is a pond that they spend a lot of their time defending by lying on the roof of their house, armed with rifles. They also spend time cutting wood and hunting and pillaging the surrounding abandoned homes for provisions. Lynn's mother makes sure they have no contact with others, but when she is gone, Lynn makes connections with other humans and starts caring about them and doing things for them which she finds out she kind of likes. First book in a two-books series. The follow-up is "In a Handful of Dust."
 
Week 25: 7 February 2021
From the author of "One Of Us Is Lying," "One Of Us Is Next" and "Two Can Keep A Secret" comes another intriguing mystery driven by layered characters, realistic dialogue and engaging storytelling for a thrilling reveal at the end--and in bits along the way. Impossible to get on with your life until you read it to the end.
 
Week 26: 14 February 2021
The story takes place at a time when you get a call on the day you will die letting you know it will happen. Two boys, Mateo and Rufus, who have never met both get the call. They connect with each other on Last Friend, an app made for people like them who need a friend on their last day. In their hours together, they go all around New York City, try out a wide range of things and get to know each other and unleash the best parts of each other in the process. The title already tell you how the book ends so don't expect anything different.
 
Five Week Marking Period
 
Week 27: 21 February 2021
A multi-generational story about light-skinned African American twins who grow up in a town where the goal is to become lighter and lighter. the two run away as teenagers and eventually split up, one chooses live as a White person while the other goes the other direction, coming home with a very dark child. The twins' daughters meet, each of them dealing with their mothers' choices and how those choices affected their lives. 
 
Week 28: 10 March 2021
A fantasy story told in the tradition of classic fairy tales complete with a horrifying premise where the people of the town are expected to give up the youngest child as a sacrifice to appease a witch, a magic girl, many evil entities, including one who feeds off the sorrow of the townspeople who have lost their babies, a dragon and a swamp creature. Winner of the Newberry Award in 2017.
 
Week 29: 15 March 2021
From the same author as "The Poet X" and "Clap When You Land," Emoni is a teen mother, and aspiring executive chef, in her senior year in high school facing all the decisions and milestones of that year compounded with the responsibilities of being a mother and putting her daughter first--sometimes at the risk of her own happiness, opportunities and future.
 
Week 30: 21 March 2021
Nora is feeling very pointless in her life and decides to take her life and ends up at the stroke of midnight at a library where she can choose from any number of lives she could have had by changing one of the decisions she regrets. She picks life after life after life, quickly changing her mind after each one and returning back to the library to make a difference choice.
 
Week 31: 28 March 2021
The first book of the extremely popular dystopian fantasy series. Published in 2011, Shatter Me borrows heavily from George Orwell's 1984 where the world is a decimated place and the Reestablishment wants to erase humanity's history. Our main protagonist, Juliette is isolated both physically and mentally as her touch can kill anyone she comes in contact with. She is pursued by numerous men, all with different agendas. Her romantic relationship with one of them, Adam, is very sexualized while her being is highly objectified throughout the novel. The book ends with her in a place very similar to Dr. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters from the X-Men where she find many other people with various powers, much like Rogue did in X-Men. There are 12 other books that follow this first one so there's a lot more story to go. And there are a lot better dystopian series to get stuck into.
 
10Week
 
Week 32: 4 April 2021
For fans of Karen M. McManus' One Of Us Is Lying and Mary McCoy's I, Claudia, They Wish They Were Us is a story about an elite group of students in a prep school who rule their domain with an iron fist, with cheating, with hazing and with general terror. The death of one of their own looms over the main protagonist, Jill, who becomes stronger and more determined as she gets closer to discovering who the real killer is. Coming soon as a series and very addicting.
 
Week 33: 7 April 2021
A novel in verse about sexual abuse from one of my favorite author poets whose books "What My Mother Doesn't Know" and "What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know" are always checked out of our library at Lincoln. Sones very neatly and clearly tells a story of how a young girl's crush can turn into a sexual predator situation, how quickly infatuation can because molestation, how it can feel that you have no way out of this situation, and finally, a way to get out of it. 
 
Week 34: 18 April 2021
Debut English language historical fiction novel and family saga steeped in magical realism taking place in Iran, mainly Tehran, over the course of the 20th century. Overlapping stories and fantastical, quite extreme exhibitions of magic that are far from realistic.
 
Book 35: 22 April 2021
Impactful novel in verse on the topical issue of homelessness in Los Angeles County. Very insightful from the perspective of the unhoused person and the perspective of the person trying to help them, particularly as they are both teenagers.
 
Week 36: 28 April 2021
A historical fiction novel set in 1920s Chicago during the time of the Prohibition, which means speakeasies, jazz and mobsters. Lots of colorful settings and drama surrounding the main protagonist, Honoree Dalcour, who is a dancer and a firecracker and absolutely resilient.
 
Week 37: 3 May 2021
A contemporary YA novel from the author known for her hugely popular fantasy Shatter Me series. Taking place soon after 9/11, Shirin is a Muslim high school girl who chooses to wear a hijab and deals with ongoing racism, bigotry and aggression from both her peers and adults. At the same time Shirin loves writing, fashion, music and breakdancing. She attracts the attention of the high school basketball star who falls deeply in love with her making this novel one of the most intense teenage romances of recent memory.
15 Week
 
Week 38: 10 May 2021
A novel in verse from the author of National Book Award finalist "American Street," based on Dr. Salaam's real-life experience being wrongfully incarcerated as part of the Central Park Five, who were renamed the Exonerated Five after their conviction was overturned. Emotional, painful and beautiful.
 
Week 39: 17 May 2021
The in-between novella of book one and book two of Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series. This story starts where Shatter Me ended and is from the perspective of Warner, essentially the bad guy in Shatter Me. In the first book, his beliefs and attitudes toward the main protagonist, Juliet, clearly came from a different perspective than hers and it's interesting to read how he sees things. Much better than Shatter Me.
 
Week 40: 24 May 2021
Debut novel about a community of doomsday preppers and the main protagonist, Becca, who is plotting to escape by getting a full ride to college. Intricate planning and scheming are involved in getting Becca's plan to work, with help from expected, and unexpected, sources. Besides the action aspect, there is also a deep emotional and psychological element to "Prepped" related to Becca's relationships with the members of her immediate family. Breakout debut.
 
Week 41: 1 June 2021
Tahereh Mafi "An Emotion of Great Delight"
Second realistic fiction novel from the author of the "Shatter Me" series. Similar to Tahereh Mafi's first realistic fiction novel, "A Very Large Expanse of Sea," this book takes place post 9/11 from the perspective of a Muslim, hijab-wearing Iranian-American high school girl. Unlike the previous novel, this one is steeped in pain, grief, isolation and guilt. Although I say week 39 in the talk, this is actually week 41.
My extensive review of "An Emotion of Great Delight" for Book and Film Globe here.
 
Week 42: 6 June 2021
Tami Charles "Muted"
A novel in verse based on the author's personal experience in the music industry. Three girls in a singing group are wooed away from their families by a big musical artist who traps them in his world, from which they realize they can't escape. Dark and very realistic story about the dark side of the music industry.
My write-up of "Muted" for my listicle: "An Exciting Year For Black Young Adult Authors" for Book and Film Globe here
 
Week 43: 11 June 2021
Angie Thomas "Concrete Rose"
The prequel to Angie Thomas' smash, "The Hate U Give," this is the story of Starr's father, Big Mav, when he was a teenager, fathering two children by two different women, being a single father, trying to pay his way and help his mother while avoiding falling back into drug dealing. This is an exceptionally engaging story as so much of Big Mav's story was discussed in "The Hate U Give," and now you can hear it in firsthand and in detail.
20 week
I've set a personal challenge for myself to read one book every week this 2020-2021 school year.
 
Week 1: 23 August 2020: 
Natasha Preston "The Cellar"
A gripping tale of abduction and being held captive for an extended period of time along the lines of Emma Donoghue's "Room" and Lucy Christopher's "Stolen."
 
Week 2: 30 August 2020: 
Zeyn Joukhadar "The Map of Salt and Stars"
Lyrical story about a Syrian family's journey across the Middle East and Northern Afria to find refuge in Spain paralleled with a 12th century story that mirrors their experience, beautiful and brutal at the same time. 
 
Week 3: 6 September 2020:
John Boyne "Boy In The Striped Pajamas"
Uniquely innocent account of the Holocaust from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy whose father is a high-up official in Hitler's army and in charge of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, while the boy is quite clueless about the whole thing.
 
Week 4: 13 September 2020:
Marie Lu "Legend"
First in the Legend series, which is a science fiction series set in a dystopian world in the future where there is a massive divide between the haves and have nots and young people are tested to see if they can be trained to be soldiers defending the "Republic of America."
fourth week
 
Week 5: 20 September 2020:
Jasmin Darznik "Song of a Captive Bird"
A work of fiction based on the life of progressive and iconoclastic Iranian poet, Forough Farokhzad, a powerful piece of work that instantly sends you running to Farokhzad's poetry and to learning more about her life.
 
Week 6: 27 September 2020:
Lemn Sissay: "My Name Is Why"
Renowned poet and author Lemn Sissay's heartwrenching memoir about growing up in the UK's child care system in the late '60s and throughout the '70s and early '80s.
 
Week 7: 4 October 2020
Woody Allen "Apropos of Nothing"
Autobiography of the award-winning and prolific writer, comic, actor and director, which also addresses his accusations of him molesting his adopted daughter and marrying his girlfriend's adopted daughter.
 
Week 8: 11 October 2020
Mike Hilleary "On the Record: Music Journalists on Their Lives, Craft and Careers"
Non-fiction collection about the world of music journalists put together from quotes from music journalists. Great insight if you're looking into going into this career.
10 week
 
Week 9: 18 October 2020
Elizabeth Acevedo "Clap When You Land"

This is the third novel in verse from the author of Poet X, wonderful story about sisters with the same dad who didn't know anything about each other, one living in the Dominican Republic, the other living in New York, impossible to put down with minimum words with maximum impact, this is a quick but powerful read.


Week 10: 25 October 2020
Sally Gross and George Musgrave "Can Music Make You Sick?"
The result of four years of research, unpacking the hard truths of being a musician and some recommendations on how to be realistic as well as how to make some genuine change in the structures of the music business. Recommended if you're trying to be a music person, either creating or on the business side. 

 
Week 11: 1 November 2020
Marie Lu "Prodigy"
The middle book of the science fiction trilogy, "Legend," about a future United States which has lost some states due to floods and has broken apart continues, with just as many thrills and is just as engaging as the first book.
 
Week 12: 8 November 2020
Annie Proulx "Barkskins"
736 pages of content-rich historical fiction in this novel, particularly about the indigenous people of North America, which is accidentally appropriate for Native American Heritage Month.
If only I could see those leaf- and branch-filled family trees in the back of the book a little more clearly, the multi-generational story would make a lot more sense.
Also, I absolutely butchered the author's name, it's pronounced "proo" not "proolx."
 
Week 13: 15 November 2020
Nina LaCour "We Are Okay"
The 2018 Michael Printz Award-winner is a super-fast read. It's a beautiful and touching story about loss and loneliness and betrayal and friendship, all happening on the brink of starting college. Like all Printz winners and honors, highly recommend.
15 week
 
Week 14: 22 November 2020
Suzanne Collins "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes"
Book talk in the prequel to "The Hunger Games" focused on President Snow when he was in high school and the time after he graduates, long before he became president of Panem and how he was instrumental in developing The Hunger Games into the spectacle readers know it to be in the later trilogy. Extremely good, better than any of the books in the trilogy, or even all of them combined.
 
Week 15: 29 November 2020
Mindy McGinnis "Heroine"
Story about a high school athlete who becomes addicted to opioids after a car accident and how she sinks further and further into addiction all the while successfully hiding it from her family, but not as much from her friends, suggest reading the author's note in the back before starting the book, and highly, highly recommend.
 
Week 16: 6 December 2020
Slash with Anthony Bozza "Slash"
Autobiography of Slash, guitar player for Guns n' Roses, one of the most successful and notorious bands of all time. Like most rock 'n' roll memoirs, very engaging and engrossing, full of drama and addiction, just as you would expect, which makes the 500 pages of this book go by quite quick. 
 
Week 17: 13 December 2020
Kacen Callender "King and the Dragonflies"
The 2020 winner of National Book Award for Young People's Literature, a beautifully woven story that delicately, but respectfully touches on the very serious issues of death and grief, race and prejudice, homosexuality and acceptance.
 
Week 18: 20 December 2020
Marie Lu "Champion"
The final book of the Legend trilogy is packed full of combat and intrigue and does have a happy ending, but it doesn't feel like that for a minute.
20 week
 
Week 19: 27 December 2020
Heartbreaking and horrifying coming of age story of friendship, abuse, grief and acceptance, recommended to me by one of our own Lincoln Tigers, and available right now with no waiting on .
 
Week 20: 3 January 2021
Kasie West "By Your Side"
A "Breakfast Club" type of love story where an unlikely duo get locked in the public library together for a weekend and what happens after they are found with a focus on one of the character's anxiety and the other character's life in the foster care system.
 
Week 21: 10 January 2021
Victoria Aveyard "Red Queen"
The first book in the fantasy series about have-nots with red blood and haves with silver blood and extra-human abilities, which sounds good, but unfortunately it starts predictably and ends ridiculously and is not quite saved by its solid and engaging middle chunk.
Winter Break
15 June 2020
Quick and Super-Sloppy Book Talks on the First Seven Fiction Novels Ms. Moayeri Read During Pandemic 2020
"All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr
"One Of Us Is Next" by Karen M. McManus
"Royals" by Emma Forrest
"Imaginary Friend" by Stephen Chbosky
"Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell
"I, Claudia" by Mary McCoy
"Normal People" by Sally Rooney
 
16 June 2020
More Quick and Sloppy Book Talks on the First Five Non-Fiction Books Ms. Moayeri Read During Pandemic 2020
"October Mourning" by Lesléa Newman
"Photographic" by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña
"Then It Fell Apart" by Moby
"Set The Boy Free" by Johnny Marr
"Autobiography" by Morrissey
 
19 June 2020
We carry a lot of diverse books in our library. I thought I would highlight a few that are culturally relevant at this point in history. Some are my favorites that I've read in recent years by current popular young adult authors and some I read growing up that had a big impact on me and helped with my developing a broader understanding of the world.

Part 1:
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas
"On The Come Up" by Angie Thomas
"Long Way Down" by Jason Reynolds
"All American Boys" by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
"Dear Martin" by Nic Stone
"Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi
Part 1
 
Part 2: 
"Monster" by Walter Dean Myers
"Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson
"Black Boy" by Richard Wright
"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
"Caucasia" by Danzy Senna
Part 2
 
25 June 2020
Eve Babitz "Slow Days, Fast Company"
A memoir published in the late '70s about life in Los Angeles as a writer living in Hollywood and being very social in the early '70s.
Great descriptions, wonderful imagery, makes Los Angeles feel like a living, breathing, tangible entity, much as it is today.
 
2 July 2020
Dorothy Baker "Cassandra at the Wedding"
A novel published in 1962, purportedly based on the author's daughter and herself. Cassandra and Judith are deeply connected twins and when Judith first leaves Cassandra alone in Berkley where they go to university for New York to study music, then returns to their family ranch to get married, Cassandra has an increasingly difficult time being separated from her sister. She returns to the ranch for the wedding and attempts suicide, but is saved by her sister's doctor husband. Lesbian themes are lightly touched on but not explored very much. 
 
14 July 2020
Kathy Valentine "All I Ever Wanted"
Awesome memoir from Kathy Valentine, the bass player for the legendary and groundbreaking Los Angeles group The Go-Go's. Honest, heartbreaking and uplifting in turns, highly recommend this one. Published this year, in March, it's a super fast read because it's so good.
 
17 July 2020
Belinda Carlisle "Lips Unsealed"
Another memoir from another Go-Go, this one from lead singer and accomplished solo artist Belinda Carlisle, which focuses heavily on her 30 years of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Humorous and painful at the same time, this books was published in 2010 and is a quick read.
 
25 July 2020
J.D. Vance "Hillbilly Elegy"
Yet another memoir, this one published in 2016 about the author's experience growing up as a "hillbilly" in Jackson, Kentucky and Middletown, Ohio, the impact of his family and socioeconomic circumstances on his outlook and the factors and situations that guided him first into Yale Law School and now as a celebrated author, public speaker and investor. 
 
28 July 2020
Emily Giffin "The Lies That Bind"
A chick-lit from the very popular New York Times best-selling author. This story takes place in New York in 2001, right before and after 9/11. The descriptions of that incident and its aftermath are intense and amazing. The actual story, however, like other books of Giffin's I've read revolves around infidelity and making excuses for that behavior, turning the cheaters into the good characters and those cheated on into the bad ones. As always, morally questionable. 
Part 3
 
30 July 2020
Duff McKagan "It's So Easy and Other Lies"
Autobiography from bass player for Guns n' Roses, lauded by many as one of the great rock 'n' roll excess memoirs of all, well-written, gritty, and honest, excellent read.
 
1 August 2020
JoJo Moyes "Me Before You"
Chick-lit/sick-lit, first of a trilogy that was made into a movie. This book has all the hallmarks of both the genres it belongs to, which means it's as fun as a chick-lit but as depressing as a sick-lit. 
 
7 August 2020
Jia Tolentino "Trick Mirror"
Non-fiction collection of essays on current topics that are both well-researched and have a general as well as personal perspective.
 
9 August 2020
Jandy Nelson "The Sky Is Everywhere"
From the author of "I'll Give You the Sun," a coming of age story that couples falling in love with the first time with losing a sibling unexpectedly while living with your hippie grandmother and wacky uncle, beautifully written with gorgeous descriptions.
 
12 August 2020
Susanna Moore "Miss Aluminum"
Memoir that stems from an unusual childhood in Hawaii, complete with a wicked stepmother to Pennsylvania to New York City and finally, Los Angeles where working as a model and a script reader, the author encounters many famous celebrities of the 1960s and 1970s, told in a candid and deadpan way that is absolutely wonderful.
Part 4