- Tina Fey’s Bossypants [read 6/20/12] 4/5 Stars
This memoir is absolutely hilarious. I read it during a particularly stressful stretch of time for me at work, and it was the perfect escape-read during lunch and breaks. Tina Fey talks about her adolescence, her relationships with the male figures in her life, her time at SNL, and having a baby, all in a humorous and personal voice. The tone was self-deprecating yet very empowered at the same time, which I loved because it felt so authentic. Basically, it was a great pick-me-up that I would recommend to anyone who loves to laugh.
- Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands [read 7/3/12] 3/5 Stars
I picked up this book directly after Bossypants, hoping for another hilarious empowered female read. However, Handler's memoir is empowered in a completely different way from Fey's: it is overtly sexual. I mean, I already knew that going in (considering what the title is), but this read wasn't really for me. I kept thinking of it as the female version of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. I certainly admire a woman owning and exploring her sexuality, yet this foul-mouthed memoir is a touch too coarse for my tastes.
- Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood [read 8/16/12] 4/5 Stars
Graphic novels are my favorite kind of literary change of pace. I find that when I'm in a rut or getting bored with reading, picking up a visually stunning graphic novel puts me back in the analytical mind-frame. Persepolis has gained much acclaim, and I've been curious about it for years, so it was serendipitous when I found the hardcover versions of book 1 and 2 at my favorite used bookstore for five dollars a piece. Persepolis as a graphic memoir is incredibly heartfelt and engaging, and I learned so much about the culture of the Middle East during the Islamic Revolution. I was deeply affected by Satrapi's portrayal of the militaristic and religious oppression and the ways in which she and her progressive family fought against it in their own ways, big and small.
- Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return [read 8/17/12] 3/5 Stars
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book but the second book... not so much. Satrapi's voice is no less honest than in the first book, but the pacing in Persepolis 2 is very slow and boring. I grew tired of hearing about her romantic interludes and struggles with drug use. I think that Satrapi is very much in her own head in this book, whereas the first book is focused on the social commentary of the time and place in which she was living.
- Sharon Creech’s Hate That Cat [read 8/17/12] 4/5 Stars
Another wonderful and poignant Children's/Young Adult book written in free verse by Creech! Hate That Cat is written as the poetry journal of a young boy in elementary school. Jack uses his poetry to express both his grief over the loss of his beloved dog and his love over his new kitten. I adored the nods to the poetry greats like Poe and William Carlos Williams. Although this book is a sequel to the previous book Love That Dog, I didn't need to read the first book in order to be touched by this one.
Check out the other summer reads I journaled about here, here, here, here, and here (whew).