FIVE FAVORITE READS OF 2018
The END OF DAYS is upon us! LOL. JK (maybe). The end of year is upon us, and that means it’s the most wonderful time of the year: END OF YEAR LIST TIME! OMG. I love an end of the year list. Lists of movies, TV Shows, Presidents we wish would drop dead. These lists, even if they’re of things I don’t give one single care about, keep me busy thinking of all the wonderful art (and whatever else) made in the last year. THE WORLD IS ON FIRE AND THERE WAS SO MUCH ART MADE IN SPITE OF IT YOU GUYS.
I love books, so here’s my five favorite reads of the year. I still have a reading stack a mile full of delicious treats that I’ll probably finish before the end of the year. BUT IM EXCITED ABOUT THIS LIST SO IM MAKING IT NOW. What did you read this year, what was your favorite???
by Ann Patchett
This book is from a couple years back, but I just got around to reading it. I LOVE Queen Patchett. LOVE. Her book Truth & Beauty is one of my all time faves. Commonwealth begins with a kiss that destroys two marriages and leads to the blending of two families. The book is basically the aftermath told backwards and forwards through time in vignettes by the children. We discover secrets and lies and all sorts of family drama. It’s a fantastic family epic saga … one you really need to keep you warm on these cold winter days. I like how the story is told in a sort of episodic way and doesn’t follow a traditional linear through line. It’s super engaging and interesting. I was completely engrossed and read it in about two days … and I’m a slow reader so… GET THIS BOOK IT’S SOOO GOOD.
How To Write An Autobiographical Novel
by Alexander Chee
This is one of the most beautiful books of essays I have ever read. I usually can’t read straight through an essay collection, but I devoured this one quickly. You need it for it’s gorgeous writing, but also for it’s life advice and lessons. It is perfection. If I were rich, this would be the book I bought everyone for Christmas and Hanukkah this year … I’d give it to everyone I know.
by Michelle Obama
I love Michelle Obama, and I’m sure you do too. You might be thinking, I love her, why do I need to read her bio. I sorta get that question, though it looks like everybody on planet earth is buying this book so maybe not. I loved getting to know a little more about Michelle’s early life and career, and I love how candid she is here. Her shock at her sudden fame is enjoyable to read about, as is how she still has to work at negative self talk. You get a real BS free look at her relationship with President Obama … she cuts him no slack … reminding us that he’s maybe a little disorganized at home and not a perfect Type A like you might imagine. She turns them both into real ass people. It’s a delightful read. ALSO. I really love how she reminds us that we are all becoming something and someone new all the time and careers, and families, and people, and governments, and history are always moving and growing into something new. Don’t stop. Keep becoming the next thing. I’m so sad they’re gone, I love them both so much. I’m saying love a lot … but GD it’s true. I really LOVE them.
The World Only Spins Forward
by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois
This book is like candy. It follows the process of bringing Angels in America to the stage. I think we assume that art is an easy thing to make and creatives of all stripes just crank out a perfect manuscript or painting or whatever in a few weeks and then BOOM give it to us in a beautiful package ready to go. NAH GIRL. The book chronicles the writing process and shows us how collaborative that was, AND follows the many productions as it slowly made it’s way to Broadway … and beyond. If you love Angels in America, you will adore this book. It really honors the work that went in to making the masterpiece, which also makes it a must have for those of us who enjoy learning about the creative process up close. It’s basically a readable documentary, it’s full of interviews and chats. It’s so so great. I can’t recommend it enough.
The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
First I just want to say I love Rebecca Makkai. She’s a Chicago author and a tremendously supportive member of the writing community here, and I adore her. The Great Believers tells the story of a group of gay men in 1980s Chicago during the AIDS crisis. We follow them as they navigate the horrors of AIDS and then flash forward 30 years and see the aftermath of their grief and loss. There are basically NO books about the AIDS crisis in Chicago (WHAT … I know!). That’s not something I thought about until I read this book. How sad is that! Chicago’s gay community really comes to life here and I learned so much history. This one gave me the extra ugly cry, and I loved every minute.