Review: Broken (In the Best Possible Way)

Short essays are one of my favorite genres to pick up when I just need a little something in between books. I like them because if I don’t continue to read after the first essay or two, no big deal – I can pick it back up at another time.

Jenny Lawson’s Broken: In the Best Possible Way, was exactly the book I needed this summer. Full of short memoir-style essays that gave me all the feels. There were many that made me laugh: full, loud, belly laughs. Some that I had to stop, go back to the beginning and read aloud to The Boyfriend. And many that made me reflect on my own wellbeing, my own mental health, or my my own life.

Lawson mixed the essays perfectly, with the deeper, more cathartic stories nearly intertwining with the humor; and even some humor sneaking into some of the harder to read essays.

I had never heard of Jenny Lawson before this book – but it sounded good and I loved the cover. I enjoyed this one so much that I have added more of her books to my TBR and Amazon wishlist.

Review: How Y’all Doing

I fell in love with Leslie Jordan on the ridiculous sitcom Call Me Kat, then found out he’s also amazing on Instagram. And when I saw Mr. Jordan had written a memoir, I knew I needed to read it.

I had not heard of Leslie Jordan prior to Call Me Kat, and did not realize he had such a rich history of comedy, so it was nice to read about how he started out and got to where he is today.

Also, as a student in strategic communications, it was nice to see how he learned Instagram and how he has grown his audience and creates content for his over five million followers.

I will say, there was a lot of name dropping of other actors, all within context. However, I’m the person who doesn’t know actors, so I spent a lot of time Googling names to figure out who he was talking about.

I appreciate that Leslie Jordan is 100 percent himself and lives that way – and advocates for his community. The reminder from this book to live your truth and to be who you are despite what others think of you, was a great reminder.

Review: I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas

I’m a sucker for Christmas romances this time of year. But when I saw Lewis Black had a Christmas book, I was sold.

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas is definitely not your typical Christmas book. There’s a lot of honesty about the holiday from Black – a Jew looking at the holiday from the outside.

I’ve actually never laughed so hard while reading a Christmas book. There were times I had to stop and reread a section because I was laughing and trying to read through tears, or I wanted to read the section aloud to The Boyfriend.

I also really like Black’s writing style. There were a number of times I could hear his voice in my head speaking the words on the page. He has such a distinct diction when he speaks that it also translates to the page.

While I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas was a humorous, feel-good book, the last chapter was so heart warming and brought actual tears to my eyes. Black writes about the couple of years he did Christmas USO tours with Robin Williams overseas. That last sentence wrapped up the book and the holiday season so perfectly.

Review: Above and Beyond

I absolutely adored this book and read through Above and Beyond so quickly. Initially I was shocked by how wild the story was, and then even more shocked when I realized I wasn’t reading fiction!

Saskia becomes a private flight attendant for the world’s rich and powerful, and the excess that she describes is astonishing: food, alcohol, women, sex.

I honestly couldn’t believe I was reading a memoir at times with this book, and it was quite interesting to pull the curtains back on this industry. Not to mention, it was fascinating to travel the world through Saskia’s eyes and this lifestyle.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lume Books for the review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review: I Want to be Where the Normal People Are

Wow. Just. Wow.

I loved Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex Girlfriend. She’s funny and honest, and I’ve been looking forward to reading I Want to be Where the Normal People Are since I picked it up around Christmas. (Also, yay for finding a signed edition at my local Barnes and Noble!)

This book is so open and honest and was such a joy to read. Bloom talks about how she was bullied in middle and high school, and was a loner growing up. I found myself relating to her struggles to fit in growing up and in school and not finding herself until later in life. Bloom talks about finding musical theater and how that helped her find her people and herself. (For me, that was writing and finding my people who also just wanted to read and write stories.)

Bloom talks openly and honestly about mental health and the struggles she’s dealt with. It’s so nice to read an open and honest discussion about mental health – even if Bloom does crack jokes along the way.

While I found myself relating to a lot of her stories, I also was laughing out loud. Reading this felt like sitting down for drinks with a close friend and catching up after time apart. Rachel and I could totally be bffs, I swear!