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Free Food for Millionaires

It’s been a while since I read some non-genre fiction that really captured my attention. I read this on my Kindle and I admit if I had known how long it was I might not have picked it up. This is a great rambly story about one woman who leaves home after getting punched int he face by her father (almost put the book down then, glad I did not) and what she does and what happens to her. She’s a complicated character both simultaneously in charge of her own destiny but also making a lot of choices that made me go o_O. There’s a lot of backstory about Korean culture and class which I found incredibly fascinating. The character is really “thinky” and so I got to learn a lot about a culture I don’t know much about--and a lot of different aspects of it. Glad I read it, think more people should.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

This was an Ellen Raskin type puzzle book which is clearly written by someone in love with libraries. Super fun with a bunch of interesting characters and some fun puzzles to figure out.

An introduction to 'Whaler out of New Bedford', a film based on the Purrington-Russell panorama of a whaling voyage round the world, 1841-1845.

As I track down more and more stuff concerning this amazing panorama, I got Jim to get this for me from Harvard Libraries and read the whole thing (it is a short pamphlet) in one sitting. It has some cute details and Morison’s attention to details enough so it’s worth trying to find it if you’re into this sort of panorama stuff.

Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York

Originally written by longtime New Yorker Chast who moved out of NY to raise her kids and then realized her daughter didn’t know what a block was! This is partly informative, partly humorous and full of great things that will make you think about (and remember, if that is your thing) the wacky, giant mess that is New York City.

All Our Wrong Todays

This may be one of my favorite time travel books. I hope it becomes a movie. The author is a screenwriter and there’s definitely some movie-like pacing in this book where you have to turn a page in the story to figure out what just happened. It’s complex and not worth explaining in detail but it’s basically a modern day time travel novel where “mistakes were made” that tries to look at the question about what would happen if you went back in time not too far and made some fairly large mistakes. Enjoyable read.

The First Rule of Punk

Jenna’s booklist for last year had this on it. I like YA books, reading about diverse characters, and PUNK. This was a great book about a kid who has to move from the town she loves to a big city where she’s not sure she’s going to make friends and she doesn’t want to change her style. She gets along with her parents but has predictable disagreements with them. She writes zines, only sort of tries to fit in at her new school, and drinks a lot of coffee. I think all zinesters would really enjoy this book with its likeable characters and not totally predictable plot twists.

This Will Be My Undoing

A really compelling series of essays by Morgan Jerkins a writer who grew up with some privilege and without some privilege. I really enjoyed listening to her navigate the pretty complicated overlapping intersections of her life, her family’s life and all the things she goes through to get from where she was as a young black girl to being an adult black female author. I’ve been reading a lot of essay collections and memoirs by black women this year and this one was maybe the most thought provoking just because I found myself both strongly agreeing and also disagreeing with some of the positions taken by Jerkins and that always sent me back to think “Gee why am I having such a strong reaction to this?” and those were worthwhile thoughts to have.

Access Restricted

A sequel to his other book, this pone follows the protagonist after she blows up the wifi and wins a temporary victory against the people who try to charge you for every (copyrighted) word you say in this dystopic novel. I thought this story was a little more interesting--they leave the dome, they learn more about other places, some of it takes place in Mexico--but there’s a lot of really grim stuff happening to some pretty young characters which, for whatever reason, I found a little tough to take. Loved it, but be warned, parts of it are heavy.