A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
A beautifully written and thoughtfully executed collection! I think most of the reviews say that the collection explores many aspects and complexities of masculinity, but I also enjoy what the collection showed about the complexities of human relationships. There's a strong theme of what is said and what remains unsaid. My favorite stories were Everything the Mouth Eats, A Family, Infinite Happiness, and Clifton's Place (which felt like the perfect story to end this collection). A great read!
Beach Read by Emily Henry
This was one of those books that swept me up and had me flipping pages quickly. I loved the concept of two writers switching genres and challenging each other as they deal with their changing writing lives and personal lives. I don't want to give too much away with this one, but I love that the story dealt with grief, family secrets, and what it means to truly be in love. Worth the read (and a future re-read)!
Re-read update: For me, Beach Read is exactly what I want in a book. There's a complex romance, dealing with grief, struggling with writing, and a good dose of humor. This is one of those books I wish I wrote. So good and exactly what I needed to (re)read right now!
Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell
Cultish is a great look at the linguistics behind cults and how the patterns of that language show up throughout American culture. As I was reading this, I really appreciated Montell's tone, which was informative, personable, and at times playful. Overall, Montell shows how easy it is to be drawn in to the orbit of a cultish group, MLM, or Instagram guru. Definitely worth reading if you're curious about cults and why people join them. I read a library copy, but I'll probably be buying and marking up my own copy soon!
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
I liked a lot of the ideas in Trust Exercise: how young artists see themselves, what makes something true, how people see themselves vs how others see them, and how the teacher-student relationship can be manipulated and distorted by predatory behavior. I also liked how the book calls its own facts into question. Overall, Choi's narrative includes a lot that fellow writers will find compelling from the ideas to the structural choices.
I enjoy connecting with other readers and seeing what my friends are reading.