What I Read: June 2019
This last month was a roller coaster of reading. I read so many books quickly — within a couple of days, within 24 hours — and others took me weeks to get through. Sometimes reading is like that: a breeze, an uphill battle. That’s why I only write about books I love. Because the ones I don’t aren’t worth dwelling in.
Reading should be fun. That’s what I keep reminding myself. Reading should be fun.
I picked up Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston because I’d seen so many other people reading it. And because I was downtown with an hour (or more!) to spare before seeing Hannah Gatsby perform. If we brought our phones with us, they’d be locked up before the show. So I didn’t bring my phone. But I also didn’t bring anything to read. So J and I ran to the nearest Barnes and Noble, I forked over a Christmas present gift card that I’d been saving for “a special occasion” and I bought my first book in a long long time. (I’m trying to be better about using the library. I’m trying to read the books I already own.)
Well, I read the first 50 pages that very night and then kept reading at every opportunity I had. By the time I picked J up from work the next day, I was on the last 100 pages. He’s reading it right now and is having a very different experience than I am. He thinks it’s stupid; I think it’s stupidly delightful. He thinks everyone is too accomplished; I think that I’d surround myself with accomplished people too if I was the president’s child. (Not this president. And maybe that’s part of the problem with reading it right now.)
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi was equally addictive — and then proceeded to mess with every perception that I have about reality. A friend recommended it because of the theatre school angle. We went to Emerson together. And another friend recommended it because it has a twist that she totally loved. (She didn’t say more and neither will I.) It’s the kind of book that should not be finished right before bed because it will keep you up way later than you want it to. (Listen, this is what I did and I regret it.) But it’s incredible. It’s the kind of book that will get us talking about theatre ethics — from high school theatre all the way to the professional level. Now someone please read it so we can talk about it. I have a lot of thoughts, opinions, theories, and personal stories to go along with this.
I read both My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren and Inheritance by Dani Shapiro together, over one long weekend in central California. I was sure that one book would be enough — and then the weight of genealogy and family became too much in one, so I switched to the other. I recommend both of these books, but it’s difficult for me to separate them from the long drives, hot dusty weather, and low maintenance packing of this trip. These books are part of that landscape for me, whether they like it or not.