The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays

I first saw Casey Wilson on the sitcom “Happy Endings” and have been a fan of hers ever since. Her over the top style of comedy always makes me laugh so when I heard she was publishing a book of essays, I immediately ordered it for my library.  This book lived up to my expectations and even surprised me with poignant and emotional moments I didn’t expect.  This was a wonderful collection of essays that made me laugh and cry.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Sometimes a book is talked about so much and with such grandiose praise that it can never live up to the hype.  Even if your friends, and readers you trust have told you that you’ll like it and that it’s wonderful, you worry it will be a letdown. It may have won awards and recognitions, but there’s still a chance that the writing won’t be your style, or you won’t like the characters or *gasp* you will just outright hate it.  Months before “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” was published, I heard incredible things about it.  It was written about in journals and blogs and the buzz kept growing until it was released.  Even today, 9 months after it was released, my library has multiple holds on it and the wait list is still long.  So, when I finally started to read this book, I was nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations.  As it turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about.  “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” is an enchanting, heartbreaking, poignant book that I will remember for a long time.

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One Last Stop

For those that read Casey McQuiston’s first book “Red, White, and Royal Blue” and loved it just like me, you may have been worried that her follow up wouldn’t capture the charm and joy and romance of that story. Fear not.  If anything, “One Last Stop” manages to take everything I loved about that first book and take it one step further, showing McQuiston’s growth as an author and her understanding of people’s relationships with romantic partners as well as friends and family.  I read this book with a smile on my face the entire time and I think everyone will enjoy this one.

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Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author that makes you stay up past your bedtime.  Once you start reading her books, you can’t put them down, even as you tell yourself to slow down, savor it.  You know you’re going to be mad when the book is over and you have to wait until her next book is released yet you can’t stop yourself.  I haven’t been disappointed by one of her books yet and “Malibu Rising” continued this trend.  Get your hands on a copy of this book as quick as you can and enjoy!

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The Inheritance Games

I first heard of this book from a book club friend whose tastes and recommendations I trust so I added it to my TBR pile where it was destined to sit for weeks and months like every other unfortunate book that winds up there.  But then I was looking for a quick, fun, read to get me out of a reading slump so I started scrolling through my Goodreads to see which book would help me.  This book was the perfect slump buster, a terrific blend of mystery, puzzles, and overall entertainment I was looking for and I cannot wait to read the second in the series.  Don’t let the young adult tag deter you, this is a delightful book that adults with imagination will enjoy.

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Only When It’s Us

This was a delightful surprise.  I can’t remember where I first came across this book but when I read this description “frenemies-to-lovers, college sports romance about a women’s soccer star and her surly lumberjack lookalike classmate” I knew I wanted to read it.  There was more depth to this story than I expected and I found the romance to be sweet and realistic.  

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The Midnight Library

Sometimes, books get a lot of buzz, show up on numerous “best of lists,” get recommended by everyone you know and don’t live up to the hype.  At the end of last year it seemed I couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Matt Haig’s newest book, and as much as I wanted to read it, I was worried the buildup would be too much and I would be left disappointed.  I am happy to say that this book was everything I had hoped it would be. 

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The Mountains Sing

I host a book club at my library which was started last year during the first few months of the pandemic. At the time, the books we read were mostly mysteries or whatever books we were able to get our hands on easily while in quarantine. With the start of the new year, I took the opportunity to really think about a theme for the year.  With everything going on in the world and in an effort to introduce different books and authors to my community, I chose the theme of ownvoices.  The first book I chose was Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai first English novel, “The Mountains Sing.”  While historical fiction is a genre I don’t normally gravitate towards, I’m so glad I decided to read this book. Not only is it a phenomenal book and taught me things I never knew about the Vietnam War, it also led to a fantastic discussion and I would highly recommend it to all readers.

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Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College

No one, no matter your political affiliation, can deny we are living in a divisive time for American politics.  There is not much we seem to agree on, and the fighting seems to never end.  This would seem to be the worst time for this book to come out, but I would argue there is no greater time to advocate for the end of the electoral college. Jesse Wegman lays out a very succinct argument for ending this misunderstood process while providing well-researched historical context for this archaic and anti-democratic system.  Every American citizen should read this book.

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A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear

Fair warning: I feel like I should get this out of the way right off the bat: I really can’t stand Libertarianism as a concept or ideology nor can I put up with Libertarians in general so I fully admit that I was hoping for some schadenfreude while reading this book.  While my beliefs about libertarianism didn’t change, this book was nothing like I thought it would be and I found myself moved by several of the townspeople’s stories and left with a feeling of sadness about the world that I didn’t expect.  The story told in this book is also humorous, irreverent, and timely in a way that I don’t think Hongoltz-Hetling could have imagined when he began to write it.  I would recommend this book for both political and non-political book fans.

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