Year 17, Book 66

66. That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Some parts of this book were probably a little bit unbelievable, but overall I found it to be a good read. I read it while sitting on the beach, which it was perfect for given that much of it is set in Cape Cod. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 65

65. What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction by Alice McDermott

This book is a series of essays about writing. I do really like Alice McDermott’s actual fiction, and I did appreciate how she wrote some of these essays. However, not being a writer myself this book was obviously not really meant for me, so I don’t think I got as much out of it as I would if I were. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 64

64. The Verifiers by Jane Pek

I wanted to like this book more than I did, and I think everyone else in my book club did like it more than me. I thought it had a lot of good bones, but overall it didn’t really work for me. The whole reasoning behind the mystery with the dating apps seemed kind of silly to me in the way that it was written even though the way we give away our digital privacy is for sure a real issue. I also felt like there were things that the author started and then just never went anywhere like with Claudia meeting the girl at the party which seemed like it could have turned into something but didn’t. Also a lot of the characters seemed more like caricatures than real people. And to top it all off the ending, which I won’t spoil here, really annoyed me. I give it a 6 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 63

63. Out of the Corner by Jennifer Grey

This is the first celebrity memoir that I’ve read in a long time that is actually a memoir not just a series of humorous essays about the person’s life. There were a lot of things about Jennifer Grey’s life I didn’t know. I 100% knew that she is Joel Grey’s daughter, but apparently in a way that I still said oh yeah when she started talking about him. It was interesting to read about her childhood stories growing up with him in the theatre. Her childhood was kind of crazy in lots of ways, especially in her teenage years. She has some let’s say interesting views about herself that I found kind of odd to read. Overall I found it to be engaging read. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 62

62. The Eternal Audience of One by Remy Ngamije

A coming of age story of a young man named Seraphin. As a young boy his family fled the Rwandan genocide and settled in Namibia. Part or the story takes place there and part of it in South Africa where Seraphin is studying to be a lawyer. The story meanders back and forth through time and there isn’t much of a plot to speak of. There were some really beautiful things and language in the book that kept me going, but overall I didn’t really care for it. The book just felt too all over the place to me. I give it a 4 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 61

61. Moonlighting an Oral History by Scott Ryan

I’m not the biggest fan of oral histories because the way they are written kind of annoy me, but I did enjoy reading this oral history of Moonlighting. I learned a lot about the show that I didn’t know. I also think that it settles what the real problem with the show was and it wasn’t that the show lost all its luster after David and Maddie got together. Having done a rewatch of the show in the last decade it was clear even then that wasn’t the problem even without knowing all the behind the scenes stuff, but it’s become the myth that won’t die and gets applied as a cautionary tale to every tv show with a will they or won’t they relationship in it. If you enjoy Moonlighting or even just want to know why that myth is a lie or least Moonlighting doesn’t support it, you should read this book. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 60

60. My Remarkable Journey by Katherine G. Johnson

This is a memoir written by Katherine Johnson with help by her daughter. She is the woman at the center of the wildly popular book turned into a film, Hidden Figures. Despite her incredibly story that did lead to a bestselling book and major motion picture, this book reads like what it essentially is, an older person who is not an author wanting to tell their story. As such it’s not that well written, but it was somewhat interesting seeing what she had to say about her own life experiences and what she felt was important to convey in her own story when it was in her own hands. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 59

59. Cherry on Top by Georgia Beers

I usually really like Georgia Beer’s romances, but I did not care for this book at all. The characters annoyed me and I felt like one of the characters being made at the other for being a social media influencer while she was working as a tabloid reporter was ridiculous. Probably my least favorite book by this author. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 40

40. The Wreckage of My Presence by Casey Wilson

Another in a long line of celebrity essay memoirs. This one was fine, but nothing special. Mostly what I got out of it was that Casey Wilson seems like she is A LOT and not necessarily someone I would want to hang out with. If you’re a Casey Wilson fan or just someone who likes these types of books you’ll probably enjoy this one too, but there isn’t anything especially special about it that would set it apart from any of the other similar books. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Year 17, Book 58

58. The Last Confessions of Sylvia P. by Lee Kravetz

This book is told from the perspectives of three different women at three different periods of time. One an art curator at an auction house, one a contemporary of Sylvia Plath who attended the same literary workshop as she did, and one a doctor who treated Sylvia in a mental institution. The doctor is a fictionalized version of a real person and the fellow author is apparently loosely based on Anne Sexton. It starts with an original hand written copy of The Bell Jar being found and the curator trying to authenticate it, which leads into what happened in the past as explained by the stories of the other two women.

I have never read anything by Sylvia Plath and don’t know if having done so would have made me feel any differently about this book, but I hated it. The only reason I even finished it was because I was reading it for a book club. In addition to finding it just really boring, I hated the ending and didn’t think that it fit with what we knew about the characters. I give it a 3 out of 10.