“I think of the four of us as subject to the same flash flood, all senselessly bailing water into our own boats in hopes the others might end up on dry land.” (p. 122)“Our views of love — what we want from it, what we think it should feel like — are rooted in the context of our lives.” (p. 72)“But now I understand that there are always two breakups: the public one and the private one. Both are real, but one is sensible and the other is ugly. Too ugly to share in cafés. Too ugly, I sometimes think, to even write.” (p. 134)“I didn’t know what was real and what was scripted.” (p. 16)“Nothing was funny, really, but we couldn’t stop laughing the manic laughter of people who know it will be a while before they hear themselves laugh again.” (p. 40)
Here’s a round up of everything that I’ve acquired and posted about during the month of July! I spent my first weekend exploring America’s capital, Washington, DC, for America’s Independence Holiday (July 4th), the second weekend attending Random House’s Off the Page event in Hudson, NY, the third weekend listening to music for days at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL, the fourth weekend enjoying the sidewalk book sale at Greenlight bookstore, my favorite local bookstore, and the last Friday/first weekend of August at my friend’s beach house in the Hamptons! I’m very lucky to have such exciting summer experiences and even luckier to have such amazing friends to share these experiences with!
Because of all of the fun I’ve been having, it’s been harder to keep up with blogging at the same rate I’ve been reading. All of the traveling and weekends away mean I’ve been able to read a lot (yay!) but I don’t typically travel with my computer in order to spend more face-to-face time with my friends (yay! for friendship but boo! for my blog).
A sampling of books that I’ve finished recently and have yet to blog about include: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Hopefully I get my act together and post blogs about these books soon!
I also have some exciting new projects coming to the blog including a conversation about a one of the books above with fellow book blogger Amy at The Literature Life and a cool book swap/share idea that I hope becomes successful! Both of these projects will be posted here when they’ve been fleshed out a bit more!
July’s book haul comes entirely from Greenlight bookstore‘s summer sidewalk sale where I got each of these hardback, gently used books for $5!!!! What a steal!! Which should I read first?
The books include: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman, Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, Gumption by Nick Offerman, and Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow.
Posted book reviews include: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill, The Circle by Dave Eggers, and Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (which was technically published between the end of July and this post…). Of these, I definitely recommend Bright Lines the most! Check it out!
Thanks for reading my round up 🙂 I hope your July was also snazzy!
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari departs from the typical comedian-writes-a-humorous-and-self-deprecating-memoir style that has been dominating the best seller lists as of late. While it’s not as a big of departure from the style as B. J. Novak’s fictional One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, Modern Romance tonally differs from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling and his Parks and Recreation co-star Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, which are both memoirs.
Ansari’s nonfiction book focuses on the current state of dating within American society. The book documents online dating culture in a way that I haven’t seen done before, which is easily the highlight of the book. He also details how dating culture has radically changed since the 1940s and beyond and made me extremely appreciative of the fact that I am a woman who is able to date in 2015 rather than courting someone who conveniently lived on my block in 1953. The book frequently integrates different sociology relationship studies in accessible ways, which pairs nicely with Ansari’s easily digestible telling of the current state of romance in America.
That said, I was very familiar with most of the studies that Ansari includes in his book. I took a lot of Sociology courses while in college and a course entirely about Interpersonal Relationships, which ranged from discussing roommate to family to romantic relationships. Because of my familiarity with the studies detailed in the book, I felt like new insight on the studies were lacking and left me wanting either more comedic spin from Ansari or for him to talk more about the actual research and limitations of each of the studies detailed. Instead, it seemed like he took the easy road of briefly detailing existing studies, which ultimately made most of the book pretty bland for me. If Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist who is credited as having a huge influence on the book and has been appearing with Ansari on his book tour, had a larger impact on the work and had woven in some of his own sociological critique of the studies, I probably would have enjoyed the book as a whole much more. However, someone who wasn’t already aware of these studies would likely read the book very differently than I did and might not be thirsting for a more polished and academic version of Modern Romance like me.
Before reading this text, I was a pretty big fan of Aziz Ansari (and I still am!)… but I feel like being a fan is actually a disservice to readers of the book. I’ve consumed all of Ansari’s stand up specials and most of his television interviews, which means that I’m pretty familiar with the jokes that he has tucked safely away in his arsenal. Most of the funniest parts of Modern Romance were jokes or quips that I had already heard from him, which left me feeling like the judges who watch Kirsten Dunst’s cheerleading squad perform the exact same routine as the previous team in Bring It On (forgive me, I just watched this movie last night with my roommate and it’s very fresh in my memory) aka not as impressed as I was the first time around.
Overall, this is a decent read if you’re wanting to learn more about the state of online dating in America, but is not for you if you want a more robust, academic read on romance in America or if you’re looking for a funny memoir in a similar vein to many other books recently published by comedians. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Publication Date: 16 June 2015 by Penguin Press