Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (★★★★☆½)
Part memoir, part self-help(ish) book, part something else entirely, Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive seeks to remove the stigma society places on depression, by revealing the author’s own struggles with the disease, as well as peppering the book with facts and statistics on depression and suicide. Super personal and very raw, I see this as a sort of companion to Notes on a Nervous Planet, which is structured in a very similar manner. Warning: this one is not nearly as light-hearted, but equally helpful.
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (★★★☆☆½)
Baby Teeth stars a pint-sized sociopath with designs to kill her mother, the mother herself, and the father who is completely oblivious to his wife and daughter’s true selves. You know, totally normal family dynamic type stuff. The story is made up of alternating chapters that switch between the crazed daughter who is too smart/demonic to be believable, and her mother, who is convinced she will never be a good enough wife and mother. While a super interesting premise — mostly because the kid is not alright — the plot definitely drags at times.
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood (★★★★★)
Rust & Stardust is based on the 1948 kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner, a crime that would go on to inspire the Vladimir Nabokov classic Lolita. Despite being pulled straight from history, Greenwood’s novel is less a true crime story and more historical fiction, exploring the horrors that Sally was most likely forced to endure during her 21-month ordeal, and the ramifications it had on the people in her life. This heartbreaking and beautifully written novel deserves every single star (and then some).
The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell (★★★★★)
The Disaster Artist is the unbelievably true story behind the making of The Room, the so-called worst movie ever made. Written by actor Greg Sestero — who plays The Room‘s Mark — the novel details his tumultuous friendship with the man, the myth, the enigma: Tommy Wiseau. With on-set tales that range from hilarious, to baffling, to downright awkward, this is a must-read for anyone who has ever seen the cult phenomenon that is The Room.
The Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross by Robert Kirkman (★★★★☆)
An uneven and pretty slow arc, the 29th volume of The Walking Dead comic suffers slightly from a few snoretastic issues. Thankfully, a brand-new character named the Princess arrives to shake things up. To make matters better, the entire collection ends with a huge emotional bang 74 issues and five years in the making. Promise.
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (★★★★☆)
Sometimes you just need a dumb, mindless read, and The Afterlife of Holly Chase is exactly that. This young adult tale inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol follows former socialite and failed Scrooge Holly Chase, a ghost who is now being punished for her sins in life by the workers at Project Scrooge, who force her to become the Ghost of Christmas Past. Nonsensical and predictable, I had so much fun reading this stupid book.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (★★★★☆½)
Interested in Norse mythology (or any mythology really) and love Neil Gaiman? Then this is the book for you! Master storyteller Neil Gaiman retells classic Norse myths, staying true to the original stories while breathing new life into the northern tales. Be warned, this is not the Marvel pantheon you know, this is Thor at his dumbest and Loki at his most chaotic. Ragnarök is coming.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (★★★★☆½)
Marketed at fans of The Night Circus, Stephanie Garber’s debut novel is set in a world where lucky participants are invited to take part in an immersive performance slash magical game called Caraval. The winner will receive one wish, but at what cost? Full of characters you can’t trust, a fantastical new world and twists and turns you didn’t see coming, Caraval is a truly enchanting read. [WATCH BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION]
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (★★★★☆)
Carrie Fisher’s final autobiography explores the actress’ first few years as and the lasting legacy of the iconic Princess Leia, including her secret affair with actor Harrison Ford during the filming of Episode IV. Told in her own words, and the angsty teen poetry found in her recently unearthed Star Wars filming diary, this is Fisher at her most revealing.