Fairyland by Alysia Abbott was assigned for my History of Sexuality class in Fall 2013. I love memoirs, so I was very excited to see this on the reading list, but never got the chance to finish it that semester. It was one of the first books I picked up again after graduating, and I'm so glad I did. (Shout out to Julie Willett for assigning such a great book.)
Abbott writes about growing up with her openly gay father in San Francisco during the 1970s and '80s, and after when she must return home to care for him when he is diagnosed with AIDS. Abbott uses her memories, her father's many journals, letters and writings, and interviews with friends and family members to craft this beautiful tribute to her father and their life together. It is wonderfully and lovingly written, full of little details and facts about life in San Francisco (and elsewhere) during the AIDS epidemic. Of the memoirs I have read so far (which is a fair few), it is definitely a favorite.
Johnathan Tropper has a way of writing that makes it impossible to stop reading. When I read his first novel Plan B, I literally could not put the book down (which led to me somehow managing to make a grilled cheese entirely with one hand). One Last Thing Before I Go was much the same. I kept thinking, "One more chapter, then I'll go make dinner... Okay, really one more chapter."
Although Plan B still remains my favorite of Tropper's books (that I've read so far), One Last Thing Before I Go was great. It follows Drew Silver, whose life is not going how he expected. He had his five minutes of fame as drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band, and is now reduced to playing at weddings and bar mitzvahs. His ex-wife is about to get remarried. His teenage daughter is pregnant, and only told him because she cares least about disappointing him. So is it really that surprising, when he finds out he must have a life-saving heart surgery, that he refuses the operation?
Since the first two books are a little heavy, I wanted to end on a lighthearted, hilarious read from Meg Cabot. (You can always count on Meg to be hilarious. Princess Diaries, anyone?) Boy Meets Girl is one of my favorite Meg Cabot books, and probably one of my favorite books period. It's told entirely through e-mails, journals, IMs (hello, 2004!), transcripts, to-do lists, and the like, which makes it a super quick "beach read." I've read it four or five times.
The story starts with Kate Mackenzie, an employee for human resources at the New York Journal. She is forced by her terrible boss to fire the most popular lady in the staff dining room. She is then sued for wrongful termination, which leads to her meeting the opposing (and attractive) lawyer, Mitch. Hilarity ensues and, eventually, love.
I hope you take the time to pick up one (or all, whatever) of these books! As for me, I'll continue making my way through my bookcase. Right now I'm reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and really enjoying it. What have you been reading?
P.S. Another of Jonathan Tropper's books, This Is Where I Leave You, has been made into a movie starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. It comes out September 19th, and I can't wait. Check out the trailer here.