The theme of the week could have been READ ALL THE MEMOIRS!
I would’ve only had two read by today if an EARTHQUAKE hadn’t woken me up at 3:15 AM last night. It was a small quake, but the jolt got my adrenaline pumping, so I stayed up for an hour to finish Lizz Free or Die. Thanks, California geological events. I appreciate it.
Please God, Let it Be Herpes: A Heartfelt Quest for Love and Companionship by Carlos Kotkin
I have a soft spot for books like this. You collect humorous anecdotes from your love and dating life, and I’ll be all over it. Carlos Kotkin has always had a tough time with women, or at the very least, an awkward time. Whether he’s dating a blind girl or a girl who makes a slab of rock look like a genius, he keeps his sense of humor. I actually snorted out loud a few times. Yep. Also, as a veteran/survivor of the Los Angeles online dating scene, I just want to hug him and say, “I know…I know.” At least I’ve never had to utter the title of the book about my own life! Woot for that! Fun, easy, breezy!
Some Hats, Some Girls and Hitler by Trudi Kanter
This is a brand new reprint of Trudi Kanter’s memoir she wrote of living as a young, glamorous, Jewish business women in late 1930′s Vienna. As the Nazis descended, her life became a constant search for a way to get a visa for her and her husband and escape. I’ve read a few Jewish authors’ memoirs about this horrible time, but this is the first in which the protagonist was well off enough to try to get out through the official (though bribe ridden) options. It certainly is another viewpoint, and at times, a bit less sympathetic, but more relatable.
And the horrible asides, where she’s just like: “Oh, so and so was taken to the camps, but she survived because she was beautiful and cunning enough to prostitute herself to the guards” are just heartbreaking in their casualness. Ugh.
Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead
Apparently I’m the only one who found this book grating and egocentric. The reviewers on Goodreads loooooooove it. And I wish I did too! Lizz Winstead is a strong female voice, who helped found The Daily Show. She’s obviously incredibly intelligent. And yes, she knows it. Ooooooh does she. And I should be able to appreciate it! But no, I just find it grating and holier than thou (especially when she’s talking about Los Angeles and the media of America WHICH SHE IS A PART OF EVEN IF SHE THINKS SHE’S SUBVERTING IT. Gah).
Some of the essays were better than others. I thought she had a much more sympathetic tone when writing about her upbringing in a very conservative, Catholic but funny Minnesotan family. Those essays actually seemed more real and less prickly/self-promoting.
Again, I seem to be the only one who didn’t enjoy this book, so maybe I’m just bitter.