After a hiatus thanks to WordPress trouble, I’ve decided to abandon the idea of going in chronological order of the books I read in 2016 and group the books I read together by genre or some other theme.
The Gun Seller | Hugh Laurie
It started out relying heavily on some annoying noir gender tropes, which exist throughout, but is more than funny enough to overcome them. I was very entertained and even laughed out loud at various parts, and remain jealous of Hugh Laurie being a what, like, quadruple threat? (He humanized himself in the middle though with this weird soapbox rant on the double standard of expecting men to last a long time in bed.) The ending is a bit long, but I would love to see a movie adaptation.
Why Not Me? | Mindy Kaling
I listened to this audiobook this right before I knocked out my Mindy spec to have her voice in my head, which worked perfectly. Her approach to work, writing, and her career has always been something I have looked up to and felt like I should learn from– particularly because we’re such different people, but if I succeed I WILL be compared to her. So once again I appreciated the straight talk. The anecdotes about her life were more entertaining than her last book, and I ate up the whole chapter about her fling with Will-the-White-House-guy.
Back Story | David Mitchell
My favorite British panel show guest and angry-ranter! I was surprised at how much I learned from Mitchell’s autobiography. There were of course lots of delightful funny anecdotes about his career and friends, of course. But I got a lot out of the sections about how college works in the UK, and what the process of TV development is like over there. It felt like a very useful counterpoint to other comedians I’ve read, both in practical terms and his ‘philosophy’ on comedy writing. So thanks, Laura, for the birthday gift.
Not My Father’s Son | Alan Cumming
I recommend listening to this on audio, because it’s a very personal and emotional story, and it’s best heard from the man himself. This isn’t a typical autobiography, it’s about one tumultuous summer and specifically about his relationship with his father. There are some moments that are slightly self-indulgent in their melodrama, but I chalk that up to Alan Cumming probably just being a lot more sensitive than I am. I also read it during a week of tangentially relevant craziness and found myself genuinely moved by the story.