Reading Log: January 2024


What if I made a monthly post with a list of what I read that month with short notes where it feels appropriate? Let’s try that out.

For now: just books, not internet stuff.

The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend, Rob Copeland

Christ, what an asshole. A delightful skewering of someone who absolutely deserves it.

Brainwyrms, Alison Rumfitt

I feel like the ending of this went fully off the rails, but the general premise was good and I had to read the intro twice to determine that it was fiction and not an actual truthful author statement put at the top of the plot.

Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, The Man Who Created Nancy, Bill Griffith

Requested this based on title, didn’t realize it was a graphic novel until opening it three days before it was due back at the library. An appropriate format for the subject, but I kind of wanted a book-book rather than a graphic novel.

The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning: And Other Adventures in American Enterprise, David Owen

Interesting collection from the 80s previously published in magazines like Harpers that I requested ILL after the NYT Read Like The Wind column recommended it.

The Mystery Guest, Nita Prose

Unlike seemingly most other people I know in my social cirle who’ve read it, I despised The Maid, the first book in this series. Hated hated hated hated hated it. Thought it talked down to its reader, couldn’t decide if it wanted its main character to be neurodivergent or merely reap the benefits of having a character that seemed neurodivergent without the difficulty of having to answer for whether that reflected actual neurodivergence, and generally thought the prose was bad. I called it “amelia bedelia meets amelie meets miss marple [bullshit]” and I stand by that assessment

Anyways, I couldn’t believe a sequel had been written last fall, got it from the library, and had it back in the return slot 24 hours later. The condescension to the reader is still overly present (the prose treats you like a particularly slow 12-year-old who needs everything spelled out multiple times), and while the main character’s written better, the supporting cast warps itself around her Plot Distortion Field in ways that don’t make sense. The book’s written to a click track so loud you can hear it every time it’s time for a plot point. There’s a reveal that is supposed to be a big shocking moment but is more of a “girl, I guess”.

Assuming there is a third book, I will not be continuing on with the series. I have learned my lesson.

Come and Get It, Kiley Reid

First ARC of the year. Loved Such a Fun Age, and this is a little more vibes-y but has some really fun things to say about power and money.

Cinema Speculation, Quentin Tarantino

Deep Freeze, Michael C. Grumley

Generally 2-3 times a year I get one of the thrillers that’s popping up in a Goodreads feature or airport bookstore display from the library, read it, and remember why I don’t read a ton of those. Glad to have checked the first of those off in January.

Old Town Road, Chris Molanphy

Started this last fall (it’s short!), re-read what I had already read and then finished the rest in advance of a book talk with Chris (who I met at the 2023 Pop Conference) and Maura Johnston. So good, covers such a wide array of chart interestingness.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, Janice Hallett

Hallett’s become my go-to rec for friends looking for a new cozy, because she’s doing such interesting things with presentation in the genre, and this was no exception. I’m worried she’s getting a bit too high-concept, but that’s for the next book she writes to figure out how to walk the tightrope.

Moby-Dick or, The Whale, Herman Melville

Bluesky decided to read this, and though it got tricky in the middle with Mystery Hunt happening, I made it through! This book is so much more funny and interesting than I realized and it was a lot of fun to read together in the community of the internet.

total books: 11

total pages: 3567