Without fail, every year, I look at the list of books I’ve read and I’m disappointed in how short it is. I did a decent job this year, but am still 3.5 books short of where I’d like to be. There’s still time, though! Regardless, sharing some of my favorites so far. Saving the best for last!
Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. Crystal (who is doing Vlogmas!!!) gifted me this book a few years ago, and I finally got around to reading it this year. It follows the real life friendship of authors Aminatou and Ann, and because it’s real, it’s not all fun and games. What it is is a touching documentary of the trials and tribulations of not only friendships, but relationships in general. Those that stretch over years and miles and stand the tests of change, change, and change. There were parts I related to wholeheartedly, parts that were keenly insightful, and parts that broke my heart just a little. Equal measures funny and awkward, this was a really nice read for anyone who has a friend. Oh! These two also have a podcast duly named Call Your Girlfriend, and as someone who co-hosts a YouTube recap show with my best friend, I think this is so cool!
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. I really enjoyed this quick read, and frankly, I’d love to see it in movie form. It’s got all those early 2000s classic romcom vibes; someone call Kate Hudson! It’s tough for me to elaborate too much without giving away the whole plot, but this story follows best friends Poppy and Alex, total opposites who meet at the start of college and solidify a best friendship when, by happenstance, Poppy catches a ride home with Alex for Christmas break of their freshman year. What follows is a decade + of yearly vacations together, and navigating the sometimes choppy waters of maintaining a girl-guy best friendship while in serious relationships and being geographically distanced from one another. Very cute!
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry. You may know Claudia and her husband Ben as viral meme instagrammers, @girlwithnojob and @boywithnojob, but I know Claudia from The Morning Toast. If you’re not familiar, it’s an absolutely hilarious pop culture podcast hosted by sister influencers, Claudia and Jackie Oshry. Something longtime listeners will know is that their little morning show was originally called The Morning Breath, that is, before all hell broke loose. Claudia found herself at the center of cancel culture after someone dug up some heinous tweets from her high school years. This book is a truly interesting tale of how @girlwithnojob came to be, what it’s like to grow up in NYC, and holding yourself accountable while being determined to keep going.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. I seriously loved this book. A dash of murder, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of family drama lands Meddy in quite the pickle. To her dismay, she’s inherited a permanent gig as a photographer in her family’s wedding planning business, and after a very unfortunate blind date, finds herself balancing a high profile wedding at a hotel operated by her ex boyfriend, while trying to cover-up a potential crime committed the night before. Laugh out loud funny and very touching, I can’t wait for the sequel, Four Aunties and a Wedding, out March 2022!
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. Crystal also gifted me this book several years ago, and I’m actually glad that I waited so long to read it, because it was perfect timing to read it in this chapter of my life. Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, this coming of age story follows Aza Holmes, a teen from Indianapolis who is navigating life with sometimes crippling anxiety. It’s first love and mystery and brokenness and triumph well packaged and tied up with a bow. Aza’s mind works so much like my own, and I found so much comfort in this story and knowing that no matter how alone you may feel, you’re just not. Plain and simple.
What should I read next?
xoxo Leigh Ann