Well hello once again you, and welcome to the first edition of The Best Books I Read This Season for 2022! Time is definitely no longer real, but thankfully books still are. I got into lots of different reads this winter that I can’t wait to recommend, so scroll on if you’re in the mood to be toxic and shamelessly add more books to your already towering TBR list.
How Do I Un-Remember This?: Unfortunately True Stories by Danny Pellegrino
Growing up in small-town Ohio isn’t easy, particularly when you’re a closeted gay kid surrounded by… no one openly gay. Luckily, Danny Pellegrino grew up in the ‘90s, coming of age when the Internet opened up a whole new world for a curious kid itching for life outside of Midwest suburbia. Pellegrino escaped the pains of growing up by submerging himself in a sea of pop culture—bingeing The Nanny until he had the confidence of Fran Fine, belting out Brandy songs until his heartaches were healed, or watching every semi-clothed Ryan Phillippe scene known to man. Now, as a successful podcaster interviewing the same iconic personalities that he idolized as a kid, his life has only become more entertaining and delightfully chaotic. Heartfelt and hilarious, How Do I Un-Remember This? is a collection of real-life stories exploring Danny’s journey from feeling like the only gay kid in Ohio to becoming a big-time podcaster in Los Angeles, and all the amusing moments life threw at him in between.
I had the chance to read an early copy of How Do I Un-Remember This? last December courtesy of Sourcebooks, and it did not disappoint. Be sure to also check out my dream-come-true 20 Questions interview with the author.
Coming Up For Air: What I Learned From Sport, Fame, and Fatherhood by Tom Daley
Tom Daley captured the hearts of the nation with his unforgettable medal-winning performance in the London 2012 Olympics. At the 2020 Games in Tokyo, he triumphed to win gold and became the most decorated British diver of all time. In this deeply personal memoir, Daley explores the experiences that have shaped him and the qualities to which he owes his contentment and success; from the resilience he developed competing at world-class level, to the courage he discovered while reclaiming the narrative around his sexuality, and the perspective that family life has brought him. Candid and perceptive, Coming Up For Air offers a unique insight into the life and mindset of one of this generation’s greatest and most-loved athletes.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I first read the tale of Daisy Jones and her pals in 2019 and, upon coming across a paperback copy last fall, I knew I needed to buy it to reread. It was just as impeccable the second time around. Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
Lucky by Marissa Stapley
What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in? Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam. When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune. As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.
Little Sister: My Investigation Into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood by Lana Wood
In this true crime memoir, Lana Wood offers a no-holds-barred account of the life and death of her sister, Natalie Wood, including exclusive new information from people directly involved in the investigation. Clearing up the myths and misconceptions behind her sister’s death, the legendary Hollywood actress reveals the secrets she’s been holding onto for decades, and in doing so, sets the record straight on one of Hollywood’s most notorious celebrity deaths.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are, for different reasons, simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?
Tired As F*ck: Burnout at the Hands of Diet, Self-Help, and Hustle Culture by Caroline Dooner
Offering a frank and funny critique of the cultural forces that are driving us mad, Caroline Dooner examines how treating ourselves like never ending self-improvement projects is a recipe for burnout. We have become unknowingly complicit in perpetuating our own exhaustion because we are treating ourselves like machines. But even phones need to f*cking recharge. Caroline takes a good hard look at the dark side of self-help, and explains how she eventually used a radical period of rest to push back against cultural expectations and reclaim some peace. Tired As F*ck empowers us to say no to the things that exhaust us. It inspires us to carve out time to slow down, feel okay about doing less, and honor our humanity. This is not a self-help book, it’s a cautionary tale. It’s an honest look at the dogma of wellness and spiritual self-improvement culture and revels in the healing power of rest and letting shit go.
Thank you to HarperCollins for the ARC!
Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
Not me reading this entire volume in one night! I require volume 5 immediately, please. Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you. Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind—not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder. As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means. Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty, and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.
If we aren’t already, let’s be friends on Goodreads! What were the best books you read this winter?