The Wrap: May 2019

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What a month. Even though I graduated in March, the rest of our school is graduating this upcoming weekend so the past few weeks have been full of goodbyes, free food, and equal parts joy and grief. I was also finally able to find a good amount of time to read and finally chip away at some books on my shelf. I also was able to cook up the perfect reads for Father’s day. And to top it all off, I have a few TV and podcast recommendations so without further delay – jump on in below.

*As a reminder, all books posted are linked to Book Depository which offers worldwide free shipping and helps support this blog.*

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta (Audiobook)

1 Sentence Synopsis: Retta (of Parks and Rec and Good Girls fame) released a memoir last year that’s full of Hollywood insight, life as a traveling comic, and how to chase your dreams.

Review: Like sitting down to coffee with sitcom royalty, So Close… is a heartwarming, if expected celebrity humor memoir. The audio book is a must for those wanting to read this. From singing, to laughing, to plenty of tonal oomph, the textual form of this just wouldn’t be the same. It’s a pretty easy, summery read for those interested.

Full Review Here | Paperback | Audible

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

1 Sentence Synopsis: The sequel to Backman’s Beartown asks “How can a community heal from the unthinkable?”

Review: Us Against You is leagues above its predecessor. This book is expertly translated, composed, and structured. Backman holds you in suspense, plays your heart like a cajon, and quietly reveals mysteries big and small over and over again. In a word, this book is overwhelming. This is my current favorite Backman book. Absolutely stunning, with equal parts heartbreak and warmth. There’s rumored to be a third book coming but I’m not quite sure where that one will go as it seems everything was wrapped nicely up in the second installment.

Beartown review  | (Us Against You full review – with Beartown spoilers

Purchase Beartown | Purchase Us Against You | Purchase other Backman books 


Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke

1 Sentence Synopsis: A graphic memoir that tells the story of a dead uncle, a ghost town, and questions what the point of life is.

Review: A privileged but poignant story about loss and love, Radtke’s debut is full of stunning illustrations and wise insights. There’s a bit of controversy that surrounds this book. I’ve addressed it in my full review but I will leave it out for now. I found this to be beautiful esoteric and wonderfully existential in its portrayal of life, and more pointedly, death. While I don’t like Radtke or condone her actions, I do appreciate her storytelling and her approach to the things that have happened to her.

Full Review | Purchase 

Looking Ahead: June

What to Read:

June 16th is Father’s day and I’ve conjured up a few literary dads for you to read in honor of all the dads, good and bad, out there.

If Your Brothers Were Your Dad or If Your Dad Left You and You Want to Reconnect – Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak – The Dunbar boys only have each other, until Clay Dunbar tries to build a bridge, literally, to reunite his family.

Review | Purchase

If Your Dad Thought He Killed You – The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry – Harry left his baby alone in a room for a few minutes in Tangier when he goes missing. Missing, that is, until 8 years later when Harry swears he sees his baby Dillon in a crowd.

Review | Purchase

If Your Dad Gave You Everything and has Since Passed Away – The Wingfeather Saga Series by Andrew Peterson – Three children live in a magical forest with their mother and grandfather when they, and their world, are threatened by the evil Fangs of Dangs.

Review of Book One |Purchase Book One


What to Watch

Songland (NBC) – This music competition show highlights the talent behind today’s top hits by letting upcoming song writers compete for celebrity cuts of their songs. New episodes are available on NBC and Hulu.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Hulu) The original series as been uploaded to Hulu’s c

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox) – The hit summer dance competition returns tonight (6/3).

What to Listen To

Rough Translation (NPR) – Season 2 Episode 2 – We Don’t Say That – France has historically made a deliberate habit of not talking about race. NPR journalists explore how and why this trend occurred, and what it means for Americans.

The Murder Squad (Exactly Right) – Episode 9 – Is There An Active Serial Killer in Chicago? – Billy and Paul sit down to discuss a possible serial killer(s) active in the Chicago area and talk with Thomas Hargrove about under-reported murders.

This Podcast Will Kill You (Exactly Right) – Season 2 Episodes 26 and 27 – With information about vaccines everywhere, it can be hard to start a conversation with your crazy Aunt Jean about the safety of vaccines. The Erins who normally spend hours talking about diseases that can kill you, flip the script to start an honest conversation about vaccines and vaccine fear.

Bryce’s debut collection can be purchased here. 25% of the profits go to organizations like RAINN, 1in6, and End The Backlog. He writes short stories for free here. Support him by purchasing your next book through this special link and get FREE worldwide shipping.

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You can follow Bryce on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Goodreads (you’ll find a few bonus reviews for the month of May!).




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