A book Instagram doesn’t think you’re interested in

by KJ in #AmReading

and some it thinks you are

In addition to this email, I also have a #bookstagram (@kjda).

It consists almost entirely of very short videos and shouts of delight for books I adore, tarot cards and occasional farmcore featuring the various dogs, cats, chickens, mini-ponies and horses who live around here.

Here are some amusing, totally anecdotal random factoids about said bookstagram: my reels (which Instagram pretty much decides who sees) get way more views when my hair looks good. They also rule on TikTok IF I take off the IG watermark.

And finally, Instagram doesn’t think anyone is interested in a non-fiction book about menopause. Which—fair! Maybe no one is and TL;DR THERE’S FUN SUMMER FICTION at the end of this screed! But I can see who my followers are and they are mostly women and many are over the age of 35 and… hello. Kinda think they’re interested. Because, as I said in the video, one of two things happens to us every day. Either we get older (YAY!) or we die (BOO!). So menopause is seriously by FAR the best scenario and actually a pretty good deal in many ways and DEFINITELY NOT the subject of this email. It’s only that I thought it was funny that IG is fully certain that the people would WAY rather see a book I’m comparing to Liane Moriarty than one that made me use the word “die” in a reel.

Truly, by and large I too would rather cruise through some novels than read a book about my health… but it’s a very good one (and is below) and really shouldn’t be missed if you possess female working parts and are planning on sticking around for a while.

BUT on to the fun reads! I tagged the Liane Moriarty read-alike last week; it’s Swimming with Ghosts. Don’t punish it for its too-literary marketing, it’s all suburban fun and games. Also on my bed table is the new Elin Hilderbrand, The Five-Star Weekend. It’s totally on-point, solidly everything she does best, features the most irritating new adult child ever to appear in a work of fiction with a satisfactory resolution to that bit of story, and if a hardback is in your beach budget it’s one to grab. Or download, or pop yourself on the library wait list for because I guarantee there will be one. But if you haven’t read all of her earlier books… how about a paperback while you wait! I recommend The Identicals. Elin herself recommends The Perfect Couple.

Now, because to me summer is unquestionably paperback season, let me suggest a few new ones to search out:

Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez. One of my 2022 faves, this has a deliciously grabby premise involving a wedding planner, her Puerto Rican political terrorist mother, her politician brother and a cousin’s down-home wedding that crashes into a much fancier do—BUT it’s far, far from the rom-com that suggests. These are very real characters, and this is both a fun fast read and a really thought provoking look at self-worth and family. (OH: she doesn’t die. It’s a line from a poem and I’m illiterate.)

The Guncle, Steven Rowley. It’s Mame (the musical about the fabulous eccentric guardian) but with a gay uncle who’s widowed washed up TV star and doesn’t want to be saddled with anything he might love ever again. It’s adorable and amazing and won the Thurber Prize for humor.

Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid—an uber-’90s story that combines a decades long family saga with one single day that culminates in the wildest party Hollywood has ever seen.

Dava Shastri’s Last Day, Kirthana Ramisetti: a very very rich and successful business woman is dead…. or is she? Nope, she’s manipulated the press and her family to make it appear that she’s gone, so she can see how she’s eulogized. Surprise! It doesn’t go well but it IS a good read.

Last but not least: sorry, the menopause book is a hardback. But download it! Or put it on your library list! Because I KNOW most of you are women and you really ought to give this one some time. It’s WAY more informative than 99% of doctors out there and 100% of health classes on what will, with any luck encompass more than half of your allotted years. So look for Hot and Bothered: What No One Tells You about Menopause and How to Feel Like Yourself Again, by Jancee Dunn.

That’s it for me this week!

PS: My books are paperbacks!

The Chicken Sisters and In Her Boots.make great summer reads. And treat yourself to a fall gift in the form of Playing the Witch Card! (Pre-ordering is the nicest thing you can do for me. Target and Barnes and Noble are watching those numbers and making their stocking decisions….)


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