Friday, April 9, 2021

Book Review: You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

You may know comedian Amber Ruffin who both writes and occasionally performs for Seth Meyers on his late night show, and also has her own show on Peacock. What you don't know is that she's from Omaha, Nebraska, where her sister Lacey Lamar still lives. And boy, the things people say to Lacey are shocking!

Lacey is often the only Black person at her workplace and the people around her either let down their guard or simply are proudly racist. She reports back to Amber--who lives in New York where these sorts of daily racist remarks are a thing of the past--who finds great humor in the majority of them. Here both sisters tell Lacey's stories (and a couple of Amber's) to illustrate through humor how racism is still pervasive and ridiculous. The humor is truly key, as it helps the medicine go down, and also lowers people's defenses so they can truly hear these stories without getting their back up. Because ya'll, you guys, racism's still out there. And by the time you read this Lacey will probably have been fired from yet another job for standing up for herself and not putting up with other people's stupidity. 

The audio version was especially good as both sisters recorded it, and while I appreciated them describing some of the pictures included, audiobook publishers have got to figure out a way to make photos in book more accessible to us listeners. Like just putting them up on the publisher's website would be good. I don't even need all of them--just a couple would be fine. 

I borrowed this book from the library via Libby/Overdrive.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review: Death of a Showman by Mariah Fredericks

The lady Jane Prescott is maid to, Louise Tyler, is interested in the theater, and as her new husband isn't paying much attention to her, when Jane learns her old friend Leo Hirschfeld has co-written a musical that is actually being produced on Broadway, the two of them start attending rehearsals, and Louise is soon pressured into financially backing the production. 

Jane isn't thrilled about seeing Leo every day as there  had been sparks between them, but Leo has recently and suddenly married a chorus girl in his new musical, whose claim to fame is slowly--and bouncily--walking down stairs. That's it. Jane understandably feels slighted that Leo would go from her to... this. But Jane is also a sensible woman and an excellent maid so she overlooks that for now, and even tries to get to know the woman. If Leo married her she can't be as stupid as she seems, can she? 

One night the whole cast and crew go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and Leo's partner is murdered in the bathroom! Who could have done it? His wife? The woman he was stepping out with? Leo? The lead actress's disgruntled boyfriend? Whoever it is, the scandal could close the show, losing all of Louise's money, so Jane must go to work as the police are all too eager to lay the blame at the feet of someone who obviously had an alibi. Luckily for Louise, Jane is an excellent detective. Luckily for us readers, Jane is also a delightful sleuth to tag along with, during the beginning days of Broadway's height, as the musical was finding its feet in the transition from Vaudeville. Join her and Louise as they have a fun time dabbling their toes into the exciting life of the theater!

This book is published by Minotaur/St. Martin's Press, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

My Month in Review: March 2021

The Month in Review meme is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

I note the non-Macmillan books in this post with a star.

Books completed this month:
Brat: An '80s Story by Andrew McCarthy*
A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley
Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleeves
No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox (audiobook)
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow

Books I am currently reading/listening to:
Brothers on Three by Abe Streep
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
Psycho by the Sea by Lynne Truss
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer* (audio)
The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser*

What I acquired this month (non-work books): 
Brat: An '80s Story by Andrew McCarthy* (from a friend who is a rep at Hachette)