Auden says that for the adult reader there are five ways you can evaluate a book, “I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don’t like it; I can see this is good, and, though at present I don’t like it, I believe with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don’t like it.”
So when it comes to Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota, I’m going with the perseverance one for me. It’s certainly not objectively good. Most of the people in our book club didn’t like this book (and that makes for the most fun discussions!). But honestly I think that a lot of it had to do with timing. Many of us still aren’t over the 2016 election news cycle and that’s almost exactly what this book is about (though the author’s note insists that it is not… okay. *wink* Sure. No, no, I believe you. *wink* *wink* Your secret’s safe with me.). If I were more in the mood for this type of book, I know that I would have loved it. I know that somewhere there exists a Libby who would be all about this book but she just didn’t happen to be here this month. It’s fine. Just know that when you pick this up it’s a little more rom-com and not exactly a deep dive into modern journalism (which, for some reason, is what I was expecting/ hoping for). There were times when this felt very reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada. But if it took place at FOX News instead of Vogue. And maaaaaybe if Meryl Streep’s character was replaced with a successful businessman turned tv personality turned presidential candidate not that we’re naming any names, though!
Quick plot run-down: Amanda gets her dream job as anchor of a morning news program on a brand new 24/7 news station called FAIR that prides itself on getting both sides of the story. And achieving your dreams is often far more complicated than you expect. It affects her relationships with others and causes her to question where she stands on issues when she didn’t even have to think too much about how she believed, before.
I’ll admit that much of this book was a personal challenge to me. After this election cycle, I think we all behaved at least a little nastier than we ever thought we would. We unfriended a lot of people–a lot of our family members. I didn’t go the unfriending route (though I’m sure plenty of people unfriended me) because I really believe that it’s important that we speak to each other when we can. Am I always at my very best and practicing that belief? Yeah…no. But I try on my best days. And I think it’s important because unfriending each other is just going to keep us away.
Regardless, I can get very sanctimonious. I am very right about all the things I believe. I can get very high on my horse about it all. I’ll listen to you but sometimes in my head I’ll be thinking something along the lines of, ” *head pat* Oh bless your heart for thinking that.” That’s not cool. Don’t treat people like that. Even in your head. And this book called me out on that. Which is something I’m grateful for–sometimes. Again, on my best days. 😉
Anyway–this book did its job well. That’s how I feel about it. I’d give it 3.5/5 stars.
I’m really excited about our September selection for the Virtual Book Club. It’s… nothing! We don’t have one because we’re book club rebels, you guys! We’re reading whatever we damn please. But we’ll still get together at our regular time to have Facebook discussions about the things we read when we could do whatever we wanted to.
I’m hoping to get my hands on a book of poetry that makes me feel things and maybe a memoir? Or a big, hearty novel. After a summer of, well, summery reads, I’m excited to really sink my teeth into something. When I feel this way I usually pick up a Wally Lamb book but I believe I’ve read most, if not all, of what he has to offer. Maybe this will be the time I finally start on Middlesex or A Little Life. What would you suggest?