Summer Books

mil-millington-thingsWhat Mil Millington’s Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in laughs. As the title implies, arguments between Millington’s hapless protagonist and his girlfriend comprise the meat of the novel and deliver tear-inducing laughter. Unfortunately, Millington’s story is full of bluster but no direction and consequently slows down between the uproarious dialogue. Nevertheless, men and women (especially those in long-term relationships) will find the characters far too familiar and the arguments dead on.

lily-burana-strip-cityOn the other hand, though Lily Burana’s memoir Strip City has its funny moments, it is overall a sober retelling of her farewell tour across America as a stripper. Before getting married (and already knee-deep in her writing career), Burana – who had worked as a stripper through college – decided she wanted to travel across the country working a club in every state she could as an exotic dancer. Her dry, journalistic tone sometimes slows the pace, but simultaneously manages to suck any excess glamour out of the profession as well as inject it with a needed humanity. Her tone balances out her personal emotional journey, the historical perspective on stripping she provides, and the stories of those with whom she intersects. Like a good documentary, Strip City takes a subject of great interest, destroys one’s preconceptions on it and provides a fresh, personal perspective.

[This piece originally appeared in The Scene.]