Wednesday, August 10, 2016

33

Seth looked at me last night and said, "This is the youngest you'll ever be." What a funny concept. For the next couple hours, I'm technically still 32. And then it's 33.

I love odd years. I love double numbers even more. They seem lucky somehow. So here's to a new year. This one feels like a good one. Happy birthday to me. :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

One True Loves

One True LovesOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book essentially had me from "hello" - I loved the title, the premise, the prologue, and beyond. Reid writes about love in a way that makes sense to me. It feels as though she is giving words to thoughts I've never been able to articulate. I love how she handles love, loss, and how hard it is to figure out who you are and what you want out of life. That evolution is so challenging that I think many people stop trying to figure it out.

This review is more of a gush than anything articulate, so I think wrapping it up and just encouraging you to read the Goodreads blurb is sufficient.

I do think that this might be more of a 4 for most other readers. It just hit me in a way that only a good book at the perfect moment can.

Happy reading--

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me?Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was on a roll after "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" and just wanted to keep listening. Kaling really is clever and hand working and candid about who she is. She acknowledges flaws and inconsistencies and tells great stories. There are a few rambling moments in her writing, but I love that she loves her family, that she would rather stay home than party, and that she has strong personal convictions. She's a good role model for teenage girls, who I think are always lingering in the back of my mind when I read memoirs. Kaling does ramble a bit in the latter third of the book, but I still would recommend it as a good audibook.

My favorite part of her book was her shout out to her best friend, BJ Novak. She describes their friendship and working relationship so well and in a completely original way. It helps that I love Novak's writing and work, but definitely entertaining.

Happy reading--

ps. I never would have guessed that Kaling had interacted with President Obama on separate occasions. Fun to read about that too.


Six Months Later

Six Months LaterSix Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this book last fall because a student of mine said it was her favorite book. Based on her comments in class and her writing, I thought she was a pretty good judge of books, and I wanted more to talk to her about. Then I misplaced the book...as in, I, who treat books like they have feelings and am super organized, totally lost this brand new book. I never found it. This freaked the student out. Fast forward to June. I decided to purchase a used copy, and it really is ironic that I lost the first copy.

Six Months Later is about a teenage girl who wakes up and six months have passed. More than that, her whole life has changed. She has a new boyfriend, a different social group, she's a better student, etc., etc. Think of it as a creepy "Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac". This book does use some stereotypical high school characterization, but I still was engaged the whole way through. It's a great recommendation for high schoolers and for those of us who love YA lit.

Happy reading!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this book for two reasons - one) I wanted to laugh and be entertained and b) life and my more recent book choices had been too full of sad things. Enter Mindy Kaling. She is smart and funny and a nerd to the core...which is a perfect fit. I think you need some exposure to her work to appreciate all her anecdotes, and perhaps you need to have ovaries. The second one isn't a must, but I think it contributed to my overall enjoyment. :)

As always, happy reading!

ps. I almost always do audio for these style of books. It's part of what makes the writing so funny.

Friday, July 22, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lately I've been fixated on the concept of time and how little we really have. I've also been obsessively listening to the Hamilton soundtrack where they repeatedly sing about Hamilton, "Why do you write like you're running out of time? Write day and night like you're running out of time?" But Paul Kalanithi really was running out of time. He knew he was going to die and wrote feverishly in an attempt to find meaning in his life, his work, and his impending death. Honestly, the book seems to end before it should - with less moralizing and conclusion than we're used to, but just as John Green's Hazel reminds us, we tend to die in the middle of a sentence with things seemingly undone and and unsaid. The one blessing of Kalanithi's end is that he had some time to prepare.

Had the book ended with just Kalanithi's writing, the book would probably just have been a 4 star book for me, but his wife's epilogue was so honest and poignant that I cried all the way through. Her discussion of love and grief and life will echo with me for years to come. And just as Eliza helped Hamilton's story come to life, Lucy has enabled her husband's story to reach so many others reminding me yet again, that the only thing that matters in this world are the people in our lives and our faith. Everything else is just details.

Happy reading--

13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a few hours to wile away waiting for my car to be fixed. I tucked in to a small cafe and started reading. Because Seth and I just returned from European adventure, I was immediately carried away into Ginny's world and her adventure following letters written by her Aunt Peg before Peg died from cancer. I only took a break to get more to drink and to pick up my car when the call came that it was finished.

This book was a perfect summer read - it's not an amazing book. There are plot details that get thrown out that never get connected back again or such serendipitous occurrences that you're left wishing that you also could magically make people appear to help you too. However, though "Blue Envelopes" lacks the depth of other teen travel adventures, it is still a fun idea that I enjoyed jumping into.

Happy reading--