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Let’s Talk About Books, Baby

June 25, 2012

One of my Creative Year goals was to read 26 books.

Well, I have now read 32 books and it’s not even July yet. So maybe that goal was a little – underpromise over-deliver of me, but I really never had paid attention to how many books I was reading in a year. So. Now you know.

Anyway, here is my list, and I’m including succint reviews for your enjoyment.

Yes. Succint.

1. The Help – Kathryn Stockett – AWESOME. If you have not read it, you need to go find it and read it now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

2. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin – Also AWESOME. If we’re friends on FB you already know…I LOVED THIS BOOK. I talked about it all winter. Go read it. Do it. Live it. Be “YOU” whoever YOU is.

3. Expecting Adam -Martha Beck – Beautiful – a memoir by a Harvard (I think) professor married to a Harvard professor who found herself pregnant with a Very Special Baby. I loved this book and its bittersweet yin and yanginess (for everything you think you have lost, you find something in its place.)

4. Sleeping Arrangements – Madeleine Wickham- Meh. Not bad for chick lit.

5. The Queen of New Beginnings – Erica James – dragged a bit in the middle. Not bad for chick lit.

6. The Gate Crasher – See #4

7. Bossy Pants – good, funny, Tina Fey is awesome. The prayer for her daughter – hilarious.

8. A Previous Engagement -Stephanie Haddad – stop downloading so much free shit on your kindle. Like this.

9. The Historian Elizabeth Kostova – Very good. Engrossing. Consuming. AND SOOO LONNNNGGGG MY GODDDDDD

10. The Postmorals – Drew Magary – Oh w o w you need to read this. Thought provoking and just wow.

11. Into the Wild – John Krakauer – Uhhhh spoiled white kid disappears into woods. Lives on his own. Dies in a bus. Sucks. His parents are sad but resigned. True story.

12. The Zookeeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman- beautiful, heartbreaking, WWII nazi drama, Poland, Zoo….very well done. Read it!

13. Heaven is For Real  – Todd Burpo- sweet, gushy, more about the parents than the kid. I wanted more….something. Read it but borrow someone’s copy.

14, 15, and 16 – Fifty Shades Trilogy – EL James – Good. God. Almighty. Buy it for your kindle so they kids won’t know what you’re reading.

17. Three Girls and a Baby -Rachel Shurig –  Stop downloading so much free shit for your kindle, like this.

18. Cottage for Sale, Must be Moved -Kate Whouley –  Memoir – very good! I loved this book. Charming.

19. Some Girls – Jillian Lauren- True story of a woman in a harem. Not as good as I thought it would be.

20.  Crooked Little Heart – my first wrangling with Anne Lamott. Loved.

21. The Hour I First Believed – Wally Lamb – When you finish reading The Help and The Happiness Project, go get this book. Just so…incredible.

22. Possible Side Effects – I love Augusten Burroughs, mostly because he is more messed up than I am.

23. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion – Good, good. I think I didn’t know what she meant by “Magical Thinking” until I read #31. Now I get it.

24. Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger – look, you either like Chick lit or you don’t. If you get a book with a sparkly high heel on it and you expect War and Peace, well, you’re going to be disappointed.

25. Wild – Cheryl Strayed – I know. Oprah book clubbed it. It was aight. Kinda pitchy, dog. Not sure she really found what she was looking for. But ok.

26. The Weird Sisters Eleanor Brown – weird 2nd person omnicient narrator. THAT IS ALL. (I actually ended up liking it but…it took awhile.)

27. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn – Read this one after The Hour I First Believed.  BEAUTIMOUSLY written and a twisty turny voicey plotty mystery/love story/revenge/redemption ending with WHAT THE FUCK??!! Excellent.

28 & 29. Diverngent and Insurgent – Veronica Roth – LOVED. Could NOT STOP READING.

30. Resilience – Elizabeth Edwards – I read this because that hideous Rielle Hunter’s book is out and I wanted to read something to combat her juju. This book was beautiful.

31.  Magical Thinking – more Augusten Burroughs. Excellent, as always. And I’m not just saying that because he scares me a little.

32. Rosie – More Anne Lamott. I liked this book but I don’t think the person who wrote the blurb on the back actually read the whole thing.

So that’s my list so far…what are you reading?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2012 8:55 pm

    Loved #1 and #11, got to read #2, not sure if I’ll ever be brave enough to read #14, 15, &16.:)

  2. June 26, 2012 8:06 am

    Elizabeth – 14, 15 and 16 are just insane. But the writing is not super good. It’s not literature. The storyline is good but it is just total escapist fiction. You won’t be missing much but a pop culture flash-in-the-pan if you don’t read them. 🙂

  3. July 24, 2012 4:27 pm

    The free stuff for the Kindle is universally awful. I just don’t even look at the list anymore.

    Wally Lamb write beautifully and I want to take Christopher McCandless and beat him bloody even though he’s dead.

    I love book summaries!

    • July 25, 2012 3:08 pm

      I agree – the free Kindle stuff always sounds three hundred times better than it actually is.

      Wally Lamb stole my heart with that book. I seriously could not stop reading it. I dreamed about it. I brought it to work and read it on my lunch hour and waiting in the carpool line. It was so incredible.

      And yes, Christopher McCandless made me incredibly tired and stabby. Nothing like an over-privileged jerk of a kid. Grrrrr. God rest his soul and all.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my very small summaries – I will do it again at the end of the year with whatever I read between now and then. Although I have recently read The Night Circus and it might need its own post. So amazing.

      Thanks for dropping by! Nice to meet you!


  4. August 29, 2012 9:34 am

    I’m reading GONE GIRL right now — can’t find enough time to read…damn job is getting in the way!!

    • August 29, 2012 9:53 am

      I know what you mean! I’m reading her other book, Sharp Objects, right now and so far it is very good. I know the twists and turns are coming and I can’t wait! 🙂


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