Books of the Month: January 2020

So far I have read 5 books in the month of January, and I tried fairly hard to differentiate the selection as best I could. I was most surprised by the latest, The Friend. It was recommended to me by my hairdresser and while it’s a bit unconventional of a book, I really found it enjoyable, tackling some tough issues like love and loss. I also really loved reading, Save Me the Plums. It was an insightful book into the editorial food world and I want to try all the recipes that Ruth sprinkled throughout the book.

Royal Holiday was cute, in a Hallmark-esque movie way and Conviction was interesting, but I did find it tough to get through. I mostly liked it because the central book storyline revolved around a crime podcast, but other than that, I felt the story was a little dull. It did touch on the criticism that women receive when they come out as a victim of sexual assault, which is SO important and I’m glad they made it a point to make that a central part of the storyline as well.

Finally, I was really moved by When Breath Becomes Air, but wow, was it a heavy read. Hearing Paul’s story was heartbreaking but I would recommend reading this book at some point, when you’re in the right headspace. I did like that they tried to keep it positive, discussing his life and his impact on others, but woof, it was rough to listen to his final days, as told by his wife, Lucy.

Full list is below for anyone who needs a new read; if you can only try one, I think I would suggest Save Me the Plums; unless you’re not into food whatsoever, try reading The Friend!

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Conviction by Denise Mina

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

What are you reading now, or have you read anything great in the last few months? Feel free to suggest in the comments below. I love getting suggestions from all genres!

Best,

Sara

Paris Letters: Book Review

Have you ever wished you could quit your job and move to Paris to live the life you’ve always wanted? Well, in Paris Letters, Janice Macleod does just that and takes the reader along for the ride. Her story is inspiring and to be honest, it made me yearn for the world beyond my cubicle…and I’m only just into my work life. The best part of this book is that it isn’t fiction, this story is Macleod’s real life, proving that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

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Paris Letters, Janice Macleod, Buy on Amazon

I picked up this book when I was traveling to Florida; I needed something to leaf through while I was stuck in airport terminals and this was the perfect read. I quickly dove into Janice’s world and I could feel her frustrations with her job. I was inspired by her bold move to Paris, leaving behind the entire life she worked to build. Then, her whirlwind perfect Paris love story made me want to jump on a plane and write my own story. I almost thought this book was fiction, then I found Janice’s blog and realized she was, in fact, real and so was her story.

If you want an inspirational read about grabbing a hold of your life, pick up Eat Pray Love, Wild, or Paris Letters. It will take you to places you dream about and make you want to follow those dreams. Plus, you can check out Macleod’s Etsy Shop and order some Paris Letters for yourself!

Book Review! Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Reader, are you a twenty something who has always wished for a handbook to the world of adulthood? Or maybe you are past the twenties, still wishing you had a guidebook to flip through when going about your life?

Well, I’ve found that guidebook to being an adult, thank God that someone finally wrote it.

Guide to Life.

Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps is a guide to navigating the world of being an adult. Kelly Williams Brown, a true hero of our generation, articulately describes dozens of topics, including finances, relationships, and jobs, step by step in one book that you can keep on your shelf for years to check for reference. She has many wonderful ideas about these topics, some things that I knew, some that I had never even thought of.  It’s a light read and has some humor dabbled throughout making it not only helpful, but also an overall good read. She also touches on a few behavioral things, like respect and how to be just a generally nice to be around human. I liked the chapter when she made the reader self-actualize and realize they were not a ‘special snowflake.’

Great use of a flowchart, Kel.

I read it and reflected back on a few times in college when it would have been useful to have. For instance, when I was touring apartments to live in, I wish I had known to check the water pressure, or bring along my cell phone charger to check outlets. Right?!

Now, Reader, you may have known to do those things, but as a young twenty-something, the thought never even crossed my mind. I also gave the book as a present to my best friend, who is moving to another town to begin her career. She has informed me that it was the best gift ever and she felt the need to put Post-It’s on several pages to mark for later reference.

accurate. KWB for Pres.

Adulting is a book for yourself, for your friends, for your relatives, or anyone who hasn’t the slightest clue how to be an adult. I plan on giving it as a gift for the next few friend’s birthdays because I want them to have the guidance that nobody even knew was out there.

Reader, would you read Adulting? Or have you already read it and received the wonderful guidance through adulthood? Let me know in the comments!

Love, B.

Here’s What I’ve Read So Far…

Hello Reader! I don’t know where you are, but I hope you are warm! I’ve been stuck inside due to inclement weather so I’ve been working hard on my book list. These are the ones I’ve already read and crossed off. Here’s what I thought of them…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6ce/66502323/files/2015/01/img_0124.jpgtiny beautiful things.

I said this in a previous post, but run out to your nearest library, book sale, Amazon.com and get your paws on this book. I want to buy it for everyone I know, especially all my twentysomething friends. It’s chalk full of amazing words and advice that anyone could relate to their own life. Strayed will leave you wanting to find love, chase life and forgive not only others but also yourself. Trust me when I say you will want to keep this one on your shelf to reread for many years to come.

This is Where I Leave You.

Another blogger commented that I would L-O-V-E this and, of course, I did. I think I read it in a day. The story is beautifully written and it made me laugh out loud on page and want to cry the next. Tropper did an excellent job of portraying typical family that is full of issues. In a way, it makes you feel thankful for your not so messed up family. I sort of didn’t like the ending because I need a firm resolution, followed by ‘and they lived happily ever after. The End.’ But the end was sort of like, open to endless possibilities, which was the point for the main character‘s storyline. In all, the story, characters and writing were all excellent and I think you should also add this one to your Kindle library, or your Amazon cart or whatever means you fancy for reading, add this now.

The Pact

BONUS! I snuck this book into my reading mix, mainly because the other book from my list wasn’t available and I needed a filler. I’ve been meaning to read this for years and I’m so glad I did. In short, two star crossed lover teens make a pact to commit suicide together. That’s what the back tells you, but this. story. is. SO. much. more. than. that.

If you like Law & Order SVU. Read this.

If you like Romeo & Juliet. Pick up this book.

If you like complicated storylines that you think one thing and then something else happens and you just tear through the book to get to the end. Here’s your story.

Picoult does a flawless job of making this story intricate and complicated and beautiful. I could feel how tormented and alone Emily felt. Not justifying suicide, but I could see how Emily felt no other way out. In short, only one of the teens dies when they commit suicide together and the other is charged with her murder. And the truth isn’t revealed until the end (of course), but you’re lead to believe several different things throughout the book. I felt like I was part of the jury, and at one point, I was convinced Chris killed Emily. Did he?! Read it and see!

I’m currently reading, Yes Please, so you’ll have to check back to see how much I loved that. I can tell you, I’ve already been laughing out loud and I’m on page 107. Side note: This book weighs like 85 pounds, not even close to kidding…

What books have you been reading, Reader? Anything I should peruse?

Let me know in the comments!

Love, B.

4 Books I Cannot Wait to Read

I’ve finished my second to last semester of college and I’m home for break without a job to work or a class to study for. So, naturally, I’ve complied a list of things I’d like to accomplish in 5 weeks. Some things on that list include spending a whole day watching my Netflix queue of movies, learning Spanish (Duolingo is free and available as an app for on the go learning, so cool!),crocheting something, and of course, reading.

Reading has always been my most favorite activity. I can picture nothing better than spending a chilly day wrapped up with a good book next to the fireplace.I literally love the library and still go there regularly. Since I have a OCD tendency to make up lists for everything, I’ve complied a list of books I’d like to read by the end of my break.

1. For a good laugh…

Yes Please: Amy Poehler

I’ve heard nothing but praise for this hilarious book from one of America’s favorite funny ladies. I’ve already read the works of Chelsea, Tina and Mindy. I can only wait to read this collection of thoughts from another one of the greats.

2. For a good story….

All the Light We Cannot See: Anthony Doerr

I’ve been meaning to read this book for awhile now. I love stories set in the 1940’s wartime era, especially ones set in Europe during the war. This novel sounds like an amazing and beautiful story about two children that I absolutely need to get my hands on.

3. From the movies…

This is Where I Leave You: Jonathan Tropper

I saw the trailer for this movie recently and although it’s been out for awhile, it reminded me that I wanted to read the book. Perhaps the kick ass cast (Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, etc) makes me want to see it more than anything but I did hear the book was great and I most certainly want to check it out before I see the movie.

4. For some inspiration….

tiny beautiful things: Cheryl Strayed

This book comes from the author of the book Wild, which is the basis of the new Reese Witherspoon movie. That story sounds like a more low scale Eat, Pray, Love but I still love a good finding yourself story nonetheless. This book is a collection of writings from Strayed’s advice column, Dear Sugar. Everyone has said this book will inspire you, so I’m totally planning on checking this on out as soon as possible.

Reader, have you read any of these? Did you like them at all? If not, what are you planning on reading next?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Love, B.