Month: February 2016

Feb 29

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 11

G’Day Bookworms!

I had sooooo much fun during Book Blogger Appreciation Week, but let me tell you something. It wreaked absolute havoc on my TBR list. I don’t even remember where I saw it, but somewhere in the blog hopping I was reminded that I’ve only ever read one Markus Zusak novel (The Book Thief, natch. Which duh. Read about it HERE.) I Am the Messenger came highly recommended from this mysterious unnamed source I cannot remember so I decided I ought to read it. And thus, I did. It seems pretty unfair to the rest of my TBR pile that I randomly jumped to this one, but I am a capricious sort of gal sometimes.

iamthemessengerThe book opens in the midst of a bank robbery. Ed Kennedy and his friends are caught in the holdup, and they make a rather motley set of hostages. Ed is an underage cabbie living in a less than stellar suburb of a major Australian metropolis. At 19 years old, he’s spending his life in a holding pattern. He plays cards with his friends, works at a dead end job, and can’t pluck up the courage to tell his best friend Audrey that he’s butt crazy in love with her. He lives alone with a maniacally stinky geriatric dog named the Doorman. (If ever a stench could be called maniacal, I imagine the Doorman’s would qualify.) Nothing is great, but it’s a peaceful existence Ed has carved out for himself. Shortly after the robbery, though, Ed’s life is thrown out of the comfortable pattern he’s used to when he starts receiving mysterious messages in the mail. He is sent on a quest by persons unknown to help (or hurt) the deserving in his hometown. But who is behind these messages?

I have mixed feeeeeeelings about this book. I loved Ed and his friends and their insane card games. I LOVE LOVE LOVED THE DOORMAN. This is the single greatest dog in all of literature! He’s really old and decrepit, so you can’t fault Ed for indulging him with coffee and the occasional ice cream cone. I have a soft spot for stinky old man dogs, okay?! There was a lot of humor injected into the novel and that is the sort of thing I gobble up. Ed’s self deprication? His banter with pals? His deep philosophical discussions with the Doorman? All brilliant.

Ed’s missions though… Some of them are awesome and some of them are rather bizarre. I like the idea of helping out one’s fellow man and all that, but I’m not sure how I feel about the seemingly random vigilante-ism that goes on. Plus, I was less than thrilled with the way the book wrapped up. Like… The mystery behind the missions? I just don’t buy it. Probably because I am old and cynical and lacking in heart. But there you have it. I’m a muddled mess of opinions with mad love for an ancient, fictional, odiferous canine.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What are some of the coolest pets you’ve ever read about? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. It won’t cost you any extra, but it’ll help keep me up and running. So yay. Thanks!*

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Feb 25

In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Coming of Age 15

Howdy Bookworms!

You remember Judy Blume, right? She was an absolute fixture of my adolescent reading life. Remember that time I wrote about how Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret holds an extra super special place in my heart? (It’s HERE if you’re curious.) In 2015 Judy Blume released her first novel in… Well I don’t know how long. But it had been a while, so it was a pretty big deal. That book? In the Unlikely Event.

intheunlikelyeventThe book opens with Miri Ammerman returning to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey after a long absence. She’s back to attend a memorial event dedicated to the insanity that was Miri’s 15th year of life during which a succession of airplanes crashed in Elizabeth. I was about to roll my eyes massively when the second plane crash happened… And then I Googled it. This ACTUALLY HAPPENED. In Judy Blume’s hometown. She lived through this, and dude, it was nuuuuts.

Of course, In the Unlikely Event is not an autobiography or anything, but you can bet your sweet bippy that it borrowed from her own life experience. How could it not? That is a crazy fricking thing to have happen, you can’t make this stuff up. Well, you CAN make this stuff up, but only if you don’t mind massive eye rolls from people like me.

This book is pure Judy Blume. Miri is a fifteen year old girl dealing with friendships and family and faith and first love. It’s right in her wheelhouse and where she shines. I thought In the Unlikely Event was a good book. I don’t think it’ll ever really gain a place within the canon of her best work, but it was enjoyable enough. I mean… If you can find a book enjoyable that features multiple plane crashes… Just add it to the list of stuff that’s wrong with me.

Alright Bookworms. Since this book proves that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, tell me your fave truth is stranger than fiction story. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Feb 23

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Audio Books, Cozy Lady Fiction, Humor 25

Cheerio Bookworms!

This may come as a shock to you, but I have a crush on… England. My feelings on the subject can be summed up in the immortal speech Hugh Grant as Prime Minister gives in Love Actually. “We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.” I could go on and on but nobody wants to hear me sing the praises of clotted cream. You want to talk about books, don’t you? Fiiiiiine, you twisted my arm. The Royal We
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan is, more or less, the dream of many an American anglophile.

theroyalweRebecca Porter is a down-to-earth gal from America’s Heartland. Her twin Lacey was always the one fantasizing about fame, fortune, and glamour, which is why it’s such a strange turn of events when Bex ends up meeting the dashing Prince Nicholas while studying abroad at Oxford. Bex falls for Nick in spite of herself, and is reluctantly drawn into his tabloid laced, ritual heavy, duty filled, existence.

The book is basically Prince William and Kate Middleton fan fiction. Except that Kate probably had it easier because she at least had the accent going for her. Plus that woman has a fashionista gene that Bex seriously lacked… (Or she’s just got a really good style team. I have no idea what really goes on.) It would have been really easy for this book to fall squarely into the cheeseball Hallmark Original Movie trap (which are prefectly entertaining when it’s Christmas and… You know what? They’re perfectly entertaining. We’re not here to judge my terrible taste in movies.) It managed to avoid that pitfall, though. The Royal We is hilarious without a hint of the saccharine. Think… Hugh Grant movie, vibe-wise. It’s oozing with charm and hilarious sidekicks, but it still manages to pack some intense emotional punches. I may have shed a few tears.

I have one teeny tiny complaint, though. I’ve never met an American girl named Rebecca who goes by Bex. That’s a thoroughly British sounding nickname. A girl from Iowa would go by Becky, maybe Becca, but Bex? It’s like a blaring signal that she’s destined to marry a royal. Is my corner of Illinois MORE BORING THAN MUSCATINE, IOWA when it comes to nicknames for Rebecca?

Obviously I haven’t got anything really to complain about. I’m grasping at straws. The Royal We is delightful. When I finished it, I texted several friends telling them they needed to read it. RIGHT NOW. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is! (Oh, and the audio book version? Dynamite.)

Talk to me, Bookworms. Do any of you know a Rebecca who goes by Bex? Does it strike anyone else as an unusual choice for Muscatine, Iowa? I’m genuinely interested, here. 

 

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Feb 19

BBAW: Fighting Blogger Burnout (Revised)

Blogging, Book Blogger Appreciation Week 51

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

We’ve reached the end of Book Blogger Appreciation Week *tear*. Our final topic is Fighting Blogger Burnout, which is something that every blogger I know has struggled with at one time or another. I am prone to existential crises, so periodically I get a case of the “does anybody even read my blog”s and “I am never going to get blog famous why do I even bother?”s and “this blogger is so intense- I am much too lazy that is probably why nobody reads my blog”s. It’s like having a case of the Mondays, only weirdly specific.

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I’ve rewritten this particular blog post four different times because I kept going off topic or whining or just vomiting words all over the place. I’m going to try to distill my thoughts into a highlight reel. This is the sort of stuff I try to remember when it all feels like too much and that I suck at everything ever. And if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to read it, it boils down to Amy Poehler’s brilliant mantra “Good for you. Not for me.”

  1. You do NOT have to read every buzz book and award winner. It’s OKAY just to read what you want.
  2. It’s okay not to LIKE every buzz book and award winner. I have a horrendous track record with Pulitzer Prize winners.
  3. You do NOT have to accept for a review a book that sounds boring. If it doesn’t sound like your thing, pass. If you’re too busy, pass. If they’re offering you an unholy sum of money probably pass too, because that is not a thing that happens and you’ll probably end up having your identity stolen.
  4. Just because some bloggers offer insightful political and social commentary doesn’t mean you have to. If you don’t feel up to the inevitable debate, it’s okay to opt out of it. If you’d rather absorb things, learn quietly, and form thoughtful opinions in the privacy of your own head, that’s fine too. (That said, if you HAVE THINGS TO SAY, then SAY THEM, by all means!)
  5. It’s okay if you don’t totally know what you want out of blogging. (Don’t let Ryan Gosling tell you otherwise.)
  6. goslingIf whatever you’re doing makes you miserable, it’s probably not worth it. If you really hate a book, put it down. If you need a break from the blogosphere, take it.
  7. Avoid the comparison trap. Nothing good ever came from constantly comparing yourself to other people. You have no idea what goes on behind their scenes. You only see what they choose to present to the world.
  8. Embrace the friendships you make in blogging. Your blog friends will probably relate to your struggles and can help you out of the inevitable slump.
  9. Even though the friendships you make on the internet are real, the negativity doesn’t have to be. Do you even KNOW the person behind that tweet or comment? Will you EVER have to avoid eye contact with them in the grocery store? The real world is a thing too. Remember that. Live in it.
  10. Have a little fun. Blogging doesn’t have to be a serious business full of how-to lists. Being serious all the time is really, really boring. Own your quirks. Do what you like. Take selfies in penguin sweaters. You’re more interesting that you think.

That’s right, kids. Until you fully mature into the superpowers I have no doubt you will someday develop (and I REALLY hope mine will be teleportation!) just admit you’re not a superhero. When you hit the blog wall, remember my sage wisdom… Or don’t. I mean, I just told you to ignore how-to lists and do you own thing, so who am I to judge? Just… Be kind to yourself.

Now come on in, here, Bookworms. Give me a big old weird internet group hug. There’s room. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze! Any whispers of insight you’d like to share are welcomed.

 

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Feb 18

BBAW: How Do You Stay Connected to the Community?

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 38

G’Day Bookworms!

It’s still Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I, for one, am having all the fun! Today’s topic is how we stay connected to the book blogging community. You know, social media, commenting on other blogs, and what have you. Unfortunately, lately, I kind of… Don’t. Womp womp.

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That’s not entirely true, I guess. What is true is that I have FAILED massively at commenting on other people’s blogs. I’ll read them, but I have been the laziest when it comes to commenting. I had so much in my Feedly that I got overwhelmed, deleted the whole thing, then never rebuilt it. Over the course of this week I’ve made great strides in rebuilding it with new-to-me blogs and I’m pretty stoked about that! I’m hoping that by hopping around a bit this week I’ll rekindle some existing blog friendships, too. Here’s to turning over a new commenting leaf. February resolutions are totally a thing, right?

I play around with social media, too, of course. I chit chat with my blog friends on Facebook on the regular (though not usually though fan pages, just like, actual friendships. Facebook decided it hated fan pages. A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES, FACEBOOK. Except not really. Because have you SEEN Zuckerberg’s new baby? OMG so much cute. I take back my metaphorical plagues.) Even though I feel like I’m constantly lurking and inserting myself into other people’s conversations, I do hang out on Twitter sometimes. Can we talk for a minute about how amazing the first #BBAW Twitter chat was? That hour flew by. I also Instagram which is always entertaining, if you like pictures of me in penguin sweaters and photos of things I’m coloring. I’m not kidding about the penguin sweaters, you guys. I have SO MANY penguin sweaters.

Alright, I’m kind of failing at this, Bookworms. I’m open to suggestions. How do y’all keep your blog world straight? Any tips for this lazy commenter?

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Feb 17

BBAW: Most Influential Bloggers

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 18

Happy Wednesday Bookworms!

I hope you’re all having fun with Book Blogger Appreciation Week, because heaven knows I am. Today the BBAW Powers That Be have posed an interesting question. What have you read and loved thanks to a fellow blogger? My reading world has expanded so much since I started blogging, it’s going to be rough to list out my top influencers… But I’m going to try anyway, because of course I am. Most of these folks have been responsible for any number of books I’ve read, but I’m going to credit them with one each. I simply can’t remember ALL THE THINGS.

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  1. Heather from Capricious Reader I adore this woman. She is my prematurely elderly soul mate. She also pushes me out of my comfort zone on the regular with killer recommendations. She’s the reason I read The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (review) and holy smokes, do I ever adore her for giving me that particular push.
  2. Andi from Estella’s Revenge Who says you can’t be ACTUAL friends with people you meet online? They’re wrong, because ANDI EXISTS. (Actually, Andi and Heather are pretty much my favorite set of besties-who-met-online ever, but that’s a story for another day.) When I meet Andi in person (which is hopefully happening sooooon!) I will be unabashedly tackle hugging her. If it were not for Andi I would never have discovered The Estella Society and if not for THAT discovery, I’d never have joined a readalong (like the Potter Binge!) or done anything fun ever. Remembering exactly what she’s recommended to me seems a little beside the point, here. Big love to you, Andi-Roo.
  3. Jenny from Reading The End Jenny leaves some of the best comments in the history of the blogosphere and never fails to amuse me with her wit. She’s talked me into any number of novels, but the series I’ll forever associate with her? The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (review.) SERIOUSLY WHEN IS THE FINAL BOOK COMING?!
  4. Sarah from Sarah Says Read I’ve got to give Sarah props for introducing me to Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (review) AND (double whammy here) for inspiring me to finally pick up some comics in the form of The Walking Dead (review.) Sarah rocks.
  5. Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity Trish is a marvel, truly. Quilting, crafting, reading, and growing the cutest trio of little girls I have ever seen? Whew. All that said, if she hadn’t hosted a Readalong of The Sparrow (review 1, review 2), I don’t know if I’d have gotten around to reading it yet. And that? That would have been tragic! Plus, she sent out really adorable bookmarks to celebrate the readalong. I love it!

Needless to say, Bookworms, there are a lot of amazing book bloggers out there. I mean, I AM very selfish and I would love to keep you all to myself, but if you’re looking for the awesome? There it is.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Feb 16

BBAW: Interview with Suzi from Whimpulsive!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 30

Greetings Gorgeous Bookworms!

It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week, the newly re-instated love fest. The internet can be an ugly place, so the idea that we’re celebrating our blog friends is downright delicious. Because I’m all about the participation (I know, right? Who are you, and what have you done with the real Katie?!) I’m going to be introducing y’all to another book blogger today… Interview style. It’s Suzi from Whimpulsive! She and I were paired up for this shindig, and I am SO GLAD I got matched up with Suzi. As you might imagine, my interview questions are maybe a teensy bit off the wall, and Suzi was more than game for it. Ready to meet the most fun blogger on the Pacific Coast?!

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1.     Your blog is called Whimpulsive. I have my suspicions as to its meaning (and let me tell you, I adore my suspicions) but why don’t you define it for our fine fancy bookworm friends?

Many many years ago I was doing something (I don’t remember what) to purposely annoy The Hubster and enjoying the heck out of the moment. He asked me why and in that moment I inadvertently combined whim and impulse in my head and my answer was “Lack of whimpulse control”.  After that whimpulse became a commonly used word in our house. Later I was in a message board booklovers group and I began to use whimpulsive reads for books that suddenly appeared on my radar and demanded to be read ahead of all the books I already owned or planned to read. When I first started my blog I was stupid and didn’t think out the blog name very well. I called it “Blogging My Books”. Within a few months I hated the name and since the blog wasn’t totally about books any more I renamed it to Whimpulsive. (I’m adding additional commentary because that’s what I do. Originally I had hoped that “whimsy” came into play, but I rather like your definition.)

2.     This is, possibly the single most important question ever… What is your patronus? (Of slightly less importance, which Hogwarts house claims your membership?)

My patronus is absolutely a cat (I even took a quiz that confirmed it) although I would be thrilled if my patronus was Clairee Belcher from Steel Magnolias. I am also certain that the Sorting Hat would put me in Ravenclaw. I also took a quiz that confirmed my suspicion. (SUZI! You are the most wonderful creature. Clairee is obviously the best character in Steel Magnolias. Also, we’re in the same house. RAVENCLAW FOR LIFE!)

3.     What exactly do you have against zucchini? (Seriously no judgement here, I think beets are the work of the devil.) 

Totally my grandmothers fault. She cooked it until it was mush and I had to eat it that way as a child. It scarred me for life. (I hear you there. That’s probably part of my hatred for beets. For the love, canned beets, Mom?! I still get the heebie jeebies.)

4.     Since you are a self-proclaimed evil genius trainee, what means would you use to conquer the world? (My personal answer is an unholy army of penguin warriors who fight with nothing but utter cuteness, but this is about YOU, here, Suzi.)

Ooh – we should team up. My original plan was to use my cats as spies and have then hypnotize people into submission but they keep stopping to nap. Useless beasts. My new plan is to get a Dr. Horrible costume and hope a new brilliant idea comes to mind. (Watch out, World.)

5.     Tell us about your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker because I am a terrible cook and impatient to the max and I want to know just how fast magically delicious foods can be cooked easily. Bookworms gotta eat, yo.

I totally bought the Instant Pot thanks to a twitter conversation.  A couple of people were talking about how much they loved theirs. I didn’t even know what it was until that conversation sent me looking. The old style stovetop pressure cookers scared me to death. I just knew if I tried one I’d blow up my kitchen. The electric seems a little safer and I’m enjoying learning how to use it. Best thing so far – fabulous baby back ribs in one hour. (I have a friend who suffered severe burns thanks to an old school pressure cooker, so I share your fear!)

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6.     How long have you been blogging and what made you start? (I know this question is rather dull, but indulge me.)

Way back in the dark ages (July 2006) a friend started a blog on Blogger. I thought it would be a fun way to keep an online book journal. I truly expected that it would only be a link that I could give to friends and family when they asked “what good books have you read lately?”.  I had absolutely no idea that book blogs were even a thing. When a total stranger commented and I followed that link to her blog and then from her commenters to other blogs it was like a miracle. I had found my people. Nine and a half years later I’m still here. (D’awwww, this is so sweet!)

7.     What is the best part of living in Oregon?

The variety and the beauty of it. Where we live outside of Portland it’s a little over an hour to the coast, an hour to the Columbia River Gorge, and a little more than that to the mountains. I’ve lived here most of my life (aside from a few years in Michigan and Texas) and it’s home. (Color me jealous. You know what we have in Illinois? Corn and soybeans. Okay, it’s not THAT bad, but we have no mountains and no ocean.)

8.     Do you work in addition to your blogging? If so, what do you do? (You can totally be vague here, I’m not looking to get you any stalkers.)

I work in downtown Portland as a data analyst. That means I spend most of my day staring at a computer. I actually have a t-shirt that perfectly describes my job “We do precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge”. (We might be soul mates. Our real life jobs sound remarkably similar.)

9.     If you could jump into the pages of any novel, what would you choose? You have to live there for a while, so, you know. Choose wisely.

Just send me to Hogwarts. (Amen, Ravenclaw sister. Amen.)

10.  Which fictional character would you most like to punch? (You could choose imaginary smacking over imaginary punching if you like. Imaginary broken knuckles can be incredibly painful.)

While I have often wanted to punch characters for making stupid choices I think Delores Umbridge deserves to be punched just for being Delores Umbridge. (Totally worth any imaginary knuckle pain.)

HUGE thanks to Suzi for playing along with my interview questions, you were such a great sport. Hurrah for Suzi from Whimpulsive! Bookworms, would you indulge me and give Suzi a big old Words for Worms thank you? Oh! And if you want to read Suzi’s interview with me (it involves Muppets, so you totally should) go HERE!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I need to fund that penguin army, you guys.*

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Feb 15

BBAW: Your Personality in 5 Books

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 54

Howdy Bookworms!

It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week. What does that even mean? Well… I’m not entirely sure yet, as this is my first one, but I’m pretty sure it’s a giant love-fest in which I gush about my Internet friends. Book bloggers know how to party, especially Andi at Estella’s Revenge, Heather at Capricious Reader, Ana at Things Mean a Lot, and Jenny at Reading the End. And by party, I mean resurrect a dead internet event. That’s talent, people!

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The party kicks off with the participants introducing themselves… Creatively. That’s right, my favorite weirdos wouldn’t be satisfied with a “Hi, I’m Katie.” Oh no. We are listing 5 books that describe our personality. To be completely honest, I’ve thought way way way too much about this prompt. I was all “should I pick books that are all up in the REAL Katie or should I stick to Internet Persona Katie?” And then I was like “wait, are they that different?” And then I was like “what am I even doing with my liiiiiife?” And then I was like “OMG Katie, turn off your brain and pick some dang books!” I’m getting on with things, I swear.

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (review)- Ah, the formative years. I went through what I like to call my “grunge phase” from the ages of 12-19. As you may guess, I listened to a lot of grunge and 90s alternative while wearing extremely baggy pants. One of my similarly disaffected friends gave me a copy of this novel for Christmas one year and it just hit all the right notes. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is full of sex, drugs, and teen angst, only one of which was applicable to my own teenage years, but I’ll always feel a special kinship with Charlie and his band of pals.
  2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding- Oh, Bridget! I read this book for the first time in high school and MAN could I relate. No, I didn’t drink, smoke, or have ill-advised romantic entanglements at that age, but the idea that deep down we’re all awkward hot messes? And if we’re lucky, we have a loyal crew of pals to help us pick up the pieces our mortifying experiences? Yes. Yes, yes, and yes. Also, I can SERIOUSLY relate to the blue soup incident. Because, although I am improving, cooking will never be something that comes naturally to me. And let’s face it- there have been some disasters.
  3. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (review)- I am infinitely better at giving advice than taking it… I think that’s true of most people. So why is this book part of me? Well. It’s full of broken people who are willing to ask for help. And it’s full of Cheryl Strayed ripping her guts open to let you know that you’re not the only one who feels like they have no idea what they’re doing. Also, I really like terms of endearment (at least when they’re coming from other women. I might punch a dude who leeringly called me “honeybun.” Double standards. I have them.)
  4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris- I think it’s important to understand a person’s sense of humor in order to “get” them, you know? This book made me laugh really, really hard. It’s not really the sort of thing that appeals to everyone, though, so adding this to my list lets the world know that I find rather disturbing true life essays highly entertaining.
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll- I’m adding this to the list for pure WHIMSY. That’s right. I love me some whimsy. We’re all mad here, it’s time we admit it, don’t you think?

What about you, Bookworms?! What are some books that describe YOUR personality?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Feb 11

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

Friendship, Historical Fiction 6

Hello My Darling Bookworms,

I have a nasty habit of reading books about writers whose books I have not read. I mean, if you can say that two books constitute a habit… I recently finished The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin which is about Truman Capote and his gang of high class New York socialite gal pals. Having read nothing by Truman Capote, everything about this book was new territory for me (much like The Dream Lover (review) was all new to me because I knew jack about George Sand). *I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affects the honesty of the following review, as I am ungrateful and tacky.*

swansoffifthavenueTruman Capote, renowned author, was an odd, though charming fellow transplanted from small town Alabama to high glamour New York City. Diminutive and charismatic, he managed to collect a bevy of beautiful and impossibly wealthy Manhattan socialites as his inner circle in the 50s and 60s. Chief among them was the seemingly flawless Babe Paley, wife of CBS mogul Bill Paley. Babe and Truman had an intense friendship based on a mutual appreciation of beauty, fashion, glamour, and gossip. In a tale full of intrigue, scandal, immense wealth, and ultimate betrayal, Truman and Babe’s story will go down in infamy.

High society always boggles my mind. I am Midwestern and tacky in the extreme, I simply cannot fathom the amount of money Truman and his swans were running around with. I found the lifestyle these folks were living impossibly glamorous, and I must admit the gossip and scandal tickled the bit of me intrigued by such things. I also totally cracked up when Slim kept going on and on and on about the time she spent with Hemingway. Everyone was all “OMG Slim, shut up already.” And I was all “Haaaaaaaaa! I don’t much care for Hemingway’s writing so this is extra funny to me!” (Please, let’s not roast Katie alive for the Hemingway confession, okay?) Truman Capote was a larger than life persona, like whoa. Do I love him and empathize with him? Do I want to punch him in his smug face? Is it possible to feel all these things at the same time?! And how do I feel about Babe Paley? It’s all so complicated!

If you’d like to revisit a bygone era, Mad Men style, definitely give this book a go. If you like Truman Capote, you should totally read this. If you find yourself having difficulty rustling up sympathy for the rich and famous, maybe don’t read this. Or. No. Read this anyway. Even you cynics will find it satisfying, methinks.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Do any of you follow celebrity gossip? Do you ever wonder just what goes on behind the fancy parties?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Feb 09

It’s a Love Story, Baby Just Say Yes (Top Ten Tuesday)

Humor, Romance, Top Ten Tuesday 12

Helloooooo Bookworms!

Valentine’s Day is creeping up and the gals from The Broke and the Bookish have offered up a Valentine’s themed freebie topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, I’ll own up to it. I dig love stories with impossibly ridiculous premises in my movies… And in my books. Let’s talk literary rom-coms, shall we?

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  1. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (review)- Suspension of disbelief is absolutely essential with this novel, but once you’ve committed to the singing telegram and the lost and found cell phone, you can’t help but enjoy yourself.
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (review)– How can you not love Don and Rosie? One of the most charming and quirky love stories of all time. Plus Australia. Be still my heart.
  3. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert (review)– This is a super cute romantic comedy with a foodie twist. It’s set in Milwaukee, so the Midwestern aspect had me double smitten. I mean, there are cheese curds, for heaven’s sake.
  4. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding– I read this book for the first time when I was in high school and I have adored it ever since. Bridget is the quintessential hot mess who finds love in spite of herself. Timeless. Adorable. Someone get me some vodka. And Chaka Khan.
  5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (review)- Awww yeah. Falling in love through eavesdropping, as one does. Lincoln and Beth are positively delightful.
  6. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (review)- What’s this? Another foodie rom-com? Heck yes! No cheese curds, but it’s still pretty… Delicious. (Yep, I went there.)
  7. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (review)- Holy macaroni, I laughed so dang hard reading this. Sophie Kinsella, what have you done to me? High powered lawyer goes undercover as a housekeeper. Hilarity ensues.
  8. The Royal We by Heather Cox & Jessica Morgan- I haven’t officially reviewed this one yet, but holy smokes. For a book that is basically Prince William and Kate Middleton fan fiction, it was clever, quippy, and downright charming. I unabashedly loved this book.
  9. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (review)– Awww yeah. A sweet little romance novel. Also a lot of food in this one. Apparently I find food romantic?
  10. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (review)- Yaaaaaaaaas more food! Also magic. You really can’t go wrong with Sarah Addison Allen as a general rule, but often her writing doesn’t necessarily fall into rom com territory. Rom, yes. Com? Less so. This might be a minor stretch, but it’s my list and I like breaking rules. RAWR.

In making this list, I realized I need more romantic comedies in my reading. Talk to me, Bookworms. What are some of your favorites?

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