Like I said before, the A Song of Ice and Fire series pretty much had a monopoly on my literary-life for the past few months. While they were incredible, reading another book here and there on the side kept me sane. It’s hard trying to keep hundreds of characters and dozens of story lines straight in your head!
I can’t say that any of these would qualify in the heavy thinking category, but as they say, Variety is the Spice of Life.
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, by Ree Drummond
I am a major disciple of Ree’s. I agree with her style of cooking and the writing on her blog usually leaves me smiling. Or thinking. Or both.
But with Black Heels, I felt like she really sold herself short. Without trying to sound overly harsh about the whole extravaganza, she came across as a caricature of herself.
While I don’t doubt that young Ree was a much different person than the strong ranch wife, blogger and Food Network star that we know today, I found the whole thing to be kind of disquieting.
And I love Marcus more than anything, but I can say with a clear conscience that I’ve never looked at him and felt my uterus do a somersault.
Let’s just say it was a perplexing experience at best and leave it at that.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
Truth: I cheered through this entire book. Marcus’ aunt gave it to me as a bachelorette party gift because I had asked if I could borrow her copy to take on the Honeymoon.
I don’t know if I would have given it back.
Surprisingly enough (or not), I found the book to be a bit of an illumination. I’ve always enjoyed watching Tina on the TV, but as I read further into her life and the stories she shared about being a woman in a profession that is dominated by men as well as her struggles to balance a career and a family, I was touched.
Her message was so clear and simple and true – Life IS hard and you have to fight like hell to create the world that you want to live in.
Don’t get confused, the book is funny as hell. To Tina’s credit, I’ve adopted a number of her phrases and descriptions into my everyday speech with Crotch Nuggets (her term for that bit of fat at the top of your inner thigh) leading the pack.
You know you want to do it too.
Read it because you want to laugh so hard that you cry. Read it because you need a serious dose of Lady Power. Read it because you want to know more about the inner-workings of SNL, 30 Rock and NBC. Just…read it.
Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart
Can you say impulse-grab from the autobiography shelf of the non-fiction section at the library?
I will be the first to admit that the moment I catch a glimpse of Tiffany Blue, everything else around me fades away.
Once I got past judging the book by its cover, I actually found this one to be a rather sweet story. It’s the memoirs of a woman who spent a summer during WWII working as one of the first two female pages at Tiffany & Co. The Tiffany stories were interesting, witnessing the transition of a country girl into big city life was endearing and her perspective of WWII was fascinating.
It’s not a long read or a particularly hard read – save this one for a cozy day.
The Persian Pickle Club, by Sandra Dallas
I cannot, for the life of me, remember who recommended this book to me, but they did so on the premise that if I loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (which was apparently on The Duchess’ summer reading list), then I would love this too.
To their credit, they weren’t terribly far off. Based in rural Kansas during The Great Depression as The Dust Bowl was setting in, it captured the sense of close-knit community and interdependence that I loved about the other book.
What I didn’t love? The characters were far less complex than many of the books I’ve read recently. In that sense it was almost as if I was reading a shadow of a book. There was a depth I was craving that simply didn’t exist and there wasn’t a clear/obvious reason for that absence.
If you’re craving a book that embraces The Spirit of Sisterhood, then go for it. It will leave you with a warm feeling inside. Otherwise, I think there are other books that will scratch your itch.
Finally, our collective reading list…
The Millenium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson
The Glass Castle
Anything by Chelsea Handler (I’ve read My Horizontal Life – it’s good, but if you loved I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, you’ll find it tame)
The Joy Luck Club (Tawny, I somehow managed to escape reading this one in H.S.!)
Anything by David Sedaris
Water for Elephants (Back in my book-club days I read this one – highly recommend)
Life of Pi
All Creatures Great and Small
The Gun Seller
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Sherlock Holmes (collection)
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (series)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I love this book SO hard.)
Other People’s Love Letters
Bitter is the New Black
Not Ready for Mom Jeans
Madras on Rainy Days
Good Girls Don’t Get Fat
Here on Earth
A Thread of Grace
Under the Banner of Heaven
Lolita in Tehran
A People’s History of the United States
Julie and Julia
The Three Musketeers
The Lady and The Unicorn (along with anything else by Tracy Chevalier)
The Persian Pickle Club
Light on Snow
Two Kisses for Maddy
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
The Space Between Us
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
What books are you excited to curl up with this fall?
Have you ever read a book and felt conflicted about the experience after you finished it?