Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mini Reviews–Comedy Memoirs

Yes PleaseYes Please written and read by Amy Poehler

I dare you to read this book and not want to be Amy’s friend when you’re finished. In addition to being funny and surprisingly insightful, Yes Please highlights Amy’s warmth as a person.  You can tell how much she cares about everyone who comes into her life.

She tells funny stories, shares wonderful insightsThermometer rereading

“It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.”

and gives what I feel is very good advice.

“Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself”

Amy is self deprecating, but also incredibly confident and I was so drawn to that the entire time I was listening.  She discusses situations in her life that have been hard and she also talks about one in particular that she’s ashamed of and the security I think it takes to tell those stories to the world is enviable.

I loved the book and the narration.


Is Everyone hanging out without meIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me written and read by Mindy Kaling

I’ve listened to quite a few memoirs by comedians at this point, but this is the first time I’ve felt like I had a lot in common with the writer.  Mindy’s a reader and I loved her insights on friendship – see Thermometer loved itchapter “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities”.  Plus at 5’10” I’m evidently the perfect height to be her friend.

“After all these years with friends who are five ten or taller, I have come to carry myself with the confidence of a tall person. It’s all in the head. It works out.”

Mindy and her roommate put together a two person play entitled “Matt and Ben” that they actually performed on stage and I SO wish I could have seen it because just hearing about it made me laugh.

I will admit the last third of the book was a little scattered.  Like Mindy had run out of memoir material and it got random, but I was still entertained.

Overall wonderful book and Mindy’s narration definitely made it better.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


This week is Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters. Eight of the ten I’ve read this year.  I’m a little scared of what that says about my reading choices in previous years.

Books that celebrate racial diversity

Life in MotionEverything I never told youThe LivingBrown Girl DreamingEleanor & Park

Life In Motion by Misty Copeland

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The Living by Matt de la Pena

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Books that celebrate neurodiverse characters

the rosie projectMy heart and other black holes

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Books that celebrate GLBTQ characters

Wolves I'm Homesimon vs9780525428848_HoldMeCloser_BOM_CV.indd

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Hold Me Closer Tiny Cooper by David Levithan

Monday, July 13, 2015

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


This week is “Last Ten Books that Came into My Possession”. 

Last Five Book Purchases

Since rediscovering the library my books purchases have drastically diminished.  I had to go back 3 months for 5 booksSmile.  Unfortunately they end up at the bottom of my TBR because I always have library books due back.

An Ember in the Ashes


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This books sounds amazing and so far it’s in the moderate amount of hype range.  I need to read it before I’m sick of hearing about it without reading it.




P.S. I Still Love You


P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

If you told me when I finished To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before that I wouldn’t read the sequel the SECOND it came out I wouldn’t have believed it.  Still really excited for this one.




All the Light we cannot see


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

For a serious book I’m really excited about it – I just need a solid weekend that I don’t have a bunch to do.  I need to not have distractions when I read harder books.




Come as you are


Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski

This was actually a library book and about 50 pages in after wishing I could write notes on every other page I decided to go ahead and buy it.  If you’re looking for a good non-fiction read and have any interest in women’s sexuality (AKA you are a woman or you might want to have sex with one) this is a really interesting informative read.





Inked by Eric Smith

The lone ebook in the mix – I picked it up for $1.99 and I’ve heard great things.  But ebooks have taken a backseat to library books and physical purchases.




Last Five Library Books

I’ve talked a lot about my recent rediscovery/love of the library.  These are all very recentSmile



Watchmen by Alan Moore

A co-worker strongly recommended this and since it’s mentioned favorably in Eleanor & Park I decided to give it a try.  It will only be my second graphic novel but I’ve only heard good things.




Between the notes


Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

As mentioned in my last post, I love music and therefor books with music.






Always Emily


Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

Fictionalized story about Emily and Charlotte Bronte growing up.  I literally downloaded the ebook from the library about an hour ago. 







Rook by Sharon Cameron

I honestly am not sure what this is about other than taking place during the French Revolution.  The description is very intriguing without giving anything away.




Fellowship of the Ring


The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Honestly I’ll be surprised if I get this read, but I wanted to try something different for me and this was the winner.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Books and Music

You could say I was an over booked child…of my own doing.  My parents gave me opportunities and I never wanted to quit anything.  By age 10 I spent ten hours a week at dance, I played violin and piano, and was in two honor choirs. In the spare moments of my performing arts life I had a book in my hands. Music and books have shaped my entire life. 

This is probably why I’ve always adored books about serious musicians or dancers; those that have dedicated over a decade to their craft or instrument by they time they graduate high school.  But lately I’ve been thinking about books are a kind of strange medium for music.

When we read we engage our sense of sight (obviously), but touch is also involved in the turning of the pages, and scent in the wonderful smell that can only be a book.  But really hearing isn’t involved in the act of reading. 

What I find amazing authors who engage that sense with music even though you can’t actually hear it.  I had phantom music in my head the entire time I read This Song Will Save Your Life.  It brought the rave scenes to life, gave them rhythm.  Some of the most powerful/defining moments of The Hunger Games were songs.  From Rue’s four note mocking jay signal to The Hanged Man’s Song in book three, these musical influences were my favorites parts of these books. These were always authentic moments for Katniss.

Music can help set a mood.  Cello has an almost haunting quality which suits If I Stay perfectly.  In The Cage, music is used very sparingly, but super effectively to enhancing the circular nature of the cage and the feeling of claustrophia it invokes.

Anyone have any good examples of music in books that I’ve left out?  Any musical book recommendations for me?  Let me know in the comments.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Top 10 Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


This week is “Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read”.  Since I did “Top 10 Books I’ll Never Read” earlier this year I limited this list to hyped books I still REALLY want to read, but just haven’t yet.

Hyped Books 1-4

Ready Player One by Earnest Cline – I heard about this book when I first started blogging three years ago and it sounds great…I just haven’t gotten to it/

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – A more recent book, but lots of bloggers whose opinion I generally agree with loved this book. 

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – How have I not read Life of Pi yet?  I won’t let myself watch the movie until I read the book and yet still haven’t (I own the physical book and ebook).

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – This honestly didn’t join my TBR until recently – it’s so LONG – but my cousin Mara loves it so I want to give it a shot.

Hyped Books 5-8

The Giver by Lois Lowry – I feel like an imposter as a dystopian fan with this book still unread.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – I’d never heard of Liane Moriarty until about a year ago, but now they are EVERYWHERE.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Another long time book on my TBR that I just haven’t gotten to yet.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Ditto above – I also own physical and kindle copies.

Hyped Books 9-12

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I go back and forth on The Maze Runner.  Recently a coworker raved about it making me decide I should give it a shot.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This might be the book on this list that I’ve been aware of the longest.  My mom recommended it ages ago and I always intended to read it.  Still do.

Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins – I’m reading it this week.  It’s a library book and it’s due back Saturday with a 100+ wait list. Have to read it this week!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Pulitzer prize winner this year that I’m actually excited about. I bought it about a month ago, but library books have taken precedence.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Recap

I kept up my reading pace and finished 10 books in June.  After setting personal record and posting 3 reviews in May, reverted to form and only posted one review in June, although it was for a wonderful book.

Books Read

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Everything that Makes You by Moriah McStay

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Onyx by Jennifer L Armentrout

Challenge Update

The Cage by Megan Shepherd counts as my sci-fy book for the Read Harder Challenge from Book Riot this month.  In total I have 16 complete out of 24, but everything left is proving very challenging.

In Other News

I started checking out movies from the library as well as books and now highly recommend Pride.  I watched it a couple weeks ago and I loved the movie and am OBSESSED with the song “Bread & Roses”.  I’d never heard it before, but I’ve probably watched that clip from the movie 20+ times now.  The song starts around the 1:00 min mark. 

My brother and his wife returned from a trip to England so my travel bug is biting harder then ever, now I just need to make a plan and go somewhere.