I listened to the audio-book version, which Mindy Kaling narrates herself, and I loved it. She is so funny, down to earth, humble, and honest about heI listened to the audio-book version, which Mindy Kaling narrates herself, and I loved it. She is so funny, down to earth, humble, and honest about her flaws. (All the same flaws that we all struggle with but few would actually admit to). Which makes her so relatable. I loved that she daydreams about "famous people" as much as any normal person might. I cannot recall a single "miss" in this whole collection of stories and miscellany. The only one I will note is that her story about Mindy Kaling the High School Latin Teacher starts off a bit slow, but I thought really delivered in the end. Just as did everything else. This was the first book in a while that I thought, "OH NOOOO!!!" when I heard her say, "Acknowledgements" and realized the book was over. I do dearly hope there will be a next one....more
I love love loved this book and will definitely be purchasing a copy and probably reading it every year. Big Magic is a pseudo-memoir about Gilbert'sI love love loved this book and will definitely be purchasing a copy and probably reading it every year. Big Magic is a pseudo-memoir about Gilbert's thoughts on how creativity and inspiration work, and her personal experiences with the two.
For one, Gilbert is an amazing writer. I loved her last book, The Signature of All Things, as well as all her memoirs. For two, this is a very quick read and very inspirational. I found myself dragging out my reading of it, just to make the goodness last longer. Besides Gilbert's amazing thoughts and advice on pursuing creativity, I really enjoyed hearing about some of her own writing experiences, particularly learning some of the background to the many works I've read of hers. Her advice, particularly about external criticism and what control we have over our work when it's out in the world, is also really level-headed and enlightening....more
This was probably the best book on gratitude or happiness that I've read so far. I loved Kaplan's journalist approach to the study of gratitude. EachThis was probably the best book on gratitude or happiness that I've read so far. I loved Kaplan's journalist approach to the study of gratitude. Each month she turned her gracious attention to a different aspect of her life: her marriage, her career, her health, etc. These different foci then became the chapters for the book. She supplemented each with anecdotal stories of other friends' or acquaintances' experiences with gratitude in that particular area. Plus scientific data garnered from interviews with various experts....more
Felicia Day is an internet celebrity perhaps best known for writing and acting in the internet tv show 'The Guild.' In this memoir, she outlines the pFelicia Day is an internet celebrity perhaps best known for writing and acting in the internet tv show 'The Guild.' In this memoir, she outlines the peculiar childhood and circuitous path that led her to internet/nerd-culture stardom, and her love/hate relationship with online gaming.
Despite being a video game nerd myself, I actually was not familiar with Felicia Day before reading (listening) to this memoir, so I didn't really know what to expect. While not the most riveting memoir out there, I loved reading about another video gaming nerd-girl and seeing the similarities between her experiences and my own. And, heck, it's always fun to read about someone else's teenage online-boyfriends and misadventures in Ultima Online....more
I love humorous memoirs, and my enjoyment for this account of Mindy Kaling's misadventures in the Hollywood scene was no exception.
I was never a fan (I love humorous memoirs, and my enjoyment for this account of Mindy Kaling's misadventures in the Hollywood scene was no exception.
I was never a fan (or non-fan) of Kelly Kapoor from The Office. And I've seen about 0.25 episodes of The Mindy Project. But I will definitely be reading all of Kaling's future writings. I do love her characters, and how she compares and contrasts herself to Kelly in this memoir. I was also fascinated to learn that her career really started taking off after she wrote and starred in the Matt and Ben off-Broadway play spoofing on Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Hilarious!...more
This is a short book telling the true story of Ingwe, a white man born and raised in Africa, who grew up loving the land and was eventually inducted iThis is a short book telling the true story of Ingwe, a white man born and raised in Africa, who grew up loving the land and was eventually inducted into the the Akamba tribe as a member and warrior of the tribe, undergoing a very special ceremony that few if any other white men have ever been witness to. His stories are mostly of wilderness adventures and vision quests, as well as touching on some of the friendships he made with fellow boys as he grew up and connected with them through their common love of nature.
The stories were interesting, though not told in the most compelling way. Probably because the author wanted to stay true to the way Ingwe told the stories himself, as an elder would pass on his knowledge to the younger generations by fireside. Halfway through the book, I also found myself skipping over the poems that came between story chapters.
Since I have some connection with the Wilderness Awareness School (https://www.wildernessawareness.org/) in Washington state, I was most interested in the parts about him meeting Jon Young and becoming involved with that project. I never knew much about Ingwe and his connection to the school....more
In this memoir, John Kralik tells the story, beginning with the horrible depths of depression of his most horrible year, of how he turned things arounIn this memoir, John Kralik tells the story, beginning with the horrible depths of depression of his most horrible year, of how he turned things around with one simple goal: to write one thank-you note a day for 365 days. It is a potent story about the power of gratitude, and it is well-told, well-written, and very inspiring.
I've had this book on my to-read list for many years. Some years ago, I remember suggesting it for a reading group and having one of the members tell me that we shouldn't read it because the author was whiny and self-indulgent. My own experience with this memoir was anything but that. I love memoirs where people are brave enough to expose both the good parts and the bad parts of themselves. Kralik does that without worrying about whether some people won't understand and will interpret his early griping and and self-pity as indulgent. He's just plain honest. And he narrates his story from an up-beat and objective viewpoint. Oh, and he's a lawyer and a multi-time divorcé. So his was a very interesting perspective to hear this story of gratitude from.
I will definitely be reading this book again in the future and likely passing it on to others to read as well....more
Create. Unexpected. Hilarious. Hyperbole and a Half is a great blog, and this is an excellent first collection of some of her stories. (First, right? TCreate. Unexpected. Hilarious. Hyperbole and a Half is a great blog, and this is an excellent first collection of some of her stories. (First, right? There will be more I hope?) There are a few darker moments, particularly in the section that tackles depression. But I know someone who struggles with chronic depression who said her description of the malady was one of the most accurate they'd ever seen....more
LOVED this story about journalist Tom Ryan and his winter hiking adventures with his amazing dog, Atticus, who became somewhat of a local celebrity duLOVED this story about journalist Tom Ryan and his winter hiking adventures with his amazing dog, Atticus, who became somewhat of a local celebrity during their attempts to scale all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four-thousand foot White Mountains twice during a single winter season.
On the heels of losing my own dog, this story really struck a chord with me and made me realize how much I love having a little furry companion. Ryan's dog whispering of and communication with his own pup is a beauty to behold. Not to mention some of the hilarious stories and incidents also captured herein.
I added this memoir to my list after reading a personal essay about knitting, by Maynard, in Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. The mention of her rI added this memoir to my list after reading a personal essay about knitting, by Maynard, in Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. The mention of her relationship with J.D. Salinger was what particularly caught my attention. But the fact that the book was in audiobook format (my preferred method of "reading" memoirs, these days) was why it didn't end up languishing on my to-read list for a couple of years.
I am always amazed and impressed by the bravery of authors who write memoirs that do not flatter them at all but instead reveal the utter depth of their naivete, lack of common sense, spitefulness, or other personal shortcomings. Maynard, as a young adult, embodied the first two of these in spades.
At eighteen, and just beginning college at Yale, she fell under the sway of fifty-three year old author J.D. "Jerry" Salinger--first through a lively correspondence and then by phone and in person. She was starry-eyed for him, felt like the most precious and special girl in the world for having caught his attentions. She was also (though she didn't learn this until years later) not the first nor the last to fall prey to Salinger's celebrity and charms. But, not only did she fall in with Salinger, she quit Yale to move in with him. She struggled with anorexia and bulimia. She declined to do any promotion for her first memoir because of Salinger's hatred of the media. Although Maynard has found some success in her writing career, I wonder how much she hurt herself by following Salinger's advice--which essentially sabotaged her career in its infancy--and then by her other decisions after her relationship with Salinger abruptly ended.
This was an interesting story to read, presented in an objective way where Maynard allows the reader to pass their own judgments on the actions of her, her parents, and J.D. Salinger.
The beginning of the memoir greatly reminded me of Augusten Burroughs's childhood in A Wolf at the Table, because they both dealt with alcoholic fathers and their families were similarly dysfunctional (although Maynard's father was much milder, when intoxicated, then Burroughs's). But that childhood dysfunctionality went on to greatly effect both authors in adulthood.