"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" is a sort of memoir/ humor book by the very talented and very funny Mindy Kaling. This book was written around t"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" is a sort of memoir/ humor book by the very talented and very funny Mindy Kaling. This book was written around the time that Kaling was on "The Office" so it came out a few years ago but the humor in the book still feels timely and is still very enjoyable. I love her on The Mindy Project and know that she does a lot of the writing for that show and I find it hilarious so I wanted to read this book for that very reason. If you liked books like Tina Fey's "Bossypants" and are looking to infuse your reading with some humor, Mindy Kaling is your girl.
I loved this book! It is the perfect book for when you are looking for a good laugh. Kaling tells some really funny stories about her childhood in an immigrant family. Everything is on the table, whether or not it is embarrassing. She tells great stories about her early career. Not all of the book is funny though; Kaling covers some more serious topics with a lot of thought and consideration. She is nothing if not versatile!
The writing in this book is sharp and witty. This is a pretty fast read, mostly due to Kaling's great writing. It is not a very long book and after I was finished, I definitely found myself wanting I didn't want to put the book down. I know that I will be on the lookout for anything else Kaling writes. Overall, this was a great light read!...more
"Fangirl" is yet another great book by Rainbow Rowell. When I pick up a book by this author, I know that I'm in for a treat. She is very quickly becom"Fangirl" is yet another great book by Rainbow Rowell. When I pick up a book by this author, I know that I'm in for a treat. She is very quickly becoming one of those authors whose future releases are instant buys for me. "Fangirl" is the story of Cath, a young woman who is going to college for the first time. In the past, she has always leaned on her more outgoing twin, Wren, to steer her through life. When The twins go to college, Wren decides to forge out on her own leaving Cath behind. This is a coming-of-age novel that I really enjoyed.
Cath is a great character. Even though her sister has grown out of it, Cath is still very much into writing and reading and being incredibly obsessed by fan fiction about one of her favorite fictional characters from the Simon Snow series (which seems to be a take on Harry Potter). To some degree, she uses this make-believe world as an escape even though others seem to think that she's a little bit too old to be doing that. Even though I have never particularly been into fan fiction, there are a couple fictional characters that I could see being obsessed with. Cath finds this make-believe world to be very comforting and she continues to looking to her fan fiction writing to carry her through college.
I'm mentioned before that this book is also really a coming-of-age book. Once Cath gets to college and doesn't have her twin to lean on she realizes that she has to meet other people... or she could just stay in her room, which she seems happy to do at first. Eventually a love interest appears and really gets Cath out of her shell. There is a love triangle in this book, which is usually something that I don't particularly care for but in this case it really worked for the story. I like that the author was able to keep me on my toes with the triangle, which does not always happen. Overall, this book was a real treat!...more
"The Lowland" is yet another great release by Jhumpa Lahiri, who is quickly becoming one of my must-read authors. This book looks at two very differen"The Lowland" is yet another great release by Jhumpa Lahiri, who is quickly becoming one of my must-read authors. This book looks at two very different brothers. Subhash leaves India to make a new life for himself in the United States. Udayan stays behind in India where he is drawn to the Naxalite movement. His idealism will put him in danger. This is a story of family ties and human nature written in Lahiri's fantastic writing style.
I knew nothing about the Naxalite movement before reading this book and I love when I can learn something new from a book. We see how Udayan gets wrapped up in the movement even when it puts his life in danger. Subhash is left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and a shattered family. This is a really powerful book. The way that Lahiri writes her characters makes them seem incredibly real and like people that you could really come across in real life. We get to know the characters very well. This book covers a broad swath of time in the brothers' lives but it never feels as if Lahiri is rushing things in the telling of their story.
I really enjoyed this story. Stories about families are always interesting to me. I thought that Lahiri did a really good job of capturing the way that siblings interact with each other and how they care about each other even when they don't necessarily agree with what the other is doing. I will be anxiously awaiting the next release by Lahiri!...more
"Fin & Lady: A Novel" is the story of Fin, a young boy who is orphaned suddenly, and has to move from the farm that he's always known to Greenwich"Fin & Lady: A Novel" is the story of Fin, a young boy who is orphaned suddenly, and has to move from the farm that he's always known to Greenwich Village in New York City with his wild half-sister, Lady. Lady is the consummate 1960s party girl who doesn't know the first thing about taking care of a child. She gives a half-hearted try but most of the responsibility falls to Fin. This book is a coming-of-age story for Fin and the focus is really on him.
Even though Fin is only 11 years old, he quickly realizes that Lady's life is too crazy for her to really raise him well and that it's really going to be up to him to take care of both of them. To some degree, Lady almost seems like Peter Pan and the way that she doesn't think about consequences and doesn't seem to want to grow up. While I really liked Fin and felt for his plight, I really had a hard time connecting with Lady. It just seems like she was sort of at a point in her life where she should've been a little bit more responsible and she just wasn't. I wanted to know more about her motivation and never felt like that was really laid out.
This book was a little bit of a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed the settings, particularly the parts that were set in Greenwich Village, which seemed like an extremely exciting place to be during the 1960s. I did like reading about both Fin and Lady's views on the neighborhood and how they deal with the place in very different ways.
I really enjoyed the premise of the story but I wish that I felt a little bit more for the characters, especially :ady. I don't necessarily feel like I always have to like the characters I read about but I do like understanding their motivations and with Lady it I just couldn't....more
I had really been wanting to read something by Sarah Jio for awhile. All of her books have sounded so good to me and I really wanted to see what theyI had really been wanting to read something by Sarah Jio for awhile. All of her books have sounded so good to me and I really wanted to see what they were all about. I came across "Blackberry Winter" at the library and when I read what the story was about, I knew I had to read it. I can tell you I was not disappointed!
"Blackberry Winter" is the story of two women in two different times. There is Vera, a woman in the 1930s who is struggling to care for her young son and to make ends meet. There is Claire, a woman in present day Seattle who is struggling to make her marriage work after tragedy strikes. Claire is a reporter and finds herself following a lead about a cold case involving the disappearance of a child.
Time split books can be hit or miss for me. In the case of this book, it worked really well. There were so many different surprises throughout this book and real connections between the women that it just worked really well. Jio gives you just enough about the connection between the women to keep you reading just. one. more. page (this book was really hard to put down because of that)! The way that she was able to connect everything at the very end was thoroughly delicious.
I also really liked both of the characters in this book and found them equally interesting. I felt for both of the characters. Both are dealing with very different situations but both situations center on children and what it means to be a parent. Both of the characters felt really real to me. Vera was so interesting to me. She is out on her own during a time when it was really difficult for a woman to make her own way. Claire is dealing with her problems by throwing herself into her work. She eventually realizes that she has to deal with her problems and she can't hide any longer!
I know that this is not the last time I read a book by Sarah Jio!...more
3.5 stars. "Boy Snow Bird" is a book by Helen Oyeyemi, an author that I had been wanting to try for awhile. It is the story of Boy, a young woman who3.5 stars. "Boy Snow Bird" is a book by Helen Oyeyemi, an author that I had been wanting to try for awhile. It is the story of Boy, a young woman who is running away from her troubled and difficult past in New York City. She finds herself in Massachusetts, which is where she meets Arturo, a man she falls in love with and marries. Boy then becomes the stepmother to Arturo's daughter, Snow. But when Arturo and Boy have a child together, Boy realizes that Arturo and his family are light-skinned African-Americans who are passing White. It's the 1950s and this is a scandal!
One of the things that made me interested in reading this book is that it was billed as being a retelling of the fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. However, this isn't exactly a retelling. There are definitely elements from that story such as their recurrence of the appearance of mirrors in the story as well as Boy being sort of a wicked stepmother to Arturo's first daughter, Snow. That being said I wasn't disappointed in this book even though it turned out quite differently from what I thought it was going to be in the beginning.
This is my first time reading this author but I know that I will be back for more. I like the way that she was able to weave some magical realism throughout the story, which is one of my favorite elements. The author also has a really interesting way of using subtle details in order to make the reader think.
I did wish that we as readers were able to get a little bit closer to the characters in the book. Even though the book is narrated from their perspective, it still felt as if in many cases they were keeping the reader at arms' length. The sparkling writing made up for that at least a little bit for me!...more
"Hyperbole and a Half" is a mostly hilarious collection of Allie Brosh's comics. I had seen a lot of the comics all over the Internet but never made t"Hyperbole and a Half" is a mostly hilarious collection of Allie Brosh's comics. I had seen a lot of the comics all over the Internet but never made the connection that they were all by the same person. She is incredibly talented and witty! I was very excited to find this book!
I love when a book can make me laugh out loud and this one definitely did that. It had me laughing all sorts of places where it was probably not socially appropriate to laugh such as public transportation but then again I think that's a mark of a truly funny book. Some of the comics brought me to tears from laughing so much (some of my favorites are anything having to do with Brosh's dogs).
That's not to say that the whole book is funny. Brosh also tax some pretty difficult subjects using her drawings. The section on depression and anxiety is probably one of the best descriptions that I've ever come across of what it feels like to go through those things!
I would very much be in favor of a sequel to this book!...more
4.5 stars. "Operation Massacre" takes place during a very dark time in Argentina's history. It is the 1950s and the political establishment has been u4.5 stars. "Operation Massacre" takes place during a very dark time in Argentina's history. It is the 1950s and the political establishment has been upended. Charismatic President Juan Peron lost the presidency during a coup. The Peronistas try to stage an uprising, which fails, and journalist, Rodolfo Walsh is at the center of it trying to find out what happened. Walsh uses his skills as a journalist in order to shed some light on what happened during and after the uprising and how it affected the entire country. This is an unflinching true-life account of a country in chaos.
One of my majors in college was International Studies with a focus in Latin America. I am still endlessly fascinated about this area of the world and I am sort of surprised that I didn't come across this book earlier in my studies. I was very happy to be able to borrow it from a friend. It was really interesting to read about this event from a more on-the-ground approach than you would get from a standard history book. Walsh is a very driven individual and really wants to shed light on what happened. He draws on a lot of interviews and first hand accounts of people who were there and witnessed both the uprising and the fallout. I really liked that he focused so heavily on the accounts of people who were actually there and who actually witnessed
In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" in the way that it was told. It is a gripping story that pulled me in right from the beginning. I love learning history through books like this one as they get you right into the heart of the issue.
The history behind how this book was published is fascinating as well. This was originally published as magazine articles as the magazine was the only one brave enough to publish these stories (this would have been an incredibly controversial work during that time period). It's really fantastic that Walsh's work got published at all as the magazine editor could have just as easily said no for his own protection!
If you're interested in history and especially if you are interested in politics or South America, this is most definitely a worthwhile read!...more
"The Devil in the White City" is a gripping true crime, historical story about the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. The World's Fair was a chance for Ame"The Devil in the White City" is a gripping true crime, historical story about the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. The World's Fair was a chance for America to put on a show for the rest of the world to rival some of the greatest cities in the world such as Paris. This is one of those stories that you have to keep reminding yourself that it is actually a true story just because it is so fantastic.
This is the first book that I have read by Erik Larson but it will not be the last. Someone had given my husband, an architect, this book for a gift and it was one of those books that I always meant to get around to reading. I finally had a chance to read it when we were actually in Chicago last year (anyone else have this thing where they really like reading books in the places where they're set? I love it! It really adds something to my reading experience!)
I really liked the way that Larson was able to weave together a lot of great historical detail into a really engaging narrative. The planners of the World's Fair wanted to create the most spectacular spectacle that the world had ever seen. Meanwhile, the whole thing threatens to collapse when a horrible murderer threatens the city of Chicago.
Larson moves back and forth between the lead-up to the World's Fair and the murders. I loved this juxtaposition! On one hand, you have a group of great minds trying to bring order to chaos. On the other hand, you have a deranged mind bent on bringing chaos. It was so cool! Overall, this was a really great story!...more
3.5 stars. "Red Gold" is a sort of sequel to Furst's "The World at Night" although it still a part of his Night Soldiers series. "Red Gold" picks up t3.5 stars. "Red Gold" is a sort of sequel to Furst's "The World at Night" although it still a part of his Night Soldiers series. "Red Gold" picks up the story of Jean Casson, the main character from "The World at Night." In this book, we see Casson as more battle-worn than he was in the first book but still committed to trying to help the Resistance movement in France. The stakes are even higher now!
The great thing about Furst's "Night Soldiers" books are that you can really start anywhere in the series without confusion as the books focus on different characters (except for "Red Gold" and "The World at Night." I actually read this book before I read the previous book and still totally understood this one (I do wish that I had read them in the right order merely from the standpoint of being able to see the progression of Casson's character).
Casson is a fascinating character. At first, he starts out wanting to stay out of the fray and to simply live his life without getting too involved. In this book, he cannot help but to be involved. He has a lot of drive and commitment. I really like how Furst is able to change this normal, everyday man into somewhat of a hero. Furst does this with a lot of his characters, which really helps to pull readers into caring about what happens to these people where there is so much more than what meets the eye initially. I did like "The World at Night" a little bit better because we see much more of a change in Casson as well as much greater characterization, another reason that I wish I had read this book after that one.
The world building and setting in this book continued to be one of my favorite things. Furst knows how to do a lot with a little. No description is wasted here!
"#GIRLBOSS" is a memoir of sorts by Sophia Amoruso, who is the CEO and founder of Nasty Gal. Nasty Gal, for those of you who are not familiar, is a on"#GIRLBOSS" is a memoir of sorts by Sophia Amoruso, who is the CEO and founder of Nasty Gal. Nasty Gal, for those of you who are not familiar, is a online retailer that sells vintage clothes and is hugely successful. Told by Amoruso herself, the story is partially the story of how she got to where she is all prior to the age of 30 (super impressive, no?). It's also it meant to be a book to encourage other young women to go for what they want even if it seems like it's not reachable.
I found the book to be really inspiring. I always like reading about success stories of those who are no too much older than I am. The book is written in a fairly informal way and to some degree, it feels as if one of your friends is giving you some heart-to-heart business advice. I liked that style for this particular book because it made it feel a little bit friendlier to me. There is a lot of good advice in this book; however, there is also some advice that does feel a little bit like the same old, same old. That being said, sometimes it really is the same old, same old that will get you to the place that you want to be. Overall, I thought those was a pretty good read especially for those who want some advice but aren't necessarily into delving into more traditional business literature....more