12.04.2014

I read some books and I want to talk about them

It has been about 76 years since I've done a book review post, and it's way overdue. You know I love books the way fashion bloggers love JCrew. They're in my blood and I can't get enough. Some of these books have been around the block for awhile, and I'm just now reading them. Some of these books I read in the spring, but then my head was in the toilet until October so I haven't been able to tell you about them. Regardless, I love to read book reviews, so for the 3.2 of you out there who feel the same, this is for you. Also, you're my soulmate.


1. Hatching Twitter. I loved this. It's a nonfiction story about Twitter and how it started. It was basically the Twitter version of The Social Network and full of dramaz like you can't imagine. I was on twitter for about 5 minutes not long after it first launched, so I remembered some of the stuff they talk about, and it was so cool to get the background story even though I still find Twitter mostly annoying. It also goes into detail about how Blogger came about, which was interesting. I highly recommend. It will make you want to be a techie.

2. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Another book I couldn't get enough of. It was a lot like The Paris Wife and the story of Hadley and Ernest Hemingway, except it was about the Fitzgeralds, as told from Zelda's point of view. It starts with how they first met and walks through their marriage, their time in Paris, and their life until she starts to go crazy. It was a little sad at times but completely fascinating, especially for the literature nerds like me. Loved it.

3. Bird by Bird: Some Thoughts on Writing and Life. This book is nothing new and has been on my to-read list since college. My favorite classes in college were my writing classes, taught by a grad student with a Wisconsin accent not terribly older than we were. She was hilarious, and I learned more from her classes than any others. We sat around a large conference table 3 times a week and exchanged our short stories and poems and suggestions. This book reminded me of those classes. It's geared more toward fiction writers, which I am not, but since good nonfiction writing uses the elements of fiction, it's worth the read for anyone who likes to write. Even though some parts weren't totally applicable, Anne Lamott's writing is delightful. She could write a chemistry textbook, and I would read it with a cup of tea. I want to hug her someday.

4. Unbroken. Hands down the best book I've read in a very long time. It's a true story about a WWII soldier and how he survived a plane crash and years as a Japanese POW. It's POWerful (ahaha..hahahaha..ahahaha)(I'll see myself out now). The first third or so was a little slow due to the history of his track legacy (sports = yawn), but it comes into play later on in the book. I couldn't put it down and I didn't want it to end. Also, the movie comes out this month! I'll be there with bells on.

5. Delancey. This book is a food blogger's memoir about her experience helping her husband open up a restaurant/pizza place. I feel like I should've liked it more than I did. I can't pinpoint what it was about the book, but it just didn't quite do it for me. It was definitely interesting and entertaining at times, but overall felt like a "meh" for me. However, if you're from the Seattle area you might have a vested interest in the story, as that's where they live and lots of local places are mentioned.

6. Wild. I feel like I need to hide behind something to give this review. I DID NOT LIKE IT. I'M SORRY. I am the .0001% who cannot get behind this book, even though it came highly recommended.  It's a memoir written by a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in the 90s. There was something about it that didn't sit right with me, and I think it's the author, like we got off on the wrong foot. I know we are/were all young and dumb once, but even though she had a hellish few years, she made some flat-out dumb life decisions, and I felt myself losing respect for her which made it hard for me to cheer her on. The hiking part was interesting, especially when she talked about the Sierras since I grew up in that area. But I didn't love it, and I don't think she's the writer everyone makes her out to be. I'm sorry. Forgive me.

If you can't tell, I'm really into nonfiction. I just think sometimes real life is so much more interesting than anything that can be made up. I did, however, just start reading a novel called A Paris Apartment earlier this week, and I'm already hooked. What are you reading? What should I read (don't tell me Lena Dunham's book-I won't read it)? If you want to creep the embarrassing list of books I've read/want to read, follow me on Goodreads! I'll make you cookies and we can talk about books forever <3

12 comments:

  1. I am very intrigued by that Twitter book, and just added it to my Amazon wish list!! Thanks lady! And as for Wild- I'm really surprised you didn't like it! But to each their own.

    A few months ago I read "This Is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper and adored it so much that I then read almost every single one of his other books. They all seem to have a theme of a troubled male, early/mid 30's protagonist navigating his personal/emotional/romantic/professional life. My favorite ones were "How to Talk to a Widower" and "Plan B" (which has nothing to do with birth control, FYI). Look him up!!

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  2. I've never heard of Hashtag Twitter, but that definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy. Hmm, let me add that to my list.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and it's okay not to like what everyone else likes (ie: Wild). I personally did enjoy the book, but that’s just me - the girl who will pick up Lena Dunham’s book the second she’s done re-reading Harry Potter.

    But, I caught a lot of shade for absolutely HATING the Les Mis movie.

    I don't have a suggestion for a book that I've read, but rather for one I would like to read - Outliers: The Story of Success. I'll get to it eventually!

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  3. I like your reviews. So keep them coming. Here are some of my recommendations:

    Nonfiction:
    The Glass Castle
    Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam

    Fiction:
    anything by Rainbow Rowell
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    Love among the Walnuts
    The Rosie Project
    And Then There Were None
    Poison Study

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  4. I've never read any of these, but certainly agree that I'm a fan of nonfiction and would rather read and learn than go off away into a dreamland with fake characters. Also, business / self help / real life stuff gets me going - I think I'd love Hatching Twitter.

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  5. I read Bird by Bird a long time ago - I remember it being decent, though I don't really remember any specifics. It's one of those ones I keep meaning to go back and read. I think I actually owned it at one point, a friend gave it to me, but I'm not sure what happened to it.

    I just had to Google who Zelda Fitzgerald was. Don't hate me. I felt stupid when I figured it out.

    I have really no desire to read Wild, I don't think it's the kind of book I would really like. I mean, I love memoirs and I love adventure-type stories but everything I've read about the author, I don't know. Same thing here, I feel like I wouldn't like her very much, and if the writing isn't that great either, count me out. That's why I absolutely hated The Fault in Our Stars (a book I only read to see what all the hype was about). Teenagers simply don't say things like "That kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production."

    Being from Seattle, Delancey IS on my list of things to read!! I'm dying to know if I recognize any of the places they talk about.

    According to my Kindle app, I am on page 233 out of 398 pages of Unbroken. So basically only a few more months until we can talk about it. Just kidding, my goal is to finish it before the movie comes out, assuming we'll actually get that movie here.

    Um, aren't you aware that Lena Dunham is the voice of her generation!? Come on, Michelle.

    Bahahah, just kidding. I'm Not That Kind of Girl that would read trash like that either. (See what I did there?)

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  6. i am SO glad I stumbled upon your blog because I have been looking for good book recs for a long time! yay!! I LOVE unbroken! so excited for the movie! definitely one of my top three favorite books (and that's saying something!)

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  7. At least you read Wild, it never sounded interesting to me so I thought I was the weird one.

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  8. I've heard of that Z book and Unbroken. I should put them on the list. Right now I'm working my way through all of Rainbow Rowell's books (currently Fangirl) and I love them.

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  9. Z and Bird by Bird are both on my to read list. I really loved The Paris Wife, but I read that and Gone Girl in the same week and that was just far too much depressing marriage talk for that short of a time period. Now that I've had some space, I think I'd like to give Z a spin. Last month I read Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng. I couldn't put it down. It took me a little bit to get used to the author's style, but once I did I was hooked. Definitely recommend.

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  10. Unbroken! Most stressful book in the history of ever! I started listening to it on the treadmill with the hope that it would inspire me (it did not) and it was slow going at first. I continued listening to in on the drive from VA to TN (so many details!) and between his plane being shot down, his time in the water and that evil prison guy who was always so mean to him (forget his name but you know who I mean) I had to turn it off for a while. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse it did. I'm so glad I pressed on because it was a great book. The ending was great.

    Wild. One word- ugh. Three words, actually- boring and why? I can't stand it. I got about 30 pages in before deciding I didn't want to spend my one and only life on a book I didn't like.

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  11. Well, atleast one of the books on my reading list seem good! Unbroken and Wild have been on my list for awhile...thanks for the feedback!

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  12. Ah, yes, Bird by Bird! I actually just read this for the first time recently. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love books about writing, and Anne is a gem. Okay...Unbroken is one of those books I wish I could force everyone to read after I tied them to a chair and held their eyelids open with crutches. Everyone needs that book in their lives. And the worst part is that you can't truly tell anyone how good it is without giving away major spoilers. So the most you can do is tell them to read it an obnoxious amount of times. (Do you want to talk about the movie? Because I don't. I haven't forgiven Angelina Jolie yet.)

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