BlogHer Book Club Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

My husband probably wishes that I hadn't received a copy of Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) from BlogHer, because there were a number of nights that I was shaking the bed with laughter while he was trying to sleep. Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess, has put together one of the single funniest memoirs I've ever read. I suppose it's a memoir in the sense that it tells stories from Jenny's life, but I would put this more in the category of a collection of essays than firmly in the memoir category. Regardless, I absolutely adored every page of this book. It's completely irreverent, completely insane, and completely entertaining. My favorite bits were some of the conversations that she and Victor had. I sincerely hope those parts are true, … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

Stephanie McAfee's Diary of a Mad Fat Girl was originally released as a self-published e-book. Just a few months after she put it out there, it debuted at #31 on the New York Times bestseller list. She stayed there for 12 weeks, got an agent, and got published.It's an impressive story.I just wish I liked the book as much as I liked the story of McAfee's road to publishing success.First, I just felt like the book was overwhelmed with pop culture references. If the book was about pop culture that would be one thing, but they just felt like they were put in for no real purpose. They didn't add to the story, they didn't flesh out the characters. If I picked up this book five years from now, I just think these would make it feel dated and irrelevant.As for the characters, I felt more like they … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith

This month the BlogHer Book Club is reading The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith.I love memoirs and this was by far one of the most unique books in that genre that I've read. Rather than telling her story in a linear fashion, Claire shares bits and pieces, broken up. Claire at 18. Claire at 22. Claire at 14. Each section gave us a better view of the pieces that we had seen before.I also loved that because it was, in part, about losing parents, the disjointed story-telling actually helps set the mood. She deals honestly with depression, addiction, and grief. The dialog is all shared without quotes, so the story has almost a free verse form to it.The pain of losing a parent, let alone both, is one that I have not had to experience. Because Claire lost her parents at such a young … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: The Underside of Joy

This month the BlogHer Book Club is reviewing Sere Prince Halverson’s debut book, The Underside of Joy.This story starts out beautifully with the description of the relationship between the newly married couple, Joe and Ella, and Joe’s children Annie and Zach. Halverson gives us a glimpse of a couple that is happy, but is working through learning how to communicate in a more honest way. When Joe dies, Ella finds out some of the areas where she and Joe had not been fully honest with one another. In the midst of that, Joe’s first wife and the mother of Annie and Zach comes back into the picture, wanting to become more involved in their lives. I really enjoyed this book. Halverson has woven a beautiful story here. Her characters are believable and likable. And as a woman who has suffered from … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: Sea Change by Jeremy Page

This month I had the opportunity to read Sea Changes by Jeremy Page for BlogHer.The book opens very strongly with the tragic death of Guy's daughter. It then takes on a dual story-line. In the real world, we see how Guy's life falls apart. He and his wife divorce and he moves onto a boat where he sails on the North Shore.The way that he deals with his depression is by writing an alternate world where his life continues as it was supposed to with his daughter surviving and his marriage flourishing. Every night he writes in his journal, escaping into a world where everything is good and safe.As a blogger and someone who writes regularly, I wanted to like this book, but honestly, I just bogged down in it a lot. The prose that starts off thick just never. lets. up. It's beautiful, but after a … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Easily one of the most quotable books I've read in a while, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is a fantastic look at New York in the thirties. Head over to the BlogHer Book Club now to check out my review!Disclosure: I received a copy of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles for the purpose of review and I was compensated for my review, however my opinions are 100% my own. … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: Slow Love by Dominique Browning

I enjoy a well-written memoir and Dominique Browning's Slow Love is a lovely piece of writing. She paints a beautiful narrative and while I had to rush through reading this book far more quickly than I would have liked, I found her prose to be a delight.I was torn on the actual content. On one hand, I absolutely love the idea behind the book. When forced to slow down because she lost her job, Dominique discovers that relationships require nurturing that can't be scheduled in the day planner. I am thoroughly in favor of this idea.However, I was less excited about the seemingly unending writing about "Stroller" - a man with whom she is having an affair and who is clearly disinterested in her in any meaningful way. Obviously she realizes this because she is able to write so plainly about it, … [Read more...]

BlogHer Book Club Review: The Kid by Sapphire

I'm not really blogging, I promise! But I did want to let you know about a review of The Kid by Sapphire that I did for the BlogHer Book Club. It's very spoiler-y, so be warned. Also be warned if you're considering reading this book, it's brutal - both in content and in style. But you can find more about that in my sponsored review.Thanks for checking it out!Disclosure: I received a copy of The Kid by Sapphire for the purpose of review and I was compensated for my review, however my opinions are 100% my own.  Subscribe in a reader or by email so you never miss a post! … [Read more...]