March 2012 // Books


Ohmygosh, FINALLY!!! A month where I could exhale and read a little bit. 5 books, in fact — which may not seem like a lot to most of you but after the slow going January and February, I was so happy to be back to reading at least a book every week!

Goal of Reading 75 Books? — I’m not giving up on you yet — even though I’m 8 books behind! Eek! Clearly this means someone is just going to have to whisk me away to somewhere tropical where all I’m required to do is read books on the beach and drink frosty beverages. Aaaaaah, memories…

Here, hang on one second…let me go put that on the Honey Do List.

Anyway, onto the books…


1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) By Mindy Kaling

So, hearing this billed as Tina Fey 2.0, I wasn’t all that thrilled to read it. I mean, I enjoyed Bossypants well enough but not so much that I wanted to read the knock of version of it, you know? Also — I am sadly not a dedicated viewer of The Office. It’s a funny show, but I spend too much time juggling my DVR as it is that I just rarely try and get into sitcoms. That said, I enjoyed this book!

Mindy Kaling is funny and refreshing, and while this certainly is not the best book ever written — each chapter is completely unrelated so it doesn’t feel like the most cohesive work — they were mostly hilarious and fun to read. Reading her book made me feel like I wanted her to be my friend. She sounds like the type of person who you would want to be sitting next to at a boring party.


2. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard HEY-O, shall we take a complete right turn? Because Jaycee Dugard’s book does not have AN OUNCE OF HUMOR in it. In fact it is totally disturbing and I just can not — I CAN NOT — get over the atrocities that she lived through for EIGHTEEN YEARS. And just a few hours away from her family the entire time! UGH!

Obviously it was a local story, so I think that is part of the reason that the whole book just freaked me out so much, but also you can’t help but feel like the authorities failed this little girl when you hear how many times there were options for intervention. Overall it’s just a harrowing story. The way it’s written isn’t particularly chronological, it’s sort of just memories of events that happened :::shudder::: and then her reflection on them now that she is free. Every cliche you can think of about human triumph in the face of adversity is applicable to this book. I don’t know how she wrote it.


3. Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life As A Professional Eater by Gail Simmons
So we’ve already talked about this book a little bit, but at that time I hadn’t quite finished it. It got…marginally better, but the Top Chef Insider Info wasn’t all that juicy. I am actually glad I read it though because I did find it kind of inspiring.Inspiring, you say? But I thought it was poorly written, self involved, and not that juicy?

It was kind of all of those things — but mostly it was a portrait of a career path that was non-linear and I feel totally inspired by that. I love to watch people pursue their passions and make a living out of it. It’s so…not black and white. There are no blueprints for how to do what you love // love what you do, so when I come across a living example of that I like to tuck it away as evidence in mind for creative and professional inspiration. So even though this book wasn’t the awesome page turner I had hoped, it was definitely a testament of passion. So for that, I’m glad I read it.


4. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
So, I’m kind of embarrassed to tell you how much I loved this but here’s the deal: I did. I knew of this book, it was everywhere for a little bit, but it had that sort of flowery Jodi Piccoult vibe that I generally try to avoid so I never picked it up. Then I read the plot synopsis of Sarah Jio’s The Bungalow after reading this post and all of a sudden REALLY wanted to read that book. Unfortunately the hold list at the library was long, so I picked up Violets of March (it was just lying about, unloved on the shelf at the library) to see if I even liked Jio’s writing style.

Wow, this has gotten very off topic.

But the Cliffs Notes is? I did like it! This book ended up rocking because it was a story within a story (I love those! A mystery even…) that was told through an old diary, it took place on Bainbridge Island (which I just LOVED when we went to Seattle a couple years back, so I had warm fuzzy feelings about that the entire time I was reading) and then there’s a little bit of a love story in there. I mean, you guys it is SUPER FLUFFY CHICK LIT! (Or FWA-BWA as Garrett would say) but I loved it. If you’re into that stuff: Read It!


5. Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
So yeah, I’m basically a Jonathan Tropper Fan. If they had a fan club, I’d probably join it. Even though I found this slower than some of his other books to get in to, I just really loved the way describes people and things and he is just the kind of writer that I’m always in the mood to read. No matter what. And that says a lot, I think.

He is very nuanced at describing the psychology of relationships and can draw a comparison so accurate it hurts. He makes a book like this, where the plot isn’t really the driving force behind the page turning, keep you up all night reading. It’s pretty great. The only downside, and I wrote this on goodreads because DUDE — EVERYONE NEEDS THIS WARNING — is that I would have given it 5 stars except every time I picked it up and read the title I got that god damn 80s song of the same name in my head. And really? That I could have done without. But otherwise…pretty flawless.


Any must reads and recommends this month? Leave em in the comments. My library hold queue isn’t too busy this month, so I’m all ears!

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8 comments to March 2012 // Books

  • Brittany
    April 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Well… I’m shamefully going to admit to have read (and liked) the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. It’s exactly what everyone says about it, (not the best writing, explicit, etc) but I found myself really interested in the story. Many parts made me cringe, many parts were embarrassing to read, but I found it interesting from a psychological perspective. I never liked one bit of the main male character, Christian, but I think that’s what kept me reading…


    • Holly
      April 6, 2012 at 11:03 am

      HA! I’m thinking about getting the kindle app just to download that…how’s that for an embarrassing admission! BAHAHAHAHAH

  • Lesley
    April 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Dude, I an not even going to attempt to pick up A Stolen Life. No way. I barely got through The Road several years back, and THAT WAS FICTION! (I only made it about 15 minutes into the movie). Side note: I’m not certain about the last book I read cover to cover–the shame!–but I do have a copy of Train Like a Mother sitting on my couch begging to be opened…

    • Holly
      April 6, 2012 at 11:04 am

      That’s funny, I own The Road and it’s been on my To-Read list for a while and I watched maybe 30 minutes of the movie recently with Garrett and I was like “NOPE. NEVER GONNA FINISH THAT BOOK.” And I’m ok with that.

      Train like a mother looks great! Pick that up, girl! :)

  • JulieVK
    April 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I think it was in my wedding vows that I have to recommend the book my husband just wrote: “Rhubarb” by M.H. Van Keuren. Right now it’s available only on the Kindle. It’s a quick and funny read, and I promise you’ll love it.

    I haven’t followed your blog long enough to know if you’ve already read these (maybe everyone has), but two of my other favorite books right now are “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Slam” by Nick Hornby.

    • Holly
      April 6, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Julie!

      I’m also a huge Bridget Jones fan…That book was GREAT! I even loved the movies, even though Renee Zellweger always kind of annoys me. But so darling in that one!

      I’m a Hornby fan too…I’ll have to check out Slam.

  • Jesabes
    April 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Sarah Jio is a blogger, right? I swear I remember something a million years ago about one of the bloggers I read saying she was good friends with Sarah and telling everyone to go read her blog and that she had her first novel coming out soon. Or maybe not her first? I don’t remember.

    • Holly
      April 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

      She IS a blogger! I had no idea…I just googled that and found her. Thanks for the tip Jess, just added it to my reader…as if I need another blog to follow :) hehe Ah…well!





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