Monday, June 30, 2014

Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk by Heather Kopp

Kopp was living a double life. By day, she wrote Christian books about prayer and God. By night (and also by day), she secretly drank copious amounts of alcohol. She writes about how she hid her drinking from her husband and how she eventually hit bottom and started the recovery process. She is very honest about the highs and lows of recovery including the relapses.

Reading about how Kopp hid her drinking was particularly fascinating, and I could understand how exhausting it would be to keep the drinking secret. But then, it just became a way of life for her.

This is one book that I think could actually benefit from being longer than it actually is. I was curious about hearing even more details about her recovery and how it was for her to work through the steps of the AA program.

Kopp writes from a Christian perspective, but if that's not your background or to your liking, this book is still educational about addiction and the struggles involved in recovery.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

A Vietnamese-American immigrant family meets Little House on the Prairie?? Well, this story kinda worked and kinda didn't. Nevertheless, I read it in a day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spelling It Like It Is by Tori Spelling

You know I read all of Tori Spelling's books and am only slightly embarrassed to let you all know that. In her latest book, Tori writes about her third and fourth pregnancies (her kids are only ten months apart!) and the cancellation of her reality show.

She writes about the details of her outrageous lifestyle and includes more gross TMI details than her other books. I actually felt sad for Tori at some points during this book as she writes about her constant search for the "perfect" house. She is used to an extravagant lifestyle, but doesn't have the budget for it right now. Her ongoing search for happiness makes me hope that she will find peace and contentment inside of herself.

Spelling It Like It Is includes an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how reality shows are put together. I enjoyed this book, but you may not...but then again, I do have a soft spot for Tori Spelling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Double Time: How I Survived- and Mostly Thrived- Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins by Jane Roper

Roper starts out this book with finding out that she's pregnant with twins. She writes about trying to wrap her head around having twins, the early days of learning to feed them, and then onto trying to manage two little girls at the same exact developmental stage while also wanting to know and love each of them individually.

Double Time isn't just about raising twins though. Roper also writes about her struggles with depression and eventually a diagnosis of bipolar II while adjusting to motherhood.

I really liked Roper and her writing. She comes across as sweet, smart, down-to-earth, and also very willing to laugh at herself and not take herself too seriously. She doesn't try to sugarcoat anything about having twins, and she's very real about her depression. I hope that she's working on another book.

Bark: Stories by Lorrie Moore

Sometimes I pick up collections of short stories but usually not because sometimes I just don't get them. For the most part, I liked these stories of middle-age life. But overall, I'm still not a fan of short stories quite yet.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

At a recent wedding, my old friend from college who was sitting next to me leaned over and said, "I read your blog sometimes, but we don't like the same genres." She is a fan of science fiction, and if you're familiar with my blog, you know that I don't read a lot of science fiction.

I asked her, if I were to read some science fiction, what would she recommend? She asked, "Well, what science fiction movies do you like?" I paused. "See?" she said. Then, my husband, who wants to go by Boomer in this blog now, jumped into the conversation and they had quite a productive discussion about which science fiction books they like. I ate my roll with butter.

Anyway, all that to say that I just read a book that was categorized under Science Fiction...and wasn't a big fan.

It started out pretty well, but, at 482 pages, should have been more like 200 pages. Getting through the last 100 pages was a challenge.

It starts out with Myfanwy Thomas waking up in a park surrounded by dead bodies with a letter reading: "Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine." Myfanwy has to figure out how to pass as the person's body she is in with the help of detailed letters written by the person whose body she occupies.

A so-so book that started out better than it ended. Thanks for the recommendation, Grace!! And sorry, Debi, I think you're're not going to find a lot of science fiction books on this blog.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tiger Babies Strike Back: How I Was Raised by a Tiger Mom by Could Not Be Turned to the Dark Side by Kim Wong Keltner

Kim Wong Keltner takes a look (that is sometimes very angry and bitter) at the perfection driven parenting of Chinese parents. She writes about her own childhood, her family history, and how she is striving to cultivate her own and her daughter's emotional life. She also loves San Francisco, so there are also some love letters to the city.

Funny, but angry. I was hoping that it would be a direct response to Amy Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and an argument for the importance of emotional well-being and mental health, but it was more of a meandering memoir with some angry tirades about traditional Chinese parenting.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat

A "dew breaker" is a torturer, and this is the story of a man (and former dew breaker) living in the US with his family. His secret is that he was a dew breaker back in his home of Haiti. This book consists of interrelated stories around the dew breaker and his family, neighbors, and victims.

Heavy and serious. Not exactly an enjoyable book content-wise, but if you're looking for some solid literature, check it out.

Thanks for the recommendation, Mia!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Backlog of Books

 Listed below are some books I've recently read along with a two or three sentence review.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Why do underdogs succeed? Gladwell has a way of making you look at things differently and to wonder if we have it all wrong. The first half was better than the second half.

Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance by Tish Jett
Books on how to emulate the French lifestyle are a dime a dozen these days. When I asked my husband's French co-worker who lives in Paris about these books, he exclaimed, "Propaganda! It's all propaganda!" Hum. Anyway, this book had some interesting and helpful tips about clothes and confidence.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Allan slips out of the window at his retirement home right before his 100th birthday party. Who knew that he was a part of major world events during his lifetime? The story has plenty of humor, but no heart. (Thank you to Grace for this recommendation!)

My Foreign Cities by Elizabeth Scarboro
Would you move ahead with a dating relationship knowing that your boyfriend/husband may only live until he's 30 or so? Elizabeth did, and this is the story of her time with her husband, Stephen. Heartfelt, sad, and yet a true story of commitment and not backing away when life gets messy.

Audio CD - Car Talk Classics: Four Perfectly Good Hours by Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi

If, on a Saturday morning, you pull up next to a lady who is laughing like crazy in her car, it's probably me listening to Car Talk. Ray and Tom aka Click and Clack are so funny plus there is sometimes some actual car advice thrown in there!