I had put a hold on Big Little Lies at the library and like two days before it came available to me, I started reading East of Eden, a particularly huge book. So I plowed my way through that so that I could get to Big Little Lies, a book I ended up not being able to put down. Basically, I read a LOT of pages in not very many days. And afterward, I was totally burnt out on reading and had to take a bit of a break from cracking open any more books. Anyway, I finally got back into it, but these are all book I read before my hiatus. Here’s what I’ve been reading the past couple months:
(also, I’ve been feeling a little bit bad with my book recommendations, knowing that they aren’t all 100% clean. I know everyone has different levels of cleanliness that they’re comfortable with when reading books and I wouldn’t want anyone to read something because I recommend it only to find that they’re not comfortable with the content. So, I’ll try to mention if a book is completely clean. If I don’t mention it’s clean…read at your own risk. Or, if you’re intrigued but wary, just comment or text me and I can give you more specific details).
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
This book’s about: Lauren Graham and her life! She talks a bit about growing up and her journey to becoming an actress. She also talks about her more well known roles-like acting in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.
What I Thought:
- I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It more than exceeded my expectations. I thought it was clever and genuine and surprisingly clean.
- So…I feel like Graham writing this book came about largely because of the Gilmore Girls resurgence. Like, agents saw that as an opportunity and got Graham on board for writing a book about her experience with that show in particular. However, she really only dedicates 2 chapters to Gilmore Girls. So basically, I think the book still has plenty to offer even if you haven’t watched the Gilmore Girls series.
- This book is funny! I especially liked her run down of REI. Ha!
- Bless you, Lauren Graham for what you said about season 7 of Gilmore Girls!
- She talks about writing and specifically about writing her book, Someday, Someday, Maybe and I really gained more respect for her and for her writing. She didn’t just think, “I’m a star so people will read whatever the heck I come up with.” She works hard with her writing and really enjoys it, too.
- I do wish she had a different ending. Her last chapter is on the Year in the Life and since the book was about so much more than Gilmore Girls, I wish that she’d ended with something more relatable and in tune with the rest of the book.
Should You Read It? Yes. This book was just a straight up pleasant, fun, clean, interesting read. Whether you’ve watched Gilmore Girls or not, I think this book has plenty to offer.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This book’s about: a kind of modern day Cain and Abel story (although it’s definitely different) set in the Salinas Valley of California.
What I Thought:
- Well…I guess first thing’s first…this book is long. Like really long. To me it was reminiscent of some of those old books-think Gone With the Wind- that just cover so much information and span over so much time. It’s very verbose.
- With its crazy longness it had several side stories that, even after contemplating them for awhile, I still couldn’t figure out why they were included in the novel. They were entertaining, sure, but they didn’t really go.
- There are some pretty raw happenings in this book. I’m always surprised when older books have scandalous stuff in it-like prostitutes. Yeah, crazy, crazy stuff.
- First off, I feel like when a book is a “Classic” I hold it to a different level than your average book. Like, I expect more from it or something. Second, I sometimes feel like certain themes are less earth shattering because, being a member of the church, it’s something I’ve known for a long time. For example, in this book, one of the main points is that we all have evil in us (the natural man) but we are able to demonstrate power over that evil and choose our own actions. I also kept thinking of the Second Article of Faith (We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression), because another big question throughout the book was whether we ought to suffer for our parents’ mistakes. Or, in another way, if, because of Cain, we are destined to make his same mistakes. Anyhow, definitely great points…just less awe inspiring because, yeah, I already knew that.
- Even though some of the main themes weren’t totally mind blowing, there were some priceless little nuggets. They made me stop and think, “Hey, he’s got a point here.”
- I think everyone should have a Lee in their life. Amiright?
Should you read it? Maybe. It’s totally long so it’s a commitment. But if it’s your goal to read more classics, I’d say this is a great option. The symbolism is easy to pick up on and the writing is sympathetic toward the Cain character which is pretty interesting.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This book’s about: Something big happens at the local Elementary school Trivia Night! But before we find out exactly what happened, we delve into the lives of 3 Kindergarten moms, their kiddos and what led to this crazy disaster.
What I Thought:
- Guys, I seriously loved this book. It has some pretty heavy stuff in it but Moriarty was able to mix it perfectly with lightness and humor so that it didn’t feel heavy, if you know what I mean.
- Also, I always respect an author who seems to be trying to raise awareness with something worthwhile, and that’s definitely true here.
- This is the kind of book that just made me remember that everyone’s got stuff going on. You know, be kind, because I don’t always know what others are dealing with.
- The book is set up to where it gives you a big teaser at the beginning and then it rewinds several months to give the prelude to the big night. I stayed up way later than I should have thinking that the Trivia Night was surely just around the corner…but Moriarty truly leaves that off to the very end. So if you’re in the same boat as me…maybe choose sleep…I mean, if you can. I couldn’t put the book down!
- Many other reviews of the book said they thought the book was too long and drawn out, to which I completely disagree. Every chapter was interesting and added to the story. And I felt like suspense built in a delicious sort of way.
- The end. Oh my gosh. I was like “Wha-wha-whaaaa?!?!” Maybe I’m slow but I did not see it coming! The end was crazy and also sad…but, all in all, I really did think the ending was great.
- This was my first time reading a book from this author and it absolutely made me want to check out her other stuff!
Should you read it: I definitely recommend this book, just know that it’s got some pretty heavy stuff in it.
What to Feed Your Baby by Tanya Altmann
This book’s about: all the ins and outs of feeding your baby to toddler to young child.
What I Thought:
- This book was great for me! My pediatrician recommended it and I’m so glad she did. I feel like introducing real food to my baby was something so completely foreign to me. I was clueless on how to introduce food as well as what to introduce and when to introduce it. Yeesh. Parenting. Anyhow…this book was so helpful for me. Altmann really spells everything out for inexperienced parents in a straightforward way.
- Altmann has a list of 11 essential foods that she believes are most necessary to a child’s health. She gives several examples and ideas of how to feed your child (baby to kindergarten age) these essential foods.
- I felt like she kept things real. It’s a new book so she discussed some of the current health trends among parents. Spoiler alert-she’s not for imparting your whacko health ideas onto your kiddos…but she’s all for keeping kids healthy and making sure they get the nutrients they need.
- The book was a little repetitive, but she’s got little blurbs placed throughout the book (different tips or menu ideas) and it was a super quick read.
Should you read it? I absolutely thought this book was worth the read because I needed it. I understand that not everyone is as clueless as me. But if you’re new to parenting or simply want some fresh ideas on how to get your kids to eat healthily, I’d 100% recommend.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
This book’s about: 14 year old Billie Jo living in Oklahoma during the dust bowl.
What I thought:
- I’ve seen this book around and been interested in it but when I flipped through it and saw that it was written in verse, I was completely turned off. Verse isn’t really my flavor. But when we were staying with Ben’s mom we had some down time and she had in on her shelf, so I gave it a go.
- The fact that it’s written in verse ended up not bothering me at all. I just kind of ignored it (sorry!) and it read just fine. It also ended up being a verrrry quick read. It’s definitely well written.
- This book is sad! But it definitely gives you an image of what life would have been like there during the dust bowl…something so foreign to me, I don’t think I can fully comprehend.
Should you read it? If it interests you at all, give it a go! I thought it was well written and engaging. It’s a YA book and totally clean.