Category Archives: Nonfiction

Wild (mini-review)

Finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. 

You know this story, right? Cheryl Strayed decides to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) a few years after her mom dies in order to get her life back on track. If you haven’t read the book, you probably saw the movie (which stars Reese Witherspoon). 

If you haven’t read it, this book is incredible. I can’t imagine putting my body through something so grueling and I have nothing but respect for Cheryl Strayed. 

If you haven’t read it, you need to. 

Highly recommended. 

You Are A Badass

Finished You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. 

I got this as a present a few days ago. I’m leery of self-help books because (a) I suck at admitting I need help and (b) they seem kind of lame. But how can you resist one with the title “You are a Badass”?

I’m not sure about all the visualization (I have had very specific images of myself as a lottery winner and with specific, awesome jobs and am still broke and jobless) but there is a lot of value here. And there’s a lot I’m already doing. 

(Fun fact: at my last job, the one I hated? Every day, I made myself list at least five reasons why I’d have a good day. It kept me from calling in sick every day.)

I have the playlist, I have the pep talk. So maybe the affirmations and visualizations aren’t too far behind. :)

Recommended. 

Tiny Beautiful Things

Finished Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. This was a reread. 
If you are my Facebook friend, you know how I have been doing post-election. Rereading this helped. 
It’s a compilation of Dear Sugar advice columns and while none applied to this situation, they all did. 
The hard thing is going forward when you just want to stop and grieve. But that fixes nothing. Donating and volunteering to the DNC may not either but it’s a step forward. I’ll take it. 

Carry On, Warrior

Finished Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. 

I am at loose ends. I don’t have a job, my severance has run out, I haven’t gotten an interview in two weeks and unemployment is not very much money. I am freaking out. 

And then my best friend sent me Love Warrior and, like a raft, the answer came: read it. Read Glennon’s other book, too. Read Cheryl Strayed. Read Anne Lamott. It won’t get you a job, but it’s harder to be afraid when you’re reading wisdom. (And I’m waiting for publishers to send the other Cybils books anyway, so…)

You’ve all read this, right? You don’t need me to talk you into it, do you?

Carry On, Warrior is exactly what I needed. It’s like sitting down with a friend and being told that it’ll all work out. Of course it will. So now I need to read some Momastery. And maybe she’ll write another book. Maybe soon. 

Highly recommended. 

Love Warrior

Finished Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. 

This is such a weird book for me to love, but I do. I’m single and this is about a marriage, its near-implosion and eventual rescue (although the couple split up after, according to the internet). Still, there’s a lot of truth here, things that apply to everyone. 

I have Glennon’s first book and I plan to read that soon. I just met her (my best friend is a long-time fan but Glennon and I are new acquaintances) but I like her. 

Between her, Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott, I think I’m going to grow a lot. I hope. 

Highly recommended.  

Brave Enough

Finished Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. This is a reread. 
I lost my job in mid-July. Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, or at least the next 30-odd years. I knew I didn’t want to work in TV news anymore and I knew I wanted to do work I could be proud of and for people I respected (which has not always been the case). As I type this, I still don’t have a job. But I’m typing this in late October, so hopefully that’s changed. (ETA: it has not.)
Anyway, I decided to re-read Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. Her book Tiny Beautiful Things was such an inspiration to me, and this book is so much the best parts of that. 

Here are some of the things that jumped out at me this time (and read this for yourself; there’s so much wisdom here). 
(Copyright still reserved)

Hungry Heart

Finished Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner. I received a copy for review. This review was originally posted in October. 

This is a book of essays and it is absolute perfection. 

I’ve wished for years now that we were friends and this really cements that. This is everything I wanted it to be and everything that it would be reasonable to expect. She discusses marriage and motherhood and dogs and The Bachelor and social media and, of course, weight and writing and…well, life. 
Everyone needs to read this. 
Highly recommended. 

Where Am I Now?

Finished Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson. 
This is Mara Wilson’s book of essays. You know her from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda. 

Like every reader who’s roughly my age, I love Matilda and so, by extension, I loved Mara Wilson, who played her in the movie. 

I went into this expecting to enjoy it (she’s MATILDA, guys!) but I was not prepared for how delightful it is. Yes, there are serious topics (she has OCD, which is funny unless it’s happening to you or someone you love) but it’s also really hilarious. 
Exhibit A:

And B:

I hope there are more essays in the future. Lots more. 

Recommended. 

TV (The Book)

Finished TV (The Book) by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz. I received a copy for review. 

This is exactly what you’d expect: a selection of the 100 best TV shows ever. (There is also a list in the back of shows that may be included once their runs are over.)

I’m going to admit that I am not a big TV watcher although (a) I am very passionate about what I do watch and that (b) almost literally all my favorites are listed here. (I may not watch much but I watch quality, damn it!)

I’m not sure I agree with everything (Mad Men not in the top five? THE SIMPSONS AS THE BEST SHOW EVER?!) but am willing to concede that they are experts and I am not willing to watch almost 30 years’ worth of the Simpsons to crack my knuckles and say that I KNEW it wasn’t the best. 

This will be an excellent present for both your TV-obsessed friend and for the person like me who really does mean to catch up on everything, once she gets some time. 

Recommended. 

More About Boy

Finished More About Boy by Roald Dahl. I received a copy for review to be able to participate in this blog tour. 
Synopsis:

“Roald Dahl got all of his wonderful ideas for stories from his own life. He told the story of his childhood in Boy. Now More About Boy features behind-the-scenes material—plus some secrets he left out. Enjoy tales about the Great Mouse Plot, mean old ladies, and lots and lots of chocolate—the inspiration for some of the world-famous, bestselling books he would eventually write. This new edition includes some funny and some frightening—but all true—things that have NEVER been revealed before!”

This is the story of Roald Dahl’s childhood. (It also goes into his first job, where he worked for Shell.) Photos and letters and, best of all, liner notes of where his ideas for books likely came from, are also included. 

Most avid readers who are roughly my age are huge Roald Dahl fans. I am no exception; I love Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed harder than I did when encountering the Twits for the first time. So while it’s safe to say that I love Roald Dahl, it’s ALSO fair to point out that I didn’t really know him. 

More About Boy changed that. We learn a lot about his childhood (he goes to boarding school from a young age, not long after he is caned for a silly prank). And oh yeah, the pranks! I’m guessing that’s where the Twits’ love of mischief comes from. 

If you are also a Roald Dahl fan, read this. It’s captivating and I guarantee you’ll love it. 
About ROALD DAHL:

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated. 

 

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie. 

 

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies. 

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.  

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK. 

 

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities. 

 

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

 
Giveaway:

1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.
Click here to enter. Good luck!
Schedule:

9/12

Fiction Fare

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes

http://www.fictionfare.com

9/13

Nicole’s Novel Reads

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets

http://nicolesnovelreads.blogspot.com

9/14

Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

Skin and Other Stories

rantsandravesofabibliophile.wordpress.com

9/15

Intellectual Recreation

Love From Boy

http://www.intellectualrecreation.com

9/16

KellyVision

More About Boy

Kellyvision.wordpress.com

9/17

One Night Book Stand

Revolting Rhymes

https://onenightbookstandblog.wordpress.com

9/18

The Quiet Concert

The Minpins

http://thequietconcert.blogspot.com/

9/19

Reads All the Books

Dirty Beasts

http://www.ReadeAlltheBooks.com

9/20

Here’s to Happy Endings

The Enormous Crocodile

http://www.herestohappyendings.com

9/21

He Said Books or Me

D is for Dahl

Hesaidbooksorme.blogspot.com

9/22

Dizneeee’s World of Books

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

http://dizneeeesworldofbooks.blogspot.com

9/23

The Innocent Smiley

The Vicar of Nibbleswick

http://www.theinnocentsmiley.com

9/24

PaperTrailYa

Esio Trot

PaperTrailYA.co.uk

9/25

Emily Reads Everything

Danny, The Champion of the World

Www.emilyreadseverything.com

9/26

Writing My Own Fairy Tale

George’s Marvelous Medicine

http://www.writingmyownfairytale.com

9/27

Rebelle Reads

Fantastic Mr. Fox

rebellereads.blogspot.com

9/28

Quest Reviews

Going Solo

http://www.questreviews.com

9/29

Mundie Kids

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

http://www.mundiekids.blogspot.com

9/30

Stuck In Books

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

http://stuckinbooks.com

10/1

No BS Book Reviews

Matilda

http://nobsbookreviews.com

10/2

Novelgossip

The Twits

https://novelgossip.com

10/3

Forever Bookish

Boy: Tales of Childhood

foreverbookish.com

10/4

Miranda’s Book Blog

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

https://mirandasbookreviews.blogspot.com

10/5

I Turn the Pages

The BFG

http://www.iturnthepages.com

10/6

The Irish Banana Review

The Witches

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com

10/7

Actin’ Up with Books

The Magic Finger

http://actinupwithbooks.blogspot.com

10/8

Swoony Boys Podcast

James and the Giant Peach

http://www.swoonyboyspodcast.com