Tuesday, October 10, 2017

what i read: october edition

It's time for a book post again with Steph and Jana.  I read three this month, and first up was Amy Poehler's Yes, Please.




Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy's one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is "Yes Please!" then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this book.  I'd been on the waiting list for the audio version for several months, so I was so excited when it became available.

(Sidenote, do you use the app Overdrive?  It's free, and you plug in your library card information, and have access to thousands of audio books and e-books.  I love it.  I spend a lot of time driving and love having access to free audio books.)

The book was good, but I didn't love it.  Like a lot of people, I think I expected it to be a lot like Tina Fey's book, and it wasn't.  I loved hearing the behind the scenes info about SNL and the other shows Amy has been involved with.  I really enjoyed when she wrote about her friendship with Tina.  Michelle and I often compare ourselves to Amy and Tina so I felt like I could relate to what she was talking about.  There were certainly funny parts, but I didn't laugh out loud.  One thing I did take away from this is that Amy is one hard worker.

Next was My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. 




Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.


Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.


 I absolutely loved this book.  Five stars.  It was sweet, but there were some parts where I was laughing so hard Matt said, "What is going on in that book?!"  By the end I wished I lived in England, and that the characters were real, because I wanted to meet them in real life.


The last book I read was Church of the Small Things, by Melanie Shankle.  





Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?  
Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.
Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.
I've read Melanie's blog and listened to her podcast for years, and I love all of her other books.  I was so excited to read this one and it did not disappoint.  Melanie's writing never fails to make me laugh out loud.  She has a way with words that can make you laugh and make you think and make you cry, all in one chapter.  

I just went to the library today and re-stocked, so I am all set for the next few weeks!  Did you read anything great this month?

31 comments:

lauren alford design said...

I'll have to check out church of the small things, sounds good!

Kelly said...

I loved My Not-So Perfect Life too. Definitely a few laugh (or let's be honest, snort) out loud moments for me too.

Amie said...

I have been wanting to get this Melanie Shankle book so I am glad to hear it was as good as her others :)

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Once I got down with Amy's book not being Tina's book, I enjoyed it.

AmberIAm said...

Church of the Small Things sounds really good! Adding it to my Goodreads list now!

Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... said...

I just bought My (Not So) Perfect Life a little while back, but have yet to read it. So many books, only so many available hours in the day. It was good reading your thoughts on it.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

My main issue with Amy's book was that it was so damn heavy. It weighed like 10 pounds.

Emelia @ Dream Big and Buy the Shoes said...

The first two are on my to read list, so I definitely need to check them out sooner than later!

Michelle said...

I completely agree with what you said about Amy’s book. She doesn’t translate as well in writing, but I love her as an actress.

My Not So Perfect Life was SO GOOD. I’ve been wanting to read something like it ever since I finished because I was so entertained.

I’ve never read anything by Melanie Shankle but Sarah told me to listen to a podcast that interviewed her. She talked about people needing to be accepting of families with one child so I fell in love with her and I can’t wait to read that book!

Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis said...

I read Amy Poehler's book a few months back and I agree with your review. It wasn't bad but definitely lacking some more substance. Sounds like I need to add "My Not So Perfect Life" to my reading list. Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

Elizabeth - No Lazy Days said...

I agree with your review of Yes, Please - I'm glad I read it after Tina Fey's or I probably would have skipped that one. My Not So perfect Life sounds interesting and Church of the Small Things is going on my TBR list too.

Kristin said...

I wasn't a fan of Yes, Please but I loved Bossypants.

My Not So Perfect Life was cute and I could see shades of the old Kinsella in it. It gave me hope that she could be going back to the good writing I used to love her for!

Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real said...

I'm totally adding "My Not So Perfect Life" to my reading list!

Rebecca Jo said...

I love Melanie's book & need to snag this one up too. She does have an ease in her writing

Nadine Lynn said...

I absolutely loved My Not So Perfect Life!! My favorite book from that author. I listened to Yes, Please on audiobook and enjoyed it well enough. Couldn't really care less about it had I physically read it, i think. I only consume celebrity books on audio. I need to check out Melanie's book.

Simply Alexandra // My Favorite Things said...

Church of the small things sounds really interesting. Added it to my TBR. I don't know that celebrity memoirs are my jam, but I will likely want to read some someday. The Kinsella is on my TBR, glad you loved it so much! XO - Alexandra

Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

I just finished My Not So Perfect Life on our Nashville trip and I LOVED it. Sophie Kinsella has a way of writing that just cracks me up. I LOLed so many times that B kept looking at me sideways! haha.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

"But Enough About Me," by Jancee Dunn. It's her memoir, but since she wrote for Rolling Stone magazine for a lot of years, it's interspersed with anecdotes about all the celebrities she had to interview, and really, who doesn't like celebrity anecdotes?

P.S. I hope your house is put back together soon. That sounds really stressful.

Lauren said...

I really want to read My Not So Perfect Life. It sounds great! I wasn't a huge fan of Yes Please either, though I liked parts of it.

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i had nothing against amy poehler's book but i wasn't really a fan beforehand, whereas i was for tina fey's, so i figured that's why it kinda fell flat for me.
yay for my not so perfect life! i thought it was such an enjoyable read.

Tanya said...

I enjoyed My Not-So Perfect Life, although less than expected. It was a book club choice, so with comedies, in particular, you need to be in the right mood. As in, the world sucks, I need lightness. Rather than the world sucks, and how you can be laughing! I was more in the latter place when I read it unfortunately. I do enjoy Kinsella's books for being laugh out loud funny and may need to revisit the book in the future.

Audrey Louise said...

"Yes Please" has been on my TBR list FOREVER. I even own it, lol. How is it different from "Bossypants"? I've read Tina's and I assumed they'd be similar, too!

Heather Lockhart said...

"Church of the Small Things" is definitely on my list. And you reminded me that I need to request Tina Fey's book from the library because I'm the only person on earth who hasn't read it yet

Andrea Nine said...

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorites of all time for light hearted reads, this was one of her best!

Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders said...

I'm so glad that you liked My Not So Perfect Life! It really was so cute, and made me want to visit England too. The Overdrive app really is so cool! I love getting audiobooks for free from the library!

The Nelson Nook said...

Awww, thank you for the book reviews :) I always love reading what others think about a book ~ Happy Thursday ~

Courtney said...

The Sophie Kinsella book is on my list! I'm on the waitlist for so many books at our library, but I honestly did not even think about adding myself to the audio versions. Will have to try that!!

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I'm bummed to hear that Amy Poehler's book wasn't as good as Tina Fey's, but am still intrigued about the behind the scenes info.

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I've enjoyed every book I've ever read from Sophie Kinsella. I have no desire to read Amy Poehler's book. Eh. I'm typically not interested in any of those celebrity written books.

Morgan said...

It's disappointing to hear that Yes Please! is not as funny as I thought it would be. I still want to read it anyway. I think I would enjoy My Not So Perfect Life. It reminds me of another book called The Status of All Things. I'm kind of fascinated with how social media images affect mood and real life.

Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

I love Sophie Kinsella so I really need to read My Not So Perfect Life - and I think i'll have to add Church of Small Things to my TBR list too!