Last week, Jeff enjoyed baseball and hot dogs in Arizona and I seized the opportunity to polish off a few books (come to think of it, our hot dogs and books finished ratio was probably pretty similar).
Composed by Rosanne Cash
Jeff and I enjoy the music of Johnny Cash and found what we learned of his life in the movie, Walk the Line, to be really interesting. Therefore I was inspired to pick up the memoir penned by his oldest daughter and famous songwriter and performer – Rosanne Cash (though I’m not nearly as familiar with her music).
Rosanne jumped around a lot and I’m not 100% sure I loved how she laid the book out, I did really enjoy it. She’s had an interesting life – dealing with her dad’s fame and the crumbling of her parent’s marriage, moving around here there and elsewhere (she moved around from city to city as casually as I move from the living room to the bedroom), building a music career, having kids, switching out husbands, having brain surgery, etc. She has a really honest voice and seems like someone I’d want to know in real life (and I wouldn’t care to know just everyone. Tom Hanks is an awesome actor but I’d rather get to know the teachers at Vivian’s school, the nice lady who works at IGA, or the staff at Goodreads).
I definitely recommend composed if you have any interest in the Cash family. Plus, it’s a quick read.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
About 20% into this book, I e-mailed Veronica and told her that I was reading this great book I think she would really like – it was a teenage girl’s diary of her senior year and was chock full of interesting happenings (pregnant friends, gay friends, confusing heritage, meth-addict dad, and more!) without the whiny angst. Veronica agreed it sounded great and now that I’ve finished, I’m hoping she forgets all about it. This will be a great book for her in late high school, perhaps, but my goodness – YA books these days have gotten both better and raunchier. We’re not in Sweet Valley anymore, okay?
Still, I flew through this one and pretty much loved it all, although it did include a few tired themes. Gabi was relatable and funny and super sharp. She really liked to eat and alluded to this fact at least twice in every diary entry. Normally this would annoy me, but enjoying food is perhaps the one “personality quirk” that I can understand well enough to not mind the ongoing mentions (though it made me hungry for a bunch of dishes I’ve never even heard of).
If you’re feeling like some YA that tackles literally every teen issue but excludes the angst, give this one a go. Unless you’re a 7th grader. Then you need to wait! You need to wait for a LOT of things, you hear?
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
This book kinda looked like it was going to be a heavy historical chunk of confusing Russian characters doing things I don’t understand, but instead it turned out to be this really lovely story that just kept flitting along pleasantly until reaching its satisfying conclusion. The premise I’ll offer to you is that a guy is ordered to live out his life in a super swanky hotel in Moscow for reasons that aren’t crystal clear, but the fuzziness of those details is okay, as the focus is on how he makes a life for himself over the next 30+ years as the hotel’s suave permanent guest.
What this book is lacking in nail-biting, page-turning action, it makes up for in scenery and character development.
This was our book club book, and most of us really enjoyed it, although a couple struggled to get into it.
This would make an excellent book to read on a flight, or when you’re suffering from a book hangover and need something that isn’t going to require much more from you other than some focus. I would advise you have access to some wine, as much wine is sipped within these pages.
Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley
Everything Lucy Knisley touches turns to gold! Imagine my delight recently when, after LOVING her graphic novel Relish, I saw that she had recently written one about being pregnant!! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
I’ve been really *trying* to keep my pregnancy talk to a minimum in day-to-day conversations. I know that people feel like they should ask how I’m feeling and that sort of thing, and I’m happy to share that I’m feeling fine, thanks, but I know that whenever any of us ever see a pregnant person approach we dread the inevitable conversation about to happen regarding all things cravings, swollen feet, and baby names. This usually doesn’t even happen but we’re all scarred for life from the one or several times that it actually did – so much time acting like we care – and we’ll never get that time back!
Thus, this book provided an outlet for me to live in the land of pregnant for a while. It was a lovely indulgence. More importantly, she offers a quick, enjoyable yet meaningful read on all aspects of pregnancy – including miscarriage, misconceptions, and other fun facts woven among her personal story.
I definitely recommend Kid Gloves!
Later the Same Day by Grace Paley
Okay, this is going to be the crappiest book review I’ve ever done.
This is a book of short stories. Although the book appears to have been written in English, I never had any idea what was going on. I can’t tell you anything about what any of them were about at all. Can someone please read this and validate my feelings on this matter or help me understand what was going on? WHAT WAS EVEN EVER HAPPENING IN THIS BOOK???
I’m reading a cool nonfiction that sorta reads like a Psychology textbook but is great for making me feel smart (which I need, after my failure with Later the Same Day) and I’m reading a solid five star travel memoir. Actually, I’m doing more than just reading it. I’m experiencing it. All I want to do right now, other than cuddle with Vivian, is read this book.
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.