I'm finally starting to hit my stride with this maternity leave... I'm spending time with my family, getting small projects done around the house, reading a lot, and starting to walk again. Yesterday the lack of sleep started to creep up on me, but I got a 25 minute nap and then a decent night's sleep. Soon I will go back to work and all will be chaos again! Delightful chaos.
This week, however, I polished off three very different but good books.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
I love Mindy Kaling! I enjoyed every page of her more recent memoir, so I was excited to see that her first was marked down for Kindle - a perfect and fun book to read during 2 am feedings. This one was even better because she talks quite a bit about The Office. Mindy and I both have always had a love of comedy and I could certainly relate to her early experiences of relishing comedic sketches (Kids in the Hall!) and doing "bits" with her friends.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the question and answer section in the back where she addresses the fact that she didn't talk about how women definitely CAN be funny. "I just felt that by commenting on that in any real way, it would be tacit approval of it as a legitimate debate, which it isn't... I try not to make it a habit to seriously discuss nonsensical hot-button issues."
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
I'd like to coin the term "meaty fluff." It's perfect - it both sounds naughty and accurately describes a type of book that appeals to many. Meaty fluff is a book that is light and fun but is thought-provoking enough that it's not straight brain candy. That's how I would categorize this particular novel. Oh, fun - it's about a librarian who is more or less forced into a week-long New York getaway by herself - away from her kids and household responsibilities. She learns how to date, find a bra that fits, tame her eyebrows.... so makeovers and shopping and sexual tension abound. However, the forced vacation is due to her ex-husband coming back after three years and suddenly wanting to spend time with his kids, leaving her to face some interesting reality checks about her life.
This was definitely a fun read with lovely book references, but the characters were surprisingly and delightfully layered. There's also some romance weaved in, but I enjoyed not being able to predict how it would pan out.
I really liked this one, and several days later, I'm still thinking about it. I'd deduct a few points for some occasional cheesy dialogue. Otherwise, I'd say this would make an excellent choice after you've read something especially heavy. Meaty fluff!
Setting Free the Kites by Alex George
I will say, Alex George is a new favorite must-read author of mine. Plus, his author's note said that he is the founder of some sort of Unbound Book Festival, so I'm going to have to look that up.
I really loved George's other more recent book, A Good American. So I had relatively high hopes for this one, and it didn't disappoint! It was a coming-of-age story about friendship and loss set in 1970's Maine, with a family-owned theme park as the backdrop. It was just so, so good. His characters are so amazing, which can be unfortunate because they're not all still standing in the end.
For Kites, that's why I gave a 4 star rating instead of a 5 star - it was just such an awesome book that I abandoned all my responsibilities to read, but the body count was maybe one too many. Still, I wouldn't let that stop you. This would make an excellent book club selection - so much to think about, so much to discuss. So - if you read it, let me know. I have questions!
I've embarked on another great week of reading. Currently I'm reading all about wine on my phone/Kindle and I just started a book about a sassy ballerina with a crazy sister that I think might be another one of those where I get twitchy to read it - the narrator is my new best friend!
Have a great week and let me know if you've read anything fantastic lately!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.