What I Read Last Week

Despite having another challenging reading week, I finished 7 books. I also continued to read The Long Winter and Simple Abundance.

1.


Have you ever read a book and not been sure why you liked it? This book contained elements that I usually find annoying, and yet, I liked it. The main character, Claire, travels to Oxford for a Jane Austen seminar and meets a woman who shows her a lost Austen manuscript. Parts of the manuscript are included in the book. Yeah, that's right, the author actually tries to write like Jane Austen. Normally when an author tries to do this, I hear a running commentary in my head that goes a little something like this, Oh sweet merciful God, no. NO NO NO NO NO NO. Make this stop. Take this pain away. 

Can we all agree that trying to write like Jane Austen is unwise? It's never going to be as good. It's never going to be as satisfying. And yet, I enjoyed the other parts of the book enough to make up for it. There was also a surprise twist at the end that I didn't see coming.

2.

This was my least favorite book of the week. The description on the back of the book says it's supposed to help us get to know ourselves better. What the book really contains is a recap of several books that are supposed to help me accomplish that, which left me feeling like I was reading a series of book reports. I don't think this book helped me get to know myself better, as promised. All it did was remind me of my worst moment as a nanny. On page 17, the authors asks, "Have you ever seen the movie The Sixth Sense?" And the answer is, yes. Yes, I have. I accidentally took 3 children to see that movie. Yeah, that's right. I took 3 children to a movie about a kid who sees dead people. In my defense, I had never heard of the movie and the oldest child had convinced his parents it was a comedy. 

3.

This book is technically a novel, but it feels more like a series of short stories that have some overlapping characters. The description on the back of the book makes it sound like the book centers around friends who attend a lot of weddings together. What it's really about is women who date men who are jerks. I think the book was well written, but I disliked the men the women were dating so much that it killed the enjoyment of the book. But what a pretty cover! (Yeah, I know, I'm shallow.) 

4.


Paris, My Sweet is a memoir about the authors love of Paris and baked goods. If you substitute Disney World for Paris, I could have written this book. When we have a family vacation planned, I research the restaurants and bakeries ahead of time. I consult menus and travel blogs. I cross reference. I draw up a food and baked goods schedule for the entire vacation. I read menus to my relatives until their eyes start to glaze over and each one of them starts to get that look that makes me think something in their soul has died. So, of course, I enjoyed this book. For those of you who don't spend your vacations eating baked goods like you're on your way to the electric chair, you might not like this book as much as I did. (You also probably don't have to switch to fat pants mid-way through your vacations like I do. And hey, good for you!) 

5.

I decided to read a book about the history of birth last week because if I have to suffer through a cold then I want to read about people who are suffering more than I am. This was a very well-written, well-researched book that I would definitely recommend. However, DO NOT read this book while eating. There are some really gross parts. I'm not a squeamish person, but the part of the book that described a woman performing an unmedicated c-section on herself made me want to curl up into the fetal position and spend some time gently rocking in the corner. I felt like I needed some pain medication just to read about that. And now I feel like I owe the writers of General Hospital an apology for complaining on a soap opera message board about how unrealistic it was for a woman to have a c-section outside of a hospital with only vodka as her anesthesia. I also feel like I need to re-evaluate the way I spend my free time in light of the fact that I was even on a soap opera message board to begin with. But hey, no one's perfect, right?

6.

This book has all the charm and humor of the Elizabeth Taylor film by the same name. The movie and the book are very similar, to the point where it's hard to decide which one I like better. 

This is my most pitiful book recap ever because I didn't jot down any notes while I was reading and I read it while hopped up on cough medicine. I'll try to be a better book blogger next week when I'm not sick!

7.

I have mixed feelings about this book. There were parts of it that were really funny. But there were also too many emails. I hate when books include emails - with the exception of this email that the author's husband sent her: 
"And no, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I don't think our e-mails to each other are just like the ones Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning used to send, for a variety of reasons, the first being he never worked for the phone company and to my knowledge she never got her fist stuck in a peanut butter jar."
Okay, so that email made me laugh. But most of the other emails felt like filler. My other problem with the book is that the author thinks being mean is funny. At one point, she starts making fun of a blind person who accidentally ran into a plexiglass wall. I enjoy lots of different kinds of humor. I even occasionally enjoy gross humor and immature humor. But I just can't get on board with mean humor. 

Thanks for joining me for this recap of the books I read last week. If you have any suggestions for books you think I might enjoy, please let me know in the comments section!

Comments

  1. Girls in White Dresses has been on my ereader for so long! Looks like you has a great reading week.

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    1. Girls in White Dresses was a really quick read. I'm not sure why some novels seem to go so much faster than others, but this one flew by! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  2. I can't get behind mean humor either! Pass! Paris My Sweet definitely sounds good and like something that I would be interested in. You're cracking me up w/your reference to switching to fat pants though. I feel your pain! I seriously can't get over the fact that you managed to read 7 books in one week! I feel like it is a major success when I finish two :) Have a great week!

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    1. The author of Paris My Sweet also has a new book coming out in February. It sounds like it's going to be a good book! In strange sort of way, getting sick really helped me to read more. I spent 2 days where I didn't get out of bed.

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  3. Oh my goodness that email you shared made me laugh. Yes I agree, one should never attempt to be Jane. You had a good week, and your comment about the White Dress book and women dating jerks was hilarious.

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    1. Thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed my comment. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Nice recap! I'll have to find Father of the Bride. I adore that movie (the old Spencer Tracy/Elizabeth Taylor version, not the new one), so I'm sure I'd enjoy the book.

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    1. The book was very similar to the movie, so I think you would enjoy it!

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  5. Nice that Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart worked for you, in spite of the attempt at replicating her style with the lost manuscript. That does seem like a risky thing to do as an author. :)

    Father of the Bride sounds fun too, although I've only seen the newer movies with Steve Martin (assuming that they're remakes, or the first one anyways, which I guess I didn't know!).

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    1. Yes, the newer version of Father of the Bride was a remake of the older one! There are a lot of similarities between the old version and the newer one. They kept all the parts that were good from the old one and changed some of the things that were kind of out of date. I love both the older and newer versions!

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    2. That's good to know! I loved the newer movies too- so fun!

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  6. I want to read more of Jen Lancaster's memoirs (I've read the first) but yeah, I wouldn't like the mean humor either. I'm actually really curious about Paris My Sweet. It makes me think of all those baking shows where they show you fun places to visit in various cities, etc. Love those!!
    -Lauren

    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I've read several Jen Lancaster books, and I liked the later ones better than this one. I think my favorite was The Tao of Martha. Paris, My Sweet has a section at the end of each chapter that tells the best places to find baked goods in New York (where the author had previously lived) and Paris. It would be a great resource if you were planning to travel to either of those places.

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  7. Hi Angela -- Thanks for popping by my blog today. I'm so impressed that you read 7 books in a week. I read 7 books in all of 2017, lol!

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    1. I was happy to stop by your blog. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  8. I felt the same way about girls in white dresses and it was a book that I was wanting to read for such a long time!

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    1. I had high hopes for the book - it was kind of disappointed that it wasn't even about what the synopsis claimed it was about. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I can't believe how much you read! The History of Birth sounds interesting. I read Jen Lancaster's other (first?) book and found it funny in parts but crude in others!

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    1. That sums up her books quite well. I think the later ones are a little better than the earlier ones though.

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  10. I laughed with your reviews of books #2, 4, and 5. You're right, if you are sick and reading, is better to read about someone in a worse state than you are, and what better thing than giving birth? I think I might like Mr. Darcy... despite the shortcomings you addressed in your review. I had read raves about Girls in White Dresses from a blogger I used to follow, and I mentally put that book on my mental TBR, not the actual one, in case someday I found the book on sale I would buy it. Now I'm not sure I would even like it.

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    1. I think the book was well written - to the point where I would probably read another book by this author. I just couldn't deal with how rude and smug the men were. I liked all the women in the book - but none of the men.

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  11. Wow, this is such an impressive list! I'd love to check out the Father of the Bride book. Such a classic movie. :)

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    1. It is a great movie. And I enjoyed the sequel as well, Fathers Little Dividend.

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  12. Giggling over the movie! I am reading Reading People at present and feel a bit similar to yourself. I think she has written it very well and explained the various "get to know yourself" things well, but I'd be better off doing the research myself I think. Wow lot of books to read in a week.

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    1. I agree - it was well written. But kind of pointless. I think the author is a good writer, so I wish she had picked a different topic.

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  13. I read Mr Darcy Broke My Heart awhile ago and I loved it. I did wonder about some of the things you mentioned, but I fell right into the story and totally enjoyed it. I hope this week is going well for you.

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    1. Thank you. I'm still sick this week, but it hasn't affected my reading much!

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  14. You read SEVEN books in a week? Wow! I haven't read any of these, but I bought a copy of READING PEOPLE awhile back because I thought it was a pop psy book analyzing the personalities of reading people—people who like to read. Duh. I haven't cracked it open yet, but I will ... eventually.

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    1. Confession time: I checked it out from the library for the same reason. I was looking up books that were memoirs of people's experiences with the books they've read, and this popped up as a book that was similar and so I just assumed that it was about the personalities of people who like to read. It wasn't until after I got it home that I realized what it was really about and then I thought "what the heck, I'll give it a try anyway."

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  15. I'm totally with you on traveling and planning the baked goods portion of the trip. I mean, hello?! Right? I think the only thing I would be afraid of about reading Paris, My Sweet is that I would be rushing out to any nearby bakery to satisfy the urge for something sweet. Great recaps!

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    1. I did have a really strong urge to go to a bakery and buy cupcakes while reading this book!

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  16. I've heard of Reading People from Anne's podcast but hadn't heard anyone that read it! That's super interesting that is like a bunch of book reports, it doesn't really sound like something I would like! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. I looked around on Goodreads, and a lot of people had similar feelings to mine on the book. I really like Anne's blog, so it was so disappointing that I didn't enjoy her book as much. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. I LOVE that you were on a General Hospital message board!!! I'm trying to think of who you're referring to with the C section (Carly is my only guess although I don't remember what exact lunacy happened when she had Josslyn), ignoring the fact that it could have happened multiple times on that show!

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    1. It was Alexis. There was a November sweeps storyline where a train crashed and Alexis went into labor and Emily had to deliver the baby by c-section, even though she was only a med student and not an actual doctor. When Carly had Josslyn, she got kidnapped by Sonny's new wife Claudia (who weirdly enough was played by Sarah Brown, who was the original Carly) and then Claudia delivered her baby in a cabin.

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    2. Oh, when Molly was born! I wasn't actively watching at that point, but I do love Alexis and her daughters today.

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    3. Most of the train storyline is on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umWGAfWsgbA&list=PLBwgrlcuTwdAzkm31FP2BE68qY87xvUco
      I'm tempted to go back and watch it again!

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