Currently reading and currently enjoying - By Invitation Only.
This book was written by two of Gilt Groupe’s founders. It documents the journey from the initial idea to the successful company that Gilt is today.
I love all things start-up so am really enjoying it.
Books Books Books
I’ve read a ton of books since my last book post. Some really good ones! So here’s what I have for you.
The Expats by Chris Pavone - Hmmm, so how to tell you what this book is about without completely giving it away. OK, so this family moves to Luxembourg and while the wife is getting used to being an expat the husband is growing increasingly secretive about her job. And various other things happen, including befriending some other american expats who are just a bit odd, to make her very suspicious of their circumstances. Blah blah blah. It basically turns into a page turning mystery. I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down although when I was done I looked back and found a lot of it farfetched. But still, worth a read.
The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack - I am kind of obsessed with memoirs. This one is written by the daughter-in-law of Bernie Madoff, the widow of the son that killed himself on the 2 year anniversary of his father’s arrest. It becomes clear very quickly that she has written this book to defend her late husband’s honor and constantly talks about how he knew nothing about the scandal prior to Bernie admitting what he was up to. It was definitely an interesting read but Stephanie got on my nerves a bit. She really tries to make herself out to be a nice down to earth girl but she is far from that. She’s a bit of a rich girl trying to play the pity card. But whatever, I enjoyed getting an inside glimpse into her life.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown - I had often seen this book recommended by other bloggers and finally got around to reading it myself. Um, so good. It’s about 3 sisters in their late 20s/early 30s who end up living at home while their Mom deals with cancer. The entire family is a touch eccentric and each sister is dealing with her own issues. I love books like this - it’s kind of like the book version of The Family Stone.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed - This book is everywhere. Everyone is reading it and even Oprah Winfrey has resurrected her Book Club and picked this book. Even though I had zero interest in reading a memoir about hiking (major yawns) I bought the book. I read the book. I loved the book. So apparently not only am I not meant to judge a book by it’s cover but now I can’t even judge a book based on what it’s about. Some people just write really well and even if the topic may not interest you, they do a damn fine job of keeping you rather enthralled in their story.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - This is another book that everyone says is awesome. And everyone says it’s about baseball but don’t let that put you off. Well, sorry folks. I couldn’t get past the fact that it’s about baseball and I do not like baseball. Not even a little bit. But then Laney recommended it. And quite frankly, if Laney told me to read the the Oxford Dictionary from cover to cover I would do it because girlfriend NEVER gets it wrong when it comes to book recommendations. I remember she said that when she wasn’t reading the book she found herself thinking about the characters and what would become of them. So true. The characters in the book are quite brilliant. So just go read it. Not because I said so. But because Laney said so.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Every man and his dog has been reading this book lately and blogging about it. I first saw the recommendation on Ashley’s blog. A very simple JUST READ IT type of recommendation. So I did. And my god, I couldn’t put the damn thing down. And neither can anyone else judging from the number of recommendations I saw on other blogs just in the last week.
And an honorable mention to the WORST BOOK EVER Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James aka mommy-porn. Every second woman was reading it by the pool in Puerto Rico. And it came up in conversation multiple times during the the vacation. So I was a bit if you can’t beat em join em and downloaded the damn thing. Anyway, it’s terrible on every level. And I can never get those hours of my life back.
You know when people tell you that they read a book in one day and you’re like, really? I mean, really? Who can read a book in less than a day?
Well, apparently when the book is as good as Wonder by R.J. Palacio then I can do it. I started it at 8am on Sunday and was done by 9pm. I literally could not put it down. The story is about a little boy who has some major face abnormalities and after being home schooled for his whole life the story begins as he heads into the 5th grade at a proper school. The characters are fantastic and the story actually switches to a different character’s viewpoint every so often. It is so well done and makes you appreciate a different perspective of the same story.
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and above all it will make you smile long after you finish reading.
Look, just go and read this book, m-kay? It’s only going to take you 11 hours to read after all.
And then there’s this one: You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik. I liked this one a lot. I’ll be honest - I mainly read this book because I was intrigued by all the reviews on Amazon that scathingly reported that this book that the author has passed off as fiction is actually based on true life events (Alexander Maksik is actually the main character in the book) and that he should not have taken such liberties especially when he has clearly manipulated the thoughts / feelings / actions of some of the “characters” in the book. Anyway, I still enjoyed the book.
OK, and next we have The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Did I blog about this already? I don’t think so. Anyway, this is another ZOMGGGG such a good book. It’s about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love. It’s not as depressing as it might sound. It’s actually laugh out loud funny in places. And ok, I cried buckets at one spot towards the end. But a book that makes you care so much about the characters that you cry? I mean, c’mon! That is a good book.
That’s it for now.
What have you read lately? What should I add download to my Kindle?
How much does insomnia suck? I would say at the very least it sucks
So I’m writing a post on books at 5am. It’s better than lying in bed Worrying About Important Life Decisions. (I want to move to CT, I want to stay in NYC, I want to move to CT, I want to stay in NYC, and on it goes).
Oh, and at least I have company. Hi Winston!
OK, so here are some books I’ve read recently and loved. And I know I never give much description about the books but when creating this post I looked at the descriptions on Amazon and sometimes they ruin the whole gasp, she did what reaction as you read the book. So I have included a brief description with links to Amazon for more info.
I got this book from Jen and honestly, the storyline wasn’t brilliant and each of the characters are despicable in their own way and yet I couldn’t put the book down. And all the while I thought to myself they should make this into a movie. Turns out they already did. And there’s a slew of famous people in the movie. This book is about a crew of college friends re-uniting for a wedding and involves all sorts of love triangles and discussions on class. This is what I would refer to as a beach read. And again, I know I’ve barely given you any details about the book but if you read the Amazon description it tells you some major plotlines that I think are better to just find out as you read the book.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I really couldn’t put it down. My Mum told me about it and her recommendations are usually spot on. You know from the beginning that someone has died at the end of the Summer and you know that one of the characters has been in prison for 10 years as a result. The book then starts to unravel the mystery.
In my opinion Steve Martin is an extraordinary writer. I think he is more talented at writing than being an actor/comedian. Oh, and I just found out that Steve Martin is also in a band called the Sleep Canyon Rangers and they recently won entertainer of the year at the Bluegrass Awards. I mean, is there anything he can’t do? Do you think he’d be any good at fixing the economy? Let’s just make him President and call it a day. Anyway, this book has been on the bestseller list so you’ve probably already read it, but if not, I can assure you that it’s well written and highly entertaining. It’s about a beautiful and ambitious (and not very scrupulous) young art dealer in NYC. It follows her life over a 10 - 15 year period and gives the reader an interesting insight into the world of art. But really it’s the main character - what she thinks and does - that makes the book what it is.
This story is set during the 1800s. A rich American girl is brought to England to find herself a husband with a title. Not only did I enjoy the story and the characters but I was fascinated by the extreme wealth displayed during the Gilded Age. The main character describes a party she attended where they had cigarettes rolled in $100 bills. I wouldn’t set fire to $100 today let alone the fact that $100 in the 1800s is probably the equivalent of 1,000s of dollars in today’s money.
That’s it for now. You can click here for previous book recommendations.
Got any recommendations for me?
I’m about halfway through Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz and I cannot put it down. I couldn’t even wait to finish reading it before telling you to go read this book immediately.
Books, books, and more books
I have read so many good books lately. Some of these came to me on recommendation so I feel obligated to share the wealth and pass on the recommendations.
This is an Australian novel and when I read the reviews on Goodreads I couldn’t help but note that people either LOVE this book or HATE it. I fell very firmly into the LOVE camp but I can see why some people would dislike it. I think one of the reasons I loved it so much is because it is Australian and I was reminded of so many things from home as I raced through to finish this amazing book. So this recommendation is aimed more at the Aussie crowd.
OH MY GOD THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. Charlotte woke me up one morning at 5am and instead of going back to bed I went and read this book for 2 hours. True story. It’s better than sleep! It’s a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s wife based on the letters sent back and forth between them. An absolutely brilliant read. (Thanks Julie for the rec!)
I think most of us now know that Steve Martin is not just an actor / comedian but also a writer. And a bloody good one. I raced through this little book in just a few days. Read it.
This is a fascinating story about a girl and her son who have been locked in a single room for the son’s entire life. Another one that is un-puttdownable. Actually, I only ever blog about the ones that are un-puttdownable. Who wants to be recommended anything other than un-puttdownable books?
So…..I can’t remember what this book is about but I know I loved it and gave it 4 stars on Goodreads!
I stumbled across this book on Amazon. You know when they do that whole ‘these books are recommended for you’ or the other one ‘people who like this book also bought this book’. Well I came across this book and decided to take a gamble. Wow - it’s another good one! This woman has six boys and so desperately wants a little baby girl that when she gives birth to her seventh son she decides to deceive everyone and raise him as a girl. It rightfully gets an average of 5 stars in the Amazon ratings.
HAPPY READING PEOPLE!!
Books Books Books
I have read absolutely stacks of books in recent weeks. And all of them have been so good. Here are just a few.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the perspective of a dog. I couldn’t put this book down and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. And looking at Winston and wondering what he was thinking!
Commencement was a book that reminded me of a college version of Prep (but perhaps not as good as Prep). It was about four girls who go to Smith College and how their lives play out. I thought it was well written and enjoyed how it went back and forth in time to tell each girl’s story. However, there was a very weird storyline introduced towards the end of the book which I suppose was meant to be a twist but I found to be ridiculous and not in keeping with the book. Still, a good read.
The Hunger Games - multiple people recommended this book to me. When I read the synopsis I wasn’t convinced but then I started reading. And I read. And I read. And I read. I finished it in three days flat. It’s essentially a reality show in which the winner is the last person alive. This book is part of a trilogy - I’ve heard good things about the second and third books.
Remember when I saw a book, looked it up, and bought it all within one block. Well, I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a memoir written by a woman who lost her mother at the age of 11 and was immediately placed in a foster care system that completely failed. Cupcake’s childhood included molestation, prostitution, extreme drug abuse, gang membership, homelessness, verbal and physical abuse, and criminal activity. It made me want to grab this child from the pages of my book and adopt her. If it was a fiction book you would finish reading the book and say to yourself “Well, that was a little farfetched”. But it all happened! (Although some Amazon reviews suggest a bit of James Frey-ism). Anyway, it’s very well written. A real page turner.
I am racing through books. No wonder John suggested I request a Kindle from Santa this year. I really don’t want one though - part of the joy of reading for me is the book itself, physically turning the pages, seeing it on my bedside table.
Anyway, I just finished This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. It was a great read! Definitely a ‘go buy it immediately’ kind of book.
With the right actors it will make a brilliant movie too. I did some googling and it turns out all of his books have been optioned.
Back in September 2008 I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. And when I did eventually put it down I did something I’ve never done before. I tracked down an email address for the author and sent her fan mail. The author sent a very sweet response the next day. Seriously, you guys, do you want to read a good book? Go and read All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown.
I guess I made it onto her mailing list because a couple of weeks ago I received an email announcing her new book. I clicked through to Amazon and pre-ordered This Is Where We Live. I spent this afternoon reading it. I didn’t love it as much as her first book but I still raced through it. It’s definitely worth a read.
I realize my book reviews are crap because I don’t actually tell you what the books are about. But just go read these ones, ok?