Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

A super cute book that as a bibliophile I appreciated. Was it great literature? No. Was it something I'll read again? No. Was it super fun? Hell yes. Nina Hill likes things nice and orderly. She lives by her planner; any fun that happens is scheduled. Nina works at a local LA bookstore, is involved in multiple book clubs, and kicks ass at trivia with her friends. She even sorts her shelves by Book of the Month, and signed editions - same girl! I felt Nina on a spiritual level; from the way she was organized, valued reading, and got stressed and overwhelmed easily if there was too much on her plate or surprises were thrown her way. And lo and behold, a lot happens to Nina in a short amount of time; she's introduced to a whole new part of her family that she didn't know existed and she starts to develop feelings for one of her rival trivia team members. She's going to have to come out of her shell, (at least a little bit) to deal with the world, and who knows, maybe she'll even like what she finds.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Waiting for Tom Hanks

This was a cute romance but even as it was poking fun of the "outrageousness" of romcoms, it turned out to be just as unbelievable. Annie Cassidy has one religion, Nora Ephron - she worships at the alter of her and the other romantic comedy greats. Annie wishes she starred in her own romcom - then maybe she could meet a guy, but she's in Columbus, Ohio; not exactly a mecca for excitement. That is until a movie starts getting filmed in er neighborhood and she finagles her way onto set as an assistant thanks to her uncle's connections. Drew Danforth, Hollywood star and prankster, is starring in the movie and Annie is instantly attracted to him and he maybe seems to not hate here? Maybe? This could be the beginning of her own movie and romance, but of course nothing is ever easy. Cheesy, fun, witty, and definitely over the top - this light read will put you in a better mood.

The Enchanted Hour

This book made me want kids. RIGHT NOW. It set my clock ticking, so to speak. Which may sound weird, but I dare you to read this and decide that you don't love reading aloud to children and that you don't want to nightly bedtime ritual. The Enchanted Hour breaks down the "magical" benefits of reading aloud and the effect it has on children's growth and family bonds. Everyone knows that reading to your kid is good, but after reading this book, you'll realize JUST how good it is and you'll never skip another bedtime story. It's better than any multivitamin, educational kids show, or preschool. Reading aloud can set your child up for a brighter future than you ever imagined - they will be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers and that isn't just in kindergarten; research shows that the reading gap can actually be seen in HIGH SCHOOL, kids that are read to and read to frequently engage more of their brains, are exposed to more words, concepts, and comprehension. Two passages in the book that really stuck out to me:
 - "A story is never wholly yours again, once a movie has colonized your mind's eye." - on reading the books BEFORE seeing the movie
 - "Owning something and taking possession of it are two different things, of course, A child may have as much right to Beowolf as the scholar who devotes his life to the study of Old English. Yet unless the child meets the hero Beowolf and the monster Grendel, he cannot be said to have taken possession of the property that's his. Let that child's mother read Beowolf in translation at bedtime (if she dares - it's pretty gory), and the child's custody is complete. The characters and scenes and language of the book will become part of his internal landscape. The book's mystical qualities will add sublimity to his experience of life."
A wonderful book. One that I want to own and give out to new mothers.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Dissenter on the Bench

Not 100% linear and not exactly groundbreaking; but still a wonderful introduction to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and work. Not only does it highlight RBG's work as a supreme court judge, but it also paints a broad picture of all the landmark cases that she worked on as a lawyer for the ACLU , as a law professor, and as US Court of Appeals judge. This book's primary audience will be tweens and teens, but could also get reluctant adult readers a good overview. Filled with pictures, court cases, and law terms; this book could really get a kid jazzed about how crucial the law can be. Peppered throughout the book is a bit about RBG's personal life; her kids, wonderful husband, and the unconventional family unit they had as a young family. A good intro on the wonderful things that Ginsburg has accomplished for the betterment of this country that will get any reader pumped up to read more.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fix Her Up

Super cute, steamy, rom-com.  It's fun, predictable, and very passionate; perfect for a beach read and would make a great rated R Hallmark movie. Georgie has had the hugest crush on Travis Ford since she was a little girl. He was her older brother's best friend and grew up to be an MLB pro, she hasn't seen him in years but now that's back in town with his tail between his legs after being dumped from the league; all that is about to change. She's tired of him moping about so she starts to interject herself into his life, whatever it takes to get him back on track to being the man that he used to be. Not the man-whore bit, but the well respected ball player bit. Unexpectedly, Travis actually starts to develop feelings for Georgie, it doesn't help that she grew up gorgeous; but he knows that there is a line you can't cross and there is no way that someone with his reputation should date his best friend's younger sister (she's a birthday party clown for christ's sake AND a virgin!). They're about to cross a line, but neither of them know just where it will take them. Laugh out loud funny, ridiculous, and just plain fun.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Hunt for Red October

I don't remember watching the movie so the plot was brand new to me. That being said, it was a very technical book. I learned more about submarines and sonar then I ever wanted to know. I would have liked the book better had there been more action, less explaining, but I get that it was there to make the story seem more credible. Some Soviet captains decide they want to defect to America so they take their submarine and head towards the US. What happens next is a deadly game of cat and mouse and poor CIA agent, Jack Ryan gets dragged into the thick of it. An entire fleet of Soviet warships and submarines chase after The Red October and America and England work together to come up with a plan to meet this sub before it gets blown out of the water. It was an alright book, but I have a hunch that I would enjoy the movie even better. I love me some Harrison Ford.

Heroine

Heavy doesn't even begin to describe this book. There is a trigger warning at the start of this book and that ain't no joke! I'm not an addict (recovering or otherwise) but this book made me anxious as sin. I know an addict or two and this was so spot on to their behavior and justifications. Heroine follows Mickey Catalan, a high school softball star, as she tries to recover from a life changing injury that threatens to take away the one thing she really cares about, sports. She and her best friend were in a horrific car accident that popped Mickey's leg out of its socket, and the therapy and emotional toll its taking on her, is crippling. She soon starts relying on the Oxy she's prescribed to take the pain away so she can focus on physical therapy. Her only goal is getting healed before spring training so she can start on the varsity team her senior year. But she's not an addict, she's using a prescription from her doctor for the pain. She's not like those losers that overdose and live on the streets. The real question is, what will happen when she runs out of her pills? How badly does she need them to "recover?" A haunting story that shows just how easy it is for ANYONE to get addicted to opiates. It's a slippery slope fraught with good intentions, the end result is just so horrifying. A powerful book that will stay with the reader long after finishing.