The Girls by Emma Cline is the type of book that is so exceptional, I almost feel like I’m doing it a disservice by blogging about it. I don’t usually place too much emphasis on the literary versus the non-literary (e.g. genre works, or “just […]
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. By and large, I read work that can’t easily be categorized in one genre, but historical novels have a special place in my heart. Daisy Goodwin is one of the foremost historical novelists of recent years. Her […]
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is one of the best books I have read in a long time (and I read a lot of books). Sedaris’s acerbic wit recounts stories of his life that are once foreign and familiar. From North Carolina to France, Sedaris explores relationships and friendships with his signature humor.
Admittedly, Sedaris’s greatest gift is his ability to make people laugh out loud while reading, but his stories probe deeper than pure comedy. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a scrambled coming-of-age story, a sort of künstlerroman about the development of a writer. Sedaris chronicles his adult struggle to learn French, anecdotes of his tanorexic sister and summers at the beach, and bizarre moments of his life as a conceptual artist.
Sedaris has a bizarre charm that pervades his work. He talks about his stint with speed as if it were mundane, satirizing the humiliation of addiction while acknowledging its tragedy. His chapters have titles like “Jesus Shaves” and “Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities,” which showcase Sedaris’s irreverent humor and creativity.
I blew through Me Talk Pretty One Day, because it was pure fun to read. Sedaris’s language is luminous, his logic zany, and his prose fluid. I am convinced that he is a uniquely talented author, with a signature brand of wit. I rushed out to purchase his other books immediately after finishing Me Talk Pretty One Day, and I can’t wait to start reading them! Though I generally gravitate more towards novels than memoirs, Sedaris may convert me to a devoted nonfiction reader.
What have you been reading this summer? Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram.
Fiona Davis’s first novel, The Dollhouse, weaves together two stories: the story of Darby, an aspiring secretary, and Rose, a journalist who becomes obsessed with Darby’s mysterious past. Davis links these two women and their respective experiences of New York City, portraying both the glamorous world […]
I’m not usually juggling multiple reads at once, but because of my busy school year and traveling, I currently have multiple books on my shelf, so to speak. Here are the books that I’m currently reading.
Face Paint: The Story of Makeup by Lisa Eldridge: Obviously, I’m a makeup addict, but being a bookworm I also adore the history of makeup. This book has beautiful photos and a lot of information; I find that cosmetic history can sometimes be hard to come across via the internet, but this book is rife with stories and examples. The history is interspersed with images of old advertisements, historical paintings, and more. Eldridge also outlines makeup icons throughout the ages, from Audrey Hepburn to Queen Alexandra. I love reading about history, and this book is fascinating and fun.
The Bachelors by Muriel Spark: This pseudo-mystery is a novel unlike any other I have read. I received it as a gift from my cousin, who purchased it upon recommendation at an independent bookstore (definitely a good way to go about getting a book for a loved one). I’m intrigued by the unconventional plot, which centers mysteriously around a medium and four other men. I’m only halfway through the book, and it’s a little slow, but I’m interested to see where it will go.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro: Coincidentally, my sister and I all ended up reading this book around the same time (and once my sister and I read it, our mom had to be in, too). This 21st century work of literary fiction is both chilling and heartbreaking, but also thought-provoking and touching. While I can’t say much else without spoiling the whole book, I would say that it is an intriguing take on science fiction, which closely examines interpersonal relationships through a somewhat gothic lens. Though the pace of the novel is a little slow, it is still somehow a page-turner because of the mystery and suspense Ishiguro creates.
The Meat and Spirit Plan by Selah Saterstrom: Okay, so I’m cheating a little because I actually just finished this one, but because I was reading it at the same time as the other books on this list, I decided it made the cut. The Meat and Spirit Plan is an unconventional, raw coming-of-age story about a small-town girl from the the South. I read it for a creative writing class, but it didn’t feel like I was reading it “for school.” It is at once hilarious and devastating. While the writing is more traditional, the structure of the narrative falls on the experimental side. The book is broken into short segments, which sometimes are centered on the page. For this reason, the book is just as physically and visually beautiful as it is interesting.
What have you been reading as of late? Have you read any of these books? Be sure to comment and follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Also share this post if you enjoy it!
Last semester, I took a single-author course for my English major on Jane Austen. I’ve read most every page Austen has written (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I studied a whole lot of her works, even some obscure ones and partial drafts.) They’re […]
Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of my favorite books of all time. It stands out on my bookshelf as a novel guaranteed to make me laugh-out-loud.
Like many people, I saw the movie adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary before I read the book. I love the movie, and Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth are perfectly cast. But there’s no reason to avoid this book just because you’ve seen the movie. The plot is similar, but that isn’t the main draw of Bridget Jones. Since it’s a 20th century adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, the ending isn’t exactly a surprise. The highlight of Bridget Jones’s Diary, rather than the plotline, is Bridget’s acerbic wit.
Bridget Jones is utterly relatable. And when she isn’t being relatable, her antics blow past reality into a realm of unprecedented humor. If you like to read, or even if you aren’t much of a reader, you will probably find this book enjoyable. It’s a bit of a “chick-lit” classic, and if you like chick lit, you will want to have Bridget Jones in your arsenal. However, don’t be wary of the “chick-lit” designation. I’m not usually a chick-lit reader, but I enjoyed every second of this book. I’ve actually read it twice!
If you’re a literary nerd like me, Bridget Jones is a very clever adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I tracked all of the similarities between the two stories for a project I was working on last semester in my Jane Austen class. Bridget’s parents, friends, and certain plot points are all morphed and adapted for a 20th century audience. Helen Fielding is skillful and clever in her adaptation.
Bridget Jones Diary is an epistolary novel, written in (of course) diary entries. It’s a quick read, so I would highly recommend picking it up!
It’s been a hot minute since I blogged about books, but now that my schedule has calmed down I’m hoping to spend more time reading. What are your favorite books? Do you have any recommendations for me?
I mentioned how much I was loving Robert Galbraith’s mystery novels in my August favorites, but it took me all of September (and most of October) to get through The Silkworm. That’s not to say that this book isn’t engaging: in fact, it’s a page-turner. […]