smart is the new pretty

Tag: reading

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Review)

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Review)

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 […]

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (Review)

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (Review)

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 […]

My Summer Reading List

My Summer Reading List

I’m done with school (for now) which means that there’s no such thing as summer reading– in fact, I’m probably enjoying my final free summer, which means that I want to fill it with as much reading as possible. I took a trip to the bookstore to compile my summer reading list.

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The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis: I’ve already started this one, and though I’m less than 100 pages in, I’m already hooked. The story follows two characters, Darby and Rose, who are separated by over half a century. Darby moved to New York in the 1950s, and Rose (in 2016) becomes fascinated by a crime in which Darby was implicated. It is part mystery, part love story, and I just can’t wait to read more of it.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler: Another book about New York, this stood out to me because it is a story about a girl who is the same age as me. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the plot: but I know it is about a 22 year old girl working in an elite restaurant in NYC, and the “education” that follows. I suspect it will tug at my heartstrings, and I’m excited to read a coming-of-age story about a character in her twenties (as such stories often feature teenage protagonists).

 

fullsizeoutput_3e81The Fates and the Furies by Lauren Groff: The back says this is a “deeply satisfying novel about love and art,” so I’m looking forward to diving into this novel (which was a National Book Award finalist). The story centers around Lotto and Mathilde, a glamorous married couple who appear to have a dynamite relationship (but the back cover suggests that there is more to their marriage than meets the eye). I’m sure this novel will be beautifully written.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: I’m interested in this novel, because it deals with the challenges of writing a story about somebody you know. Franny Keating tells her lover, author Leon Posen, about the unusual circumstances of her childhood. Posen writes a successful book based on Franny’s life. I don’t know what comes next, because I haven’t read the book, but I’m curious to read about how Patchett portrays the complicated issue of selling a personal story.

 

I love having so many crisp new books to read this summer! What are you hoping to read? Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading

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: […]

My Ranking of Jane Austen’s Novels

My Ranking of Jane Austen’s Novels

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 […]

Why I Love Bridget Jones’s Diary

Why I Love Bridget Jones’s Diary

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's Diary

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?

Revisiting Pride and Prejudice

Revisiting Pride and Prejudice

The first time I read Pride and Prejudice, I was fifteen. I carefully selected the title from a reading list for school, curled up in my favorite reading spot, and immersed myself in Jane Austen. This month, I re-read Pride and Prejudice for a class […]

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Robert Galbraith’s debut novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, is among my favorite books of 2016. The Cuckoo’s Calling is a detective novel; it isn’t a thriller, so it doesn’t rely on scare tactics to advance the plot. Galbraith builds suspense instead of fear, creating compelling characters […]

10 Reasons to Read #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

10 Reasons to Read #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso, founder the fashion phenomenon www.nastygal.com, lends advice and inspiration to young women in her book #Girlboss. The book chronicles Nasty Gal’s journey from ebay store to independent enterprise, as well as Sophia’s journey from renegade to CEO. The book is full of anecdotes and humor, but also tips for running a company (and for running your life). #Girlboss encourages creativity and hard work, and for any ambitious young woman this book is a handbook for success.

10 Reasons to Read #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

  1. It will make you laugh: I tend to stay away from the business section at the bookstore, but don’t be afraid: #Girlboss is far from boring. Sophia is humorous and clever, and her unique style makes the book as entertaining as it is useful.
  2. It encourages you to pursue business, even if you aren’t a math genius: The possibility of a career in business frightened me for many years, because math wasn’t my strongest subject. Sophia’s story highlights the fact that you don’t have to be a math star to build a great company.
  3. It teaches you about  financial responsibility: Sophia is the epitome of cool, so when she tells you that “money looks better in the bank than on your feet,” you are more likely to believe it than when Mom says so. Even if you aren’t planning on founding a major company, Sophia’s advice about money management is applicable to any lifestyle.
  4. It illustrates that you don’t have to be conventional to be successful: It often seems like the path to success is lined with straight A’s and diplomas, but Sophia’s story reveals otherwise.
  5. It encourages creativity in daily life: Sophia explains that her first creative act was putting together an outfit. She acknowledges the art of fashion, and encourages women to find opportunities to be creative on a regular basis (whether that is through fashion or otherwise).
  6. It is inspiring: Sophia’s story is that of a young, reckless, and misguided girl who found her passion when she started Nasty Gal Vintage. She went from dumpster diving to Forbes magazine, defying all odds to live out a dream. Her story alone is inspiring, but Sophia’s dedication to encouraging other #Girlbosses makes the book even more moving.
  7. It is well-written: #Girlboss reads like a conversation with Sophia Amoruso. Every sentence ripples with the effects of Sophia’s voice. The book is equal parts humour and straight-talk, but it shines with Sophia’s personality and creativity.
  8. It provides information about the fashion industry: Are you interested in working in fashion? Sophia’s book provides a glimpse into the world of fashion, which isn’t always like The Devil Wears Prada. Her insight and expertise is useful for anybody seeking employment in the fashion industry.
  9. It appeals to misfits: Fashion and beauty might seem like a mainstream girl’s world, but Sophia (the self-proclaimed “antifashion”) demonstrates how feeling like the odd-man-out might be your ticket to success.
  10. It is applicable to any career: Sophia gives straight-talk advice about how to land a job and make the most out of an unfortunate situation. Her positivity and honesty underscores the text, but she also provides helpful tips (such as interview DOs and DONT’s) that are applicable to any line of work.
How to Save Money Buying Books

How to Save Money Buying Books

Great literature is priceless, but the fact of the matter is that books cost money. Any bookworm knows that there is no feeling like the feeling of holding a brand new book in your hands. Unfortunately, that hardback habit can put some pressure on your […]