Recent Reads Vol. 6

I slowed down a lot on my book readin' last month, most likely due to my lack of commute (where I used to listen to audiobooks) and the Internet being full of shiny things. But what I did read I really enjoyed, so of course I'm showing up to Steph and Jana's book party once again.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
I don't tend to read a whole lot of historical fiction—I prefer books set in the time they're written, for the most part—but I don't really know what made me give this one a whirl. If I didn't listen to it, I probably wouldn't have finished it. But to borrow the expression from our host Steph, it passed the time just fine. It was sweet and entertaining in parts, the writing flew under the radar, and it was just the charming story of life in the 20th century. Fans of this type of book will probably enjoy it.

Recommend? — If this genre usually appeals to you, I don't see why this book wouldn't! (buy)

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak
I really loved this collection of stories. I'm a fan of B.J Novak's to begin with, but I don't know if I'm intimately familiar with any of his original creations—other than the episodes of The Office he wrote and/or directed. The audiobook added a nice touch of narration from other actors (Mindy Kaling, Rainn Wilson, etc.) and as I was listening along I found myself wanting to get my hands on a physical copy to keep. Some of the stories were short—one-liners, really, that could have been errant thoughts from any of us—and others were longer and really developed. Each one was unique, clever, and thoughtful. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I thought I would like it a lot.

Recommend? — Yes! Great for a person who only has a few minutes to read each day, or does a lot of segmented reading. (buy)

Rabbit, Run by John Updike
This has been on my list forever. Updike is a pretty significant author in the world of people who determine such things (so I've been informed), and I got my first taste back in high school with a few short stories from Pigeon Feathers. It finally became available, and as I was reading my library copy, I just kept thinking over and over, "I need to buy this." So I did, and I'm sure it'll be re-read within the year. I think I picked it up at the perfect time too (it's said to have been written in response to On the Road, which I recently finished for the umpteenth time) which helped me appreciate it. Honestly, though, it's just my kind of book. The prose is sharp and clean but clever and at times playful. Where Rabbit's inner monologue is familiar, it's seizing. Where it's unfamiliar and even a little disturbing, it's still understandable. I can't wait to read the rest in this series.

Recommend? — It probably isn't for everyone, but if you like the kinds of books I tend to review, you should give it a try. (buy)

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I read Mindy's first book when it came out years ago, and have anxiously been awaiting this one since I heard it was happening. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Mindy is super relatable but not a try-hard, and I was more than a bit surprised by some of the things she revealed about herself here. Sharply written the way only a seasoned comedy writer can.

Recommend? — For fans of Mindy, fans of her shows, fans of celebrity memoirs, it's a yes. (buy)

Have you read any of these?
What else have you read lately?

Comments

  1. I have wanted to read Mindy's book since before it even came out - glad it lived up to the hype! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. I'll be looking into BJ Novak's book. Rabbit, Run as well. I read Mindy's book, well, listened, and I feel it was much better than her first. The first one just wasn't a hit for me.

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  3. I really want to read Mindy's new book! I liked her first one, but I never watched The Office so parts of it were slow for me. I'm hoping this new one talks about The Office less.

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  4. the boston girl has been on my list for ages.. i quite like historical fiction, but even though this is on my list (and kindle) every time I reach for it, it doesn't grab me. I'll keep it there for now, maybe one day. i am going to read mindy's new book though, i love a good memoir.

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  5. I'm right now reading Kaling's first book, so far I think I like it more than the average reader but I'm only 20% in. The new one is certainly on my list! I will have to look into the Rabbit, Run, sounds interesting.

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  6. I didn't "get" One More Thing. I wanted to and I like BJ Novak as a writer, but it was a little too absurdist for me. I want to give it another try and try to give more stories a chance, though. I need to get into some classics and John Updike is high on my list since I hear his books have aged very well.

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  7. I really like Mindy Kaling, but I was kind of underwhelmed by her first book. I felt like she was trying to hard for most of it. I know I'm in the minority there, but I just didn't love it - despite really wanting to!

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  8. I just finished Mindy's book too, and completely agree that it was amazing! It somehow exceeded my already super-high expectations, and felt like chatting with a close friend.

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  9. I absolutely LOVED B.J. Novak's book. I found myself laughing out loud a few times.

    I'm on a wait list at the library for Mindy's new book. I loved her last one so much I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

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  10. I've heard good things about Mindy's book. I feel like every single person on the planet loves her as a person so naturally they like her book too (kind of like Amy Poehler and her book). I read The Boston Girl a little while back and thought it was great in terms of historical fiction. I just read Orphan Train, which is another great historical fiction read.

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  11. The short story book sounds interesting. I love Mindy!!! I listened to her first book and it was like a long episode of one of her shows. I want to be her bff! But I am waiting on her second one for a little while. I like to do those via audible and I saw it was less than 5 hours long. The last book I did was 17 hours. That doesnt seem like a good deal lol! I will get to it eventually.

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  12. I really enjoyed the Rabbit series. A former teacher pointed them out to me as something I might like, and I did.

    I adored The Boston Girl.

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  13. Think I'm gonna have to grab the BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling books! Love them both!
    Linds @ Not A Mom

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  14. I've got the Boston Girl on my to read list. I like historical fiction, and I enjoyed a previous book I read by the author (The Red Tent).

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  15. I didn't really care for Mindy's first one - I think I just expected her to be funnier ... comics writing books can be a fine line. I usually like the audio books on those so you can hear it in their tone. I may need to try this new one that wya.

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  16. I found Mindy to be super relatable too, I had no idea she was from Massachusetts which was a huge shocker to me for some reason.

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  17. I love that you read the Mindy book and the BJ book so close to each other. I have the Mindy book on my shelf to read soon. I loved her first one so I'm hoping to love this one too.

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  18. The Boston Girl book is on my to-read list! So is the Mindy one ;) Haha. I'm trying to get myself back into reading more instead of being suckered into all the shiny internet things all the time ;) x

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  19. I enjoyed Mindy's first book, so I might check out her second one if I get in the mood for memoirs again.

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  20. Rabbit Run sounds really interesting, like really interesting. On the list to read.

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  21. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories has been on my reading list for FAR too long! I need to finally crack it open and start reading :)

    Amanda
    http://anchoredtosunshine.com/

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  22. I know I won't enjoy The Boston Girl as I do not generally enjoy historical fiction. I'm on the fence about BJ's book even though it's on my list along with Mindy's, which I'll get to but I'm not in a rush.

    I'm starting to enjoy short story collections. I have a few on my TBR right now. I've never been a huge fan but I'm coming around.

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  23. I have been meaning to read On The Road forever- it's actually sitting on my bookshelf! All of these sounds like ones I would enjoy, particularly the Mindy one since I have a mini-obsession with her (as noted on today's post!). I have to ask though- did BJ Novak include anything re: Mindy? Their relationship fascinates me, probably because I don't really understand it.

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  24. i have the red tent by Anita Diamant ...i had to put it aside while i got caught up with homeland but so far so good! i like the author.

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  26. It's funny that you read Mindy's book and B.J.'s book in the same month. I might have to read Why Not Me?...her first book was interesting enough.

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  27. I was kind of over the comedian memoir thing but after listening to Yes Please, I realized I just enjoy them much more via audiobook. Most books I need to read, but having a comedian talk to me for 6 hours? Yeah, that's much better than reading her words and trying to figure out the inflection. I have Mindy Kaling's first book in my library hold request list.

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  28. I am completely sucking at life right now. I read two books .... two book Alyssa... in the last month. yikes.

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