Friday, June 2, 2017

Stef's "So Good You Can't Put It Down" Book Reviews Summer 2017 Reading Challenges!

I've decided to take on a number of my own personal reading and book challenges this summer and am announcing it now on here to be somewhat held accountable and report on the outcome. lol

The challenges so far are as follows. And of course, they all have female leads.

1) Basement Bookshelf Library

My father Steve and I, both writers and bibliphiles, have accumulated a lot of books into our collections over the years. We have donated some books, and I plan to donate some more, but the time has come to organize the tomes in our home library. Last month we attended the Lacordaire Academy Used Book Sale, which ran from May 18-21, and purchased some new additions, so now we have to figure out how to combine the old with the new (and used.)

2) Beach Blondes: A SUMMER Novel

I'm hoping that this novel isn't as young as it appears because I don't know if I am necessarily in the mood for teenage girl drama, but who cares, right?

I bought this book from Berkeley Heights Public Library (even though it gave off a teenage vibe I was still interested in the plot :P) and am impressed with how thick it is considering it is a member of the TEEN FICTION genre. I mean, it's 721 pages!

Something I like to try is reading books according to setting. For example, I had planned on starting the book November 9 by Colleen Hoover on, you guessed it, November 9, 2016. Unfortunately, this didn't come to pass. I think maybe I was in the middle of another book? I don't know. But I do own the novel, so I will try again this year. :)

As for Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate, I took notice of it again when I started sorting my book collection and noticed that it is categorized by month, meaning sections dedicated to June, July, and August. Given that June was coming up shortly, I decided that this was the perfect time to take on my setting reading challenge. It is June 2 now and I have to be on page 266 by July 1...

Wish me luck!

3) Comedienne Memoirs

As I have said in my last book post, I have been getting into memoirs, particularly those written by female authors. My dad and I went to Sprague Library at Montclair State University just last night and I, like usual, visited the "Pop Picks" section to see what I could find. As opposed to the rest of the library, these shelves consist of more contemporary titles. They tend to rotate this section every so often too.

There seemed to be an influx of celebrity memoirs/biographies/autobiographies all of a sudden in this section.

The first one that caught my eye was Amy Schumer's The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. I'm not a huge fan of Schumer's comedy, but I don't totally dislike it either. There are times she makes me laugh with her girl-next-door attitude and I appreciate her as a person. I think I saw an interview with her once when she said that she wanted to stay true to herself and that's all she can do or something like that. Whatever she said, she gained my respect from it. lol

I was a little iffy about this book though because so far she seems to make a lot of vagina jokes, which don't bother me, but I hope it isn't an indication that she provides an overkill of such jokes throughout. Like, a "Look at how progressive and edgy I am! I keep referencing my pussy in my book! Haha!" type thing. One of the first chapters discusses her experience seeing some hot guy at an airport. Her humor in this section drew me in so I decided to check it out.

Before I made this decision, however, I came across Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? Again, not a huge fan of Kaling, pretty much as indifferent as I am with Schumer. I have come to like her more recently from her voice acting work as Disgust in Inside Out (2015). But when I cracked open Kaling's book, I found myself chuckling at her simple humor. I appreciate how light the book feels in my hands and how short it looks. Both her book and Schumer's have short, quick read chapters, so I think for at least Kaling's I can take it on and manage to finish it. Then I realized that I could apply her story to myself because with this book she intends to convey her tales of finding confidence to be herself. I can always learn that type of lesson. Considering all of these good feelings I have so far toward this book, and even somewhat preferring it to Schumer's, I decided to check this one out as well.

What I noticed so far about both books is that they seem to have the same concept, comedy, and sarcastic tone. I then realized that their writing styles (provided it is their writing styles and not just a ghostwriter trying to emulate their voices lol Kaling says that she is comedy writer, which made me more interested to read her work) are reminiscent of the approach of one such comedienne, Roseanne Barr.

Back in January and February I got sick with a fever and started watching "Roseanne" on Laff. I never really watched the show when it first came out in the nineties, but I had some memories of it and now watching it as an adult I appreciated it even more. I found Barr's book Roseanne: My Life as a Woman, which she claims to have written herself within its pages, at the Lacordaire Used Book Sale and decided to purchase it. I read the same amount of pages in this book I read from the others when I first bought it and sense the same humor.

My plan this summer is to read all three books and compare and contrast the written work and experiences of a white comedienne, a comedienne of color, and a white comedienne from the nineties, who are all fairly successful in their own right, and perhaps apply their advice to my own creative success as a woman. All chapters seem to be short, sweet, entertaining, and interesting.

My Schumer and Kaling books are due back at the library on June 29.

4) Still working on THIS book...

Ugh. I have gotten further with this book since my last book blog post, but I'm lacking interest in it now. I've invested so much in it now that I feel like I've come so far and I don't want to give it up! I want to see what happens now!

It started off good, but now the two main characters Marie-Laure and Joseph keep gushing about how much they love each other and engaging in these cheesy, over the top sex scenes that you just know something bad is going to come across these two. Joseph is betrothed to another woman in an arranged marriage, of course, so that's a typical star-crossed lovers storyline for you. I keep predicting that Marie-Laure is going to get pregnant by him (even though they have been using "sheaths") and because he is an aristocrat and she is a scullery maid, it's going to bring about a scandal and secrets. So cliche. I'm not here for it right now.

I actually ran into Janis at the used book sale and told her about my qualms with this book. She shook her head and understood my woes. lol

So, there you have it. My Summer 2017 Reading Challenges so far! Wish me luck! I'll hopefully be back with updates as my reading progresses! :)

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