Recently Read Vol. 5

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Probably because reading took a back seat to city life for a bit after we moved. But as the New Year came, I recommitted myself to putting down my iStuff and simply reading before bed. Here’s what I’ve read recently:

Reading Recommendations including Eleanor & Park, Not That Kind of Girl, Yes Please, and The Girl You Left Behind | eastandblog.com

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

I really enjoyed this book. Possibly more than I enjoyed Me Before You, Jojo Moyes most famous book to date. The Girl You Left behind is strange in that instead of either sharing one perspective or bouncing back and forth between two, the first half of the book is set during WWI, and the second half is present day.

For those of you who have read this book, how did you feel about the main character’s choices? I was very conflicted as I could see her attachment but did not feel like she was entitled to what she felt she was entitled to (or owned). That was vague on purpose, so I didn’t spoil anything. But it was the part I had the most trouble with. I don’t know that I agreed with her.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

It’s hard to write a book, at least that’s what Amy Poehler wants you to think while she’s making it look easy. Yes Please is written in such an easy, conversational way that you’ll feel like you’re reading a rambling note from your best friend. I loved reading about her time at SNL and I loved how much she seemed to truly enjoy working on Parks and Rec. Her hilarious and touching insights in to motherhood only endeared her more to me. Plus, we both have sons named Archie so we’re obviously really good at naming living creatures. Right after finishing this book, we watched all of Parks and Rec. It was glorious. In short, I love Amy Poehler.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book, just as people really love or really don’t love Lena Dunham. If you love her, my guess is you’ll keep loving her after this book. If you don’t love her, well I’m not sure why you’d read this book in the first place (but in case you need to be convinced, here are 10 reasons to love Lena Dunham).

I found Lena’s honesty about her neuroses and unconventional childhood to be refreshing and interesting. She is certainly not the norm, growing up in New York City with two artists for parents. But many of her emotional and mental struggles will resonate with anyone who has experienced anxiety. I particularly related to her about her feelings (and paranoia) about death. I basically nodded my head as I read that whole chapter, and when it was over I felt much less alone with my feelings. Isn’t it wonderful that books can do that?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I started reading this on Sunday afternoon and read straight through until I finished it. It was one of those kind of books. I had heard from others that Eleanor and Park is a bit darker than some of Rainbow Rowell’s other novels (all of which, I have loved) so I was a bit nervous I would not like it as much. To the contrary, it might be my favorite book of hers. Rowell does such a fantastic job of describing that all-consuming feeling of first love, and balanced the mild cheesiness of that with Eleanor’s dark home life. I wanted to hug Eleanor the whole time (and maybe take her shopping). Eleanor & Park made me simultaneously grateful that my teenage years are over and a little sad that my emotions will probably never be that extreme again.

Book I tried to read but failed: Outlander by Diane Gabaldon

Just when I thought the book was getting good (175 pages or so in), it slowed down again. People are obsessed with this series but since I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t force yourself to read something you aren’t enjoying (because that’s the fastest way to get in to a reading rut), I put it down.

Need a book recommendation? Check out Recently Read Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4.

Now tell me, what should I read next?

*Please note, this post contains affiliate links. The little bit of money I’d make if you buy something from Amazon via my link will probably fund the next round of Recently Read. Books books and more books!

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