Mini Reviews: Unbroken & Becoming

Unbroken
Series: Loveless, Texas, #0.5
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes a captivating novella about a rugged rodeo star who will do anything to protect the people he loves.

When rodeo star Crew Lawton loses everything in a bad bet, he has no choice but to take a new job to pay off his debts – even if it means becoming the face of an expensive male skincare line. Crew is used to getting sweaty and rustling in the dirt, not posing for photo shoots. And he’s certainly not used to being bossed around by a woman who doesn’t even know the difference between bulls and broncs. But Crew owes money to dangerous criminals, and he’ll do anything Della says in order to pay them back and keep them far away from his family in Loveless, Texas…

The launch of her new men’s line for her family’s company means everything to Della Deveaux, and she’s not willing to let some rugged, arrogant cowboy ruin her campaign. Crew Lawton is the last man she would have chosen to represent her chic, sophisticated brand. Unfortunately, her father already invested millions in Crew’s stupidly handsome face. Yet the more time they spend together, Della and Crew realize that opposites do attract. But when the time comes for Crew to face his past mistakes, will he be able to protect his family…and the woman he’s come to love?

My thoughts:

Unbroken was a really fun way to begin a new series. Crew and Della were complete opposites and I liked what that effect that had on the story and their relationship. There were so many great little moments between them. I’m a little sad this was just a novella because I could have read an entire book about Crew and Della. Unbroken made me excited for what’s to come in Loveless, Texas.

Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Narrator: Michelle Obama
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Memoir

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

My thoughts:

At first, I was intimidated by the almost 20 hours of listening Becoming is. I shouldn’t have been. Listening to Michelle Obama tell her life story was so interesting. I loved hearing about her youth, her relationship with President Obama, and everything she went through in the White House. I am even more impressed with her now. This book is definitely worth a listen or read. Michelle Obama is very inspiring.

Review: This Will Only Hurt a Little (Busy Phillips)

This Will Only Hurt a Little
Author: Busy Phillips
Narrator: Busy Phillips
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: Memoir

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the beloved comedic actress known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek, and Cougartown who has become “the breakout star on Instagram stories…imagine I Love Lucy mixed with a modern lifestyle guru” (The New Yorker).

Busy Philipps’s autobiographical book offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona and her painful and painfully funny teen years, to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend.

Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life to write this book. I’m just so grateful someone asked. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it??”


I love listening to celebrity memoirs. It’s so much fun to hear all of their stories come out of their own mouth. When I heard that Busy Phillips was releasing one, I knew I wanted to listen to it. I was a fan of Dawson’s Creek and I have always enjoyed her acting. I didn’t, however, realize that Busy Phillips was big on Instagram with her stories which is what speared the writing of this book. (Or at least I think that’s what did?)

This Will Only Hurt a Little was a big surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting the tone. Busy Phillips sounds a little bit angry and the whole lot negative. Even the good times had a not so good feelings surrounding them. I was a little disappointed and a lot sad about that. I was expecting more humor and lightness since she’s a comedic actress.

Another thing that surprised me was that half the book was about her teenage escapades and not so good things she had done or that had happened to her. It wasn’t that I didn’t expect to hear stuff like that, it was that it took up SO MUCH of the book. I was more interested in her acting career. Maybe that’s selfish and mean of me, but that’s what I want from a celebrity memoir.

As for the acting career part, it was pretty interesting. Her thoughts and impressions of people, places, and her career were a little scandalous. I would be very interested in hearing what her co-workers and friends would say about it all. I especially interested in her Blades of Glory story. That’s probably the biggest, most exciting to me information I took away from this memoir.

Overall, This Will Only Hurt a Little was a book that it only hurt a little to listen to. When Busy Phillips says, “I am a lot.”, she truly is. Wow. She really laid it out all there. The good, the bad, the ugly. This book is worth reading if you’re at all interested in her life or her stories about her rise to fame and all those she encountered along the way.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Seven Celebrity Memoirs Worth Reading

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s is Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump.

To be honest, I didn’t feel like doing this topic. It would just be a list of some of my favorite books that you’ve probably seen a million times on my TTT lists. Instead, I’m hyping Ten Celebrity Memoirs Worth Reading.


1. Scrappy Little Nobody
by Anna Kendrick

If you like Anna Kendrick in movies, you’re going to love her in real life. Her stories about growing up on Broadway and making it to Hollywood are fun and funny.

2. Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You
by Kunal Nayyar

Yes, My Accent is Real is humorous and fun to read. It’s filled with interesting and heartwarming stories of Kunal Nayyar’s past. My favorite stories were about his college years in Portland, Oregon and how he got his big break.

3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
by Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? sounds like it is directly coming out of Mindy Kaling’s mouth. I felt like we were girlfriends sitting around and she was telling me about her life, random things that have happened to her and her advice. The book is all about fun. It’s not super deep or necessarily inspiring, but it will make you smile.

4. Why Not Me?
by Mindy Kaling

Why not spend more time with Mindy Kaling?

5. Between a Rock and a Heart Place: A Memoir
by Pat Benatar

I’m a big fan of music from the 1980’s. I loved reading this memoir. It was like getting an inside look at the music scene at that time. I also loved learning more about Pat Benatar. I love her voice.

6. Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood
by Jenny McCarthy

If you’ve had a baby, you will appreciate this unapologetic look at what that first year is like.

7. Unqualified
by Ana Faris

Unqualified wasn’t my favorite memoir, but that’s just because a lot of it felt like an ode to Chris Pratt and they were already on their way to divorce when I read it. I did really like reading how she came to fame and about her son, though. Those chapters made it worth reading. I’m including it because I think if you like her, you’ll like this book.

Review: Unqualified by Anna Faris

Unqualified
Author: Anna Faris
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books
Genre: Memoir, Comedy

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Anna Faris has advice for you. And it’s great advice, because she’s been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she’s learned. Her comic memoir and first book, Unqualified, will share Anna’s candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir, part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna’s unique take on how to navigate the bizarre, chaotic, and worthwhile adventure of finding love.

Hilarious, authentic, and actually useful, Unqualified is the book Anna’s fans have been waiting for.


I love Anna Faris, but Unqualified was a bit of a let down. It was interesting reading her thoughts and stories. I know it’s her memoir and her truths, but a lot of what she shared was self-deprecating. It wasn’t quite as funny as I expected.

One of the things that bugged me about this book was that it felt like an ode to Chris Pratt. It was definitely written prior to the end of their marriage, and so it feels odd to read about how much she loves him and how amazing he is when you know they have gone their separate ways. I also found it hard to read her description of her relationship with her first ex-husband. She wasn’t exactly bashing him, but it wasn’t nice either.

The shining chapter of Unqualified was the story of the birth of her son, Jack Pratt. This was the most emotional and real part of the book. This was the chapter I loved. I felt like I was truly getting to know Anna in this moment. I wish more of the book would have delved as deeply as this chapter did.

Overall, Unqualified was a fun read. It wasn’t my favorite celebrity memoir, but it did leave me feeling like I had a little more insight into the life of Anna Faris. I loved hearing about her life in Washington (I live there), and how she made it big. Her fans will enjoy this book. Although, like me, I’m sure they will wish she touched on her split from Chris Pratt.

 

Review: We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

We are Never Meeting in Real Life
Author: Samantha Irby
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Vintage Books
Genre: Memoir, Essays, Humor
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.


I learned of We are Never Meeting in Real Life on Goodreads. I was sorting through the giveaway section and saw it. The witty title and adorable cover drew my attention immediately. When I read the blurb, I knew I had to enter to win it. And I did, so I’m lucky!

We are Never Meeting in Real Life is a group of essays about blogger/author Samantha Irby’s life. She has a straight forward way of telling things like she sees them and is great at describing the outrageous experiences of her past. Her tone is sometimes upbeat, sometimes not, but it’s always humorous. Irby has a way of saying things that others will either detest (language and issue sensitive) or wish they had thought of (down with the swearing and oversharing).

I fell in the latter category. I truly enjoyed reading We are Never Meeting in Real Life. I wasn’t aware of Samantha Irby prior to reading her essays, but I loved her style. She wasn’t apologetic about her thoughts and experiences, and I liked that. My favorites in this collection were My Bachelorette Application, You Don’t Have to Be Grateful for Sex, Fuck It, Bitch. Stay Fat, and A Christmas Carol.

I probably would have given this set of essays 5 stars if I hadn’t been slightly concerned about the way the author presented some of her stories. She has been dealt with some very crappy situations in life, and while this book seemed upbeat about it all, there was a hint of sadness behind some of it. Like if she made fun of her own life enough, it wouldn’t be so depressing. That made me sad. She seems like a cool, introverted chick. I wanted sunshine and rainbows for her. Hopefully, the rest of her life will be.

Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

29868610Scrappy Little Nobody
Author: Anna Kendrick
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Genre: Memoir, Humor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


A couple of months ago, my best friend and I found out that Anna Kendrick was doing a tour to promote her memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody. Being the huge Pitch Perfect / Anna Kendrick fans that we are, we quickly decided we needed to experience An Evening with Anna Kendrick.

20161128_190846

On Monday, November 28th, we made the forty-five minute jaunt into the U-District of Seattle to the University Temple United Methodist Church to bask in all that was Anna Kendrick. As you can tell by this beautifully out of focus picture, my friend and I got there later than most fans and ended up sitting at the back of the balcony for the hour-long question and answer interview. (Thank you Seattle construction for taking up valuable street parking spots!)

Now what does this have to do with my book review? Well, I hadn’t read the book before attending. One of the pluses of going to the show was a signed copy of the book when you presented your ticket. I kind of wish I had read the book, though; her interview would have added an extra “A-ha!” to some of the stories in the book. It still did, but I imagine it would have been even better with prior knowledge.

Scrappy Little Nobody was a fun-filled romp through Anna Kendrick’s journey to fame. It has so many interesting stories that are told in only the way Anna Kendrick could tell them. Reading her book was just like listening to her talk. You know how endearing Anna Kendrick is in all those interviews you watch or read? Well, she’s just as endearing in Scrappy Little Nobody. You will want her to be your best friend after reading this book — if you didn’t already before. I loved the little insights she gave to her life, acting and the industry she has excelled in. Scrappy Little Nobody was a delight to read.

If you’re a fan of Anna Kendrick, you need to read this book. You will adore it! It’s Anna Kendrick’s life experiences told as only Anna Kendrick could tell them.

Review: I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

29430846I Hate Everyone, Except You
Author: Clinton Kelly
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Memoir, Humor
Note: I received an ARC from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and beloved television personality Clinton Kelly pens a hilariously intimate collection of essays about his often-embarrassing journey from awkward kid to slightly less awkward adult.

Clinton Kelly isn’t just an enduring television host. In I Hate Everyone, Except You, Clinton Kelly is a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s most foul-mouthed high-school graduation speaker.

Whether he’s fantasizing about strangers in airports, throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career, or rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with enviable aplomb. He shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, from finding true love in a crowded gay bar to auditioning for sliced turkey commercials. Clinton delves into all these topics—and many more—in this thoroughly hilarious, unabashedly frank collection that will upend expectations and leave you snorting Chardonnay out your nose.


When I saw I Hate Everyone, Except You was available for request on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. I was/am a huge fan of What Not to Wear. I religiously watched every re-run and new episode when I was on maternity leave. I secretly wanted to be on that show and have Clinton Kelly and Stacy London transform my wardrobe. I was so sad when it ended. So I was excited to read I Hate Everyone, Except You and learn more about its co-host, Clinton Kelly.

From the minute I started reading I Hate Everyone, Except You I was hooked. Clinton Kelly’s narrative is exactly what I expected it to be. He was witty, funny and didn’t hold back. He shared some life experiences I don’t think I would have shared. Mr. Kelly was so candid that I felt like I was right there with him through it all. It was a lovely, if not somewhat embarrassing journey. I especially enjoyed the parts about his family, childhood friends and meeting his husband.

The only thing that I felt I Hate Everyone, Except You was missing was a common thread to unite all of the chapters. It might have been as simple as putting them in chronological order instead of randomly dispersed throughout the book. That would have helped his stories feel a little less disjointed.

Overall, I Hate Everyone, Except You was a really fun read. I got to see a side to Clinton Kelly I had never seen before on T.V. and learn more about his history. I also got to laugh a lot. If you like a funny celebrity memoir, this one is for you.

Review: Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair

29613610-1Author Anonymous
Author: E.K. Blair
Publication Date: August 29, 2016
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Based on a True Story

Rating: Unrated – Explanation in review.

Synopsis:

*An intoxicatingly risqué stand-alone book.

She’s an author.
She’s a mother.
She’s a wife.
She’s a fraud, a woman marked and bound by her own deceit.

Experience the astounding tale of how Anonymous battled through a year of scandals and betrayals, how her world fell from its axis with a single choice, and how she lost herself between reality and fantasy.

This is a stand-alone tangled in lust, heartbreak, and contrition.

*Based on a true story.


I’m going to start out by apologizing for this review. It is going to be one giant rant. That can’t be helped, so I’m sorry. I’m also going to warn that if you’re not into books with cheating, this one definitely isn’t for you. The entire focus of Author Anonymous is cheating. There’s nothing happy in it either, so if you’re looking for a dark but uplifting romance this isn’t it.

Let’s start with what I actually liked about this book. E.K. Blair deserves 5 stars for her writing. It’s dark, gritty, and unapologetic. I applaud her for being able to portray the characters the way she did. Their actions and thoughts were hard to read, so they had to be hard to write.

Now for the rant…

I wanted to DNF this book so badly. I basically had to force myself to read it. It was morally disturbing to me. I hated the main character Tori. I hated her thoughts, her actions, her truths. Nothing about what she did was okay. I don’t care what her reasons were. I’m a wife and mother. I’ve been married for 10 years, so I can understand some of her complaints about her marriage but nothing excuses her from the choices she made. I try not to be judgemental, but I’m judging here. She knew what she was doing the entire time. It was intentional. She knew she was hurting everyone around her and did it anyway.

It’s hard to explain my thoughts about the male characters in this “love triangle” without giving too much away, so I’ll keep it simple. I hated Alec. I didn’t trust anything about him. He was just as horrible as Tori. Landon was okay. He wasn’t an innocent bystander, but he wasn’t really malicious either. I understood why he did what he did and I was okay with it for the most part. I also want to point out that Landon said something about 40% in that I really agree with when it comes to cheating.

Obviously, reading Author Anonymous was a struggle for me. I was so looking forward to getting to the end and being able to come to terms with what this book had dealt me. I thought I was getting what I wanted until E.K. Blair did something I was not expecting. I don’t know whether to be pissed off at her or call her a genius. Considering how I felt about the story, I’d probably lean towards pissed off. If I hadn’t been reading this book on my Kindle, I would have thrown it at the wall or, better yet, burnt it!

I seriously hope the real Tori is never revealed. I don’t want to know who she is. I have to admit it took guts for her to ask E.K. Blair to write her story and put it out there. Although, now that I think about it, it seems like an attention-getting scheme.

Ugh. So how do I give Author Anonymous a rating? On one hand, the writing was brilliant. If it wasn’t based on a true story, I might have thought E.K. Blair was super creative for coming up with such a frustrating story and character. I do want to explore her other books. On the other hand, I hated this book the entire time I was reading it (except for maybe one or two chapters) partly because I knew it was based on a true story. I really did want to DNF it. I thought maybe I could come up with a middle ground rating, but I didn’t feel like any rating could properly portray my feelings. I guess that means I’m leaving it unrated. I will say that I’m glad that I was able to borrow this book from the Amazon Prime Kindle Lending Library. I think I would have been angry if I had spent money on a book that was so infuriating.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle). 


1. Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

 Does being nobody’s fool mean that you’re nobody’s love?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love… just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart… an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

 

 


2. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


3. January  – December by Aubrey Carlan

 It’s really simple. I needed money. A lot of money. One million dollars to be exact. The amount didn’t matter. All that mattered is that at the end of that price tag held my father’s life.

No money. No life.

The time limit was one year. On January 1st I had to pay up or my Father was going to be killed.

When you’re faced with an ultimatum like this, you do whatever you have to do.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The job…Exquisite Escorts. My role, serve as high priced arm candy to anyone that can afford the $100,000 price tag for a month of my company. Sex is optional (for me) and a 20% increase on the price.

***
Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore.

Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

Each installment in the Calendar Girl Serial will release every month throughout 2015. The stories will feature Mia, told from her perspective as she continues her journey as an escort to twelve clients in twelve different locations.

Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to language and graphic sexual content.


4. MacKenzie Fire by Elle Casey

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

 Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.


6. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

 A hilarious and moving memoir—in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron—about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.


7. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

 Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world–a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us–along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews–her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

 

 

 

 


8. In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

 Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé’s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there’s really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won’t get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she’ll have to start by believing in him…

 

 

 


9. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

 Oh, the joys of pregnancy! There’s the gassiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion, the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. Of course, no woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Not Jenny McCarthy! In the New York Times best-selling Belly Laughs, actress and new mother Jenny McCarthy reveals the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with pregnancy. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail. From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughsis must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, who has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or, indeed, has ever been born!

 

 

 

 


10. Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You By Kunal Nayyar

 Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory — the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist — ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.

Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)

Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.


 

What books have made you laugh?

 

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Publication Date: September 15, 2015

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Synopsis:

Welcome to Mindy Kaling’s mind. In this memoir, you will read about her experiences before and after fame. You will learn her thoughts on beauty, weight, dating and friends.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Okay, so if I’m being completely honest Why Not Me? should probably be more of a 3 star review. I gave it 4 stars because I love Mindy Kaling. I want her to be my friend (Maybe I should have gone with 5 stars…). She’s super funny and would fit right in with the rest of my friends. We would have so much fun together!

So, while Why Not Me? was not particularly Earth shattering, it did have great entertainment value. Like her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), It’s ramblings from Mindy’s mind. It was funny. I can honestly say there were several parts where I laughed out loud. (Criminals, Will, emails–if you’re reading it and want to know.) I liked getting to know more about Mindy and get a glimpse into what life’s been like for her.

If you’re a Mindy Kaling or Mindy Lahiri fan, you will enjoy this book. If you’re not a fan and she annoys the crap out of you, don’t read this book. You’ll just be torturing yourself.