Monday, September 24, 2018

good books part 6

the memoir edition....

I read most of these memoirs months and months ago. I don't recall that anyone recommended them to me with gusto, I just stumbled upon them and one memoir led to another. I am passionate to recommend them now. These women are candid, confident, bold, hilarious and more. I felt like I was getting to know some underground celebrities, some really cool yet controversial women. There is one male author in the mix. His story Alligator Candy is the most devastating of the memoirs I've read. 

Mandy Stadtmiller
My story is not unique. Single girl comes to New York; New York eats her alive. But what does stand out is my discovery that you can essentially live a life that appears to be a textbook manual for everything one can do wrong to find love—and still find Mr. Right.

 Mandy's story is told with unflinching candor and brilliant hilarity as she recounts failed romances and blackout nights. There is a deep level of rawness and pain. Just when you think Mandy's out of the woods - she spirals. She totally keeps you on edge - is she going to make it? Will she ever be wifeable?

The Rules Do Not Apply
Ariel Levy
Wow, Ariel. This book is complicated, wrenching, engrossing. There's grief, infidelity, alcoholism, ambivalence and estrangement. Years later, she finds herself at a friend’s birthday party, where a stranger asks her: “Are you the Ariel who all the bad things happened to?”

You'll Grow Out Of It
Jessi Klein
Jessi Klein is hilarious. I don't remember laughing out loud at any book as much as I did with this one. I think the fact that I had no expectations and no idea who she was/is going into this might have helped with my level of enjoyment. A lot of reviews wreak of disappointment and call her out for various reasons, lets just say her readers expected more. I didn't judge the writing on a structured level. I simply enjoyed for what it was; candid, real and FUNNY!

Alligator Candy
David Kushner
David Kushner grew up in the suburbs of Florida in the early 1970s, running wild with his friends, exploring, riding bikes, and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. (Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Even though I came of age in the 90's in Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Vermont, my childhood was certainly one of adventuring wild and free in the woods.) One morning in 1973, everything changed when David’s older brother Jon took a short bike trip to the local convenience store and never returned. 

How does one family survive the worst thing? It's a dedication to a brother tragically deprived of his right to live and a reflection on how to live in a world riven by pain, suffering, and evil. It was agonizing and disturbing, but so worthwhile to read.

Look Alive Out There
Sloane Crosley
As I started this collection of essays I'm scratching my head- why does this authors name sound so familiar? I don't think I read her first set of essays I was Told There'd  Be Cake (but then why am I reading this book if she's so forgettable?!) It finally hit me I read her novel The Clasp years ago - it never made it into any of my good book reviews. The Clasp was actually a great book, maybe it fell somewhere in the middle of the road for me, at the time?

Anyways, this woman is not forgettable. Sloane Crosley is one of a kind. With a trademark hilarity and wit, you will laugh out loud at her stories and observations. I found myself thinking - wait - this really happened to you? or hold up - you really thought this was a good idea?  I read a funny quote about her that resonated: "shes someone who shoots for the stars and hits the ceiling." Some essay subjects become more serious, and there's a deeper insight to be gained from her sharp, perceptive words.

When reading memoirs, I like to alternate. I couldn't have read Ariel, Mandy and Jessi all in a row. Is anyone else like this? I'll read a memoir, a thriller, a novel and so on as to not tire of one genre or style of writing. Let me know your thoughts or if you have read any of these!

Monday, September 17, 2018

good books part 5

It has been over a year since I shared the books I've read! I chalk it up to wedding planning and buying a house - that year when the blog fell off my radar. I have easily read 30+ books since last August. Plus now that I'm pregnant and I've got a lot more down time, I'm flying through them! 

{I think this is the first time I've mentioned a house purchase and my pregnancy on the blog. Just two life altering moments I've casually decided to drop ;) Hopefully more on both those here soon, but in the meantime, Instagram has you covered!}


I could not put down the second and third books in New York Times bestselling author L.S Hilton's erotic psychological thriller series. Beginning with Maestra, this trilogy will hook you and shock you - these books are ruthless, extravagant, sharp and provocative ~ "like a ritzy 50 shades meets Da Vinci code." Femme fetale Judith Rashleigh returns in Domina and Ultima with enough murder, sex and European glamour to leave you riveted. 

The Dollhouse 
The Address
Fiona Davis

I've become a big fan of Fiona Davis's impeccably structured novels - both The Dollhouse and The Address take place in New York City - alternating between different periods in history at famous residences. The Dollhouse was her debut set in mid-century and present day NYC. The Address takes on different historical eras - The Gilded Age in 1884 and the Regan-Era in 1985. 

Both of these novels appeal with mystery, love, and beautiful tributes to a bygone era. There are captivating settings, historical descriptions and architectural details. The storytelling intricately overlays the past and the present, where ultimately the time periods and characters are tied together in suspenseful, unexpected ways. I'd recommend both but space them out. (Not sure if that's just me but I like to read a few books in between the same author to mix it up.)

The Light We Lost
Jill Santopolo
I flew through this novel depicting the love story of one woman, Lucy, and her two meaningful relationships. It involves a deep look at the choices she makes and the what ifs she lives with. The authors prose have a simplicity and a beauty to them. This book was emotional and it irritated me on so many levels! I mean this in a good way. I loved reading it, but throughout it I found myself just clawing with emotion and opinion towards Lucy, I wanted to shout to anyone who would listen. It made me cry, it made me think, it frustrated me, it made me feel deeply.

Girls Burn Brighter
Shoba Rao
I get a few of my book recommendations from A Cup of Joe. (I just realized I've read 4 of the 7 on her spring 2018 list; which will in turn all make my list!) This book was the most surprising of recommendations I've taken. Here's what Joanna quotes “This is the best book I’ve read in a long time,” my best friend texted one night. (She edits books for a living, so when she likes something, I pay attention.) An hour later she texted again, “Maybe the best book I’ve read, ever.” Later that night, yet another text popped up. “I can’t stop reading, you have to borrow it as soon as I’m done.” 

Well that settles it! A must read...or is it? This novel was heavy and disturbing. I'm not sure it's for everyone. We enter the lives of two best friends growing up in rural India, Poornima and Savitha, who encounter unfathomable misogyny and prejudice in countless ways. An act of devastating cruelty splits them up, and the story remains a quest to find one another. "So what, I asked said friend, did she love so much about it? “Every page served as a reminder of what a gift our friends are, and all the ways a deep love between female friends can sustain us during the most difficult times.” Sounds good to me. Me too. Heavy as it was, it stuck with me. I'm glad I read it. 

Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan
Jumping on the bandwagon here! I want to see the movie so I figured I better read the book first. It started out slow for me, but it quickly picked up and I did really enjoy it. CRAZY RICH is like, mind blowing, unfathomably, obscenely wealthy. And snobby!! God so snobby. Brilliantly obnoxious and fun at the same time, I'm looking forward to the next two in the series. 

Have you read any of these seven books? What did you think?

I still have a stack of recommends with a lot of memoirs in the mix. Lots more book coming your way.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

hexagon haus

a few snapshots of our home in Killington, Vermont purchased on 4|20|2018!

this set taken on 7|14|18.

more here

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


A lot of this article really resonated with me. 
"And even then, who says you need to make money doing what you love? Since when does everyone feel entitled to love every f*ing second of their job? Really, what is so wrong with working an OK normal job with some cool people you like, and then pursuing your passion in your free time on the side? Has the world turned upside down or is this not suddenly a novel idea to people?

    And then a few months later I read this! Yes.

"For me combining the challenge of a day job with my creative endeavors keeps me happy, paid and somewhat sane. I like the balance. I like how my job allows my creative pursuits be be less about finances and more about fun.