Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review - "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins (#20 - 2015)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I was in line at the library for a while for this one.  First of all the comparisons to Gone Girl are a bit exaggerated, in my opinion.  The story revolves around Rachel, a woman who is divorced, struggling with alcoholism who, while riding to and from work every day on the train, has to pass her old home where her ex-husband and his new wife and baby girl now live.  Adding to that, a few houses down are a couple who Rachel sees a lot from the train (it stops in back of the house every day for a signal, how convenient).  Rachel has been "creating" a sort of story in her head about them. Anyway, one day the woman goes missing and Rachel, who thinks she has seen something, is pulled into the ensuing chaos surrounding her disappearance.  The premise of the story is good, it's interesting, the execution was clunky.  Rachel's endless blackouts were tedious and the ex-husband and his wife were so flat for me, that it ruined the whole premise of this book.  Everybody seems to just gush about this book so I guess I'm in the minority because I couldn't wait for the darn thing to end.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review - "Harper's Bazaar Great Style" by Jenny Levin (#19 - 2015)

I picked this up at the library out of curiosity (I'm on a style book kick right now).  This one was published in 2007, so it's a bit dated.  It's a decent book, but it's not one of the better ones out there.  Breaks down the basics, what your core wardrobe pieces should be.  Overall, I would skip this one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review - "I Don't Know What You Know Me From" by Judy Greer (#18 - 2015)

You've seen Judy Greer in a lot of things, trust me, you have.  She's an extremely prolific actress who, in my opinion, has the best of both worlds.  She gets consistent work, yet remains under the radar, so she's not recognized like crazy in public.  I've been a fan of hers for a while, so I was eager to read the book.  I loved it, it's a bunch of essays about her life.  Growing up, going to college, Hollywood and relationships.  The chapter about her only Oscars experience was so great, it was so real and she was so honest about how awful it was (her dress fell apart, she couldn't find anyone she knew, etc), you just wanted to give her a hug.  It's also really refreshing to hear someone in Hollywood talk about how hard it is to juggle everything, she's not wealthy so she doesn't have a full time assistant, etc.  She's a girl who makes a good living as an actress, yet doesn't have this team of people running her house, etc behind the scenes.  She's way more like "us" than those ladies you see on the covers of all the magazines.  After reading it you really do want her to be your best friend.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review - "365 Style" by Nicky Hilton (#17 - 2015)

365 Style by Nicky Hilton

So I was watching the episode of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" when Kyle's niece, Nicky Hilton, had a book signing at Kyle's store.  I was all "OMG, I need to see if the library has this book so I can see what it's like!" So I did. And they did. And I read it.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  I was expecting a lot of eye rolls and advice that doesn't even apply to me (there was some of that) but mostly it was a decent style book.  The premise is her "formula" for creating a wardrobe that will work for you.  Basically, every season, think of 3 occasions that you regularly dress for, then choose 6 staple items of clothing and 5 essential accessories that work for your occasions.  These will be the core of your wardrobe for each season and then you can build from there.  It makes sense, though it gets a bit confusing at times.  Her underlying theme was to figure out what works for you and what you feel comfortable in, your signature style.  My only real complaint about the book was that there were not enough pictures, and the pictures that were in the book were small and not really great quality.  Would like to have seen a better balance of words and images.  Overall, it's a solid style book, not one of my favorites, but certainly not a bad one.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review - "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon (#16 - 2015)

Super fast read because it's a lot of graphics/illustrations and less than 200 pages long.  Mr. Kleon's message is basically that creativity is for everyone and can be found everywhere.  He gives some good advice to tap into your creativity (basically just do it, just start creating, don't worry about it being good or bad).  All of the advice given is solid and inspiring.  Is it groundbreaking?  No.  Is it worth your time (especially if you are in a creative rut/drought)?  Absolutely.  Anything that can help jump start your creativity is worth trying.  So if you are looking to tap into your creative side, pick this up! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review - "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell (#15 - 2015)

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

You know I love a Rainbow Rowell book, so I was super excited when I finally got this book at the library (I was on the list for a while).  The story is about Georgie McCool who is a successful sitcom writer, whose marriage seems to be in trouble.  She works all the time and has a huge opportunity with her writing partner Seth (whom she's known and worked with since college) to create their very own network show. But they have to do this in a short amount of time, over Christmas vacation, which means she'll have to bail on the trip to Omaha to visit her husband Neal's family.  Neal is upset and they part ways on uncertain terms.  Georgie can't bear to go home to an empty house, so she decides to stay at her mom's crazy house.  Since her cell phone's battery is about shot, she has to use her old, yellow, rotary phone in her childhood room.  And that's where she finds she can communicate with the Neal of the past.  Yes, it's weird.  No, it doesn't make a lot of sense and you sort of feel like you are in the middle of Georgie's nervous breakdown.  Of all of her books, this was my least favorite and that's mostly because I didn't like one of the characters.  I mean Georgie seems to be brilliant but she can't figure out how to just take care of little things and that frustrated me to no end.  The issues with the cell phones being constantly dead. Really?  Just go and buy a new damn phone!  I never really understood what the issues were (other than Georgie's working long hours), but this is something that people deal with all the time.  The story just fell flat with me.  I would pick up Eleanor & Park or Fangirl before this one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review - "Captain America Vol. 2: Red Menace Ultimate Collection" by Ed Brubaker and others (#14 - 2015)

Picks up where Captain America Vol. 1 left off (duh).  An action packed continuation of the Captain America story, Crossbones being a jerk as well as more back story about Bucky.  A quick bridge over to the next compilation (which I'm dying to read).  Obviously if you like Cap or are interested in more about Cap, Bucky, Crossbones, etc. pick this one up!
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