A family member lent me this book, because I currently work at a veterinary clinic and love it. The life of working with animals is incredible rewarding, and the bonds that are created are so strange, yet they never fail to disappoint.
Sedgwick spent a year with the different employees of the Philadelphia zoo, learning about their lives, their careers, and their favorite animals. As with almost any book about animals, it is both heartwarming and hilarious.
People come into my work all the time and say, “I could never work here. I’m too much of an animal lover. I couldn’t see these animals sick and suffering.” They’ve got it all wrong though. The amount of love and patience it requires to go through heartbreak after heartbreak in service of animals requires a very selfless love and an ability to find joy in the smallest moments.
Also, this book has some hilarious rhino porn, gorillas dressed up and made to mop, a wolf lady, and some very cranky elephants.
I was recently perusing Barnes & Noble with a friend of mine when I saw this book on a display table.
“This book is awesome and actually made me happier. You should read this!”
“Oh God,” he replied. “Please tell me you aren’t reading self-help books, Chrissy.”
I looked up. It was on that depressing self-help table, and I felt very torn.
I really liked the book, but I am one of the millions of people who refuse to read self-help books because, to me, reading a self-help book feels like waving a white flag of surrender to the thing that is life.
So I am embracing denial and choosing to not think of this as a self-help book, but a very helpful book for myself. Damn. It doesn’t work.
It’s about making resolutions to make yourself happier. Who doesn’t want to be happier?! If you are honestly going to say to me, dear reader, that you have no need to be happier, that you wouldn’t like to enjoy life a smidgent more, than you need a self-help book in the worst way possible.
Rubin talks a lot about philosophy, about changing small things in your life, about different scientific studies on happiness. It wasn’t life shaking, but it helped me pick up a couple of habits that, yes, have made me happier. The shame of owning a self-help book was certainly worth it.
“When I think of the farm, I think of mud. Limning my husband’s fingernails and encrusting the children’s knees and hair. Sucking at my feet like a greedy newborn on the breast. Marching in boot-shaped patches across the plank floors of the house. There was no defeating it. The mud coated everything. I dreamed in brown.”
I was turned on to this book by my friend Eric who runs a fantastic baseball blog called Pitchers and Poets. Naturally it is about baseball, and I remember the early days when he used to write a lot about poetry. But I think the Poet part has evolved into simply a high literary quality of sports journalism, which is likewise fantastic. The website launched a Reading Club with different bloggers commenting on this new release book. I meant to follow along, but I got so swept away in the book that I ended up focusing all my time on just reading it and not the blog. Whoops!
The book is centered around a baseball team from an imaginary college. It follows a couple of different characters through setbacks, romances, and baseball. Some of my friends from my softball team were reading the book as well, and it seems that a lot of people read far too deeply into this book. Into the symbolism, the underlying themes. I believe this is Harbach’s first novel, and at times it did seem like he was pushing those sorts of things a bit too much. I chose to just enjoy the story and his incredible characters. If you love baseball, you’ll love this book. If you don’t love baseball, you’ll still love this book. Trust me, babies, I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
It should come as no surprise at this point that I love cooking memoirs, particularly the ones written by badass chefs with names that rhyme with Doorbane. When I was visiting Seattle last summer, my good friend who also works as a Kindle manager for Amazon and is one of the finest home cooks I’ve ever met gave me the advanced copy of this book. It is fantastic. Gabrielle Hamilton is seemingly an accidental chef. She grew up wanting to be a writer (she’s a damn fine one), but found herself working a number of restaurant jobs and eventually starting her own little place in New York called Prune. I am dying to go.
The book isn’t like a lot of other chef memoirs. It reads more like a genuine memoir of her life. Being a chef just happens to be a huge part of that.
If my encouragement isn’t enough to make you pick up the book, just look at who wrote the blurb on the front cover. Hot diggedy dog, it’s our old friend Mr. Doorbane.
I fear for the human race.
In the not too distant future women who choose to abort their pregnancies will be turned into Chromes (Reds), and jailed. After the jailing period has ended women are put back into society, but can be tracked via satellite during their sentence, in this instance for the next 16 years. Hannah Payne must also dodge the Fist, a right-wing group looking to eliminate all Chromes, specifically Reds because of their heinous crime, abortion.
This is a very modern, science-fiction retelling of The Scarlet Letter. Both horrifying and inspiring this book is about one womans journey to find her inner strength. I recommend it to anyone interested questioning church versus state.
A lot of books nowadays are made up of intersecting story lines. Separate characters who seemingly have nothing in common, but their lives are overlapped to the point where we are pondering the validity of coincidence and fate. It can all get a bit predictable once you’ve read a couple of them. You know who is going to fall in love with who, and who is just plain destined to run into that mysterious, aloof character. While this book has some elements of that, the story lines do not intersect in predictable ways and the character plot lines are written in such distinctive prose from one another, it is easy to get lost into the individual worlds of the characters. The crotchety old man, the curious little girl, the neurotic writer. This book was a bit slow at first, but it picks up rather quickly and by the last page, you cannot believe it is all over.
Also, Nicole Krauss is married to Jonathon Safran Foer. Literary power couples make me uncomfortable. Or maybe that’s jealousy I’m feeling?