Book Review: I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star) by Judy Greer

Essay collections seem to be becoming popular again, especially amongst high profile women. I Don’t Know What You Know Me From was my third such collection, following Tiny Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star) is by Judy Greer, an immensely prolific actress, who will be familiar to most people who own a TV set. I picked this up because I do know what I know Greer from, having seen/owned enough films she has appeared in to legitimately start a Judy Greer collection. Greer is known for being a smart comedy actress and for playing a multitude of best friends in various romantic comedies. I like her a lot as an actor (seeing her name on a cast list usually means a plus for me when it comes to choosing films) and I think it would be fair to say that those best friend roles are usually far more interesting than our leading lady. I Don’t Know… is both a sort of memoir and essay collection, taking us from Greer’s childhood through to her move to Hollywood and subsequent acting career.

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July/August Round Up

Hello all! Sorry it’s been so quiet around here lately – July and August have been mega busy with work/life stuff.

Below is a list of I have watched/read/enjoyed over the last two months that won’t get individual spots on the blog. Hope you’re all having a great summer!

Where I should be right now

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Book Review: Never Have I Ever – My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney

Beware, guys – I’m about to gush. I’ve been gushing in person to everyone I know about Never Have I Ever and I’m about to do it to you, so brace yourselves.

Never Have I Ever is a memoir of sorts from Buzzfeed writer Katie Heaney. Heaney completely sold herself to me as a writer through this book. In Never Have I Ever, Heaney writes of her romantic escapades from primary school to her post-graduate degree…except that we know from the start that none of them will amount to anything. Heaney has never had a boyfriend. Ever. Nor has she had any kind of significant, ongoing romantic relationship. Heaney aims to document this rather unusual aspect of her life while examining why it might be.

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Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and Bookish

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Top 10 books I’m not sure I want to read…

 

The Fault in our Stars

I’m just not a fan of books that I know will make me cry before I start reading.

Game of Thrones

Everyone wants me to read this series of books but…I’m just not interested. Fantasy/depressing family drama are not really my bag.

The Thirteenth Tale

My friend has been on at me to read this for ages and ages but it sounds super scary and weird. I don’t want to!

50 Shades of Grey

Um….not sure I need to bother explaining this one.

E.M Forster novels

I tried. I really did. But I just can’t get with Forster’s style. I feel bad as he’s so well regarded, but…nope.

Lord of the Rings

So long! And like GoT, I couldn’t take all the extra, fantasiest bits of the book that they (purposefully) left out of the movies.

Mills and Boon

Not big into romance and I have way too many memories of seeing copies at my Grandma’s house…

Jeffery Eugenides

Like E M Forster, I tried but I just couldn’t get into his books.

Gone Girl

Not even remotely interested. Sorry!

The Shining

TOO SCARY.

 

What books are you just not feeling?

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and Bookish

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Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read…a ‘classic’

This week’s challenge is looking at how to introduce a fellow reader to a new genre of books. I’m not much of a genre reader (I tend to just pick up whatever I fancy) but as a former literature student, I’ve read a LOT of classics in my time and thought I would put together a beginner’s guide:

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

While Pride and Prejudice is the more famous story, I think Northanger Abbey is more accessible. It’s short, funny and irreverent and a great intro into the Austen world.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Full of memorable characters, with a more straightforward plot than some of Dickens’ mighter tomes, Great Expectations is well-told, funny and full of classic Dickensian storytelling.

Jeeves & Wooster by P.G.Wodehouse

Always funny, always smart and an amazing depiction of the British aristocracy. Wodehouse always makes me laugh.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Arguably one of the most famous American classics, with a very well known plot. Read this and you’ll understand so many references!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I summed up why I love it here but again, a gentle, relatable way into 1800s writing.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I love Steinbeck’s writing. Of Mice and Men is short (again) and the most easily accessible of Steinbeck’s work.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

A great introduction to both Victorian morals and manners and gothic horror!

Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Bonkers children’s story that influenced so much after it.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Who wouldn’t want to read about a red-headed Canadian orphan?

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

A little glimpse into English manners through Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall.

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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This week’s topic…the top 10 authors I own the most books by

Kazuo Ishiguro (x7) –  One of my all time favourite writers, I own every novel he’s written plus one collection of short stories:

  • A Pale View of the Hills
  • An Artist of the Floating World
  • The Remains of the Day
  • The Unconsoled
  • When We Were Orphans
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Charles Dickens (x7) – Fell in love with his writing as a student and my grandfather gave me a collection of his works a few years ago:

  • Little Dorrit
  • Great Expectations
  • David Copperfield
  • Oliver Twist
  • Bleak House
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • A Tale of Two Cities

Jane Austen (x6) – Just the best – I have the collected works (even though I don’t like Mansfield Park…):

  • Emma
  • Persuasion
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Mansfield Park

Judy Blume (x6) – A growing up must, I love my Judy Blume collection:

  • Forever
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
  • Tiger Eyes
  • Deenie
  • Just As Long As We’re Together
  • Here’s to you, Rachel Robinson

Sarah Dessen (x6) – A new favourite but have totally fallen in love with her books:

  • The Truth About Forever
  • What Happened to Goodbye?
  • That Summer
  • Along for the Ride
  • Just Listen
  • Lock and Key

Elizabeth Gaskell (x5) – I started to really enjoy reading Mrs Gaskell while I was at university:

  • Wives and Daughters
  • Mary Barton
  • The Cranford Chronicles
  • North and South
  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte

Danny Wallace (x5) – One of the funniest writers ever, Danny Wallace captures the English like no-one else:

  • Are you Dave Gorman?
  • Join Me
  • Yes Man
  • Awkward Situations for Men
  • Charlotte Street

Peter Carey (x4) – A truly great writer and always interesting:

  • Jack Maggs
  • Parrot and Olivier in America
  • The True History of the Ned Kelly Gang
  • Oscar and Lucinda

David Mitchell (x3) – An amazing and truly, truly original writer:

  • Cloud Atlas
  • Number9dream
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Margaret Atwood (x3) – One of the greats, and always trying to do something different:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Blind Assassin
  • Alias Grace

Who do you own the most books by?

 

NB: I didn’t include any book series’ as I felt like that would tip the scales a bit and didn’t seem to be included in the theme (for me); hence no J K Rowling, Megan McCafferty etc.

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

As has already been well documented, I am a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s work. Though I have Attachments, Landline has ended up being the first of Rowell’s adult novels I’ve read.

Landline tells the story of TV writer Georgie and her marriage to Neal. At the start of the book, Georgie and Neal are in a pretty terrible place. Things have apparently been getting steadily worse for some time and reach a crisis point when Georgie opts to stay in LA over Christmas to work on her dream show with her writing partner, Seth, rather than make the trip to Omaha with Neal and their daughters. She is shocked when Neal decides to go anyway without her and in the days between them leaving and Christmas Day, begins to wonder whether she’ll still have a husband come New Year.

Staying at her Mother’s to avoid going home to an empty house, Georgie discovers that her old rotary phone in her teenaged bedroom still works…only instead of calling Neal in the present, she somehow calls him in the past, to the last week they spent apart, just before he proposed. Can Georgie win Neal back and resuscitate their marriage by talking to his younger self?

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Book Review: How to be a Heroine – Samantha Ellis

I’m going to be completely honest and confess that I picked up How to be a Heroine based on the title (I am always looking to be the heroine of my own story, naturally) and the book cover, which as you can see, features the spines of some of my most beloved books.

Samantha Ellis was a new name to me, but was instantly fascinating. From a culturally unusual background (Iraqi Jewish) and brought up in an insular community in London, Ellis attended Cambridge University and was a voracious reader who went on to become a playwright. I knew from the introduction – when she and her best friend make the trip up to Haworth and wander the moors thinking about the Brontës – that I’d found a kindred spirit.

After pronouncing to her best friend that being a Cathy Earnshaw was better than being a Jane Eyre and being met with astonishment, Ellis decides to revisit all her favourite heroines, from early childhood to adulthood, to see if her perception of them was correct and whether they’ve changed for her as she gets older. This results in a book that is part memoir, part feminist literary criticism.

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Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with The Broke and The Bookish

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10 characters I’d take with me to a desert island

I really liked the topic this week. My selected 10 have been chosen for one of two reasons: either for fun or for survival…

 

1. Marcus Flutie (Jessica Darling books)

I feel like this requires no additional explanation.

 

2. Man Friday (Robinson Crusoe)

Because let’s face it, he did all the work and made Robinson look good.

 

3. Gemma (the Gemma books)

I feel like Gemma would be able to cheer everyone up by performing (she is an excellent singer and dancer) and would be a lot of fun to chat and gossip with.

 

4. Yuri Zhivago (Dr Zhivago)

A bit morose, but a doctor used to practicing in harsh conditions. Useful!

 

5. Stanley Yelnats (Holes)

Stanley is a trooper and he had to hide in the desert for ages, so would be handy to have around.

 

6. Jo March (Little Women)

Funny, smart and would write really excellent stories to keep us all amused.

 

7. Iorek Byrnison (The Golden Compass)

Come on guys, I think we can all agree that having a fighting, talking polar bear would be super useful on a desert island – who knows what creatures might be lurking. Plus, Lost has shown us that yes, polar bears can survive in tropical conditions.

 

8. Pi (Life of Pi)

Adept at surviving in terrible conditions and has proven to be resourceful. Also, I feel like he needs a hug.

 

9. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter books)

Well, duh. She’d be able to fix just about everything.

 

10. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

The ultimate survivor, you’d need someone to keep you going no matter what.

 

Agree with my choices? Who would you take with you?

Top 10 Tuesday – Link up with the Broke and the Bookish

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July 8: Top Ten Blogging Confessions

I’m going to use Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner‘s previous list here as a guide…below, my top 10 book blogging confessions:

  1. I am not a good book-lender. I will recommend the hell out a book and then refuse to lend it out, which is mean. I just get terrified that it will get damaged or lost, even when logically I know it won’t!
  2. On a similar theme, I take book spine damage and page dog-earing/folding VERY seriously. I have to work really hard not to flinch when people turn the page corners over on the train.
  3. I am very judgemental about book covers – I won’t buy something if I don’t like the cover.
  4. I have never read any stereotypical ‘chick lit’ or traditional romance novels because…I kind of think they’re lame (sorry!)
  5. If I buy a set of books, I like them to match. My Little Women series is all my Grandma’s 1940s copies except for Jo’s Boys and I HATE that it doesn’t match the others.
  6. I have a serious book-buying problem. I can’t stop buying new books, even when I have loads of unread ones. There’s just so many great books put there waiting for me to read them!
  7. I am trying to buy books only from actual book-stores. It’s hard when Amazon is so convenient, but I like going into a real bookshop, especially independent ones.
  8. I have over 100 unread books in my house. I know, I know – it’s appalling.
  9. I am an unapologetic book abandoner. If I’m not grabbed within the first 50 pages, then I move on. See #6 and #8 for reasons.
  10. I am very particular about bookmarks.

What are your book blogging confessions?