Tag Archives: Memoirs

The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl by Jaime Primak Sullivan

Overview
The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl | Book by Jaime Primak Sullivan,  Eve Adamson | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Title: The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie
Author: Jaime Primak Sullivan
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHumour, Memoirs
Dates read: 19th – 20th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Touchstone
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: I didn’t have the life energy to waste on games.

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Synopsis

Jersey-bred, tough-as-nails Hollywood publicist Jaime Primak Sullivan has been crossing the line all her life. She isn’t afraid to say what everyone is thinking when it comes to love, sex, friendship, and many other topics that are all too often sugarcoated in well-mannered company. But when a meet-cute scene right out of a Nora Ephron movie upends her life, Jaime soon finds herself an unlikely transplant in an upscale suburb of Birmingham, Alabama – a reluctant “knish out of water” smack-dab in the Deep South, starting a life with her new husband, the perfect southern gentleman.

Jaime enters the heart of Dixie with her fists up, but eventually learns she must let her guard down. As she struggles to adapt to her new world, she befriends a group of southern belles, and the very women she thought her Jersey personality was most likely to shock and repel become her most surprising allies. Jaime soon discovers that while southern belles may have a secret code of behaviour northern girls don’t always understand, when it comes down to helping a fellow woman, no one is more thoughtful, more generous, and kinder than a belle.

In The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl, Jaime shares her hard-won lessons on southern etiquette, deep-fried foods, college football, the peculiar methods of southern dating – and all the unexpected homework a girl receives when she crosses the line… and decides to stay.

Thoughts

This was one of those memoirs that is completely, totally and utterly considered to be “laugh out loud”. I giggled and chortled my way through this book in total and utter joy. This is one of those stories that I will pick up again and again. There is something light and joyous about the whole storyline that really got to me and made me imagine every single moment Sullivan describes with perfect vividity.

The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl is a fairly typical fish-out-of-water story. The fact that it’s all true just makes it all that much more intriguing. I mean, many fish-out-of-water stories are based in fact, but this story has that extra ring of truth to it. Plus, you can just picture this big-haired, lough-mouthed jersey girl just blundering her way through the south. There is just a great sense of reality to this story.

I felt like this story was really written in two parts. And was pretty much two love stories. The first was Sullivan’s love story to her husband. I found the story of his courting and their relationship to be fascinating. I loved the slow-going, beautiful relationship that they shared. And the way that they are both able to negotiate their past hurts to finally come up with a new reality that leaves them both happy and feeling… well, complete, to as much of a degree as that ever happens.

The second love story though, is my favourite. It is about Sullivan’s belles. Her gorgeous girlfriends who have helped her negotiate the morals, intricacies and social norms of the belles. Although Michael was a great story, I loved the girlfriends even more. It’s an acknowledgement of the power of women and the ways in which we need them in our lives. It’s a bit of a love ballad to the south as well, but mostly it’s to the importance and power of having good women on your side.

<- WildThe Salt Path ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Overview
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor: Kay, Adam:  9781509858637: Amazon.com: Books

Title: This Is Going to Hurt
Author: Adam Kay
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Medical, Memoirs
Dates read: 18th – 19th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Picador
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Today crossed the line from everyday patient idiocy to me checking around the room for hidden cameras.

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Synopsis

97-hour weeks. Life and death decisions.
A constant tsunami of bodily fluids.
And the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

Thoughts

This story had me laughing out loud. And giggling. And reading a lot of parts of this story out to my partner. Much to his chagrin… he doesn’t like anything medical or any hint of blood, so telling him all about it just didn’t go down well. But I had to share. Because there is wit, humour and awesomeness right throughout this novel.

I’ve seen this novel in my suggested readings again and again. But it wasn’t until the Black Friday sales that I finally decided that I may as well buy it. Quite possibly one of the better decisions that I’ve made. This story introduced me not only to the world of medicine but reminded me how humour can help you to deal with some of the crappier things in life.

This year has been a horrifying year, and part of that for me was deciding to give up a career path that I have been working towards for years. The fact that Kay gives up his career path six years into the career made me feel a heck of a lot better about my own decisions. Particularly when I read the final passages of this book. It is completely understandable why Kay decided to choose a new path. And, although tragic, gave hope for the new life that he decided to build.

Surprisingly, this novel did actually hurt. That final diary entry just tore at my heart. And the fact that it’s all true, and I have a few girlfriends who are currently pregnant… yeah, it most definitely “hurt”. Although it also made me laugh and smile. So it was also a brilliant, fun journey.

<- Why Not Me?Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas ->

Image source: Amazon

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Overview
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Title: Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas
Author: Adam Kay
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Humour, Medical, Memoirs
Dates read: 17th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Picador
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘As you know, this is standard policy’ is HR’s default line – as if being routinely malevolent is somehow better than dishing out acts of spite on an ad-hoc basis.

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Synopsis

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain.

Twas the Night Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.

Thoughts

This was most definitely the type of Christmas book that I needed this year – I haven’t really felt in the Christmas spirit and I liked that this one wasn’t all about joy and light. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of humour and spark to this novel that doesn’t make it glum and humbuggy. But it’s also a much more realistic, and less painful look into the Christmas season and what it really means…

I probably should have read This is Going to Hurt before Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas, but I am absolutely enamored with the tone and style of Kay’s writing. So, immediately after finishing this, I did actually pick up his first book. It’s hard to write about such a serious topic with a bit of lighthearted humour and tone. Particularly when you’re focusing in on the time of year when everyone else is busy trying to shove that good cheer down your throat…

If you’re not really in the Christmas spirit, or just want a good laugh. I can most definitely suggest this as a good, light read. Not only will it have you smiling and laughing, but it will also make you really appreciate the people who are on the front lines year-round. Those who put aside their own lives to the benefit of our own.

<- This is Going to HurtSmoky the Brave ->

Image source: Goodreads

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Overview
Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

Title: Marley & Me
Author: John Grogan
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Memoirs
Dates read: 25th – 28th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hachette
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Dr. Sherman had cleared her to try to get pregnant again.

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Synopsis

The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.

John and Jenny were young and in love, without a care in the world. Then they brought Marley home and their lives changed forever.

Marley quickly grew into a 44-kilogram steamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, stole women’s undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around. Obedience school did no good – Marley was expelled. Nor did the tranquilisers the vet prescribed him.

Yet Marley’s heart was pure, and his love and loyalty were boundless. He shared the couple’s joy at their first pregnancy and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. When the babies finally arrived, he was there too – winning hearts while making a mess of things.

Through it all he remained steadfast, a model of devotion even when his family was at its wits’ end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms. Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a larger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

Thoughts

This novel never fails to make me cry. In fact, since this is the first time I’ve read it since I got a house and dogs of my own, the moment I turned the final page I went looking for my staffy, Onyx, for a big cuddle. And then didn’t let him leave me lap for a good half an hour before I stopped feeling so sad. We love our dogs so much, so the idea of them having shorter lifespans than we do… it’s not something that I like to think about.

I have two dogs, one of which is a beagle (and fellow beagle owners know the trials and difficulties that that can lead to…). Yet, Marley’s antics and insanity most definitely helped to put Lexi’s misbehaviours into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, if she weighed four times what she weighs now… then I think that the destruction and insanity that she would bring down on us would most certainly be comparable. It’s nice reading about another insane dog that doesn’t quite do what its told… it’s a reminder that I’m not alone and I’m not actually a bad dog trainer.

This whole novel is pretty much a love story. To Marley. It’s a great tale about man’s best friend, and a reminder that when we do finally have to say goodbye… they never leave us. Every word in this is lovingly crafted by a master hand. Lovingly and painstakingly telling the story of a dog that is most definitely insane and quite probably completely out of control.

Being my second time reading this, I can clearly and definitely say that its one of my favourite memoirs. In fact, this is the book that got me into memoirs and biographies in the first place. I just hope that one day I have the skill and talent to write something similarly touching and brilliant as an ode to my own dogs.

<- The Longest TripThe Last Black Unicorn ->

Image source: Goodreads

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Overview
I am Malala, The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the  Taliban by Malala Yousafzai | 9781780226583 | Booktopia

Title: I Am Malala
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Feminism, Memoirs, Strong women
Dates read: 11th – 16th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: But all this time the mufti was watching.

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Synopsis

I come from a country that was created at midnight When I almost died it was just after midday. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan. One girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday October 9 2012 when she was fifteen. She almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school and few expected her to survive. Instead. Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel…

Thoughts

There are just some people in the world who seem to make me feel bad for the many, many things that I don’t do. It’s not necessarily a bad thing… just a, well… thing. That feeling of guilt that accompanies the reminder that there are some seriously bad arse, tough, amazing women out in the world. And Malala Yousafzai is most certainly one of them. That’s not to say that reading I Am Malala made me feel guilty or horrible, but it served as a reminder of the awesomeness of this young woman.

The journey that Malala takes is just phenomenal. And I can’t really describe that feeling of this is really awesome that you will get whilst reading this. Not just because of what Malala has accomplished, but also the family that she’s from and her love of her people and country. Every single word in this novel speaks of humility and love. And it makes this just… phenomenal. And one of those books that is impossible to forget.

I love that this book, even though it is about Malala’s journey, is really mostly about her family. Almost every sentence is about them. And, in particular, her father. It shows you that people who create great change don’t actually do this on their own… they have a family and people around them that help them accomplish everything and anything that they put their mind to. And for Malala, that driving factor is her father. And, considering the culture in which they both come from… that is somehow all that much more phenomenal.

This is one of those books that I think everyone needs to read. It is phenomenal and powerful. Unforgettable and a seriously intense and glorious journey. This is just one of those novels and lives that I will remember anytime I’m feeling negative, pessimistic or like a downright bore.

<- Falling LeavesMao’s Last Dancer ->

Image source: Booktopia

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Overview
Becoming by Michelle Obama - Reading Guide: 9781524763138 -  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Memoirs, PoliticsRace
Dates read: 18th September – 11th October 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: She had a wide-open smile and a slight island lilt in her voice that became more pronounced anytime she was tired or a little drunk.

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Synopsis

There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and to use my voice. Together, in our cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, they helped me see the value in our story, in the larger story of our country. Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

Thoughts

I am just completely, totally and utterly flawed by the awesomeness that is this book. To be honest, there aren’t many books on a political figure that draw me in so completely. And ones that feature a woman? That’s pretty much unheard of for me… partly that’s my own “issue” where I just don’t enjoy politics, politicians and anything of the sort all that much. But its also often hard to find something that is just so well written…

Obviously as the wife of Barack Obama, and the First Lady to his POTUS for so long, Barack was going to take a bit of attention and centre stage in this novel. But, what I really appreciated and loved was that he didn’t take all of the spotlight. Even once Michelle gets to the part of her book in which she starts to explain their courtship and such… it’s about her, not him. Which, in my opinion, is just how it should be – after all, the book isn’t really Barack’s book (I’ve read one of them, it’s good).

Although this is fairly centred around the American political system (which, as an Aussie I just find fucking WEIRD), I loved how it talked about women and their many different hats and roles that they must juggle. Michelle is no different to many working mothers – alright, there’s extra scrutiny and security… but still. I love how she talks about that path to finding what you love. How you juggle that with two young children, an incredibly driven husband… all of the things that I think many women often come up against. I know that these are issues that I seem to be facing in my life at the moment…

As I said before, I find American politics, culture, and pretty much everything super weird. Although you could probably say that people think the same thing about Australian culture… but the way that Michelle writes her memoir makes it somehow that much more accessible. I may still have zero interest in ever setting foot in the country, but at least Michelle’s words made it feel somehow more “real”….

<- The Fish LadderRosa Parks: My Story ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

Overview
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by ...

Title: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
Author: Loung Ung
Series: Daughter of Cambodia #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, History, Memoirs, War
Dates read: 3rd – 8th April 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
Year: 2000
5th sentence, 74th page: Geak continues to cry.

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Synopsis

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights and being cheeky to her parents.

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Loung’s family fled their home and were eventually forced to disperse in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier while her brothers and sisters were sent to labour camps. The surviving children were only finally reunited after the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia and destroyed the Khmer Rouge. First They Killed My Father is an unforgettable book, told through the voice of the young and fearless Loung. It is a shocking and tragic tale of a girl who was determined to survive despite the odds.

Thoughts

I bought this so that I would have an author whose names started with U. I had no idea what to expect and basically no knowledge of anything to do with Cambodia, refugees and the war in the 1970s. I mean, honestly, nothing. I didn’t even know that Pol Pot was associated with all of this… even though I know the name and that he’s a bad man. So this entire journey was one of discovery and just… awe. Nothing more than total and utter awe.

Until recently, I thought that I was a person made of some incredibly strong stuff. Tough, independent and of the ability to survive an untold number of things in my life. This story (amongst others that I’ve been reading) made me realise that I’m probably not made of this kind of tough stuff. What Ung and her family went through is just completely unfathomable. It is intense, and horrifying and more than a little heartbreaking. Yet, there isn’t this sense of anger throughout the words. Which took me completely by surprise. After all, the horrors that Ung witnessed and survived as a young girl… I just don’t have the words.

Normally I like to read a biography before bed time. After all, they’re not as intense and fast-paced as many of my other novels. So they’re normally a good pick for right before bed time. This really didn’t fit that trend. The first few nights of reading this, I just read a chapter a night. But on the final night? I read all of it. In one hit. Because I just had to find out how Ung survived… and if any of her family were also able to survive.

I just don’t have the words for how amazing this novel is. It’s something that I think everyone should read. That way we don’t take our lives and livelihoods for granted so much. Or at least, that’s how this amazing journey made me feel. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series!

<- More Loung UngLucky Child ->

Image source: Goodreads

Twelve Patients by Dr. Eric Manheimer, MD

Overview
Image result for book cover twelve patients

Title: Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital
Author: Dr. Eric Manheimer, MD
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Medical, Memoirs
Dates read: 4th – 20th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘From the cavernous echo of his cough and the darkened skin within the triangular radiation markins in black ink on his back, his lung cancer was advanced.

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Synopsis

Bellevue is famous for its psych ward, but it’s much more than that.
The largest public hospital in New York City, it’s also where doctors treat everyone from the bluebloods of Park Avenue to the illegal immigrants who huddle in Chinatown’s tenements. In its way, Bellevue is a microcosm of the world – and a bellwether for the toughest issues in our country.

TWELVE PATIENTS

In this riveting book, Dr. Eric Manheimer, the hospital’s former medical director, uses stories taken from case histories to humanize hot-button issues such as immigration, obesity, teen suicide, and the cost of health care. You will get to know Jeffrey, the homeless man with the brilliant past, and Arnie, a prominent Wall Street financier, whose emergency room visit for chest pains unravels a toxic lifestyle. Dr. Manheimer takes readers from teh boardrooms where health-care budgets are debated to the emergency room on a night when New York’s stretched-to-capacity hospitals overflow – and mistakes get made.

The author is not just a doctor – he’s also a patient. After being diagnosed with throat cancer, Dr. Manheimer takes us on a tour through the shadowland between life and death.

Thoughts

When I found out that one of my new favourite series, New Amsterdam, was based on a book, I immediately jumped online and bought it (which may be why I don’t have great savings…). And once I started reading it? I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only was it as good as the TV show, in some instances it was better – something about the words really hit home as to the intensity of the social and political issues which Manheimer brings to light in each of his chapters.

From the very title, it’s pretty obvious that this book has twelve chapters, each of which focuses on its own patient. What I didn’t realise was how potent and intense each of these stories would be. Normally when I love a book this much, I just lap it up in a matter of days (sometimes hours). But because of the subject matter throughout this book, I found myself lingering over a few weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed picking this up late at night and reading a small handful of pages just before bed. Anytime that I wanted to truly think about things and how difficult the world can be, I loved to pick this up. But it wasn’t the kind of book I would just read to escape for half an hour.

Although I’m not American, many of the issues and difficulties that Manheimer brings to light in his reminiscing are still issues that are faced in Australia. Alright, some are uniquely American – we don’t really have a wall in which to keep out gangsters (there’s a number of giant oceans instead), but racism, labelling, mental health issues… these are all things that we too need to face and deal with. Aspects of our lives which are intense and difficult, but can’t just be swept under the rug. After all, we need to deal with the nastiness if we are ever to move forward and create a better future…

Twelve Patients was everything that I was expecting and more. It gave me insight not only into the social and political demographics of New York, but it also provided a great insight into the outlay of the American Health System. Which kind of terrifies me. The little I know of the Australian one is much more sound and comforting… this novel not only swept me away and enthralled me, but it also just generally filled my head with wonderful new information. Not necessarily about the mechanics of the medical system, but the emotional, social and physical drains which are placed upon people who are in the system. The mental health of people. And just how some can find themselves in the worst of situations… and survive.

<- Why Not Me?Black Saturday ->

Image source: Booktopia

Cleaving by Julie Powell

Overview
Image result for cleaving julie powell book cover

Title: Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, & Obsession
Author: Julie Powell
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Food, Marriage, Memoirs
Dates read: 22nd February – 1st March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Why do I more often than not decline Josh and Jessica’s invitations to dinner, Aaron’s elaborate weekend agendas?

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Synopsis

Julie Powell thought cooking her way through all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she’d ever do – until she embarked on the voyage recounted in Cleaving.

When her marriage is challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleisher’s, a butcher shop in upstate New York, where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs – tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts.

The camaraderie at Fleisher’s leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world – from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart.

Thoughts

I wanted to love this book. I wanted to know more about the amazing woman who wrote Julie and Julia. I was seriously unimpressed with the woman who wrote this. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was still fantastic and made it an interesting journey to go on… but the journey. Not really my cup of tea.

I found the detail of the butchery kind of fascinating. In that disgusting, I can’t believe I’m watching this sort of way. Whilst I’m not a vegetarian, I’m also not really much of a meat eater. So the graphic details of how the meat that I eat is broken down… I did find that a little intense. Including recipes throughout of how to cook the cuts that Powell was slicing up was quite an interesting, intriguing way to go about moving the narrative forwards though.

I just can’t understand the need to cheat – the reasons why. The choices people make. And, more importantly, I really don’t get why Powell makes the decisions that she makes. Not only does she have an affair, but she does so in a way that systematically tears apart the man that she loves. He also hangs around and does something similar, but still. There is nothing in her actions that made me feel kindly towards her. Where Julie and Julia was something I could understand – that manic need to find meaning in life, and that constant, weird voice in your head making you constantly question your worth. Her thoughts and actions in this were completely foreign to me. Deplorable. And, honestly, in writing about her experiences, I found her to be a little self-indulgent about her own downfalls.

This isn’t the kind of book that I would normally enjoy. As I said, Powell is just WAY too self-indulgent and forgiving of her mistakes. Of the hurts that she puts on other people. But it is also exceedingly well written. And it was a book that I couldn’t stop talking about the whole time that I was reading it… it was a kind of insane experience. One that I probably won’t repeat, but also one that I won’t be throwing into the giveaway pile. Super mixed feelings in this corner.

<- One (Wo)man, One VoteJulie & Julia->

Image source: Goodreads

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Overview
Why Not Me?: Kaling, Mindy: 9780804138161: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Why Not Me?
Author: Mindy Kaling
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Humour, Memoirs
Dates read: 18th – 31st December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ebury Press
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: MOM: Because it’s sad and even when it’s happy, it can be gruesome.

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Synopsis

Mindy Kaling has found herself at a turning point and Why Not Me? is her ongoing journey to find fulfilment and adventure in her adult life, be it falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in unlikely places, or attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behaviour modification whatsoever.

Revealling her tongue-in-cheek solutions for guaranteed on-camera beauty, telling the story of being seduced then dumped by a female friend in LA, and spilling some secrets on her relationship with ex-boyfriend and close friend B.J. Novak, Mindy turns the anxieties and glamour of her second coming-of-age into this book, to which anyone can relate. (And, if they can’t, they can skip to the parts where she talks about Bradley Cooper.)

Thoughts

This memoir is pretty much the funniest book I’ve read this year. There is just something about the way that Mindy writes that had me laughing out loud. Multiple times my partner came into our bedroom to find out what was going on. And to tell me off for not actually going to sleep. But seriously… this was just so damn funny!

This was the very final book that I finished of 2019 and it was great to finish on such a high note. There is something fun, engaging and entertaining about the way that Mindy tells her story. And she’s got such a bubbly attitude to life. I did read one other memoir by a comedian this year (The Last Black Unicorn) which was also hilarious. But I think it is Mindy’s light-heartedness that really took this one over the line.

To top off the humour of the writing, there are lots of pictures throughout this. My favourite might be of Smegal. But you need to read the book to see why I was crying with laughter at that. Literally crying. And then my puppies and partner looked at me in slight fear… they thought I was going insane. Which might not be far off the bat, but that’s a conversation for a different day.

Mostly this is a great story abut Mindy’s life and career. How what you see is what you get, except when there’s a huge makeup team involved and just generally about loving life. Or at least, that’s what I get out of this. And I love that. So what a way to end the year, and bring on the new one!

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Image source: Entertainment Weekly