Non-fiction

Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You-Kunal Nayyar

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Kunal Nayyar

 

I’ve been meaning to read this book for 2 years and I finally just now read it! I love The Big Bang Theory and I’ve been watching it almost as long as it’s been running. There are many things I like about it: the show has a great cast with funny actors, it’s about smart people trying to have social skills, and it’s only 30 minutes an episode so you can really burn through them really quickly!

Kunal Nayyar plays Raj on Big Bang. He’s a shy, selective mute, astrophysicist on the show. In real life, he’s an emotional, family-oriented actor. I liked how he didn’t spend the whole book talking about being on BBT– he took the time to start by writing about his childhood, and what growing up in India and moving to America at 18 was like. I couldn’t imagine having to move to a completely different country all by myself, let alone at the tender age of 18! I had a hard enough time learning to adjust to college life when I went to Ball State University, which is only an hour away from my parent’s house.

I thought the most interesting one of Kunal’s hobbies growing up was badminton. He described an entire tournament in one of the chapters, and I thought he did a good job of conveying the adrenaline rush he would get every time he played. Not many people play badminton—I played in gym class and occasionally at my grandparents’ house in the summertime. But I felt like I was there, in the crowd, cheering on Raj—I mean, Kunal!

Another thing Kunal talks about in his book is dating—tips for dating Indian girls, how to kiss, his childhood celebrity crush, and eventually meeting his now-wife! I thought a lot of these stories were funny and he sounded really down to earth and honest about his dating triumphs and failures. Toward the end of the book, he describes his 6 day wedding ordeal, which I enjoyed.

If you’re a fan of the show and like memoirs, I highly recommend.

4/5

Talking as Fast as I Can

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I have a new reading challenge that I am attempting this year I found on Facebook somewhere. One of the challenges was to read a book that I could read in one day. This book met that criteria–it was only 209 pages. I think I read the first half straight through.

Lauren Graham’s first novel Someday, Someday, Maybe came out in 2013. My review can be found here.It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, because I think I was hoping for more of a bio, like this book is. That’s why I loved this book so much more.

Everyone who’s a huge Gilmore Girls fan like myself, wants to know about the making of the show and what it was like during those 7 years. Well, this memoir will give you some insight into those years of playing Lorelai Gilmore, as well as the Parenthood years, and the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mini-series.

I liked the way Graham wrote this book; she writes to the audience as if she is talking to them face to face. Plenty of jokes and sarcasm. I think I would have preferred her to write this book first, before Someday, Someday, Maybe but I understand why she wrote that first now. She had some spare time in between shooting Parenthood episodes and that’s where her first novel began. I certainly applaud her for putting her baby out there for everyone to read and getting a book published! I’ve never done anything like that so I definitely give her props.

My favorite part about this book was where Graham watched all the Gilmore Girls episodes and commented with her favorite scene, hairstyle/fashion, and a fun-fact for each season. It was interesting to know that she makes a point of not watching herself in shows so she had forgotten some things that happened in the show. There was one part when she was shooting Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and she had to have the part where Lorelai and Christopher get married completely hashed out to her because she forgot it had happened! Such an important detail that she had forgotten! But with how hectic actors’ lives are, I can see how you wouldn’t be able to remember everything that ever happened in a TV show you’ve been filming for 6 years straight.

I highly recommend this book if you’re an avid Gilmore Girls fan and I’m excited to read her next book!

4/5

 

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

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Owls

 

I’ve read at least 4 other works by David Sedaris, so I figured I would have the same reaction to this one. Even if I didn’t like the stories, at least the title was entertaining—and it was only $5 at Barnes and Noble!

My favorite stories of his usually involve his family. My favorite story out of this book was him telling about his colonoscopy experience. His father kept begging him to get one after he did—when Sedaris was only in his early 20’s—but Sedaris refused of course. It wasn’t until his sister got one that he decided he might try it. She described it as being the best thing she ever did and it was like being on a drug high essentially. The best part is when he gets done with the procedure and is moved to the “farting room.” I’ll leave that one to the imagination.

Some other topics covered are politics, visiting Asia, going to the dentist, losing his passport and visas, and a few fictional essays where he writes in first person POV. It’s been a few weeks since I finished the book, and I have the hardest time remembering things I’ve read if I don’t write anything down.

I admit this wasn’t my favorite of his works (“Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim”) but it wasn’t his worst either. I thought this one was quite a bit more political than the others. To be fair, it was published in 2013, the year Obama was reelected. Although I don’t agree with Sedaris religiously or politically, he writes in a way that is borderline offensive but comes off entertaining and hilarious. I wish I had as much funny material to write about as he does.

 

I give this book 3.5/5

 

So, it’s been awhile.

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So, I haven’t had a new post in quite some time, for several reasons. I started a new job 3 months ago, I’ve had some new health issues, and I’ve generally been too stressed out and tired to read. I’m in the middle of 3 books, one of which, I should finish really soon. I got this idea from another blogger I follow—jessreadingnook.wordpress.com. You make a list of all the books you own but haven’t read yet, and make a goal to read some over the summer. Now, I’m kind of a slow-reader, in that, I read big chunks at a time with several days or week in between. I read the most when I had my tonsils taken out—7 books in 3 weeks! But I will make some sort of goal. This list is not completely accurate—it’s only the books from my To-Read list on Goodreads that I know I own, but there are several more that I can’t remember right now. Have to check my shelves later. So here you go, a list of books I own but have yet to read. Feel free to comment on which books you liked, didn’t like, recommend I read first, etc.

1. The Wizard of Oz books 2-10 by Frank Baum

2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

3. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

4. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

5. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

6. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

7. Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar

8. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

10. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

11. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

12. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

14. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

15. The Lighting Thief (Percy Jackson Series #1) by Rick Riordan

16. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

17. The Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (I’ve started it 3 times)

18. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

19. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodie Picoult

20. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (about half-way through)

22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (nearly half-way through, second time reading)

23. The Little House on the Prairie series (1 giant book)

24. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 

Yes Please

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Yes-Please

Amy Poehler: comedienne, actor, dancer, ex-wife, mother, occasional pot-smoker, sister of Tiny Fey. She is many things, and now, a writer!

Poehler mentions many times in her book about how hard writing is, and she would be absolutely correct. It’s hard to write about other books, passions, music, ideas. But sometimes it can be hardest to write about yourself. In this book, Poehler writes about her early childhood, family, friends, how she got started in comedy, how she came to work for SNL, and her biggest accomplishment (in my opinion) Parks and Recreation.

Let me say first that I loved the medium of this book. The pages were thick and bright. There were family photos and memories throughout, and each section began with a neon colored page and big lettering. There were a lot of pages but it was a quick read.

I only really new Amy Poehler from Parks and Rec and I recently saw her in the movie Sisters with Tina Fey. I thought she was funny without trying to be. Amy and Tina act like best friends in all of their sketches and that’s because they are! I like learning about celebrities’ real lives and Amy did her best to stay true to herself and speak honestly and openly about her life while also maintaining her sense of humor.

A few of the things Amy writes about:

  • First attempts at acting
  • Improvisation in college
  • Drugs
  • Getting wasted
  • Sex advice
  • Having children and being a working mother
  • The after-effects of divorce
  • Working with her best friends at SNL
  • Anxiety

I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of Amy Poehler. If you’re not, just get Netflix and turn on Parks and Rec and you’ll see what I mean.

4/5 rating

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

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When You Are Engulfed in Flames is a series of essays written by David Sedaris. I’ve read many of his books, and all of them have me laughing out loud at some point or another. Sedaris has a way of taking personal events that have been embarrassing to him and making us feel like they are not so bad and in turn, hilarious.

These essays are from a wide range of subjects in Sedaris’ life. One essay covers his experience in Normandy with a convicted sex-offender that he tried to befriend; another, his unabashed way of handling a rude lady sitting next to him on a plane who wanted him to move so she could sit with her husband. His last and longest essay consists of his experience in Japan, where he and his partner Hugh moved so Sedaris could quit smoking. This essay had the most conviction. He tells of his early encounters with pot and later, his addiction, and resolve to quit smoking altogether.

If you want a quick read (because honestly, I couldn’t put it down) and a good laugh, pick up this or ANY of David Sedaris’ works and you will be in for a treat.

3/5 rating

 

Tuesday’s with Morrie

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tuesdays-with-morrie

 This book has been a classic for many years. I myself had never heard of it until I was in college. I put it on my “book bucket list” and decided to ask for it for Christmas. Now, 6 months later, I’ve finally read it.

Tuesdays was a pretty quick read and an easy one at that. I really didn’t know what to expect going into it, but here’s a quick summary:

“An old man” befriends and mentors a “young man” aka Mitch Albom in college when he takes Morrie Schwartz’s  class. Morrie is diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). (Yes the same disease that Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with, which you can read about in one of my previous posts here.) So anyway, Morrie goes into teaching this class with a death sentence, about which he is very blunt and real. He starts having special Tuesday meetings with Mitch in his office. These meetings are mostly about life lessons, things Mitch should know about life after college. The meetings end when Mitch graduates.

Twenty years later, Mitch hears that Morrie is dying and decides to go visit him. Morrie welcomes him with frail arms. As Morrie’s physique deteriorates, his life lessons with Mitch increase. They talk about love, careers, wisdom, and the raw feelings Morrie has about his disease. As you guessed it, Morrie dies at the end, but not without leaving Mitch with a book full of wisdom to publish.

I thought this was a good book, one that definitely should be studied in classes (high school). Yes, it was very depressing, and made me feel sad while reading it. The dude is DYING. The whole book is about him passing his wisdom onto his student. Mitch himself seems to have a pretty obligatory life. He’s got a great career as a sports journalist, he has a beautiful wife, he’s got his health, but he’s drifting through life with little purpose. I think Morrie sort of gives him purpose. Every Tuesday, he drives/flies to meet with Morrie, bring him food he can no longer chew, and sit with him, helping him use the bathroom, rubbing his sore muscles, holding him while he cries unabashedly. That right there builds character. Seeing a grown, dying man cry.

From a Christian’s perspective, this book also made me sad, because Morrie doesn’t seem to have anything to look forward to. Mitch describes Morrie as “agnostic” several times in the book. Their discussions are all about life and how to live it to the fullest. But they seldom mention religion or an afterlife. That’s why this book makes me sad, because Morrie could have been, not looking forward to death, but maybe not dreading it so much. Of course, I’ve never been dying myself, and we’re so attached to this world that we would be scared to leave it no matter what lies ahead after death.

I give this book a 3/5.