Summer Book Report

Inspired by this post, I have decided it’s time for a book report of my summer reading.  Mostly because I’m way behind and too lazy to give you full write-ups in separate posts.  You probably don’t want to read that anyways.  You’re welcome.  I made a goal on Goodreads in January that I would read 20 books this year.  I’m a little bit behind but confident that I will catch up (mostly because I’ve completely had it with the horrible reality tv with which I have been rotting my brain and have decided to dedicate more free evenings and weekends to something that isn’t so horrifying – this deserves a whole ranty post in itself).  Anyways, of course I digress.  Without further ado, here’s what I have been reading lately (ridiculously diverse – surely there is something for everyone here).

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling

Mindy, I would never hang out without you.  Call me.  Let’s be friends, us and Olivia Wilde.  This is the perfect vacation read.  It’s quick, witty, and hilarious.  Mindy is so relatable (hello, the self deprecating humor is right up my alley).  Don’t get mad at me, but personally, I thought it was much funnier than Tina Fey’s book (though Tina, we can still hang out too!).  I love that Mindy isn’t your typical Hollywood twiggy bimbo.  She’s so real and so awesome.

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

The subject matter of this book is uncomfortable for some people.  This book is the story of a hermaphrodite, basically a man that was raised as a girl and his struggle with his identity growing up.  I have to say, it’s not my favorite book that I’ve read lately – it wasn’t necessarily a quick page-turner, but Jeffrey Eugenides is a great writer (see my post on The Marriage Plot on my old blog).  He reminds me of John Irving a la A Prayer for Owen Meany and The World According to Garp.  I have his other books on my list.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

I loved this book.  I have to say, though, it reads a little bit … snobby (though I can be a snob, so there we go!)  It’s a little bit philosophy-heavy, but it doesn’t take away from the story.  It is the story of the interwoven lives of the diverse people that live in a Paris apartment.  I think it’s beautifully written and very smart.  Also, it made me want to learn french and jet off to Paris (note to self:  add to bucket list!)

The International Bank of Bob – Bob Harris

This book was a very interesting change from the fiction that I’ve been reading (people are mean to me about being boring and reading so much non-fiction – sorry I like to learn things people!)  The writer profiles the microfinance nonprofit Kiva which makes very small loans to individuals mostly in developing countries, but really all over the world.  I’ve always been interested in the idea of microfinance (nerd!) and so it was interesting to read more about how it works and how they deal with the banks in these foreign countries.  The author actually managed to track down some of the borrowers that he personally lent money to and see how his own money affected the borrowers – it’s so incredible how much a few hundred dollars can completely change people’s lives.  Very cool.  Check out the Kiva site and donate here!

Foodist – Darya Pino Rose

Ok, so this is my crazy girl reading a diet book (but not really a diet book) book (my mom recently told me I was like Bridget Jones with my self help books – thanks a lot MOM!)  This book is exactly what I needed though.  It’s truly not a diet book – it’s just about maintaining a healthy lifestyle without being a yo-yo dieter.  Diets are the enemy – yay!  Mostly it’s about avoiding processed foods, eating local, moving more – all very reasonable.  She encourages you to indulge and eat whatever you want but just in a mindful, thoughtful way – THIS is a “diet” i can get behind!  Like, I love Italian food.  So instead of eating some greasy soggy office pizza, this book would say eat a healthy salad and then wait until you’re at your favorite restaurant where the indulgence is truly worth it.  It’s a great book, bull of studies and statistics and science.   Definitely a lifestyle changer.  She’s got a great blog also – check it out here.
Next up, I’m going to re-read my favorite book One Hundred Years of Solitude since it’s set in Colombia and I’m going to Colombia in a few weeks holllerrr!!  We’re going to Cartagena and I’m hoping to run into Gabriel Garcia Marquez – dare to dream!
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