What’s Ashley Reading?: More Than a Woman

More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran

First line: I am in the spare room, which doubles as my office, and I have just finished my day’s work.

Summary: Caitlin Moran, the humorist feminist writer, is back with a new book that takes a look at life for a middle aged woman. She delves into questions like; can a feminist get Botox? And why isn’t there a thing called “Mum Bod”? She gets real with her life and shows us that it is okay be fine with our bodies but still have fun.

My Thoughts: I laughed so hard when reading her first book, How To Be a Woman. I laughed while reading this one as well. Even though this one had humor it also delved into some very serious subjects. I love reading her insight into important topics like eating disorders, body image and men’s rights. She brings up topics I have never considered but now it is something I am very aware of. Her voice is very much her own. She has been compared to Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler. I feel this is accurate but she does so much more. I would highly recommend that anyone who wants a strong feminist icon with a great sense of humor pick up Moran’s books.

FYI: Some language and naughty bits but lots of fun and thought provoking!

Anni’s Book Pick: Jacky Ha-Ha, My Life is a Joke

Jacky Ha-Ha, My life is a Joke by James Patterson

First Line: Greetings from jolly old England, darling daughters, where I am feeling anything but jolly.

Summary: Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she’s a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer — but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere. Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream . Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends — or will she learn that juggling isn’t one of her many talents? (jamespatterson.com)

My Thoughts: This book had me laughing the whole time, I enjoyed reading about Jacky and all of her summer troubles. I could not put this book down because I was always wondering ‘what will Jacky do next’. I liked this book not only because it is child appropriate, but also somewhat relatable. There were times when I would laugh and there were times when I would get worried. This book teaches several lessons, one being do not steal and another being sometimes life gets hard and we have to make choices we don’t like. I look forward to reading other books in this series.

Book Review: Calypso

Calypso by David Sedaris

First line: Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age.

Summary: In the newest book by David Sedaris we get a look into his life in England and at his beach house in North Carolina. He tells stories of his family, partner and the neighborhood fox.

Highlights: I think this is my favorite book by him. Ever since I was introduced to him, I have picked up everything I can find. He makes me laugh and think. In this book he switched from hilarious stories about having a stomach virus on a book tour to the death of his sister. It was fun and heart felt at the same time. I think we get an even deeper look into his life. He bares his family secrets and his soul. I was heartbroken when reading about the last time he saw his sister, Tiffany. I laughed until I cried when reading about the trash he picks up along the road near his home. The stories of his parents were so sad. It takes a lot of courage to write these things. And David does it so well. I cannot wait to see him at a local book signing. I am going to completely fan-girl over him!

Lowlights: NOTHING!

FYI: He is going to be at Watermark Books in Wichita on June 20th!!!

Book Review: Unqualified

Unqualified by Anna Faris

First line: I’m not qualified to write a book.

Summary: Anna Faris, actress and the host of a podcast, is writing her first book. She details her life, career and advice she has for her podcast listeners. Written in an informal style, as if she is talking to the reader. Her wit and sense of humor comes through in her writing.

Highlights: I have been a fan of Anna Faris for many years. I have seen most of her movies and always make time to watch her TV show, Mom. She is funny and heartfelt. However, she is very truthful about the struggles of life in Hollywood and in the public view. I like her even more after reading this. She may be unqualified but she does a great job!

Lowlights: It was a little hard to read after the recent announcement of her separation with her husband, Chris Pratt. I also felt like some of the conversations from the podcast seemed a little out of place. I understand that it makes it easier to fill some pages and cover topics that she has already covered on the show.

FYI: Good for a chuckle. Very honest.

Book Review: Everything is Awful

Everything is Awful by Matt Bellassai

First line: I was six years old when I last peed my pants.

Summary: Matt Bellassai is an internet star! He has his weekly show where he gets drunk and tells you have to live your life. He started his career at Buzzfeed and won a People’s Choice Award for his online videos. In this book he talks about the embarrassing and real parts of his life from his childhood to coming out to living in New York City.

Highlights: Hilarious stories! I love to watch his weekly videos on Facebook. Coworkers laugh at me while I am busting up in the breakroom. I cringed during the braces story, felt embarrassed during the closet scenario, and laughed through the rest of it. He has a way with words and while I was reading, I could hear him speaking which made it even better.

Lowlights: I wanted pictures! Several of the stories were a little slow moving but not enough to hinder the telling and laughs associated with it.

FYI: If you watch his Facebook series, “To Be Honest”, then this is a must read!