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What I'm Learning
Hi, I'm Chelsea! I’m on a mission to help you find joy and goodness in every day.
On this blog we talk about the big things (like chasing dreams) and the small things (like what books we're reading) because happiness comes in all sizes.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Plot: “One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.
When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.
An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.” –via Goodreads
Favorite quote: I didn’t copy any down.
My thoughts: This one took me a very long time to finish. Actually, that’s not completely true. It took me a very long time to finish the first half. After that, I was intrigued and wanted to know what happened. So obviously, I found the first half a little bit slow. It’s written in before/after split perspectives, which was interesting towards the end, but it took me a little while to feel invested. That being said, once I got towards the middle of the book, I couldn’t put it down. And I really was shocked by the ending, which I love.
Should you read it? Maybe. It reminded me of The Girl on the Train. I didn’t love it, but it did reel me in and managed to surprise me a bit. If you liked The Girl on the Train or books like that, I think you’ll like this one.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Plot: “The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too. With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.
And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.
Favorite quote(s): “My brain turns toward fiction like a flower toward the sun, like writing with my right hand…spinning tall tales… knitting yarns made of stories is my dirty little vice, and I like it. But it’s not just a bad habit. I need to do it, I have to do it.”
“My point is that it can be scary to graduate. That you can lie on the hardwood floor of your dorm room and cry while your mom packs up your stuff. That you can have an impossible dream to be Toni Morrison that you have to let go of. That every day you can feel like you might be failing at work or at your home life. That the real world is hard.
And yet, you can still wake up every single morning and go, “I have three amazing kids and I have created work I am proud of, and I absolutely love my life and I would not trade it for anyone else’s life ever..”
You can still wake up one day and find yourself living a life you never even imagined dreaming of.
My dreams did not come true. But I worked really hard. And I ended up building an empire out of my imagination. So my dreams? Can suck it.”
My Thoughts: I got this book because this woman is a writer who pretty much owns television right now. I wanted a look behind the scenes, to hear stories about my favorite shows. I assumed it was just going to be a very interesting autobiography. And it was-but there was so much in there I wasn’t expecting! She talks a lot about creative process, about failure and fears, and even surprising things such as being a good mom. It left me feeling inspired and motivated and like all my dreams could come true.
Should you read it? Yes!
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Plot: “Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.
At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.” -via Goodreads
Favorite quote: Way too many to list. I started keeping track of them, until I realized there was at least one on almost every page. She hilariously recaps her thoughts on Kim Kardashian and the expectation of women’s bodies, what she prays for her daughter, stories from high school and college. One of the more serious quotes from the book:
“So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”
My thoughts: Tina Fey for President. Really. This book is a hilarious look at her life and successes, but it also covers some serious issues. Any book that can make me laugh out loud while also bringing up real-life issues is a winner.
Should you read it? If you know who Tina Fey is, then yes. If you don’t, first reexamine your life, then read this book. Priorities, you know.
What are you reading this month?
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