The strangest thing about seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel tower, is seeing Paris without the Eiffel tower in it.
Paris, France, August 2013.
Filling the Shelf – 163
Filling the Shelf simply is Mailbox Monday, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)
Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you all had a good week! Mine has been a very busy one, but the good kind of busy! Lots of work, projects, but also fun times. We’ve been marathoning The Good Wife for the past few weeks and we’ve finally caught up, which means we get our life back! Woot!
I also had a great mailbox this week, with lots of thrillers/suspenses, plus The Wild Oats Project because I was way too curious. Also, I want to take Hausfrau’s cover and hang it on my wall. It’s gorgeous, and the real copy has a bit of a shine to it. Love it!
What books did you recently add to your shelves?
About the Book :
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
My Thoughts :
This was exactly what I expected from a Mindy Kaling book : funny, sweet in spots, uncomfortable in others, but absolutely entertaining from start to finish. Having it read to me by her unique voice (which I absolutely love, by the way), was simply icing on the cake!
Between reading dark thrillers and a few disappointing books, it was extremely refreshing to read/listen to a non-fiction book that didn’t take itself too seriously. I listened to her while walking on the street, and it was like having a friend sharing bits of her life story as we walked. It put a smile on my face!
I especially enjoyed the bits about her career. Mindy is really good at self-deprecation and it’s extremely easy to relate to her, even though we’ve had far different lives!
It’s easy to recommend this book to fans of Mindy Kaling. It’s not the most memorable, I’ll admit, but it was a very easy and pleasant experience!
About the Book :
She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.
But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.
Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.
My Thoughts :
I don’t know how I feel about this book.
I don’t know!!!
I’m basically figuring it out as I am writing this thing.
I didn’t love it. I somewhat enjoyed it. And some of the things really rubbed me the wrong way.
First, the writing. It was fine. Nothing exceptional, a lot of telling and not enough showing, which means the characters and the action felt a little flat for me. I never formed any connection with the characters, not even Jam – which is quite disappointing since she was the narrator of the story. I also felt that it lacked subtlety, with every feeling or learned lesson explained precisely.
I also didn’t like how the book touched on mental illness. I’ve read a lot of YA books about grief, depression, and other conditions, but this one really didn’t get it. I think I could see what the author tried to do – especially with the twist – but for me, it didn’t work. The resolution was so easy and rushed, it felt disingenuous.
I guess I am hugely disappointed. I had big expectations, especially since I had heard a lot about Meg Wolitzer as a literary fiction author, AND because The Bell Jar, which is one of my top 10 books ever, is a big inspiration in Belzhar. But it didn’t even come close to portraying the shadow of the depth, emotion, and realism Sylvia Plath put in words.
There were a few positives : the idea was interesting, and the whole thing intrigued me enough that I didn’t put the book aside, even though I thought a lot about doing it.
It always saddens me to write a negative review, which is why I don’t do them much. Hopefully other readers will get more from the book than I did.
On the plus side : now I really, really want to reread The Bell Jar.