I’ve been trying to read more fiction recently. If you’re my friend on GoodReads, you’ll probably notice that my reading list is very non-fiction heavy. I love non-fiction but I’m finding a lot of books, even about things I find interesting, are harder to get through. So, I decided to rectify that with signing up for a 3-month subscription to Book of the Month Club and Kristen and I are trading books. (Spoiler alert: I quickly became overwhelmed with the frequency of the book’s arrivals so I canceled my account a couple of weeks ago.) I’m currently reading The Woman in Cabin 10, which is a fantastic and gripping thriller so far, but before that, I read Kristen’s copies of The Girls, by Emma Cline, and The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

I was immediately captivated by The Nest and loved learning about the semi-atrocious characters and what they’d been up to until that point in their lives. It’s always great to see how a family acts when money is involved. Spoiled and entitled does not begin to describe these siblings. I finished this in, like, two weeks. (Which is fast for me. #slowreader)

Next was The Girls. I’d been a little skeptical when Kristen had informed me that this was about a cult and that it took a little while to get into. She was correct on both accounts, but once I was into it, I was hooked. It takes a look at the girls who probably would’ve been part of the Manson Family. The book takes place in present day (where the main character, Evie, is an adult and she is confronted with her past when two teenagers ask her about the aforementioned cult) and her teenage self in 1969. It’s easy to see why teenagers could get swept up in this. This one was a quick read, too. A+.

That’s my book update for now. Let me know what your current favorite fiction reads are! I have so many unread books right now but maybe I’ll get to them eventually! I’m currently restraining myself from buying Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisberger’s new books, too. I love ChickLit though! I’ll buy them in paperback. 

This Is How All The Bret Easton Ellis Novels Fit Together

Someone posted this recently and I was super intrigued. I would think that there are probably other writers out there who have done this but the only one that I’ve read that comes to mind is Emily Giffin. Giffin’s characters are somewhat related in three of her books, but how Ellis put characters from one book into another who supposedly were killed by Bateman in American Psycho is super cool. It actually made me want to read all of his books. But.

BUT.

I’m currently reading American Psycho…. and it’s a painful read. Bateman and his friend’s shallow materialism and his need to identify where every last item on his person came from is dreadful. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks now and I’m only 160 pages in (out of 400-ish). I’m starting to lose hope that I’ll finish it. But I think I have to. i know that I’m not required to finish every book I start but I like to. We’ll see what happens.

In other news: American Psycho the musical is getting pretty good reviews from regular people. I know it’s going to be a super polarizing show (not every one will like a musical about a banker who’s going insane and killing his friends) but I read that the first look you get in the show is amazing and so far everything is impressive. Currently it’s super long (just under 3 hours) but I’m sure they’ll cut it down a bunch before April 5th.

Has anyone else read American Psycho? 

This Is How All The Bret Easton Ellis Novels Fit Together

New Year’s Day

I never sleep in after drinking a lot and yesterday was no exception. I woke up at 8:30am and after deciding I couldn’t go back to sleep, I finished the last 60 pages of The One and Only (so cheesy; not Giffin’s best) and then threw on my coat and went out to Absolute Bagel (best bagels ever, they’re all fresh out of the oven) to pick up bagels for Justin and I, along with some Vitamin Water (me) and Diet Coke (him). We spent the day, first, in pain, but after the Advil kicked in and the coffee was made, we were feeling 100% better. Still tired and a bit hungover, but ready for a full day of relaxing.

We went for a walk to grab coffee, more carbs, and lastly to pick up some bread and cheese for the grilled cheese and tomato soup I was planning on making.

Another one of Rachael Ray’s recipes, the tomato soup was tasty but the diced tomatoes that I used never really broke up so it was more like tomato sauce. I’m going to blend the leftovers so that it’s more like tomato soup. I like putting apple and jam on my grilled cheese (try it, it’s so good), but he took his straight up.

As far as the tomato soup recipe: sautee onions and garlic until soft, add tomato paste and stir for one minute; then add two 28oz cans of diced tomatoes, 4 cups of chicken broth, and 1 tsp sugar, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes and: soup. 

Carbs + Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese = Best Hangover Cure

My 2015 Reading List

I managed to read 24 books in 2015. I’m currently reading Emily Giffin’s The One and Only and I’m going to try and finish it before January 1st, but for now my number is 24. I’d aimed to read 30 books this year so I missed by… let’s say 5. 

Which books did I love? The Happiness of Pursuit (Chris Guillebeau). Waking Up (Sam Harris). Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert). The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer). Daring Greatly (Brene Brown). 

The only book on this list that could be described as bad would be, you guessed it, Grey. I had fun reading it but it was horribly cheesy and as poorly written as the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. 

What books do I plan to read in 2016? I’m going to finish The One and Only (if I don’t finish it before Friday), followed by possibly finishing A Town Called Alice (a book that my dad recommended that I had a really hard time getting in to).

In the spirit of de-cluttering (thanks, Marie Kondo), I didn’t ask for many books for the holidays this year. Besides The One and Only, I received Griftopia (Matt Taibbi), Revenge Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger), and Columbine (Dave Cullen). 

My attempt to not gather and hoard books anymore I believe will be proven futile after walking through Strand Books tonight. I saw so many books that I wanted to buy and read. Books like St. Mark’s is Dead, One of Us, Just Kids, The Opposite of Loneliness, and 10:04. I also have a ton more nonfiction novels on my floating book case in my apartment.

So many choices. So many books. So little time. I’m setting a goal of reading 25 books in 2016. I should be able to easily.

“Where We Belong,” by Emily Giffin

I’m only up to chapter 4, but it’s incredibly compelling so far. Emily Giffin hit the Bryant Park Reading Series this afternoon with Katie Lee to talk about her newest book, Where We Belong.  She seemed like an incredibly down-to-earth person as she talked about being a writer, the book, what she did before she was a writer (“I was a lawyer in the MetLife building so I’d often come here [to Bryant Park] to escape my day.”), and took questions from the audience. 

To be honest, although she’s my favorite chick-lit writer, I’d never been dying to meet her (unlike how I was just dying to meet, say, Adam Rapp). I didn’t have anything against meeting her but it just wasn’t high on my list of Things To Do. I loved her books, and that was enough for me. But I had time today so why not, right?

After 45 minutes of talk-back, a line formed and Giffin signed books and took photos with fans. I decided at the last minute to get a picture with her.  One man brought all of her past books for her to sign, heh. Why didn’t I think to do that?! Just kidding. We took a picture together, she signed my book, and she told me she liked my iPhone case (it’s a black and white photo of John Lennon – major points for her in my mind!), and that was that.

I’ll let you know what I think of the book once I finish it!

Emily Giffin’s newest book, Where We Belong, is set to be released on Tuesday. I’m a fan of her books, so obviously I’m excited for this one too.

She’s doing two signings/readings in New York City; one is on Tuesday at the Upper East Side Barnes & Nobles and the second is the Bryant Park reading series on Wednesday at 12:30pm. 

My thoughts on Giffin’s last book, Heart of the Matter.

I was ecstatic when Emily Giffin’s new book, Heart of the Matter, came out a few weeks ago.  Of course, I was in the middle of reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed and a book on yoga, so I started and then stopped when it didn’t immediately suck me in the way her last four books have.  After finishing the other books though, I started to read Heart of the Matter again, at the rate of one chapter per night.

It was different than her past books because her main characters were older women with children; one married, one single.   I’d been able to relate immediately to her protagonists in Something Borrowed and especially in Baby Proof, but here I was lost.  

Heart of the Matter tells a story from the perspectives of two different women after a young boy, Charlie, is burned while at a friends house.  One of the woman is the mother of Charlie, and the other is the wife of the plastic surgeon who is caring for Charlie.  Well, you can probably guess what happens from there.  

It took me about 80 pages to get in to, but once I realized the connection between Heart of the Matter and Something Borrowed, I was hooked and finished the last 300 pages in a week.  

Giffin’s characters are undeniably realistic as is the story.   Maybe you’ll have an easier time with the first 80 pages, but I’m definitely glad I got through them.  I’m still waiting to hear about Giffin’s next book, if anyone has any of the details, let me know!

(photo via)