I picked up "White Girl Problems" because I thought it would be a cheeky read. Initially though I found it even too vapid for me. Yes, I do realize that's the point. After taking a hiatus from the book, I realized I had to give it another go. I actually thoroughly enjoyed it when I gave it a second chance. I appreciated it for what it was, a lighthearted tip toe through life via the lens of a privileged white girl. Perhaps you have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate Babe Walker's humor.
Have you read "White Girl Problems"? If so, what did you think? Do tell!
My next pick for Blogger Book Club is my idea of the quintessential summer read, "I Take You" by Eliza Kennedy. I'm trying not devour it, as it's a story line I quite want to savor.
"Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet. Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget."
As always you'll have two full months to read "I Take You", then we'll discuss on August 31st. Use the hashtag #bloggerbookclub if you're reading along.
You all just have no idea. I absolutely fell head over heels for this novel. I'll admit I hadn't a clue who on earth this Zoe Sugg person was; that is until last December when I read somewhere that her debut novel outsold JK Rowling's in the first week. I mean, how is that even possible? So color me intrigued. It turns out that the author of "Girl Online" is also know to those in the You Tube know as Zoella. I had no idea how absolutely clueless I was about You Tuber culture until I stumbled upon Zoella. She's cute as a button and produces videos, mostly about makeup, but also about her life in general via her Vlogs. From there I fell down the You Tube rabbit hole and started subscribing (You Tube lingo) to all her other 20something British friends; who also happen to be successful You Tubers. But I digress, I'll compile a list of my favorite You Tubers another time. Let's discuss the book.
I'm well aware that this book was not written for my demographic, i.e. not the young adult set, but that didn't deter me. It did take a bit of time for me to actually get into the novel. It wasn't love at first few chapters, let's put it that way. But soon enough I was hooked. Does it try to hard to address universal teen themes like anxiety, why yes, yes it does. But I managed to push past that and eventually really couldn't wait to read on. So if you're looking to live vicariously through a British teenager, then "Girl Online" is going to be your summer jam. This book is a beach read if I ever did see one.
So proud of my friend, Blaine Wetzel, and his book Sea And Smoke. The book is set on the island where I spent my formative years and is bound to be a bestseller. On the heels of his second James Beard, win not to mention hitting the number two best restaurant in the country, this is certainly his year.
"Sea and Smoke is as much a culinary adventure as it is a serious restaurant book, chronicling the plucky ambition of a young chef who was determined to create a world-class dining destination on Lummi Island (pronounced like “yummy”). After working at Noma in Copenhagen, Chef Blaine Wetzel took the principles of hyperlocalism stateside to celebrate what was good and nearby and tasty, off the rugged coast of Seattle.
The “sea” and “smoke” from the Pacific Ocean and the restaurant’s own smokehouse, plus foraged ingredients and a local farm, yield a colorful playground of ingredients for the restaurant’s nightly 20-course prix fixe. Recipes include Smoked Mussels, Herring Roe on Kelp with Charred Dandelions, Aged Venison Legs and Wild Lettuce with Seeded Bread, Warm Blueberries and An Ice Cream Made from Sweet Woodruff, and more, all of it mirroring the verdant, sea-salty, foggy surroundings of the coastal Pacific Northwest. If you can’t hop the ferry or charter a plane to Lummi, this book is the next-best thing."
Sea And Smoke is currently available for pre order through Amazon and will be released in October 2015.
Betty is a true original. She basically coined the phrase "personal shopper" when she started working at Bergdorfs some 40 years ago. Her memoir is a roller coaster of highs and lows.
Here are a few Betty gems:
“My clients often ask for advice on how to get rid of clothing. I always say to keep the beautiful pieces: embroidered, beaded, or one-of-a-kind looks. They are usually sumptuous and feel new when revisited. Treat them like lovely antiques.”
“I tell all my clients that you should love yourself in something immediately: nothing gets better the more times you look at it in the mirror.”
“Even more important than having a keen sense of fit and color is the ability to discern another person’s deep desires, which I can only do in a one-on-one situation. That’s why I’m constantly trying to push others out of my fitting room”.
Have you read "I'll Drink to That"? If so, what did you think? Do tell!
I've had a really challenging time sorting out what to read next. Typically there's a few books making the rounds on social media that are on my to read list. But of late I was at a total loss. I was scrolling through my wish list on Amazon and came across the book White Girl Problems by Babe Walker. It's currently en route to my house and I'm quite excited to delve in. Here's hoping it's the perfect start to summer reading season, when you're looking for a bit of fluff. As always you'll have two full months to read "White Girl Problems", then we'll discuss on June 29th. Use the hashtag #bloggerbookclub if you're reading along.
Grab your best reading glasses and join us for the sixth installment of Blogger Book Club. For our March & April read, I thought "I'll Drink To That" by Betty Halbreich seemed apropos.
"Eighty-six-year-old Betty Halbreich is a true original. A tough broad who could have stepped straight out of Stephen Sondheim’s repertoire, she has spent nearly forty years as the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, where she works with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street. She has helped many find their true selves through clothes, frank advice, and her own brand of wisdom. She is trusted by the most discriminating persons—including Hollywood’s top stylists—to tell them what looks best. But Halbreich’s personal transformation from a cosseted young girl to a fearless truth teller is the greatest makeover of her career."
Discussion to take place on April 29th. Care to join in? #bloggerbookclub
For the fifth installment of Blogger Book Club we read the enlightening, 'How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are'. Caroline de Maigret teamed up with fellow Parisans Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, and Sophie Mas to pen this gem.
An intriguing tidbit that the book pointed out is that many of the most famous Parisians, Marie Antoinette, Josephine Baker, and Jane Birkin, were all foreigners. So we all have hope at cultivating a Parisian air.
Parisians also view the "French tip" manicure as rather déclassé. “Short, clean nails, sometimes worn with nail polish, but not always", is the preferred look. I have a feeling they turn their noses up at the nail art trend.
There were a few likely tongue-in-cheek suggestions that rather irked me. For instance along the lines of The Rules dating theories, the girls suggest you send yourself flowers and list your sister in your phone under a man's name. And the whole laissez faire attitude towards cheating didn't sit well with me.
A few takeaways..
“Decide it’s great to get dumped, because falling in love again makes you lose your appetite, and in turn eat fewer calories—which defeats the need for that gym membership.”
“The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.”
“You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.”
“Falling asleep with damp hair will give it a more interesting shape when you wake up.”