Link Love

Here are some of my favorite things I found around the internet this week:

  • I’m struggling this winter. I struggle with SAD every winter, but this winter feels more never ending than usual. Most of the DC region had a snow day on Monday and it both helped and hurt. So, I related to NPR’s Linda Holmes’ Monkey See article on Making Peace with Snow Days and Seasons.
  • Megan Amram, prolific Tweeter, writer for Parks and Recreation, and all around funny gal, wrote a book that I’m super excited to read! But in the meantime, I enjoyed this illustrated interview with her on The Rumpus.
  • BookRiot posted a fun article on Literary/Pop Culture mashups.
  • This American Life has done two fantastic shows about the issue of policing and race in America. Part one is here and part two is here.
  • This American Life also did a fascinating episode where they replayed a BBC documentary about William Burroughs (author of Naked Lunch.)
  • Time posted an interview with the wonderful Rainbow Rowell, where she discusses her upcoming novel, Carry On, which will be released in October!  Is it too early to start squeeing?
  • I recently discovered the podcast, Watch What Crappens, where Ben “B-side” Mandelker and Ronnie Karam discuss Bravo reality shows, and I’m SO glad I did. I’ve been a fan of B-Side ever since his TVgasm recaps of Laguna Beach routinely made me laugh until I cried, and Ronnie’s recaps of Real Housewives shows do the same. This podcast is snarky and hilarious and if you like Bravo shows, you will love it.

Happy perusing and happy weekend!

Link Love

Here are some of my favorite things I found around the internet this week:

  • As an aspiring writer who works full time, I found this Rumpus article with Rainbow Rowell enormously inspiring.
  • I completely agree with this article from the New Yorker on how The Giving Tree is actually pretty freaking sad for a kid’s book.
  • I enjoyed these 17 Reasons Anne Lamott is the Coolest. Because she really is.
  • I enjoyed Linda Holmes’ take on managing expectations for the Serial podcast on the NPR Monkey See blog.
  • Speaking of Serial (since EVERYONE ELSE IS), Slate is doing an amusingly meta podcast on the Serial podcast. Yes, that’s right. It’s a podcast about a podcast.
  • Which brings us to this hilarious video about “How People Obsess About Serial.”

    Okay, enough about Serial. (Until next week.)

Happy perusing and happy weekend!

Link Love

Here are some of my favorite things I found around the internet this week:

  • I’m feeling pretty excited for Into the Woods thanks to this EW featurette.
  • In addition to raving about Serial earlier this week, I’ve already listened to the latest episode twice and the first episode all over again to hopefully derive more clues. My name is Kelley and I am addicted to this podcast.
  • I squealed when I saw that Rainbow Rowell contributed to a story collection. (I swear, I would pay to read that woman’s grocery lists.) But seriously, wouldn’t this make an excellent holiday gift? (Not a hint, those who know me, but rather a warning that this is likely what you’re getting for Christmas from me.)
  • Have you read anything from the 2014 National Book Awards list of finalists? I’ve read (and lovedAll the Light We Cannot See, and am really excited to read Lila
  • I really enjoyed learning about Christina of Sweden on Stuff You Missed in History Class.
  • I’m hosting an Awesomely Bad Movie Night this weekend that will feature pumpkin carving, and these bookish jack’o’lanterns serve as pretty fantastic inspiration.
  • This made me so happy that the internet exists. Because really, where else could you find Dachshund’s Creek?

Happy perusing and happy weekend!

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

As a self-proclaimed Rainbow Rowell fangirl (see what I did there?), I pretty much counted down the days until I could get my hands on Landline.

Description from the publisher:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened

I really, really love the writing of Rainbow Rowell. Really love it.  I enjoyed Attachments and fell head over heels for Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, (seriously, spoiler alert: if I like you even a little, you’re getting both books for Christmas this year) (you’re welcome!) So my expectations were sky-high for Landline. 

I’ll say right off the bat, I didn’t love it as much as E&P or Fangirl. But honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever loved another book as much as I loved those two (and I’ve read and loved a lot of books.) It’s still Rainbow Rowell, and therefore still an immensely enjoyable read with near-perfect dialogue and inspires all the feels.

My review will contain a few spoilers, so I’m going to advise that you read the book before you proceed with the rest of this post. And If you haven’t read any of her books, (I mean honestly, what are you even doing with your life?) I recommend reading Attachments, then Landline, then Eleanor & Park and finally, Fangirl. I’m sure many would argue that Eleanor & Park is her best (and being made into a movie with the screenplay by Rowell herself!), but frankly, you’re going to need a little pick me up after you finish it.

So! Onto my spoiler-ish review of Landline…

Read More »

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Since I’ve already gushed about FangirlI decided to further gush about Rainbow Rowell and her other wonderful book, Eleanor & Park (which I actually read first.) I have a confession to make: I am a HUGE fan of the Young Adult genre. Many scoff at it, assuming the stories will lack depth, but I usually find the exact opposite is true. There’s something about the teen years that is so nostalgic and universal, and there is something about YA that allows you to hearken back to when you felt serious feelings for the first time yourself. For me, reading YA books is like retracing steps, allowing me to determine where I went wrong and where I went right and what left a mark and why. Let’s be honest, teenagers can be moody and intense and overly dramatic, but it is the period that sets up your character for the rest of your life. Childhood is a time when you are innocent and cannot fully comprehend heavy feelings. But as a teen, your experiences are the memories you will carry, and every single relationship, whether it’s with your parents or friends or nemesis or bully or first crush or first love, will set a precedent for every similar relationship that follows. And as always, I’m a sucker for a love story, particularly first love stories. If you too are a fan of any of the above, I cannot recommend Eleanor & Park highly enough.

Eleanor is the new girl at school who stands out, and not in a good way. She has wild red hair that quickly earns her the nickname “Big Red,” reflecting both her hair and her size. Her home life is a mess, and just when she resigns herself to misery and hopelessness, she meets Park. Park is a half-Korean boy whose interest include good music, comic books and keeping his head down. He is the only person to begrudgingly offer her a permanent seat next to him on the bus and their relationship slowly shifts from strangers to silent comic book readers to friends to more than friends. They are misfits who discover that they fit together perfectly. And the love they share is intense and sweet and almost enough to combat life getting in the way.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will let you know that this book rendered me a weeping mess before and after it was over. As I said above, fiction has a way of reaching into the recesses of my mind and pulling out memories and feelings that have been long dormant. Reading Eleanor’s perspective was like reading my own thoughts from when I first met my husband, when for the first time in my life, everything was so wonderful that it felt surreal and I was certain it couldn’t last. I’m always somewhat envious of anyone who can experience something good and just enjoy it wholeheartedly, without fear or disbelief or a general sense of gloom. Love doesn’t always seem like a tangible thing. And when you haven’t been exposed to love that is healthy and happy and good, it can be nearly impossible to accept it when it’s yours for the taking.

This book is beautiful and funny and heartbreaking. I want a sequel. I NEED a sequel. And I can’t wait to read it again.

Favorite quotes:

“The first time he’d held her hand, it felt so good that it crowded out all the bad things. It felt better than anything had ever hurt.”

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

“His parents never talked about how they met, but when Park was younger, he used to try to imagine it. He loved how much they loved each other It was the thing he thought about when he woke up scared in the middle of the night. Not that they love him-they were his parents, they had to love him. That they loved each other. They didn’t have to do that.”

And this one. This one got me:

“Thank God she couldn’t make her mouth work right now, because if she could, there’d be no end to the melodramatic garbage she’d say to him. She was pretty sure she’d thank him for saving her life. Not just yesterday, but, like, practically every day since they’d met. Which make her feel like the dumbest, weakest girl. If you couldn’t save your own life, was it even worth saving?

There’s no such thing as handsome princes, she told herself.

There’s no such thing as happily ever after.

She looked up at Park. Into his golden green eyes. You saved my life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now, I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”