“Someday, Someday, Maybe” by Lauren Graham

Image result for someday, someday, maybeI didn’t realize I would be back so soon, but this book was great and I flew through the end of it yesterday.

Honestly, I didn’t know this book existed until I read Lauren Graham’s memoir, but I’m so glad I read it. It has the same kind of spunky humor that kind of reminds me of Gilmore Girls and I definitely saw in the memoir.

The main character, Franny Banks, has been in New York for two and a half years when we meet her. She is an aspiring actor and has set a self-imposed deadline that she will be successful within three years or she will give up the dream. Franny is hilarious and beautiful, but doesn’t seem to realize it even though people keep telling her that she is both hilarious and beautiful. She gets a couple small jobs, but things can’t seem to pan out. Still, she remains pretty well intact.

There are the obvious love interests and the second guy who is clearly obviously perfect, but I won’t give away any of those details. Except to say that the end lets you leave it to your imagination, which I sort of like, but at the same time, give me something I can just accept so that I can move on with my life and stop thinking about the lives of these fictional characters.

After this book, I found out that Lauren Graham is putting out a third book in April 2018 called “In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It,” so I will most definitely be reading that one too. She’s just got such a great sense of humor and it translates to her writing so well. In a perfect world, Lauren Graham would both be Lorelai Gilmore and she would have already written 237 novels so that we can always get that funny fix when we need it. But three so far is better than none!

Anyway, next up (still) is “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling, and then maybe the “Inheritance Cycle” books by Christopher Paolini. I’ve been meaning to get around to those for a while.

Happy almost New Year!
Maegan

 

Update: I failed to mention that the book takes place in early 1995! There are lots of things that are different, but I love what it adds to the story. For example, Franny carries around a Filofax with her and some of the pages are in the book. Plus no one has a cell phone and you have to make calls from pay phones. Different times, different times. Not that I really know what that is like, I was a toddler at the time.

Anywho, Franny is in her mid-twenties throughout, and I just really enjoyed getting to see a story about something that you don’t usually read about, especially by such a great actor as Lauren Graham.

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“Choose Your Own Autobiography” by Neil Patrick Harris

Image result for neil patrick harris choose your own autobioYes, this is another memoir. This one was quite different than the others, though. Instead of just a normal book, this one is actually set up like one of those books you read as a kid where you got to decide what you wanted to happen next by turning to different pages.

I broke the rules though because I didn’t want to miss anything, so I did a bad and read it straight through. The book pretty much alternates between NPH’s film/TV career, the theatre, having kids, meeting his now-husband David Burtka, and celebrity friends. Also magic and hosting awards shows. There are some nice little sections where NPH dies repeatedly, and you have to make the determination of what’s real and what isn’t.

Overall, I thought it was a really interesting way to build the book and it made it pretty unique. I haven’t read a book like this in years and it was fun to reminisce. I learned a little more about NPH that I didn’t know before thanks to TV and “How I Met Your Mother.”

Also, Neil Patrick Harris is involved in a lot. Plus his kids are absolutely adorable. Basically his whole family. Also I would like to see him on Broadway now.

Anyway, next I plan to read NPH’s new kid’s book “The Magic Misfits” because why not, plus I still need to read “Someday, Someday, Maybe” by Lauren Graham. “The Casual Vacancy” is still on the list but it’s a little farther down the list for now.

Don’t judge,
Maegan

“The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Image result for the royal we book coverThis book is amazing. Right from the start, I wanted to devour it (Devour is also the name of a sci-fi soap opera frequently referred to in part of the book). It was clever and witty and the characters were so well done that I didn’t want to stop reading it.

The story takes place over several years and is broken up into parts that are separated by about 2 years each time. So it starts in autumn 2007, then goes to summer 2009, etc. up to autumn 2013 and eventually “present day.” Honestly, I really couldn’t tell if “present day” was just a few months after autumn 2013 or another 2 years. Maybe that part should have been clarified.

Anyway, the main character is Rebecca Porter, or Bex, who is an American exchange student studying at Oxford for a year. Surprise, the guy living down the hall from her is Nicholas of Wales, future king of England. She makes fast friends with the rest of the people living on her floor, fun is had by all.

Eventually Bex and Nick get together, some royal stuff happens, a tad bit of drama.

Through it all, the story is peppered with Bex’s twin sister, Lacey, who really likes attention and literally quit med school to move to London just because Bex was there. (There were times when I didn’t care much for Lacey.) Also Freddie, Nick’s younger brother who is all fun, all the time, but, come to find out, actually does have feelings about things.

The dialogue is funny and charming and of course, I imagined lots of things in a British accent. I never wanted this story to end.

One thing is for sure, though, Bex is a lot more patient than most girls I know, including me. This girl let a guy date her in secret for FOUR YEARS, and she was apparently fine with it. I don’t know anyone who would allow their boyfriend to openly flirt with other girls in public for that long just to keep up appearances.

The book does give you a bit of a cliffhanger, but I got the feeling that it was more of a “decide your own story” idea than a “that’s all you get” feel. There was also a bonus chapter from Freddie’s side of the story, which was a nice addition.

Now I want to read other books by these two women. I also started reading “Choose Your Own Autobiography” by Neil Patrick Harris and I’m still working on “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. That one is a struggle bus, but I will prevail.

Bye for now,
Maegan

“Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)” by Lauren Graham

Related imageI’ve been a fan of Gilmore Girls since grade-school, when I used to come home and watch it every day at 4 when it aired on what was then ABC Family. When I found out that Netflix was doing a revival series, I was EXCITED, but I had to make sure to rewatch the entire series first to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I had definitely forgotten things. But I finally got around to watching the original series in its entirety and then I watched “A Year in the Life.”

Not long after “A Year in the Life” was released, I stumbled upon this book through my library. But I knew I couldn’t read it just yet because I hadn’t finished the entire series. So I added it to my to-be-read list and carried on. Not long ago, I rediscovered it and decided to take it for a spin since I knew what happened in the show and there would no longer be any spoilers.

It’s weird for me to think that Lauren Graham is actually named Lauren. When I think of this actress in real life, I either think of Lorelei or I think “LaurenGraham” as all one word. So it took me aback a little to hear LaurenGraham referring to herself as Lauren in this book.

But anyway, in the book, Lauren (it’s still weird) details her road to fame, which included some theater stops and seems to have been propelled by “Gilmore Girls.” Which is fine by all of us. I love seeing Lauren Graham in movies and on TV shows. One of the next shows I want to watch is “Parenthood,” where she plays Mom/Sister in the big ole Braverman family.

I think the best part about this book was hearing all the insider secrets from “Gilmore Girls,” which is probably the biggest reason I picked it up. I also found that Graham had already published a book prior to this memoir, called “Someday, Someday, Maybe.” It has already been added to my list. And apparently she is publishing a new book sometime next year. Lots to look forward to.

Next up is Misty Copeland’s memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” and working on “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. I also checked out “The Royal We” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, because LaurenGraham mentioned in her book that she was working on adapting it into a screenplay and I am quite susceptible to books mentioned in other books.

That’s all for now,
Maegan

“Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

Image result for why not meThis book is pretty similar to Mindy’s other book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).” The main difference is that her last book was written while she was still an actress and writer for “The Office,” whereas now the show has ended and she is the showrunner for her own show, “The Mindy Project.”

I’ve actually never seen “The Mindy Project,” just know that one of my friends used to watch it in college and that it has since moved to Hulu.

Anyway, the book is more of the same with stories about working in TV and being a comedy writer, but there’s a little more about dating and a little less about her early years.

Overall, Mindy Kaling has gotten to do some really cool things, including meeting President Obama a few times, but her life seems extremely busy and I don’t understand how she functions on so little sleep.

I noticed that the book has some humor, but it’s not as laugh-out-loud funny as a few others that I’ve read. Still has good moments.

This book was a pretty quick read, and it made me add B.J. Novak’s books to my to-be-read list, but there are still quite a few in front of that. I’ve already started “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling and “God” by Reza Aslan, and I have a few more lined up after that, so my mindset is I’ll get to it when I get to it.

More on that later,
Maegan

“My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares

Image result for my name is memory reviewAdmittedly, I did not finish this book as quickly as I would have liked. But alas, here we are. I was so excited to read all the Ann Brashares books after I started on the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” books but I think I just slowed down a little with the other books I was reading or listening to on audiobook. There’s still one more though, so I have to start that one soon.

Anyway, this book is about Daniel, who has the memory, which means that he remembers all the lives his soul has lived, dating back more than 2,000 years. Through it all, he falls in love with the same woman every time, but she doesn’t remember him from one life to the next. Most people don’t, but Daniel has the gift. In this life, it’s 2004 and we’re in Virginia. Daniel’s lady friend is named Lucy, although he refers to her as Sophia since that was the first name he knew her by, and they are seniors in high school. They have a brief interaction before parting ways, and the story doesn’t pick up again for a few more years. Through it all, the chapters are intermixed with Daniel’s point-of-view along different time periods in different places that he has lived.

While the story mostly focuses on Daniel and Lucy, there are a few recurring characters, like Lucy’s best friend and Daniel’s friend Ben who also has the memory and the main antagonist in the story. (Can’t give too much away.)

There’s not a lot of drama or action until the end of the book, but it still keeps you interested throughout. Although, there are a few moments when you just think, “Dang, Lucy is making poor choices.” But I think Daniel makes a few poor choices along the line too.

Upon further research, I discovered that this book is meant to be part of a trilogy, which explains why the ending was TERRIBLE. Without letting too much slip, there are SO MANY unanswered questions. Did the bad guy get taken down? Did they good guy do what he was supposed to do? Did the thing happening at the monastery ever happen? Why are a certain character’s family not concerned?

According to the internet, Ann Brashares’ publisher put a lid on the next two books but as of her Twitter in December of 2015 she is working on getting the rights so that she can continue the story. I would definitely read it once that happens.

One thing that bothers me about this story and these characters is how much Lucy and Daniel are willing to give up for just each other. I mean, their entire lives mean nothing obviously because they are ready to just throw in the towel and start over. No mind to their family or friends or school or jobs. It’s especially selfish of Lucy, whose parents have already been through putting one daughter in the ground.

I digress. I actually just found out this book is written for adults, but other than the discussion of a few *intimate acts,* I would have had no idea. It seems like even when Ann Brashares writes adult books, her characters are still pretty young. The oldest Lucy gets in this book is probably 23 or 24, which is a similar age to the main characters in Brashares’ other adult book, “The Last Summer (of You and Me).”

Next up is “The Whole Thing Together,” which is Brashares’ newest book. At the same time, I started “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling and I began the audiobook of “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling, and I’m pretty excited about those two.

Until next time,
Maegan

“Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith

Career_of_Evil_Oct_2015Ok, in this one J.K. Rowling might have been a little too good for herself. The scenes were described so well that I imagined I was standing right beside the character the whole time. The only problem was this character was a serial killer and he is super insane.

I am actually very proud of myself because I figured out who the killer was (ok, more of a guess based on the process of elimination) a few chapters before it was revealed. But I also know that it’s written in a way to mislead the reader. You think that it’s obvious, it must be XYZ character who did the bad thing. And then you find out there’s no way it could have been them and it was actually ABC character.

One thing that I really like about this book is the relationships. When you find out that it’s a book about a woman who’s engaged to the same guy she’s been dating for 9 years and a man who recently ended his on-again-off-again relationship with the crazy woman he picked up in college becoming partners, you worry that it will turn into one of those books where the two main characters end up together just because they’re the two main characters.

There were certainly questions if that would happen, but I’m glad that it wasn’t stereotypical like that.

I went through these books faster than I thought I would and now I’m stuck with a somewhat cliffhanger because Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling is a genius like that.

Last thing, Robin Ellacott is my role model.

Later,
Maegan

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith

18214414I finished this one a couple days ago. It’s amazing how J.K. Rowling is able to spin these intricate mysteries of murder with all of these characters interlocked and how she keeps you guessing up until she’s ready to reveal who the bad guy is. She teases you because you think you have it figured out and then she just flips the whole thing and you had no idea it was coming.

One thing about having so many characters is that sometimes it’s a little hard to keep track of theĀ ones on the fringe. The main character has so many friends and acquaintances and some of them have some not very common names.

Plus, I’ve been listening on audiobook, so I have to file it in my mind after it’s been spoken to me by a guy with a British accent.

But anyway, this is a good book, even though it does have a few grotesque parts. Namely, the description of the murder is gross and I was listening to it while I was cooking dinner one night, which was a big mistake.

I’ve started on “Career of Evil” and there’s already plenty to keep you guessing at. I love how we get to see a little more into the personal life of the main characters a little more each book, but there’s still so much you don’t know. That’s how the stories are created.

More on that later,
Maegan

“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

63be691d88d7134ce67fa02b36e9ac35Or is it “Th1rteen R3asons Why”?

Obviously I only read this book because I watched the Netflix series. But in my defense, I have read it before when I was in high school. I remembered the concept when I watched the show, which I was enraptured by, but I didn’t remember all the details. I think it’s for the best that I didn’t reread this book right before I watched the show or else I would have just been noticing all the differences because that’s how I live my life.

I know there’s a lot of talk going on right now about this story and I can see both sides of it. My thinking is that it’s awful what Hannah went through, but at the same time, she’s bringing down all of these other people that she knows, too. Is it necessary? I’m sure they hurt enough and already felt guilty before this box of tapes arrived on their front step.

I think it’s an interesting story, and I remember being fascinated with it when I read it years ago because suicide is like a taboo subject that people just don’t talk or write about. Even so, I don’t think this book was as good as I remembered, and the characters really just aren’t likeable. Even Clay, who is perceived as this total nice guy loses a little for how hung up on Hannah he was, because she didn’t seem that approachable to me at all.

Anyway, next on the list is “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith because J.K. Rowling.

See ya,
Maegan

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith

51m4P63APoL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_I have been wanting to read this one for a while and I’m glad I finally did. Obviously I was only interested because Robert Galbraith is just the pen name for J.K. Rowling and I love me some J.K. Rowling books, but this book definitely stands on its own. It doesn’t seem even remotely possible that the genius who created the Harry Potter world and the genius who created this murder mystery could be the same person. I mean, they’re both fantastic, but they are quite different.

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” is definitely British. I probably didn’t understand a quarter of the terms used because they were so British. Some of them I guessed at, honestly. It was almost like parts of the book were written in another language, even though it was still in English. I think it’s interesting how the Harry Potter series is considered a children’s series, but J.K. Rowling’s idea of a child’s level is closer to an adult level from the standard of anyone else.

Anywho, my favorite thing about this book is that the title is based off of one detail that probably only took up about 3 inches of space in the entire novel. It’s fascinating to me. I also noticed that nearly every one of these characters smoke and they all curse like a sailor. Except Robin. Probably why she’s my favorite character.

The whole premise of this book is that a famous model dies after falling from her balcony. Her brother hires the main character, Cormoran Strike, a private investigator, to find out whether she was murdered or not. So the whole time, you know someone did something bad. And the whole time, you’re trying to figure out who and why but the pieces don’t come together until the very end. At the reveal my only thoughts were “OMG NO WAY” because it was kinda a surprise, but the surprise was more in the details that have been there the whole time but you just didn’t notice because you’re not Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling.

I definitely want to read the rest of the series. And see the BBC show, because that’s going to be a thing too.

Next up, though, is “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. It’s a short one, so hopefully I will get through it quick. Then I need to finish the other books I’ve been neglecting and start chipping away at my “To Read” list.

Wish me luck,
Maegan