November Reads | The Life of K: November Reads

Friday, December 4, 2015

November Reads

I have one month left to reach my goal of reading 50 books this year! I'm halfway through my 49th book so I think I'll be okay but there's this nagging doubt in my mind that I'll make it. Silly? Perhaps, but real to me.

I struggled in November. I really wasn't into any of the books I read and that made reading more a chore than something I look forward to. The month started off with a book I was sent to review (this seem to be hit and miss with me), and then I read two books by bloggers. They both had funny bits, but I started craving a well-written fiction to dig in to.

46. Doc's Codicil by Gary F. Jones


When Wisconsin veterinarian Doc dies, his family learns that to inherit his fortune, they must decipher the cryptic codicil he added to his will—“Take Doofus squirrel-fishing”—and they can only do that by talking to Doc’s friends, reading the memoir Doc wrote of a Christmas season decades earlier, searching through Doc’s correspondence, and discovering clues around them. Humor abounds as this mismatched lot tries to find time in their hectic lives to work together to solve the puzzle. In the end, will they realize that fortune comes in many guises?
Doc’s Codicil is a mystery told with gentle humor. It tells the story of a veterinarian who teaches his heirs a lesson from the grave.

What I thought

The summary of this book makes it sound fun and funny so I agreed to review it. Turns out it wasn't really my cup of tea. You can read my full review here.

47. I Heart My Little A-Holes


When your son wakes you up at 3:00 A.M. because he wants to watch Caillou, he’s an a-hole. When your daughter outlines every corner of your living room with a purple crayon, she’s an a-hole. When your rug rats purposely decorate the kitchen ceiling with their smoothies, they’re a-holes. So it’s only natural to want to kill them sometimes. Of course you can’t because you’d go to prison, and then you’d really never get to poop alone again. Plus, there’s that whole loving them more than anything in the whole world thing. Karen Alpert is the writer of the popular blog Baby Sideburns. You may have seen some of her more viral posts like “Ten Things I Really F’ing Want for Mother’s Day,” “Daddy Sticker Chart” and “What NOT to F’ing Buy My Kids this Holiday.” Or you may know her from her Facebook page that has over 130,000 followers. I Heart My Little A-Holes is full of hilarious stories, lists, thoughts and pictures that will make you laugh so hard you’ll wish you were wearing a diaper.

What I thought

There were parts of this book that had me laughing out loud (not something that normally happens when I'm reading) and some that were just so real that I couldn't believe someone had put to words my thoughts so perfectly. But the problem with blogger books typically, is that they read like blog posts mashed together when what I really want is more of a story, or at least some continuity. Check out the blog before reading the book to see if you like her style.

48. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

As Jenny says:

"Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Furiously Happy is about "taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they're the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It's the difference between "surviving life" and "living life". It's the difference between "taking a shower" and "teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair." It's the difference between being "sane" and being "furiously happy."

Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are - the beautiful and the flawed - and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny's mom says, "Maybe 'crazy' isn't so bad after all." Sometimes crazy is just right.

What I thought

I really enjoyed Lawson's first book Let's Pretend This Never Happened and had high hopes for this one. I do like her writing style and the craziness that shines through (in a good way!) and maybe I would have enjoyed this more had I not just read another blogger book. Again, it lacks continuity but it definitely has its place. The great thing about books like this is that they are easy to put down because you won't have to go back and catch up before picking them up again. Check out her blog.

You know I'm always looking for suggestions to hit me up with your best reads and I'll put them on my list!

I used affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and then buy something I'll get a couple of cents.

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