4.05.2014

What I Read - March Edition


It's no secret that I still love reading a healthy dose of YA fiction and Sarah Dessen happens to be one of my favorite YA authors. I just did the tally and this is the eighth book of hers I've read. She nails teen romance/first love, which I have a huge soft spot for given the husband and I started dating at 17.

Bookish Auden chooses to spend the summer on the beach with her newly remarried father and his young wife and new baby. She plans to spend her summer before college reading ahead for her first semester classes but her plans change when the people of the small town of Colby start to steal her heart. It all starts when she offers to do the bookkeeping for her step-mom Heidi's clothing store. While there she begrudgingly befriends the girls who work there and then the boys from the bike shop down the street. When she first meets Eli she can't peg him. But as they both discover their shared insomnia and start up a quirky friendship it's hard for romance not to bloom. But with all of their individual baggage will they both just get in the way of the good thing they have going?

Though this was the classic girl-meets-boy that Dessen is known for it really didn't draw me in. Even though I did see a lot of myself in Auden, I couldn't really relate to anything in the story. The characters seemed nice, and Dessen tried to make them multi-dimensional but it just fell really flat. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did. If you are looking for some good YA summer-like romance, check out her books This Lullaby or Someone Like You or The Truth About Forever.


A few years ago I fell hard for a show called Parks and Recreation. I have seen every episode on Netflix at least three times, my absolute favorite being Season 3, Episode 13 "The Fight" [clip of best part]. Dancing Ron Swanson for the win! As I watched the show I also learned (via my husband) that there were many similarities between the stoic Swanson and the actor that plays him. The idea that a man as magnificent as Ron Swanson existed filled my soul with joy.

Well, I came to find out that while they do share some similarities, Nick Offerman is definitely his own man. Luck has it though that he is actually way cooler than Ron. Hard to believe, I know. One awesome thing? He's married to Megan Mulally who not only played the hilarious Karen Walker on Will and Grace but also plays Ron's second ex-wife on Parks and Rec Tammy 2. When I found out they toured together doing comedy I added that to my bucket list. Another thing: he is delightfully non-conformist. Woodworking is a hobby he picked up as an Illinois farmboy and it is what paid his way through his early days acting. He has his own woodshop committed to making quality goods. When I strike gold I'm going to have a kitchen table commissioned by the Offerman Woodshop.

I adore Nick. He is independent, intelligent, and and advocate for simple living. His book is filled with entertaining stories from his life and his grasp of the english language made me want to start studying the dictionary. This man has a way with words. If you're a fan of Ron, you're a fan of Nick and need to read this book.

"Here's my trip: Our cool, new technologies provide us with a surplus of convenience, and it seems to me that an overabundance of convenience leaves us with a surplus of leisure time. Our technologies then provide us with a panoply of choices of choices of ways in which to fill that time, like video games, social networking, vapid television and film content, etc. We thereby end up spending money and time upon "their" diversions, when we could have been just performing all of the simple acts that our technologies are savings us from the first place. Driving our vehicles. Looking at our maps. Fishing. Walking in the woods. Doing the dishes. Splitting firewood. That's living, plain and simple, and I feel like a crotchety old man saying this, but there is a great satisfaction in a drying rack full of dishes that cannot be found on Twitter or Scrambley Town. By all means, we should use these wonderful new tools in all the wonderful ways we can, but we should also be wary that they don't begin to consume us, devouring our time and money that could be better spend on a mouthwatering stack of sawn oak planks."

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Oh, and did you hear the news?! Eleanor and Park is being made into a movie with the author writing the screenplay! No release date yet, but set to film next year. I can't wait! I mean, I feel like I've been waiting for the Fault in Our Stars FOREVER, but only two more months until that release! Eeek!

[Disclaimer: If you click on the above Amazon links and purchase anything I receive a small commission from Amazon. Like a few cents, which I appreciate greatly. Buying from Amazon is awesome, but your local library or independent book stores are pretty cool too.]

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