One of the best parts of being a blogger is getting chance to read new books first. Check out what I’ve been reading this month on NetGalley!
The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture and Feminism
by Anna Fields; published by Skyhorse Publishing
I share some of the same comic heroes with the author. Gilda Radner and Lucille Ball have both been huge influences on me both creatively and personally. That’s probably why I take such umbrage to the disrespectful and critical tone of her writing toward these two women. I found this book to be incredibly negative, overly critical in personal matters and disrespectful toward the memory of some truly talented ladies.
The Ken Commandments: My Search for God in Hollywood
by Ken Baker; published by Crown Publishing
The only reason that I finished this book was because I kept waiting for a happy conversion story. (SPOILER ALERT) Sadly, it’s a meandering and gossipy take on religion in Hollywood. I was expecting to find something uplifting, but aside from being brave enough to take on Scientology, it’s really a sad account of cafeteria religion. (And why do the Kardashians have VIP seats at church anyway, what’s that all about? I know some of it’s probably security, but it seems very showy and elitist. You should at least check that attitude before you come to church.)
What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories
by Laura Shapiro; published by Penguin Group Viking
I love books about food, but this book did little to entice my appetite. From reading about the absolutely insane decadence of Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun (although what would you expect, really) to the stomach-turning dishes of the kitchens supervised by Eleanor Roosevelt, it’s hard to find much desire or relish for eating in this book. It’s also a very slow read, with minimal rewards, even if you truly are fascinated with one of the six women focused on in the book.
Food 52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner—and Make-Ahead Lunches, Too
by Editors of Food52; published by Ten Speed Press
This book is beautifully photographed and the luscious portraits of greens and dressings will definitely send you running to your kitchen. But, for my taste it was all a little too much. Things were too elaborate and too frequently conflicted with my food allergies. It wouldn’t be a book that I would use in my cooking, but if you are a fan of “the big salad,” you’re sure to find a lot of use in these elegant and sumptuous pages.
Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love and Recipes
by Kristen Beddard; published by Sourcebooks
As I’ve mentioned many times I love books about France, books about food and memoirs, combine all three and I’m so in. I really enjoyed this book because it was informative, fun and encouraging. If you’re looking for a summer read that it both enjoyable and inspirational, check out this book. Preferably have a green salad nearby; you’ll be craving one!
Fever at Dawn
by Peter Gardos; published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I have read many books relating to the Holocaust era, but this was by far both the most disturbing and the most void of any joy or hope. Part of what makes some of the books that I’ve read so powerful are their ability to relay anecdotes, even if they are small, that show the triumph of the human spirit. This book was just painful and uncomfortable. And I say this as someone who has watched and appreciated the documentaries for Forgiving Dr. Mengle and Swimming in Auschwitz.
Manga Classics: Emma
by Jane Austen, Po Tse, Crystle S Chan, Stacy King; published by UDON Entertainment
I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that I enjoy a good graphic novel. A few years ago I would have thought that statement was an oxymoron. I really like how Manga Classics both retells and illustrates great works of Literature. Emma is my favorite Austen work and I found this edition of the story to be most charming and a treat to read.
Yarn Whirled: The Royal Family: Easy-to-Craft Yarn Characters
by Pat Olski; published by Dover Publications
I love Princess Kate, so when I saw a book that said you could make a tiny yarn version of her in a wedding dress, I was interested. After reading about the concept of yarn whirling and having a chance to study the patterns, I can say that I really think this art form is cool. The instructions are clear and the designs are fun and inventive. Don’t be surprised if you see me decorating with tiny versions of Kate, Eugenie and others!
Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father
by Jonathan Hennessey; published by Ten Speed Press
I’m a huge fan of the musical Hamilton, so I’m always eager to learn more about this group of fascinating American characters. I thought the artwork in the book was interesting, but I did have a problem with the odd convention of the “clay man” and celestial background. It felt like they were trying to telegraph something relating to the fates and the cosmos, but it was just strange and distracting. The book did teach me some new facts about Hamilton, Burr and their peers. I definitely recommend this book for a Hamilton super fan or history buff.
What are you planning to read this summer?
(This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase a small portion of the proceeds will go toward supporting The He Said She Said Experience at no extra cost to you. I was provided with proof galleys of these books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.)