August 3rd, 2011
Those of you that read regularly know that we love ourselves our little brothers (X and Y Woolfolk – they have adamantly demanded that they no longer be named on the blog). And when we took off to the beach with them a couple of weeks ago, with a bit of an “I am more cultured than you” air, we had decided to expose them to some of our more “I am really smart and can be serious and melancholy, and I get a lot of stuff you don’t” new music tastes. The effort lasted about 30 minutes before South Georgia sucked us right back in, and we came home with a talkin-to about how all our music is weird and a bunch of new Zac Brown on iTunes.
That said, our reading efforts were not a fail. It’s a rare month that we go three for three on books we liked, so we thought we’d update you with what’s been on our Kindle this summer.
BossyPants, Tina Fey
Hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. Loved reading about her time in Chicago and UVA before she was famous. Plus, it was really interesting to hear her inter-monologue as she was playing Sarah Palin. Bottom Line: You’ll laugh your pants off.
The Social Animal, David Brooks
Not going to lie, it’s heady and kind of long for the beach. However, we couldn’t put it down. Written as both a narrative and social commentary, it was amazing over and over again how much we are shaped by the world around us. A story about what makes us successful, but more the science of it and less the Joel Osteen how to. Bottom Line: If you think people are interesting (and love random stats about them), you will like this.
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
Everyone said we’d like it, but we got off to a slow start. Loved the beginning about his running in the Olympics, but the Air Force training wasn’t doing it for us. However. You. Must. Push. Through. It may be the most incredible story of faith and perseverance we can remember reading. It’s a good book but an incredible story. Bottom Line: This book will Unbreak your heart.
Love the Book Lists? Here are some recent ones:
December 23rd, 2010
It’s time to plan Christmas Eve!! Christmas Eve at the Woolfolk house is getting increasingly more interesting as we all get older – yet keep the nuclear family alive. That said, we (three adult children and their parents) still read Christmas books the night before Christmas (okay, so elaney tries to read one and no one really pays attention, but you get the idea). We also think that Christmas childrens’ books are a great gift for the little ones in your lives (like Baby Josephine, Baby Cora, and my sweet little goddaughter Baby Polly). We love Eloise at Christmas time! What’s your favorite?
November 11th, 2010
It’s your favorite post of the month! What did we read in October that we loved? This month there were many late nights engrossed in the book everyone is talking about…the story of the Vangers, told through the eyes of Mikeal Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Ooooh it’s so good. And we can pretty much tell you that November’s book list will be the next two in the trilogy.
All three of Stieg Larsson’s books were published posthumously. Set in Sweden, the story is just gripping. You will be endeared to scruffally Mikeal, and you just want to take little Lisbeth in your arms and tell her you love her. Not only are the characters fascinating, but the plot is so captivating. Es goo!
October 5th, 2010
Busy month! Only read one book in September: Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl. Have always been a fan of Ruth Reichl’s memoirs. After acting as the NY Times food critic and later, the Editor-In-Chief of Gourmet, Reichl has had an interesting life. And, as part of her previous job descriptions, the woman can write about food. Tender at the Bone tells the story of her youth and early career. After reading her three memoirs in reverse order, we’d have to say that this was our least favorite…but it is still very good. It’s just a little more interesting to read about her taking away Le Cirque’s fifth star than her grandmother’s cooked catfish. But if you like food and like to cook, you will enjoy.
September 7th, 2010
Time for the monthly roundup.
DISCLAIMER: Remember, this is just an opinion on the books we read inthe previous month. We cannot be held responsible for our undying love for the beach read.
Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella.
UGH. It is so, so, so bad. Like all of her books since Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Sophie has truly lost her spark. We don’t know why we continue to read them all. This is the story of a floundering head hunter who starts hanging around with the ghost of her dead aunt. Yes, it’s as ridic as it sounds. Final Verdict: AVOID.
One Day, David Nicholls.
The story of two people who connect the night of college graduation at the University of Edinburgh and then stay friends for the next 20 years. Ohhhh it’s so delightful. Nicholls is a brilliant writer! Capturing so well the evolution of relationships, as well as the maturation of two characters. We had a little bit of a slow start with it, and then we could not put it down. Smart and thoughtful. Anne Hathaway is currently filming the movie, and we cannot wait! Final Verdict: We envy those who haven’t read it. Wish we could do it all again!
Short Straw, Stuart Woods.
Your typical Stuart Woods (although, there is only one Stone Barrington). Listened to it on tape. Feel like a good story that you may or may not remember two days later? Stuart Woods is your man. Final Verdict: Nothing to write home about.
Heart of the Matter, Emily Giffin
Like her cover art, Emily Giffin novels are all very similar. Sort of sad, very real, more narrative than action. Every time we finish one of her books, we are left sort of disappointed and feeling like the outlook for the world is sort of bleak, yet there is something honest about them. Final Verdict: Like.
August 5th, 2010
As we mentioned, vintage elaney has been on the mind lately, and we’ve been thinking about some of the old segments of yester year (when readership was limited to Readers g-love, c-handler, shawtygetlow, Kenny (then called Kelly), and a VERY skeptical version if emum (not yet named). So, Once Upon an elaney, one of the favorite reader segments was the monthly book list!
How It Worked: At the end of the month, we shared all of the books we’d read the previous month and gave a short opinion.
Why We Stopped It: The disproportionate amount of beach reads got embarrassing.
Why We’re Bringing It Back: We’ve embraced our inner love for beach trash.
So here goes! July 2010′s Book List:
The Man of My Dreams – Curtis Sittenfield
After LOVING Prep and American Wife, we decided to read Ms. Sittenfield’s lesser hailed second novel. While it’s clear that Sittenfield is gifted with words, the protagonist Hannah is so hard to like that it was difficult to give in to the world and relate to the characters. The story doesn’t feel totally believable, and we were pretty ready for it to be over about 2/3 of the way through. Verdict: Eh…glad to’ve read it as a lover of Curtis, but not something we strongly recommend.
Hush – Kate White
Have read every one of the Kate White, Editor-n-Chief of Cosmo, murder mysteries, and like the others, this one delivers! This is her first standalone mystery (not part of the Bailey Wiggins series), and we quickly fell in love with the new protagonist, a marketing consultant in NYC going through a messy divorce. They are super quick reads, but White has a gift for making the high profile NYC life come alive. Verdict: Fun and frivolous. Borrow, don’t buy.
Prospect Park West – Amy Sohn
Stumbled upon this one at the library, and let us tell you, it’s scandalous. It is tantalizing, sneaky, and steamy from page 1 on, but it’s also seriously well-written. Sort of like Candice Bushnell for Brooklyn, follows 5 women around Park Slope and explores their secrets, relationships, and “neuroses.” The story sort of abruptly ends with no real resolution but the characters are complex and intiguing. They’ll make a complicated woman feel simple. Verdict: So bad, but so good.