For the past few months, I’ve been spending the bulk of my time job hunting and preparing to teach classes I ended up not actually teaching. In my spare time, though, I made a serious effort to get back into reading for pleasure, since it’s something I don’t do very often when I’m teaching. Something about starting at student essays for three hours just kills my desire to keep reading, even if it’s for fun. ;-)
After getting a library subscription, I discovered that our local library does digital books. It’s amazing because I don’t have to find a library that has the book I want, and the waiting list for digital books is a lot better than physical ones. Even though I had to wait almost a month for some of them, I had plenty to read and do while I waited. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading lately!
1. How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas
This book was such a fun read! It was part guidebook, part picture book – which is great if you’re not up for a serious read. I enjoyed reading about fashion, food, parenting, love, and life from four different Parisian women. It’s definitely a book I will buy in the future, if only for the wonderful photos and graphics throughout. Highly recommended if you’re as obsessed with Paris as I am.
2. Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange
The only physical book I could get my hands on was this one, and it was well worth waiting a few days for it to get shipped in from a different library! This is another book I will definitely buy for my collection someday, and the book itself is about as chic as the advice within it! This is also a mix of amazing photos, quirky illustrations from Ines de la Fressange, and amazing advice. It’s like having a much cooler older sister or aunt giving you advice. She’s honest, but keeps most of her advice pretty universal and basic. There is also an entire section devoted to her favorite shops (many of which are online now), which reads like a secret guide for where the real Parisiennes go! She also has a YouTube series she did with Roger Vivier, where she shows us around many of the stores mentioned in the book (if you can handle subtitles). I enjoy watching them because it reminds me that I should get back into practice with my French skills (and that I can understand her more than I thought). Also highly recommended for the French-obsessed, and for the discerning shopper.
3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophie Amoruso
Okay, so I’m going to admit this right off the bat – I didn’t finish this book. I think I made it about halfway through before moving on to something else. Part of this might have been because we moved in the middle of me reading it, but honestly, it wasn’t for me. I’ve been hearing great things about this book from just about everyone I talk to or read about online. At the beginning, it seemed like a great story from a woman who is about my age, and who came up during a time when a “traditional” career path no longer existed for many people who couldn’t afford (or didn’t want to go to) college. She made her own way in spite of not having the right education or trust fund parents – and that’s something many people my age can relate to.
However, I think this book is better suited to women about a decade younger than me – for me, it was a bit “yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all this before.” I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is just graduating from high school or college, as a nice reminder that the paths they are about to take don’t have to be boring and traditional ones. Since we’re getting to that time of year, I’d totally give this as a graduation present. Sure, Amoruso’s career is obviously more the exception than the norm, but her sentiment is still great for young women to hear. I just think it fell on deaf ears in my case. I might try to pick it up and finish it this week, if I can renew it online.
4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
This is the most recent book I’ve read, and I think I blew through it in only a few days. I know, I probably could have read the whole thing in one evening, but I have a husband who thinks my reading alone for hours on end is offensive and weird. Someday I’ll work on getting him over that, but until then, I’m lucky if I can swing an hour alone at a time. ;-)
Anyway, this book was a great read! In the past, I’ve enjoyed reading books from Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Chelsea Handler, so I knew this would be right in my wheel-house. Sure, Poehler’s funny and all, but this book is also a great reminder that as women we have help each other out in rough times. Her message is very much that of a normal woman, raising two kids while trying to juggle her career, friendships, love, and happiness. At a somewhat turbulent time in my life, it was great to hear from someone else who has also been through rough times and gotten through it (she wrote the book while in the middle of her divorce from Will Arnett). Though I don’t think this book would work for the #GIRLBOSS crowd, it would make a great gift for someone more my own age or older – especially those who also juggle the million things most women do. Her mantra of “Good for you, not for me” is one I think most women can relate to and should hear more often.
I’ve had a lot of fun getting back into the habit of reading again, and can’t wait to start a new book (though I have no idea which one).
If you have any suggestions, I’d totally appreciate you leaving it in the comments!