Well, friends, it’s looking like I won’t reach my goal of reading 50 books this year and while I can’t say I’m not bummed, I have read 39 books so far this year and that’s still pretty damn impressive if I say so myself! Anyways, getting on to my November reads. This past month I was able to get through three books (my goal was originally seven to try to hit my goal of 50 books for the year, but we already know how that’s going). I have to admit, I hated Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies (more on this below) but was able to get through it. Once I finished that one up, I went on to read our One More Page Book Club pick for the month, Eight Perfect Hours, which was as cute as you’re thinking it is. And last but not least, my Book of the Month pick – A Little Hope.
BUY YOURSELF THE F*CKING LILIES BY TARA SCHUSTER
By the time she was in her late twenties, Tara Schuster was a rising TV executive who had worked for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and helped launch Key & Peele to viral superstardom. By all appearances, she had mastered being a grown-up. But beneath that veneer of success, she was a chronically anxious, self-medicating mess. No one knew that her road to adulthood had been paved with depression, anxiety, and shame, owing in large part to her minimally parented upbringing. She realized she’d hit rock bottom when she drunk-dialed her therapist pleading for help.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is the story of Tara’s path to re-parenting herself and becoming a “ninja of self-love.” Through simple, daily rituals, Tara transformed her mind, body, and relationships, and shows how to:
• fake gratitude until you actually feel gratitude
• excavate your emotional wounds and heal them with kindness
• identify your self-limiting beliefs, kick them to the curb, and start living a life you choose
• silence your inner frenemy and shield yourself from self-criticism
• carve out time each morning to start your day empowered, inspired, and ready to rule
• create a life you truly, totally f*cking LOVE
This is the book Tara wished someone had given her and it is the book many of us desperately need: a candid, hysterical, addictively readable, practical guide to growing up (no matter where you are in life) and learning to love yourself in a non-throw-up-in-your-mouth-it’s-so-cheesy way.
My Review: I’m going to start off by stating that I’m not a big fan of self-help-type books and even though this is considered a memoir/autobiography, I would definitely consider it a self-help book by way of memoir. Nonetheless, I was really excited to pick up this book after hearing so many wonderful things about it but unfortunately, I have to admit – it was definitely one of the worst books I’ve ever read. The entire book is a train wreck (including the author herself) and even though there were a few good parts that helped you stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself, I found the entire book a mess and a little condescending.
My Rating: 1/5 ⭐️
EIGHT PERFECT HOURS BY LIA LOUIS
On a snowy evening in March, 30-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear.
The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again, but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence. With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.
My Review: This was the perfect meet-cute book for the chilly winter season. I loved how Noelle and Sam’s stories intertwine and how similar (but different) they are. At points, I was a little frustrated by Sam’s choices regarding Noelle, but in the end, it all worked out and I loved going along for the ride. I also think that the author did a wonderful job weaving in mental health issues and connecting the characters’ stories.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A LITTLE HOPE BY ETHAN JOELLA
In the small city of Wharton, Connecticut, lives are beginning to unravel. A husband betrays his wife. A son struggles with addiction. A widow misses her late spouse. At the heart of these interlinking stories is one couple: Freddie and Greg Tyler.
Greg has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a brutal form of cancer. He intends to handle this the way he has faced everything else: through grit and determination. But can Greg successfully overcome his illness? How will Freddie and their daughter cope if he doesn’t? How do the other residents of Wharton learn to live with loss, and find happiness again?
An emotionally powerful debut that immerses the reader into a community of friends, family, and neighbors, A Little Hope celebrates the importance of small moments of connection and the ways that love and forgiveness can help us survive even the most difficult of life’s challenges.
My Review: It’s been a while since I last read a book that focused on REAL people and the problems they face so when this one popped up on BOTM, I knew I had to read it and I’m so glad I did. The author did such a wonderful job introducing each of the characters, building out their stories, and making sure you’re cheering them on every step of the way. My favorite part? The ending! It’s such a full-circle moment.
My Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️