Books make me happy

April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

These last few weekends I was away visiting family and friends and everyone kept asking me what my favorite part about graduating has been so far. This is a tough question, as EVERYTHING about graduating is just about perfect. It’s the simple things, like having an established routine and having the time to cook dinner, that make me happy. Or being able to go out for drinks with my fabulously fun co-workers on a Tuesday and meet my girlfriends for a movie on a Wednesday. I was always the busy friend. People would text me things like, “I know you’re really super busy, but if you can get out of a meeting early do you want to take 20 minutes to get yogurt?” I always dreaded those weekly meetings and mandatory requirements that kept me from seeing my favorite people!

Now, I have weekly things that I do, like dance class at Ballet Austin or kickboxing with my co-workers, but if something more fun and exciting comes up, I can push my workout to later or skip the dance class. I love the flexibility. It’s something that I’ve never had before in my whole life and I’m relishing in the delicious feeling of choice.

Aside from gallivanting about town, I take tremendous pleasure in plopping on my comfy, overstuffed couch and reading a juicy book. Yes, I’m one of those girls who loves her beach reads. BUT they’re usually substantial beach reads. Like the ones, with complex plots and only sort-of predictable endings. I forgot how much I enjoyed reading when I was busy studying for tests and staying at practice until midnight. Now that I have free evenings, I’ve turned a page in my life (oh yes, I like puns) and started picking up more books!

For other girly girls (and maybe guys) here are summaries of my most recent favorites. They’re making a movie out of Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I saw a few clips and heard from Kate Hudson on the Today Show this morning. It looks ADORABLE, and very Hudson-esque. She plays the mean girl. P.S. She coyly showed off her massive sparkly rock from her new fiancé. Someday, if I fall in love with a handsome rock star can I have one too?! I’ll probably be at the movie opening night with my ladies…we’re obsessed with Giffin’s books and they’re all lovingly dog-eared from being passed back and forth.

#1 – Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Summary: Something Borrowed is the story of goody-two-shoes Rachel, an attorney transplanted from small town suburbia to New York City. Feeling incredibly old, on her 30th birthday, she watches as her childhood best friend and party girl, Darcy, gets trashed. After a few too many drinks and a life of jealously and frustration, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy’s fiancé. ***I should mention that Darcy is a PR girl and this book follows the stereotypical, shallow “publicist” type description. As a very serious, but still fun, PR girl myself, I always hate it when we are described like this. Yeah, we have our fun and enjoy our cocktails while wearing cute clothes, but we aren’t dummies.***

Back in law school, Rachel set Darcy up with her best guy friend, Dex, and watched as Darcy worked her high-heeled booty into his life. They were the perfect, attractive couple that everyone wished they could be. Years later, Rachel looked on with confusion as to how he could love her. Dex was handsome and Darcy was gorgeous, but Dex existed on a level that Darcy wasn’t even capable of. Still, she didn’t mean to wake up in bed next to him.

She tries to put the night past her, but she can’t suppress her deepening feelings. She’s in love with him and there’s no way to make it better. As she helps Darcy pick out wedding shoes and the perfect pout-worthy lipstick, she discovers that her own happiness might just have to come first for once.

***This incredibly real story makes you think about your own life and evaluate the choices you’ve made. You’ll think about the pain and the love you’ve experienced in your own relationships, best friends and boyfriends included. I laughed and cried and occasionally felt uncomfortable. All feelings that come with a fantastic book.***

#2 – Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis

I virtually met Stacey a few months ago when I corresponded with her regarding her blog, The Polymath Chronicles, for a work reason. Her blog is delightful to read and if you’re an aspiring foodie, simply enjoy eating, or just like peeking into strangers’ lives, you’ll enjoy your time on her site.

When I learned that she’d also penned quite a few novels, I immediately ordered two. I started with Good Enough to Eat and it made me feel more comfortable and warm than any other book I’ve ever read.

Summary: After losing nearly half of her body weight, Melanie was happy and finally healthy. Then one morning she woke up to a cheating husband and a life she never asked for. She didn’t know how to handle what was just thrown at her and felt like nothing could ever be good again. Fortunately, when tragedy strikes, friends and family pick up the pain and make everything better.

As part of Melanie’s life-transformation a few years before, she opened a healthy, pre-made food company that focused on creating delicious meals that people trying to lose weight would actually enjoy. After her ex’s indiscretion, she immersed herself in her work and her friends surrounded her with love.

While visiting a Holocaust museum, she meets a fellow Jewish man and the two experience a surreal moment, remembering their families’ pasts. Their relationship grows, allowing Melanie to discover what she really wants out of life.

Through a cast of unique characters, scenes filled with almost tangible moments and a real-life ending, Good Enough to Eat will rock you to a calm state of mind.

Go forth and read.

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