Friday, July 17, 2015

Fun summer reads, aka forgetting I was ever an English major. {Quick Lit}

Today I'm joining Modern Mrs. Darcy to share what I've been reading lately in bite-sized pieces so you don't have to read my long rants about books you don't care about.

1. Lemon Tart (and sequels) by Josi S. Kilpack: I'm getting super into this culinary mystery series. It's silly and fun and the writing is just good enough that I don't really notice it. (After being an English major, bad writing is too distracting.) It's not for everyone, but I've never tried cozy mysteries before and I'm really enjoying them.

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: I don't know how a book can manage to be easy, light, fun, intense, dramatic, and important all at the same time, but Moriarty did it. Moriarty tackles big issues in this book, but somehow it still feels like a breezy summer read. It's a long book but I couldn't put it down and I got through it in a few days.

3. French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters by Karen le Billon: First of all, when did it become the trend for memoirs to have ridiculously long subtitles? Anyway, this book changed a lot of my views on how to feed children. I want to try implementing most of Le Billon's rules with my own kids. (It was also an interesting read just as an expat memoir.)

4. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I had heard great things about this book, but I was disappointed. It's one of those books where I kept thinking all through it, "The way I feel about this book is really going to depend on the way it ends." Sadly, I did not appreciate the ending.

5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling: I may be the last person (and by person, of course I mean woman who is interested in celebrity comedian memoirs) to read Mindy Kaling's first memoir, but I'm not sorry. I'm listening to it on audio and it is hilarious. All I need to complete my life is her new book coming out this year which I'm hoping will have lots of behind-the-scenes details about The Mindy Project, because that's obviously all I care about.

Have you read anything good lately?


  1. The book by Mindy Kaling was on my radar when it came out (I'm not sure why - maybe she was a guest on a show I watched), and I thought about reading it, but I wasn't quite interested enough. Now I think I'll check it out!

    I'm extremely curious about French Kids Eat Everything. I have all these ideas in my head about why it's wrong - and I haven't even read it! I'm not sure why I'm so defensive. I guess the title comes across to me as, "French kids eat everything - and if your kid doesn't, you're doing it all wrong!" But I want to read the book and let the author try to dismantle my first impression.

    1. Keep in mind that I already really love Mindy Kaling so that probably makes me biased in favor of the book...but if you like her, you should read it! (If you don't like her all that much--well, the book is short. Hah.)

      I definitely recommend you read French Kids Eat Everything. You might still disagree with it, but I think it's a lot less aloof than it sounds like it would be. The author didn't go to France and suddenly go, "Wow! These people really have it right! I'm changing everything right this minute!" The way she tells it, she resisted and resented the French way for a while after her family moved there. (And her kids were very picky eaters--much pickier than Summer.) It wasn't until she started seeing how well it worked, in just about every French child, that she tried implementing the ideas herself.

      Another thing is that the "food rules" sound very restrictive at first, but Le Billon emphasizes making food a pleasant experience. That was actually what really drew me to the method--I want to avoid battling with my kids over food, and according to her, the rules actually end the battles. When she tried forcing the rules on her kids, they were rebellious and the effort was a complete failure. It wasn't until she got the kids interested and having fun that she had any success.

      I also got the impression that she wasn't so much trying to criticize individual parents for raising their children "wrong" as she is trying to point out the failures of our culture. A big part of the reason French children eat everything, Le Billon says, is that everyone in the country is in on it. Everyone there believes firmly in giving children an education in "taste"--so it's taught in homes, in schools, by friends, and everywhere. In the end of the book, Le Billon really issues more of a call to action to schools in North America than to parents.

      Anyway, sorry for that long rant. Let me know what you think of the book!