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Why are people always asking other people, “What book are you reading?”

It’s never, “What tabloid or fashion magazine are you perusing these days?”

I hate that book question. I always feel like I’m in the final moments of an awesome job interview and then suddenly they want to know what I’m reading and the only book I can even think of in the entire universe is “How to Run a Successful Cockfighting Ring.”

I’ll save you the learning curve. It’s not a good answer.

I constantly get emails asking me to review books (which I imagine have lots and lots of pages). But I have yet to get an email asking me to review a nice short pamphlet. People really should write more pamphlets.Β  My husband’s favorite is “Great Jewish Athletes.”

Despite my complete lack of literary prowess, I have somehow managed to read three, YES THREE, books in the last few months. No one asked me to. I just did.

I have no idea why because I usually like to channel my energy into reading “The New York Post,” “New York Magazine,” blogs, daydreaming about Coach Taylor and wondering which GOP candidate I would have sex with if I HAD to choose. Trust me, it’s not an easy choice.

So even with all that, these are the books I read….

“When Did I Get Like This?” by Amy Wilson. I really enjoyed this book because everything that Amy Wilson experienced as a new mother, I did too.Β  I felt like I was reading one of my favorite blogs and was only frustrated that I couldn’t comment at the end of each chapter.

“Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later” by Francine Pascal. One of my friends from high school gave me this book because we were once avid readers of the “Sweet Valley High” books. I think she gave me the book as a joke but I read the whole thing and I liked it so much that I’m now re-naming my twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. (And no I don’t care that one of my twins is a boy. Okay, maybe I’ll call him Jess.)

“Shameless by Pamela Madsen.Β  This is some book. It’s about a Long Island housewife in search of sexual fulfillment. She starts by paying for sensual massages (AKA happy endings) and let’s just say that at one point she’s shopping for dog collars and other sex toys (like b*tt plugs!).Β  But despite its racy content, this book is really about her loving marriage and her quest to accept and love herself, flaws and all.

Okay, okay, now I feel like I have to ask… So what are you reading?

Or you can tell me which GOP candidate you secretly desire.

Just don’t say Newt Gingrich.

mama bird notes:

There are Amazon affiliate links in this post which just means if you click on one and buy something, I make a small percentage. It’s like a very very tiny birthday present.

And if you missed my post on the Bieber intervention and my wrinkles, just click here.

61 Responses to so what are you reading?

  • Lauren says:

    Bossypants by Tina Fey – just finished it and it was hysterical. Best part was the poem to her daughter at the end! I read Cutting For Stone before that and liked it but I couldn’t tell you why. (not a particularly good review, sorry πŸ™‚

  • Nina says:

    I just finished Cutting for Stone too…it has many, many, many, many, many pages. MANY. It is a very good story though. Now I am readying The Road. Wow! My hubby told me it’s a movie, too. I have no desire to see the movie. The book is gruesome enough…I can’t imagine what those moviemakers would do to it. I will just stick with what’s in my imagination.

  • Jennifer says:

    I thought Bossy Pants was really fun too!! Loved When Did I Get Like This? Truth be told. I am now reading How to Talk to Teens So They Will Listen and How to Listen so Teens will Talk. Super Suspenseful! Wonder if the teen will survive in our story!

    • Totally Jenn, I have two kids and I hardly ever manage to read a WHOLE book; I started The Slap a while ago and have given up – got very bored and couldn’t remember who was who after picking it up and putting it down 20 times, so gave up. The last book I got through was One Day by David Nicholls – apparently it’s being made into a film but I reckon the book will be much better – not that it’s anything but chic lit…. hey ho, once I used to read proper books!

  • Angi says:

    I’m working on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but with 2 kids, 2 jobs, 2 pets, and my partridge in a pear tree, it’s been slow going. I think it’s lots of pages, but when they are digital, who knows!

  • Lauren says:

    Kelcey- you should get the kindle app for your new iPhone. That way you always have a book but there aren’t a lot of pages, just swipes :).

  • Katherine B. says:

    Loved Bossypants and Cutting for Stone. Just finished two fascinating books about New Orleans and Katrina. One’s called Zeitoun- He’s a Syrian American painter and contractor in New Orleans and it’s his tale of post Katrina crazyness. The other is Nine Lives- this follows the amazing stories of 9 New Orleanians between hurricane Betsy in the 1960s up through Katrina. Another true account.

  • Marinka says:

    I completely forgot that I wanted to read Sweet Valley High. I also secretly want to read Bristol Palin’s book. Perhaps there’s a way to combine the two?

  • Vaashti says:

    Loved Cutting For Stone! I’m challenging myself to read non-fiction this summer, so I picked up Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef of Prune. I do not like memoirs, but I like Gabrielle Hamilton and I LOVE Prune. Halfway in, I still do not like memoirs. I still like Gabrielle Hamilton, but I do not like her editor. And I still LOVE Prune.

  • Laura says:

    I am in the middle of reading the 2nd book in ‘The Hunger Games’ Trilogy. A little bit gruesome but quite interesting and of course there is a little bit of a love triangle sprinkled in there. Definately worth devoting the time to read…..makes you realize all the freedoms we are afforded!

  • Carolyn says:

    Finished Rob Lowe’s “Stories I Tell My Friends” book. I swore off self help books for the summer but, well, that is not happening. His was a really good read and I managed to find the selfhelpness in it. And the stories were so compelling, because I love movies and find the stories behind them fascinating as well.

  • Lauren O'Donnell says:

    Oh my goodness, I should totally be reading something about how to raise my twins, or how to survive parenthood, BUT all I really enjoy is this blog! (oaky and a few other gossip blogs too!)

  • Robyn says:

    I am completely ensconced in the “Outlander” series. So much so that I haven’t read a different author in months. The last few books I read before that were “Cutting for Stone” and “The Help” (both fantastic).

      • Juley says:

        I am reading the first of the “Outlander” series and I cannot put it down either. Before these I read “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series.

  • magpie says:

    Happy birthday! I’m in the middle of reading five or six books, and I’ve started at least 20 on the Kindle – because of that addictive “download the first chapter now” business.

  • Johanna says:

    I’m reading a book about getting your kid to talk…since my almost two year old is happy with his 5 simple words and lots of ughhhhs. So I’m trying to learn to help progress language and it is not really working so I’m taking a hiatus feom the pressure on me and now reading Get Lucky by Katherine Center who Erin and I both love to read…!

  • Roberta says:

    “No Biking in the House without a Helmet” (Melissa Faye Greene)….Your husband would love it because there’s a chapter entitled “The Jewish Guide to Raising Star Athletes”.
    A great true story about a diverse family…

  • Heidi says:

    Oh, the elusive reading time…I’ve started Bossypants, Parenting with Love and Logic, and Mile Markers (Kristen Armstrong’s compilation of her blog posts). I did actually finish the first Hunger Games book and couldn’t put it down. Poor Molly had to fend for herself one afternoon so I could finish it.

    I have to read SVH: Ten Years Later! Glad to know you enjoyed it, even it was a joke gift. πŸ˜‰

  • Read Bossypants too and loved it. It was a quick read (bonus)…I think I bought it and read it at the stoplights on the way home from the store.
    Now reading “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult, about a kid with Asperger’s syndrome who’s infatuated with crime scenes. Good so far.

  • Becky says:

    I am reading “Life” by Keith Richards. I love that it is his story, written in his voice and not over-edited to make it more grammatically correct.

    Although, my 9 year old son asked me the other day, while looking at the cover jacket “Mom, why is this book called ‘Life’ if the guy on it looks like he’s dead?”

    It’s only rock ‘n roll, but I like it.

  • Trish says:

    I do not foresee Newt being in this race much longer, as all his people keep abandoning him. I think this is thrilling because I just can’t imagine that I’d have to include him as I ponder which of this ill-lustrious bunch I’d sleep with. Yikes.

    I finished Anna Quinlen’s Rise and Shine last night, which was wonderful. Before that, I raced through a copy of People that my husband smuggled home from his office. I acted insulted that he would think I’d like something like that, then raced for the tub.

    Thanks for this blog–so enjoyable. I hope you’ll swing by and visit our family’s blog: http://www.burkerts3.com. We’ve kept it for almost five years but only recently took the password protection off.

  • Jessica says:

    I’m 9 months pregnant and have NO concentration skills. I’m having a hard time reading blogs and magazines, so no books for me. I usually play Solitare on my iPad all evening.

    I also read Sweet Valley high books when I was younger, but I can’t really remember anything about them. I think this is one of those cases where I’d have to re-read the original books (or at least a few) before reading the “10 years later” one and…no.

  • jennice says:

    The last book I read was a book from thhe Night World series. It’s a book about teenage vampires,werewolves,and witches. I enjoyed although it was a tad young for my extended literary prowess.

  • Issa says:

    Um blogs. Twitter. Ha. I just posted about starting a book club online though.

    I miss reading books, I just haven’t done it in forever.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Very short books? How about ‘Italian War Heroes’ , ‘Irish Gourmet Cooking’ and ‘Arab Ethics’???

  • Just finished “Flight”. A very short book. I read it in 2 baths (the only place I can hide and read)
    I just got “Bossy Pants” and am about to start. (Thank goodness because I really need a bath.)
    On impulse I bought a book called “Breakfast with Buddha”. I have no idea why except I liked the title.

  • Kelcey says:

    Now that I’m a reader, I love all these suggestions. In fact, Rick bought me Bossypants today for my birthday after seeing some of the comments!

  • amourningmom says:

    Chelsey Handler’s My Horizontal Life – but I listened to it.

    Deborah Vankin’s Poseurs (my sister-in-laws graphic novel, http://hollywoodprogressive.com/girls-gone-graphic)

    I do have When did I get like this? (Evan gave it to me . . .) but can’t seem to find the time to read it.

    As soon as I think of something to buy on Amazon I will come back here and click on the link :-).

    Happy Happy Birthday Kelc! xoxo

    • Jordana says:

      Liked it the first time – couldn’t imagine re-reading it – I did NOT like the ending…it’s getting made as a movie…

  • Jennifer says:

    I just ordered Little Bee by Chris Cleave and The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. It’s been months and months since I’ve read a book, and I can’t stand it anymore.

    • Trish says:

      Would you let me know how you like Little Bee once you’ve finished it, please? I ordered it as an audiobook a while ago and have now lost the desire to start listening to it. I’m thinking a recommendation will help.


  • In the Garden of Beasts (Larson) for my book club — very interesting, but a tough read. I can go for about 15 pages before I need a quick Bridget Jones’s Diary mind relaxer.

  • Lisa says:

    It is funny that all your blog readers have similar reading tastes. I also read Cutting for Stone…it is very long and I struggled getting through the first 100 pages but I am glad I stuck with it and finished it.

    I just finished One Day this weekend and started reading Room last night. I am on page 15 and I am captivated!

  • Diane says:

    I’m not reading anything because my family is completely hooked on season 1-4 of Burn Notice and it has time-sucked all my reading time into the black hole of Netflix. My son now wants to be a spy.

  • Jen says:

    An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin…is sitting on my nightstand. But I’m more motivated to read after reading your post — I complain that I don’t have time to read anymore (except crap online), I’m totally inspired that you have found the time! Maybe I’ll get around to finishing Middlemarch πŸ™‚

  • Alex says:

    I’m reading A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz. It’s hilarious and I’m savoring every page. I actually enjoy my commute every day thanks to this book. I highly recommend it. And, when I’m not reading this book, I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones (HBO) and True Blood (season premiere on Sunday night!!).

  • karen says:

    I can’t believe how many people mention Cutting for Stone — I loved that book! I try to alternate heavy books with light reads — History of Love by Nicole Kraus — phenomenal. and not too long. fun summer reads — almost as light as magazines — every Emily Giffin book, and One Fifth — you will love all the NYC contained in every page. hope all is well Kels!

  • Emily Morris says:

    I’m not really reading anything riveting at this time (my US Weekly comes in the mail today) however, my Kindle was the best gift ever. I just wanted to drop a quick note saying that, I too, daydream of Coach Taylor (and Riggins) on a daily basis. Thanks for the smile.

  • Um…Just knowing that they’re GOP is enough to make me want to walk away. Starting “A Game of Thrones”. It’s not necessarily the kind of book I would pick up, but my husband and kids are deeply into it (the series and the books), so I thought I’d try.
    Just bought The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.

  • Meg D says:

    Bossypants killed! I loved it.

    Since I’ve only one kid I actually have read some really good books of late. My favorite is “Welcome to the Goon Squad” so if you unload three of the four anytime soon, be sure and pick that one up.

    • Jordana says:

      GREAT book! Just finished another by her…her first – blanking on the name but a girl’s journey to figure out her sister’s death – disappointing. Also started “The Keep” but never got into it…

  • Jessica says:

    I have a copy of “Sweet Valley Confidential” on my desk right now. My local library actually invested in a copy, and unwilling to fork over money to read it, I checked it out. I made it to page 7 before wondering if I would be able to live with myself if I wasted hours reading the whole thing. Per your review, I will try.

    Also, my middle name is Elizabeth. It’s like my mom was psychic.

  • meaghan says:

    This is where I leave you by Johnathan Tropper. Hilarious. Also the Help by Kathryn Stockett. Soooo Good.

    I try to read once per day (a challenge with three kids, one husband and a crazy schedule), but it usually comes out to three of four times per week. On the occasions when my kids are all playing nicely together I usually try to sit down and read. I remember my mom reading throughout my childhood, and I hope to lead by example like my mom did. =)

  • Mary says:

    I just finished Fly Away Home which is ironically enough about a politician who cheats on his wife! Great story though…focuses on the wife and the 2 daughters! I need to go get the Sweet Valley book!!

  • Becky says:

    I’m reading “One Thousand White Women” by Jim Fergus. So far VERY interesting, it is historical fiction novel about the Cheyenne Indians and a government program to give them wives. It is told in the first person of one of the “wives”
    I also highly recommend both of Carol Burnett’s autobiographies.
    Oh and the “Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

  • Jordana says:

    Best book I have read in awhile was “We Need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver – dark, well-written and haunting. She also wrote “Post-Birthday World” which is a bit more fun and very clever. Neither are particularly light reads but extremely well-written and compelling.

  • Jen says:

    I am reading Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax right now. It’s a perfect summer book!

    I also read Sweet Valley Confidential (Blush)!

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kelcey kintner