I’m back for another edition of the reading list! I’ve got a couple more book related posts coming, so look for a drop down menu on my blog header soon! Getting that all set up is on my to-do list for this week. Until then, you can check out the previous editions, here and here.
I finished Sharp Objects on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando (well almost, I had to finish it while waiting in line for my shuttle bus). It is the story of a young reporter, Camille, who is reluctantly sent back to her hometown in order to cover the recent murders of two young girls. She is forced to stay with her mother, step-father, and half-sister, who all have secrets of their own. Through the story, Camille discovers connections between her family members and the victims, which culminates in a last-minute surprise ending. The book examines the relationships between mothers and daughters, as well as some of the emotions we feel when we go back to where we grew up. However, it addresses these things in a decidedly dark and twisty way.
I’ve read all of Flynn’s books, and would recommend all of them if you like a good female-driven psychological thriller. However, if you haven’t read (or seen) Gone Girl, my favorite of Flynn’s books, drop what you are doing and read it now.
2. Settle for More by Megyn Kelly
I’ve always admired Megyn Kelly as the type of woman who “has it all” – a kick-ass job, beauty, and I assumed a great family (although her kids and husband are largely kept out of the spotlight). In her book, Settle for More, these things were confirmed, but I also learned about the great deal of work that Kelly puts into her life in order to have it all. She doesn’t shy away from the hard topics like the dissolution of her first marriage, her father’s death, or wishing she would get in a car crash due to unhappiness in her career path. By using these roadblocks, Kelly explains how a chance viewing of Dr.Phil led her to “settle for more”, and begin her career in broadcast journalism.
An interesting thing about the book that I didn’t expect was the amount of focus that was put on the most recent presidential election. Admittedly, I didn’t follow the election as closely as many people. I followed the issues, but I tried not to be influenced by the media circus that surrounded it. As I learned, much of the circus was built around Donald Trump’s treatment of Megyn Kelly in the debates and on Twitter. The book gives Kelly’s side of the story, as well as behind the scenes details that weren’t previously reported in the media.
Politics aside, if you like books about strong women, I would recommend Settle for More.
3. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
As someone with two x chromosomes, I have a deep affinity for Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show Fixer Upper. Ever since I watched the first episode, I’ve been inspired by their lovely family, and Joanna’s farmhouse designs. I’m guilty of selecting ‘Fixer Upper’ whenever it shows up on my TV Guide, and used to queue it up on Netflix while I’m falling asleep (Sidebar: WTH Netflix, getting rid of all the HGTV and Food Network shows?!). When I learned they were putting a book out, I was quick to put it on my Christmas list, eager to learn more about two of my favorite television personalities.
If you like Fixer Upper, you will like The Magnolia Story. It is written from both Chip and Jo’s perspective, with the text changing font to identify their changing viewpoints. The book focuses on their life as business partners and husband and wife, but branches into other areas of their life. I thought it was refreshing that they didn’t shy away from any of the non-glamourous parts of their story, whether it be financial trouble or Chip being arrested. Chip and Jo tell their story with the ease you would expect after watching them on television, and the book is just as authentic as they are.
If you want to learn more about Chip and Jo and don’t want to commit to the book just yet, Texas Monthly did a great piece on them that you can read here.
I went on an Amazon shopping spree the other month when the Lilly Pulitzer After-Party sale crashed (does anyone else ever just get a spending itch? Luckily I had Amazon gift cards), so I have a lot of books sitting on my bookshelf. Not sure what I’m going to pick up next, but I’m excited to share with you guys! As always, I’m always looking for recommendations so feel free to share what you are reading, either in the comments or you can find me @third_and_girl.
(all other images from Amazon)