Books I Read While On Vacation | Inspired By Netflix

Friday, 6 January 2017

vacation books

One of my favourite things to do while on my annual vacation to Varadero is to read. I find that in my every day life I just don't have enough time to delve deep into a book, and I wish that was not the case (more on that in an upcoming post). Keep reading (ha...ha...ha) to see what I read in Cuba.

The only place with wifi at our resort is the lobby. Add to that the fact that Rogers no longer covers Cuba with their roam-like-home package and suddenly I have a lot of time on my hands to read. When selecting my books for Cuba I always like to bring three. The first book should be the mental equivalent of a long form Cosmo or Canadian Living lifestyle piece, the second should be similar, but more complex in some manner, and the final book should be something of substance. I like to start with the first book, ease into the second and then delve deep into the third. I am not really big on fiction, but I like my books to tell a story. This year I was particularly proud of the reading selections I made. Not only did I finish all of them, but I enjoyed reading them where I was. I hope you enjoy these three mini book reviews!

lauren graham talking as fast as I can

The Cosmo Book

Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (And Everything In Between)
Lauren Graham

As a tween/teen I loved watching Gilmore Girls. From Rory and Lorelai to Emily and Richard, I found the show infectious, warm, funny-- comfortable. Needles to say my nostalgia was running on overdrive when they released four new episodes with Netflix. That nostalgia is also mostly why I bought the book. In her collection of personal essays Lauren Graham talks about her career, her relationships, and shares some funny behind the scenes stories from her time with Gilmore Girls. I loved learning about her early years. I had no idea she had such an interesting travel-the-world-live-on-a-boat childhood. Her part about knowing when she made it really resonated with me as a young woman starting my career. I also loved the part about auditioning her butt because it was a great reminder about setting boundaries and sticking to them, and applicable to all careers. As a blogger I connected with it because it reminded me that my blog won't be all things to all people, and that's okay. If I had to give this book a feeling, it would be being curled up with a cool older sister or aunt on the couch, drinking tea (because I don't drink coffee :) ) and chatting, more listening, but chatting. I caught myself time and time again laughing both to myself and out loud while reading this book.

Something In Between

Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison 
Piper Kerman

Are you sensing a Netflix theme? I'm sensing a Netflix theme. I will take the liberty of assuming that if you are reading my blog you have probably watched Orange Is The New Black, or at least heard of it. My reason for buying this book was to compare the book to the show, and to see how true one is to the other. Since many names were changed between the book and the show I really enjoyed trying to figure out who was who. Some were so obvious (Hi Yoga Janet/Jones!) and others, not to much. Reading this book had me asking my boyfriend what he would do in Larry's situation, and let's just say that Larry was a total saint. I appreciated how Piper Kerman brought her story together with facts about the prison system. It made the story have that much more impact to know how many women in the United States go through the system. I also appreciated that she avoided self-pity, and took accountability for her actions. This was an interesting read that gave me a new perspective. It was the right balance of human interest and thought provoking.

book about queen elizabeth

Substantive Reading

Elizabeth The Queen: The Life Of A Modern Monarch
Sally Bedell Smith

I could argue that this is another Netflix inspired read, but its not. I have been a fan of Her Majesty for much longer than Netflix has been a thing-- I have been a fan since before MSN was really a thing. I remember seeing her when I was a kid in a beautiful bright pink jacket and dress and I was just mesmerized. This lengthy book (I mean, her reign is Britain's longest!) is full of historical facts and insight to her character from those who know her well. I really understood how seriously she takes her duty, and how the monarchy has grown and changed over her time. This book really illuminates the human behind the grace and intelligence. I loved reading this book, and I can't imagine a world where she is not the Queen, the Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen of Canada and our Head of State. I hope she has many years left to reign, this woman truly is a giant. For those who love the Queen and enjoy books about her I can't recommend this book enough. I appreciate how the author highlights who each person is for example take this imaginary person Catherine Mulroney (daughter of the 5th Earl of Scarborough) without the book getting dry. Having read quite a number of books about royalty, this is an achievement. I only wish that this book was published after Prince George was born-- I would have loved the author's insight.

What books have you read lately? Seeing how much I enjoyed reading these I am inspired to read more this year. I know that a book a month may be a bit much (given the realities of time and sleep) but I think I can shoot for 6 books this year, with the exception of when I am on vacation. I already have some books in mind. If you enjoyed my mini reviews let me know and I can write them as I go through my next books!

Happy reading!

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