Spending Every Dime for a Wonderful Time

In terms of literature, I haven’t had the best start to 2020. I’ve read some meh books, some I didn’t like, and also quite depressing ones. I vowed to change that about a month ago. With my birthday and a trip to San Diego on the horizon, I needed something fun.

Elizabeth Gilbert met my needs. I mean, how could she not? In her latest book, Gilbert combines two of my favorite genres with my favorite city to produce effervescent characters, stellar voice, a captivating story and plot, and wit beyond belief — and relief. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud while reading of City of Girls, and I really was smiling throughout this entire book. Now that is some high praise and exactly I what I needed.

City of Girls

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Food for Thought

  • What: Supper Club
  • Who: Lara Williams
  • Pages: 292, hard cover
  • Genre: Contemporary fiction
  • Published: 2019
  • The lit: 1463390917-2400px1463390917-2400px of 5 flames

Next to reading, food is my favorite hobby. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Food? That’s not an activity.” I assure you it is. Food, as a hobby, comprises cooking, baking, eating, trying new restaurants and dishes, eating, reading about decadent meals, looking at food blogs and Pinterest recipes for hours on end, scoping out the best places to eat while you’re traveling, and then eating some more.

Yes, I love food, and I love it as a hobby.

I was looking forward to indulging in a book recommended to me by How Not to Die Alone author, Richard Roper, that incorporates this favored activity of mine: Supper Club by Lara Williams. Women getting together to eat and talk about food sounds like my kind of party. But while I certainly read some mouth-watering descriptions of food, this party fell flat for me. Maybe food and fiction just don’t mesh that well.

Supper Club

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Living on a Dying Planet

At the end of January, while reading The Overstory, I took a vacation to Turks and Caicos with my best friend. I didn’t know beforehand, but the island actually has the third-largest barrier reef in the world (behind Australia and Belize, both of which I’ll visit someday). After a relaxing first day on the beach, we decided to book a boat tour the next morning to go snorkeling.

Wow.

Talk about being worth it.

I had decided at the beginning of the year that my non-literary resolution for 2020 would be to go green; I want to do my part to help this beautiful world that provides me such experiences as snorkeling in Turks and Caicos. With all of the colors, beauty, awe, and insight into so many life forms I could never understand, this adventure not only reinforced my resolution, but it sparked a need to do my part. Ironically, at the same time, Richard Powers’ The Overstory, a fictional tale about nine characters who become obsessed with saving the world’s trees, bolstered this new-found desire. Sustainability was no longer an option for me after reading this novel. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: That’s the power of literature.

The Overstory

No filter needed.

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Better Run, Better Run

Sometimes I struggle to watch TV and movies with my partner, Kyle. He’s a skeptic and negative Nancy, especially when I watch mindless television. He likes to mock characters and make comments about how unrealistic things are. This generally leads to glares and eye-rolling on my part. Just let me enjoy it (even if you are right 90% of the time)!

Recently, I’ve noticed a shift. I’m the one calling out anachronisms or impossibilities and making fun of characters’ dialogue and thought processes. It’s like his craving for logic and reason has rubbed off on me — something he declared a few weeks ago with slight horror on his face.

It’s even filtered into books. In the most recent novel I read, The Dancing Girls, I found myself judging the detective skills of the main character and questioning if certain actions were even possible. If you’re wondering how a book that provokes those thoughts can still obtain three flames, I understand your confusion. Fortunately, for me, M.M. Chouinard kept me intrigued enough to not let my critical and skeptical inclinations completely influence my opinion.

The Dancing Girls

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No More Counting Dollars

This blog loves Jojo Moyes. She first captured my attention four years ago when she created the great Louisa Clark in Me Before You. Three books and one movie later thanks to this lovely character and her series, and I was convinced that anything Moyes wrote would be my type of novel.

Her latest, The Giver of Stars, steers from her traditional style in all ways except one: strong female characters. Moyes’ 2019 novel gives us not one but an entire group of powerful women who go after what they want. But what about all the other ways, including the cover art, this novel varies from the Moyes’ literature that made her so popular? When authors stray from what defines them, it’s certainly a risk. Did the risk pay off in this instance?

The Giver of Stars II

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Toe to Toe: Friday Night Lights

America loves its Friday nights on the gridiron. Small towns showing up to the stands in droves as they cheer on their teams of young boys with big dreams. It’s quintessential Americana. It loves it so much that, when a nonfiction book was published about it (along with many other sociological themes) in 1989, a movie by the same name premiered 15 years later and a TV show two years after that. They both starred the great Connie Britton, so you know they have reach and power.

Yes, Friday Night Lights and everything it represents and demonstrates has become ingrained in American culture. Clearly, we’re all a little obsessed with high school football. But with three types of media focused on this theme, which one does Big Little Literature love most?

Although I’ve also watched the television series, that was five years ago, and my memory necessitates more time to relive the show than the movie. So we’re going to narrow our focus a bit. Friday Night Lights, it’s time to go toe to toe: book versus movie.

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