Quarterly Book Reviews: April - June 2018
Before we get into this quarter's book reviews, can we please just stop and process that it is already the end of June? Like, how?! I feel like I moved home to California only a month ago, but it's already been five months since we made the trek from Colorado! Crazy. This quarter's books were light and easy reads in contrast to the last round of books (you can read my reviews for last quarter here) and a bit of a departure from my usual thriller/mystery book taste.
April - The F Word by Lily Pebbles
Has anyone else noticed that every blogger/youtuber/influencer has written a book or more in the recent years? Books and podcasts are on the rise (Lily Pebbles has both!) and this is my second blogger-written book I've read (the first being Estee Lalonde's, "Bloom"). I've been following Lily Pebbles for years now and love her down to earth and "un-sugarcoated" banter on beauty products and life. When she announced she was writing a book I was happy to support her. I assumed her first book would be autobiographical, like Estee's Bloom, or about lifestyle topics of beauty, home decor, and entertaining. So when she announced the title was "The F Word," it definitely was a head scratcher, but she quickly got everyone's minds out of the gutter by revealing "F" stood for female friendships, a topic she found was rarely talked about and difficult to navigate.
I'd describe this book as both autobiographical and topical and an easy and quick read. Lily flows through the book starting at a young age and how friendships are managed and dealt with and works her way through different stages of life. She interrupts every once and a while with a short chapter featuring a type of friend like "the single friend," "the work wife," and "the frenemy." These chapters feature an anecdote from her own life or someone else's and she gives a simple "do" and "don't" to help you nurture and protect that friendship and yourself. As someone who has struggled for a majority of their life feeling a bit insecure in the friendship department, I was able to relate and finally see my feelings put into words. I was both relieved and encouraged to not be the only one who has felt lonely or confused in a friendship. In the end I really enjoy The F Word, but I wouldn't mark this as a must read unless you are looking for a book about this topic specifically or a follower of Lily.
May - The ROyal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
In honor and preparation for the Royal Wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in May, one of my favorite book podcasts, Bad on Paper Podcast, had its listeners read The Royal We written by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, known on the internet as the Fug Girls, for their media website gofugyourself.com (sorry mom, I can't choose other people's website names), which features celebrity news, fashion, and all things royals! Heather and Jessica are so royally obsessed they wrote The Royal We which loosely and fictitiously follows the relationship and timeline of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
My obsession with the Royals, Kate and William in particular, is definitely not a secret, so when I heard what this book was about my excitement was at an all time high! TRW centers around Bex Porter, an American studying abroad at Oxford, and her unlikely friendship and rollercoaster relationship with Prince Nicholas of England. The writing is great and you really become invested with the characters and their stories. I could not put it down. One of my favorite things about this book was how well researched it was. While of course it's not an actual retelling of Kate and William's relationship, the key events and moments are just about spot on with real life (I did a LOT of googling while reading to confirm). Being an American and in junior high and high school while William and Kate were dating, I didn't see the frequent news around the couple until their engagement, so reading this book filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of the two and I felt like I was reading the Daily Mail from the 2000s. This book is perfect for anyone looking for an easy ready, going on vacation, or loves the monarchy! Also while doing some googling, I saw that Lauren Graham (aka Lorelai Gilmore) is optioning the book as a movie! It's still in pre-production at the moment but I hope they get rolling on it soon because I need more royals in my life since the wedding!
June - The Career Code by Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power
June was a weird month for reading. I started three different books this month, which is VERY unlike me. I like to start and finish a book one at a time because trying to juggle more than one usually makes my brain fumble with story lines and characters. The book I intended to finish this month, Educated by Tara Westover, was (like I was told multiple times) very upsetting. I was in a constant mix up of anger, sadness, and "are you kidding me" reactions, that my mind was begging for a time out. So in search of anything remotely sane and happy I saw The Career Code by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power sitting in my bookcase. I had had this book for a few years and after starting listening to Hillary Kerr's podcast, Second Life, I decided to finally crack it open.
Hillary and Katherine are the founders of the hugely successful Clique Media Group, with their first and most successful endeavor being WhoWhatWear.com (I'm sure you own a few pieces of their clothing line at Target!). When I bought the book I thought it was going to be a memoir, relaying how they both came to become self-made millionaires and founded their company; but instead I opened the first page of a how-to book. I guess this is my fault since it does say "Must Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career" right on the cover...oops my bad. The book focuses on 17 "Career Codes" to live by, some being: "Interview Like a Boss," "Quantify Your Worth," and "Your Last Impression is the Only One That Counts." The chapters are short and too the point with helpful tips that the authors have learned themselves or have witnessed through their past and current employees. I would totally recommend picking this book up if you are looking to find your career in life and/or need the perfect graduation gift! And while I may not have been able to apply any of their tips to my life at this moment in time, it did help settle my mind from wanting to scream at Tara Westover's dad and it allowed me to not break my New Year's Resolution so I'm calling that a win-win.
Before I close out this post I wanted to share with you a new favorite of mine that I found on Instagram during the Royal Wedding festivities! While searching Instagram for any and everything about the nuptials on May 19th, I stumbled upon the most amazing artist, Amelia Noyes. She had been posting these incredible sketches of moments throughout the day and they were making my royally obsessed heart burst with english breakfast tea and scones. After thoroughly Instagram stalking her I ventured onto her website where she sells prints, cell phone cases, mugs, and more of the royals, celebs, tv icons, and you can even commission a piece from her (which I'm definitely doing soon!). After putting way too many items in my cart I decided to purchase this rainbow Queen cell phone case (I'm obsessed and get complimented on it all the time) and two Harry & Meghan mugs (their debut as husband and wife outside St. George's Chapel and the one pictured above of their reception look). Thank you Amelia for letting me relived the best morning of my life everyday!