I haven’t thrown out a book recommendation in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. My in-laws got me a Kindle for Christmas, and I have been devouring books.

Side note: I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Kindle, but I totally dig it. And for reading, I highly prefer it to a computer or iPad. The only thing that compares is a good old ink-on-paper-book.

So, I have two recommendations for you that are about as different from one another as two books can be.

First up:

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?

Mindy Kaling is a writer on the show The Office. She is so likable and relatable in her book made up of short vignettes of her life.

The chapters are short hilarious stories peppered with advice and personal thoughts.

I love this excerpt from the book:

“A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, ‘Wow, Mindy you really have it especially bad. I have heard stories of stress, but this one just takes the cake.'”

Ha. Love it. And I believe that statement to be totally true.

Not long ago, you’ll recall that I finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. Mindy’s book reminded me in a lot of ways of Bossypants (at least in terms of the books structure), but it didn’t elicit those same laugh out loud moments that Tina Fey’s hysterical book did. However, I really really loved Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me?.

And I feel like I have a girl crush on Mindy.

And I feel like if she and I met we would probably be best friends.

After all, she dedicates a whole chapter to Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities. Some of her BFF requirements include:

-I can borrow all of your clothes

-I must be 100% honest about how you look, but gentle

-We sleep in the same bed

-I can ditch you, within reason

-I will take care of your kid if you die

-I will nurse you back to health

-I will hate and re-like people for you

-I will recognize that no two people are better than us

Please. I could have written that list myself!

I’m guessing that list might be very odd to the average man, but I’m thinking most girls (especially those of us lucky enough to have a true blue best friend) will totally get it.

So, I’m gonna go ahead and tell ya that I think you should read this book. It is fun and a fast read. It is easy to pick up and put down because of the format. The book left me feeling happy and like I was in good company with my pretend BFF, Mindy.

Next up:

Your Voice in my Head, A Memoir by Emma Forrest

Oh my.

If Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is sunshine and rainbows, then Your Voice in my Head is rain and puddles.

But it is strikingly beautiful.

Emma Forrest’s memoir takes readers on her wild ride through madness. Mania and depression, cutting and bulimia and a suicide attempt run her life.

What makes this book decidedly unique, compelling and engaging is Forrest’s writing style. She writes so eloquently and smartly that I could hardly bear to set the book down. I didn’t want to be away from Forrest’s words for too long.

Emma is a walking time bomb of self destruction until she meets the man that helps her pick up the pieces of her life and become whole again, her therapist Dr. R.

The relief I felt as a reader when Dr. R enters the picture was palpable. Emma respects and loves him, and her gratitude for his help in putting her life together again jumps off of every page.

I also love this book because Emma chronicles her relationship with a famous celebrity (whom she refers to as her Gypsy Husband or GH). That story of passion, love and ultimately heartbreak is gripping.

I will not sugar coat the fact that this book is dark and difficult to read at times because of the pain that Emma feels and is willing to share with her readers. With that said, I am so grateful that I picked up this book.

The story has stayed with me, and Forrest has helped me understand the mindset of someone dealing with the very real demons of mania, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

She also shows that your whole world can fall apart- you can feel like there is no way out- and then someone can come along and help you realize that there is a glimmer of hope.

And that glimmer can grow.

And that all is not lost.

Forrest’s works are so beautiful, and many of favorite lines from the book were her recollection of her beloved Dr. R’s thoughts:

“Let me tell you something, and I want you to remember it: who you authentically are- there is no one and nothing that can add to or subtract from that.”

And this:

“Time heals all wounds. And if it doesn’t, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay.”

Highly, highly recommend Your Voice in my Head. I know you will appreciate it.

Have a good one, friends.

XO,

Leah

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