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Friday, July 31, 2015

Small Mercies: A Novel

I can't remember where I read a great review of Eddie Joyce's Small Mercies, but I did and thank goodness for that.

The Amendola family of Staten Island were a typical New York City family. Three strapping Irish boys, a family of firefighters, and natives who, as children, could never see themselves leaving the Island. All with Manhattan as their backdrop. The youngest, Bobby, was lost on September 11; the oldest, Peter, got lost in corporate America; and Franky got lost in booze. When Tina, Bobby's widow, meets someone new a decade later, someone who could make her happy but still never replace her high school sweetheart, the family must decide to come together or be forever fractured by events out of their control.

This novel really blew me away. I guess it's fair to say that I didn't know what to expect going into it, only that I read a good review somewhere. I found it to be a bit of an underhanded weeper, so thanks, Eddie. I wasn't expecting to be so moved, but I found myself constantly rooting for Tina. I wanted her to find love again, and I want her family to love that she is in love again. I could only imagine how hard it was for Bobby's family to take Tina falling in love again -- but how long, really, was she supposed to wait? Is ten years not enough? Is a lifetime even enough? Each family deal's with Tina's news differently, and each suffers their own inner demons, both about Bobby's death and having to do with their own lives.

I hated Franky, but I hated him for making his family hurt. Addiction is a disease that will kill everyone you love, and seeing Franky at the bottom of his spiral was killer on me as a reader. I hated him for that. I hated that he chose the waitress in the restaurant, and I hated how he treated his only friend. I hated how he viewed Tina, and I hated how he looked at his parents. But that's what makes such a great character. He was real, and that's a huge credit to Joyce's ability to create characters. He did the same with Peter and Bobby, a character who spends the book dead but is so alive in so many ways to everyone else. I wanted to strangle Peter for cheating on his wife and ending up in the most precarious of positions. I wanted to throttle him even as I, the reader, am privy to the series of events that led up to it. I watched it happen, and I was powerless to stop it.

Come to Small Mercies for the characters. Stay for the heartbreak.

For purchase below.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Expo America 2015


Wow, has it really been two entire months since Book Expo America?!? Time flies when you are having fun, huh? So much to report. 

I picked up some great books and met some fabulous authors and publishers this year. I was most excited about Jenny Lawson's new book, Furiously Happy, coming out this September. That would be me on the left with one of the promo fans. #winningatlife

I was also ridiculously pumped to pick up DK Publishing's new Big Ideas Simply Explained series, The Sociology Book. You may remember how much I loved The Science Book, The Psychology Book, and Heads Up Psychology, so I raced to get this one when I knew it was dropping.

The picture on the right was Day 1 haul. It was a little frustrating having the Blogger's Conference on the same day as the show opening, so I had to miss most of the sessions in order to get the books I knew I wanted. You can't see super well, but I scored The Sociology Book, Illuminae, Road Trip, Girl Waits With Gun, and The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist.

My nerdiness came out when I saw that Diary of a Wimpy Kid was published in Latin. Be still my heart. I picked that up for some light reading this fall. 

Then I saw that Brian Selznick was releasing a new book in August. I almost died. You may remember my unceasing love for Hugo Cabret. It's the number one gift I love to purchase for the small humans in my life, and the release of another beautiful Selznick book was exactly what my heart desired. And it is as gorgeous as you would think. I can't wait to crack it open later this month.

You may also recall (if not, click on the link) how much I adore Sloane Crosley. I feel as though we are spirit animals and are meant to be best friends. So I asked her, and she was like, for sure. She even signed my book, "To the best friend a stranger could have." I almost died I was so excited. This is her first novel, and the review will be coming in October.

On the right is the hottest fall release you could ever imagine. It's Garth Risk Hallberg's City on Fire. It was everywhere, and I jumped on line to get it. Signed, of course. It's going to be my beach reading over the next couple of weeks. Not that I'm taking it to the beach, but I will read a little bit every night when we are showered and curled up on the couch. I take my trade paperbacks to the beach. Duh.
This kid gets it.
On the right is Day 2 haul. I scored Saint Mazie, City on Fire, Lois Lane: Fallout, new Stella Batz books, The Clasp, and The Marvels among others. It was quite a day, I will tell you that much. Remember, Book Expo is a marathon, not a sprint. It's crazy, really. Every year I say that I'm only going to take what I can read, and it's the truth. I will read 90% of these before next BEA. But there are so many, and so many good ones, that it's hard to walk away. When you love doing this as much as I do, you will fight tooth and nail for the good ones.

Which brings us to our final show day. This was a big one, guys. John Grisham, which, come on, you have to know by now is my book candy, was signing at 9am sharp. Not a full book, mind you, but an excerpt of his new one coming out this fall. Whatever. I love him, so sign me up. That's my copy on the right.

But even bigger than that, in my eyes, was Furiously Happy dropping at 2pm sharp. That's me with the taxidermied racoon on the left. Well, a cardboard cutout of it anyway. I am not even joking when I tell you that I continuously stalked the book starting at 1:15pm to make sure I got it.

It was worth it. I stood triumphantly as the first person in line to get an ARC, and the picture on the left if my victorious arm salute to my advanced review copy. Jenny wasn't there, of course. This thing is so insane that there is no way she would come, but Jenny, on some off chance you are reading this humble little book blog, know that you were sorely missed.

Other crazy books dropped included a limited edition anniversary copy of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, which I scored. I haven't actually read it yet, but so many people are in love with it that I knew it would be worth it. I loved Landline, so I already knew I was a Rowell fan, and this has been on my list for so long it seemed silly not to fight wait in line for it.

The picture on the left are the people who got in line up to an hour before me. No joke. I was excited, and I was still in line an hour before the signing, but wow. You go gurl, Rainbow Rowell. Everyone loves you.

This is the insanity surrounding Mindy Kaling's signing of an excerpt from her new book. I love her, but I ran the other direction. That was just a tad too crazy for my taste. She looked gorgeous, though. Also, it have the security guards a lot to do by yelling at people to move. You have to hand it to BEA for giving the guys a very important job. (Can you sense my sarcasm?) Actually, it was one of the more frustrating times of the show since you can see how everyone was crowded around. I was in line for another book, so I can honestly say I'm not part of the madness. [Insert smiley face here.]

On the left below was how I felt about the whole show in the last hour. It was awesome and so very exhausting. That is a beer in my hand along with my water and popcorn. A huge thanks to Hachette for the beer. You have no idea how amazing it was.

On the right is my Day 3 haul. Including, but not limited to, Furiously Happy, Fangirl, This is Where It Ends, Another Day, and Brad Meltzer's new novel. Whew.

Finally, my last picture is almost my whole BEA15 haul. I had left some books at a friend's house, so this picture is missing about 15 books. Crazy, huh?

More like amazing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Whiskey & Charlie: A Novel

What a lovely, lovely, lovely novel, this Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith.

William and Charlie are twins, and while they don't have a secret twin language, they are incredibly taken with the standard two-way alphabet used the world over. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie...Charlie's name is already a part of it, but William's isn't. So he insists from childhood on going by the name Whiskey. As the twins grow up, they drift apart, and one day in adulthood their bond is severed permanently. When Whiskey ends up in a coma, will Charlie be able to put their differences aside to do what needs to be done for his brother? Or will Whiskey die not knowing his only brother?

I found this story structure to be incredibly interesting. It is part coming of age, part flashback, part future tense, and part present tense. You throw it all together and you have this novel, and I have to say, I really liked it. It pulled the narrative together cohesively while still creating a puzzle that was intriguing to solve. 

I really felt for Charlie. When I found out the reason for the rift, that went well beyond Whiskey just being the general jackass that he was, I understood his anger at his brother even if I didn't entirely understand the desire to never speak to him ever again. Although I felt it was extreme, the reasons became empathizable once they became clear. Whiskey was quite a jerk in his everyday life prior to the accident, and it was hard to actually like him if you have any sort of heart or care for humanity. Although, really, we've all worked with Whiskey. We all have one in our lives. I shudder just thinking of it. 

The characters were what drove the story here; even the secondary characters were lovely and enticing. Juliet, Charlie's partner, was lovely and I just wanted to be her. Rosa, Whiskey's wife, was a feisty thing who was charming with her broken English and fiery personality. Elaine, the boys mother, was frustratingly honest in motherdom, and Mike, a character whose relationship I won't give away here, was lovable and a friend I would like to have. 

For purchase below.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Youngtimer: Adventures in Time

I am always scouting fun books for early and middle grades, and when G. G. Fulton's Youngtimer came across my desk I was excited to take a look at it. Traveling through time to see bands and movies? Now that's up my alley. 

Carly is devastated by the death of her grandfather. He was her hero, and he left behind a small box with a letter for her. It instructed her to only open the box if it became necessary -- or when she turned 18. Carly and her best friend Patti decide to peek at what's in side, and they find the most unbelievable thing. A time machine! They explore some of the things they have always wanted to see -- a One Direction concert and Santorini during the filming of their favorite movie. It's all fun and games until Carly decides to try to help her mother -- and in turn, may erase her own existence. Can she fix things before it's too late?

I had a lot of fun with this book. This is a book for middle grades, and so from that perspective the book is fun, well written, and interesting. Fulton has created a timely piece for kids, and I really appreciate that. The references to One Direction are cute and on point, and the girls learn a good lesson about how they can affect others' lives by the decisions they make while they are traveling back in time. They almost get two men fired, and they have to rectify that situation. It's a great lesson to teach through such a fun story.

It gets even deeper when they head to Santorini to watch the filming of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, their favorite movie. Santorini is beautiful, but they are too trusting of a stranger who offers to take them around. Carly specifically learns to be more mindful of where she is and who she is with. The greatest lesson, though, comes with Carly's final experiment with the time machine. She has to learn very quickly how important it is to not mess with the past -- when you do, you affect everything that comes later. This book was fun and definitely a learning lesson, and I would absolutely recommend it for your young readers in the house. 

For purchase below. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Sunshine Away: A Novel

A good review is enough to get me to pick up a new book, and so now we are here with M.O. Walsh's My Sunshine Away. Thank goodness for that.

Baton Rouge is the lesser reveled cousin of New Orleans, yet the natives know that this is Louisiana's best kept secret. The summer of 1989 was sweltering, and it was the summer that 15-year-old Lindy Simpson was raped and left for dead. Suddenly the safety of home was taken away from an entire neighborhood. Her neighbor, a boy just a year younger yet so in love with Lindy, tells the story of the crime and the aftermath, and how the crime ripped apart families and friends. As he looks back on this summer, he must face the trappings of memory and nostalgia and where the two intersect.

I was quite blown away by this novel to be upfront and frank with you. I wasn't expecting such a punch in the gut from this piece, but when I finally came up for air, I felt winded and heartbroken yet peaceful. It's quite a combination, really, and one well worth discovering for yourself in this novel. We all remember what it is like to be a twitterpated teenager in unrequited love. It was our neighbor, or our lab partner, or the lifeguard at the pool that summer. We yearned from afar, with fantasies about how we would confess our love and how the other person would secretly be feeling the exact same way. Our hearts filled, and they broke. That feeling came rushing back and hit me like a ton of bricks with this book, and it was so raw that my heart hurt for some time.

The crime was always front and center in the story, and it became a character unto itself. How the narrator dealt with it, and how Lindy dealt with it, were two completely separate yet conjoined processes. The relationship they form was disturbing and doomed from the beginning, yet I watched it like a train wreck I saw coming from miles away. I didn't want our beloved narrator to drown in his love for Lindy, yet there was no other way this story could have taken place. When his world implodes, I was with him and I wanted to sweep him away, but I couldn't.

The end of this story will reaffirm your belief in humanity, and it will make you so happy you stayed with these characters throughout the novel. This book was gut-wrenchingly beautiful, and I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.

For purchase below. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Among Ten Thousand Things: A Novel

The hottest new release of last week was Julia Pierpont's Among Ten Thousand Things, and that is for good reason. It's amazing.

Kay picks up a box from her family's doorman and opens it, hoping it's a present for her. What she finds inside will fracture her family. Her father's mistress has printed out the entirety of their email conversations and mailed it to his wife, Deb. Even though the affair ended months ago, this revelation will send the family scattering in different directions, physically and emotionally. The ties that bind may not be enough to hold this family together as they revisit their past and try to make their way into the future. 

This book pierced my heart. I was so absolutely taken by this novel and it's willingness to put everything on the table to be judged for everything that it is. I can't think of anything about this novel I didn't like. The character development was beautiful and full for everyone, including all four members of the family. The story developed like a blooming flower, or a puzzle in a timelapse video, where everything just comes together seamlessly regardless of whether or not you like the picture that is put together. Reading this book was such a joy, and it opened my heart in a way that sometimes only a well-crafted novel can. 

Life is messy, and marriage is hard. Nothing about these two statements is new, but this story sure does express these two sentiments hand over fist. Deb and Jack started in the same way that their marriage is ending, which is not enough to say, "I told you so," but can certainly lead to it. Reading this book at this point in my summer was exactly what I needed, and it allowed me to understand the book in a way that I'm not sure I could six months ago. You should pick up this novel. It will warm your heart and break it at the same time. You will not regret a moment you spend with this book. 

For purchase below.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father...and Finding the Zodiac Killer

For Christmas my sister gave me a gift certificate to Oyster, the online rent-the-runway type service for books. I will review it when my trial is up. This was the first book I picked up (true crime, shocker huh?): Gary L. Stewart's The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father...and Finding the Zodiac Killer.

For several decades in the 20th century, the Zodiac killer haunted California residents. No one knew who would be next, or why. Then one day, the killer just disappears. He stops his rampage. Meanwhile, Gary Stewart is contacted in adulthood by his birth mother after having been adopted as an infant. They forge a relationship, but Gary also wants to know about his father. His birth mother isn't terribly forthcoming, so Gary must dig on his own. However, the further he digs, the more he discovers about his father's violent and frightening past. Putting two and two together, Gary slowly comes to the conclusion that his father may well be the most feared man in California.

Me and my true crime, y'all. Me loves it. I enjoyed the sleuthing in this novel, and I was impressed at Stewart's painstaking attention to detail in making the connections between the information he discovered about his father and how it is connected back to the Zodiac. This was clearly years of research, and it was incredibly interesting to watch it all be put together like a jigsaw puzzle. When combined with Stewart's own search for meaning in his past, it made for a pretty compelling story. I can't even imagine what it must be like to figure out such an important secret.

Now, it's important to point out that Stewart's father was never tried for these crimes, but the author does lead us to believe that he was under suspicion for them by law enforcement. As far as memoirs and true crime go, this book was interesting and certainly compelling enough for me to come back to it. It was also clearly a personal story, which was the crux of the book, but I have to say that the most interesting parts were the footprints of Van, Stewart's birth father, and the timeline of the murders. That is just the lover of crime in me, I guess. 

For purchase below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Best of Youth: A Novel

A huge thank you to Jason, who read this book and thought of me. Good work, dude! This is Michael Dahlie's The Best of Youth.

Henry was in college when he received word that his parents had passed left him $15 million. What is a young man to do with that much money other than move to Brooklyn and fund a literary magazine? An aspiring writer, Henry is a little out of touch with societal niceties and dealing with other people. One might say he is socially awkward. He falls in love with his fourth cousin, funds the magazine, watches the farm of a Wall Street socialite only to cause unmitigated disaster -- and all before he finds success as a novelist, although in ghostwriting terms. 

This story was everything that I love about Jonathan Ames and P.G. Wodehouse and then stirs in some earnestness to the point where it is almost impossible for anyone with a heart to not fall in love with Henry. There were points of absurdity and laughter, but there were even more times that I was rooting for him. Where do I even begin with this story?

The goat incident was just the beginning. You saw it coming, but you were powerless to stop it. Henry just has this desire to do what's right all the time, and he often gets in his own way. I wanted to throttle Abby for leaving him at the farm by himself, but the goat incident was just too enjoyable not to have happen in whole. The literary magazine debacle? Amazing and so raw for anyone who has ever felt rejected by people who are "cooler" than them. (I am not projecting here or anything.) His literary masterpiece that ended up belonging to one of the biggest assholes to ever walk the face of the planet -- well, I wonder if that could have been prevented. I wanted to enter the book and scream at Henry to write something else. Keep the good stuff for yourself. Don't give away your masterpiece. But alas -- some people don't listen.

All in all, I loved this book, and I'm so thankful to you, Jason, for sending it my way! I love smart humor inserted with a twinge of love, and this was that. Henry was just beyond lovable in his own buffoonish, awkward way. Where can I find a Henry of my own?

For purchase below. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Center of Gravity: A Novel

I picked this one up at Book Expo America this year because, honestly, I thought the cover was cool and the story sounded creepy. It is, and it was. This is Laura McNeill's Center of Gravity

Ava Carson is living a wonderful life. Her handsome, successful husband has given her a baby boy and an adorable stepson to complete her full, stay-at-home mom life after years working in her hometown school. That is, until one day he begins pulling away and turning her into the enemy. As her world unravels and she feels as though she is the one who is crazy, she begins digging deeper into Mitchell's past. With the help of her new lawyer in town, she begins uncovering secrets that her husband would rather not have made public. If she's not careful, she may lose more than just her marriage and her children.

This book was interesting. I didn't necessarily feel as though the concept was new (husband hiding a secret involving the death of a previous wife who gaslights his current one), but it was a quick, enjoyable read for the summer. The last third of the book is definitely a page turner, and when you get to the last 25 pages or so, you will be flipping to find out what happens. There is some severe foreshadowing regarding one of the smaller plot lines, and Mitchell is just a sociopath. So much so that I am shocked Ava, his wife, didn't bother figuring that out sooner. I was confused as to why a woman would agree to marry a man, even as handsome as he was, without knowing anything about his past. I mean, I guess if a guy tells me his family is dead I wouldn't question that. But wouldn't you at least Google the guy at some point, and not two years into your marriage?

I did, however, love her stepson and his obsession with superheroes. It was a lovely aspect of the character, and it added a nice dimension to the story in several aspects. I would have also loved to see more of the lawyer and get more into his backstory, because he was one of my favorite characters as well. He had a depth to his character that made me want to keep coming back to his story. Overall I would recommend this as a beach read. It's not too heavy and can easily be gotten through in a day on the sand in the sun. 

For purchase below. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I am Four Years Old!

Can you believe it?!? Four years! I am floored and amazed that I still get to do this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Don't think for a moment I could do this without you actually reading it.

There were some hard times and some great additions on Sassy Peach Reads this year. Things got crazy in my third year of grad school and I had to cut down posts in order to not lose my mind. I came back with a vengeance, instituted Stephen King Fridays, and added my favorite part to this blog -- my guest blogger, Charlotte. Isn't she fantastic?

125 posts, 120 books, 7 posts from Charlotte, and so many readers. We hit 500 posts (on my favorite book of the year, no less!), and we survived. Thank you for another great year.

Now for your favorite part of my birthday post--a round up of the best books I read this year. A reminder that not all of these were released this year, although many of them were; these were all read this year. In no particular order, voila!

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes*

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbes

The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 

The New "I Do" by Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell 

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Jonathan Ferris

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow

Ghettoside by Jill Leovy


*One of my favorites of all time.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

I have always loved Martin Sheen, but being a woman in my early 30's, I missed several of his big movies. They are all on my list to watch or re-watch during the holiday break, but in the meantime, I indulged in Sheen and his son's, Emilio Estevez's, dual biography, Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

Martin Sheen, known to his parents as Ramon Estevez, was born and raised in the Midwest to an Irish immigrant mother and a Spanish immigrant father. He left home as soon as he was able to pursue acting full time, where he met and fell in love with his long-time love, Janet. At age 21 his oldest son, Emilio, was born, and Martin's life changed forever. Three more children, multiple movie sets, and one big move to Malibu later, Emilio follows in his father's footsteps. As they grow together, they will have their differences, but they will always be father and son.

This memoir is told with a throughline of the movie The Way, which I saw in a preview and really adored. It's a father/son story in which a father finishes his son's hike across the Camino de Santiago for him. It's a fitting grounding for Emilio and Martin's story, and I originally picked up this book as a follow-up to the film. It was more than worth it, as I really loved this story. I learned so much about an actor I respect deeply and his son, Emilio, that I now also respect in a way I didn't before.

This book is also an amazing history book for cinephiles. Every major film the two of them participated in is recounted here, from Apocalypse Now, Ghandi, and Badlands, to The Breakfast Club and The Outsiders. These stories are those that don't exist anywhere else, and if a few of them do, you get to read it here from a personal perspective. Particularly the Apocalypse Now stories--those are doozies. It was amazing to read about Sheen's move through addiction and finally choosing sobriety. Everyone has their own journey, be it as an actor or finding sobriety, and hearing two different people tell some of the same stories was really fascinating and eye-opening. 

Ultimately, though, it was the love that these two have for each other that made this book everything that it is. There is no guide to parenting, and everyone learns as they go. When Emilio has children and has to learn how to be a father himself, you see the wisdom dawning in him, and the respect he then has for his own father far exceeds the respect he could have ever had before. It's a strong read, and one that I railroaded through because it was just that interesting.

For purchase below.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

We all know how super hot this book was last summer, and I picked it up over spring break. This is Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Funerals are always full of nostalgia and the past. When a middle-aged man goes home for one in his childhood town of Sussex, he revisits a past he has long forgotten but which has always had a hold on him. He met Lettie Hempstock when he was seven, She was a vital part of a frightening part of his life, when a boarder of his family's committed suicide, releasing a chain of events that affected everyone's lives forever. Lettie was his comfort and his guide, and someone he can never let go.

So, my big confession is that this is my first ride with Gaiman. I will pause, let you catch your breath, and then be angry at me for that first statement. I know, I know, I'm behind the times -- but I have rectified it with this novel. It was interesting for sure, and intriguing as well. Gaiman has a way with the supernatural that brings it into the world of the real; when he writes about fantastical creatures in this novel, they are human and realistic, lending them a humanness that grounds them in the world. It's incredible, really.

This is a coming of age story that digs deep into our beliefs about humanity and family. This is a short novella, but it is whimsical and moving and caring and loving. It introduces us to a world we may not understand, and, in fact, the narrator himself may not even really understand. It's the beauty of childhood as well as the curse. May we all one day come back from our ocean at the end of the lane. 

For purchase below. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fight Club


Why have I never read this book before? It's almost shameful. Seriously. Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club.

Shall I blurb the book? Or is it so ingrained in pop culture that you understand the general story? A man is so downtrodden and hates his life so much until the day his apartment is blown up and he finds Tyler Durden. Together they start Fight Club, and it changes his life. The only problem is -- who, really, is Tyler Durden?

The ubiquitous Fight Club. I had never actually seen the movie, so I decided to pick up the book first. It is true to Palahniuk form in that it's wild and crazy and fast-paced and at times you wonder if maybe you're losing your mind. The good news is you are very much not losing your mind, as this is a Palahniuk book, but the bad news is you still feel crazy and it really doesn't go away for the entirety of the story. It is, however, a bit of a masterpiece.

The main character, {who cares what his name is? he doesn't count next to Tyler!}, is a bit of a dud in his everyday life. He gets along just fine, but needs to attend all sorts of support groups under false pretense is in order to feel better about himself. He's an insomniac, which also doesn't help things. When he meets Tyler Durden though, he can finally become everything he wants to be. He's lost his home, but he moves in with Tyler and begins hoping Tyler make soaps for a living. All of this helps support Fight Club, which is a game changer in so many men's lives. This club spirals out of control until it ends up becoming almost monastery like in its training camp.

Now, if you're even remotely familiar with pop-culture, you know the ending of the story. While I was not necessarily surprised, I thought that the reveal was really quite incredible. It was great, and I knew the ending. (Yes, even though I have never seen the movie, I seem to soak up this kind of information like a sponge.) I would say that this book is well worth reading just for the reveal and for the putting the puzzle pieces together. Now, I'm going to go watch the movie and see what I think of that one.

Then there was this one time I went to my book club to hear Chuck Palahniuk speak on life and the upcoming Fight Club 2. It was really astounding. He is genuine and funny, and he is one hell of a storyteller. It was a lovely afternoon, and MashReads is to thank for that. I wasn't sure if there would be a signing, but I brought my copy of Fight Club just in case. Thank goodness I did -- there it is, ladies and gents. The man's John Hancock. Such a treasure. 

For purchase below.