(Still From) 2018 Reads: Fun Reads

Hi, Nerdies! and Happy Chinese New Year!!

It’s another list from my 2018 reads, and this time it’s a list of pastime kind of books. Hope you enjoy it.

My fun reads from 2018 fall in to four unorthodox categories: Memoir Slash Comedy, War-Themed Fiction, Romance, and Mystery.  

 

Comedy Slash Memoir Slash Comedy

This category is really muddy, I know.

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

And the reason for the muddiness is because of this witty memoir of Amy Poehler, the comedian who stars the SNL. This book is essentially a comedy slash memoir slash comedy.

If you are not an American though, I’m just going to warn you there’s loads of names that you probably have never heard of in the book. Otherwise, you’ll know whom those fellas Poehler‘s talking about.   

The Funny Thing Is … by Ellen Degeneres

This small book is downright comedy, it contains a compilation of Ellen’s old monologues. If you’ve watched all of her stand-ups, you probably won’t want to read this, because the book contains the exact same stuff.

 

Becoming by Michele Obama

And just to be clear, this one is a memoir and there’s absolutely nothing comedic about it. I’ve got this one covered already, you can go here Michelle Obama as a Friend: Becoming, if you want.  

 

 

 

War-Themed Books

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

It’s a unique novel written with a quirky writing style. I’ve seen people hating Foer’s writing style, and I must say I get why they hate it. I guess it’s a love it or hate it kind of thing. But in my case, I found Foer’s storytelling style as a quite interesting way to tell a weirdly interesting story!

 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This one is good, like, really good. It’s a story of extremely brutal racial disparity that has been going on for so long in Afghanistan. If you’re interested in my thoughts of the book, you can go to The Kite Runner Review.

 

 

Romance

Trilogy: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before; P.S. I Still Love You; Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (YA)

If you haven’t read this already, know this: you’re missing out. I even wrote a letter to you not long ago telling you about this sweet sweet trilogy. If you also haven’t read that, please read it now, will you? A Sweet Love Letter: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (YA)

A light french-y romance. Sliiiiightly too cheesy for me, but overall it’s a fun read.

 

 

 

The Winner’s Crime and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

A feminine romance tale painted on a warfare backstory. These two books are the middle and the last part of a trilogy respectively, but to be honest I think the first book is the best part of the three. —and as for why I didn’t include the first book here, it’s because I read it a long time ago, and not in 2018, and I just wanted to stay committed to my post title. Ha!–  But still, I was the kind of person who never dnf, thereby I finished it anyway. (Btw, I am still preparing a complete commentary on this trilogy)

Mystery

Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie

I don’t think I need to advertise for an Agatha Christie’s novel. Everybody knows that her mysteries are invariably intriguing, this one is of course no exemption. And even though Miss Marple is my favorite sleuth in Christie’s universe, a Hercule Poirot’s investigation is never less fascinating!

 

 

You: Obsessive Chilling and Thrilling by Caroline Kepnes

This one is a documentation of a psychopath’s doings from his own perspective. I’ve also covered this one, you can read A Comment on You: Obsessive and Chilling if you like. 

 

 

The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon

I was a little bit not sure what genre should I have categorized this book in, but decided that the story was basically a mystery, but just to be precise, it also had romance in it. Or to better put it, it’s typical of Sidney Sheldon. Adult revengeful romance. One thing that Sheldon’s stories have in common is the never-ending twist. And this one is just exactly like any other of his books, it’s fast-paced, its plot keeps turning the way you don’t expect to, and it has no rigid rule as for the ending. If you’re a fan of twists, you probably will like this book too!

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

I read a lot of bad reviews of this novel, I saw people complained that it’s too predictable, and how they’d known the kidnapper very very early on. –Oh yeah, almost forgot, it’s a story about twins kidnapping–  Call me stupid, but I didn’t see anything coming at all, so for me it’s honestly unpredictable, and thank God the book was a super quick read so I didn’t spend so much time anxiously wondering who’d done what.

I also saw among the reviews that for some people a book being a quick read was a bad thing, and I honestly didn’t know why because hell, I loved it more for that very reason. LOL. I totally sound like I just want to oppose all people for no good reason. But really, that’s not what I am trying to do here. All I want to say is that this book is a great thriller. That’s all.

And don’t you think that children abduction is such a relatable topic? After all, most of us are parents or uncles or aunts, aren’t us? And oh my, I have been dragging, haven’t I? I need to stop talking now.    

But just one more thing.

Bonus: One Re-read

I also read a re-read on Christmas last year, only because the title rhymed. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (by Agatha Christie) on my Christmas. Done! I hope you enjoyed this list, and I’ll see you in my next post! Which will be uploaded on Wednesday next week! I upload on Wednesday. Jeez, I really need to stop blabbering. NOW!

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Michelle Obama as a Friend: Becoming

I am an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey. And sharing my story I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why

Michelle Obama

Hi, Nerdies!

 

It’s time for the famous Becoming, an autobiography of Michelle Obama.

 

The fact that Becoming became a best-selling book in only two weeks after launching illustrates how much people adore Michelle Obama better than anything else can.  

I knew that a memoir was a place where people got personal, but I didn’t know that you could get this personal like how Michelle did in her book.

To me, Michelle always came across as a self-possessed and confident person. Like whatever comes, she’ll know what to do kind of person. I thought she was the kind of woman who’s always on top of things, who would segway from duty to duty smoothly, and kept the perfect balance of work and family at all times.  

I’d never thought she too could have her own insecurities or uncertainties. She looked so tough and strong, it’s like I wasn’t even sure if Michelle Obama had ever cried before.

But she turned out to be as normal as any other woman could be. And she wasn’t afraid to show it. That’s what makes Becoming totally worthwhile.

 

Becoming Me.

As a child, had you or had you not ever been asked this question:
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Michelle told Oprah on Super Soul Conversation, that this frequently asked question bothered her. In her opinion, the question suggests that a child is ought to know what his dream is, like it is a finite thing. Michelle herself though, rather considers that in life, one is supposedly confronted with an endless phases of becoming someone or something.

Hence the title, Becoming.

In the book, Michelle sort of divides her hitherto life journey into three big chapters, Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More.

In the first chapter, Becoming Me, the message that I suppose Michelle is trying to get across is how her childhood life was not much different to ours. That she comes from a family that is similar to ours.

I was particularly taken aback when I read about the time when Michelle stopped being a lawyer after she realized that that kind of life wasn’t for her. First of all, I didn’t know that she stopped being a lawyer at all. And second of all I had no idea that she took herself as a person who wasn’t cut out for lawyer-life. And I thought achieving that level of career she must have had relished it. How little did I know about her before this book really?  

I was also astonished knowing that she was once living a life driven by the ambition of checking boxes and powered by a thing as cliché as money. I really wasn’t expecting that from her at all.

Anyway, after that.

Having overcome a load of hesitation, she eventually resigned from being a lawyer when she was almost 30 years old. That decision alone, at that kind of age, deserves an applause. And she only got more courageous from that moment on. She subsequently started working for a semi non-profit organization which should have been sort of her dream job. But then, not having the income she needed became another problem. How did she react then? Just go read the book. #winkwink

The hope is I guess, through this part of her life she would inspire us not to balk on a change, no matter how drastic it is. Instead, having regrets is what we should be afraid of.

 

Becoming Us.

Michelle has been answering the same question with the same answer over and over again, yet the very question is still hovering around us. When will Michelle run for president?

In the second section, Becoming Us, Michelle seems hoping to finally put this inquiry to rest once and for all.

And her answer still remains unchanged. It’s Never.

Us expecting Michelle to be the next president means also that we undermine completely the complexity and the tangible risks of politics. Most of us don’t understand politics well, yet we are anticipating Michelle to be involved in something that she understands very well yet can’t stand it.

Michelle’s ordinary life stopped when she replaced the Robinson in her name with Obama. Michelle couldn’t possibly explain it better than she did in her memoir, how marrying the Barack Obama had made a normal life simply no longer attainable.

Barack Obama was born different. He was born to lead a big change.

And the only reason Michelle agreeing Barack to run was because she couldn’t bear to be the one to stop him, to hinder him. She couldn’t help but feel small juxtaposed with the intensity of people’s hopes and the prospect of what the man was capable of doing.

Politics was her compromise, her sacrifice.

To be someone’s wife is essentially a sacrifice of identity. To let everyone including countless non-deserving ones judge your life at all times is a sacrifice of normality. And to let your kids be exposed to the harm of politics is too big of a sacrifice that not everyone can make.

Thereby, she was somehow waiting it to be over someday. And it finally did.

 

Becoming More.

Up to this point, we have been served with Michelle’s sides of story that we weren’t aware before. But now that we are at the brink of the end, it turns out, we also have some things that we’ve already known all along.

Like the fact that she is a best friend material.

Becoming is one of her ways to reach out to people. Sharing her story, it seems that she is hoping we could get the idea that life is pretty much the same to her as it to us. That she also fights the same battle as ours. That in a way, we are never alone in our fights.   

While I was listening to her narration of the book, I couldn’t help but picture Michelle and us girls in a den where we were keenly listening to her telling her life story.

And as if she was really our friend, she was empowering us through her narrative.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and see you next week!