Christmas Haul Mini Reviews

While I wasn’t able to write full-length reviews on every book I received for Christmas, I thought I would do mini reviews so that you all could see (i) what I got and (ii) what I thought of them. I already did small reviews on a couple of these in previous posts, but having them all in one place is makes me feel super organized, so here we go!

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The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

As I mentioned in my December Reading Goals UpdateThe Magnolia Story was a great read, especially for the end of the year. The Gaines’ story is honestly inspiring and would trigger anyone to find their passion or dream and turn it into reality. I’m not a religious person in any sense, but I never felt as though their religious affiliation came across too strongly; however, I do love that they included in the memoir since it is an aspect of their lives that is important to them. If it was left out, I think the memoir would have seemed unnatural. Update: Since I wrote my December Reading Goals Update, I did a quick search on Netflix and realized they took Fixer Upper off! However, Season 4 is currently on TV (HGTV), and you can buy Seasons 1-3 on iTunes. 

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Ok, I just recently finished this and I was laughing my butt off at 85% of the book. I was happy  to see her humor that’s evident in her tweets also came across in her writing. There is a lot of swearing and sex- and drug-related topics, which I wasn’t expecting, but also wasn’t turned off by–it seemed natural and real. And let’s be honest, I’d imagine there’s not much to do in Maine so she had to occupy her time somehow…Anyways, my point of bringing this up is, although I’m against censorship, I do think it’s advantageous for parents to know what their children are reading (I’d say this is fine for high schoolers and mature middle schoolers). The three words I’d use to describe this memoir are: hilarious, truthful, and brilliant. I will say that sometimes her writing seemed disjointed. I do wish the essays flowed better with one another, similar to how they do in Kaling’s or Graham’s books, but I acknowledge that this particular style might also reflect Kendrick’s personality of being a little disorderly and anxious. I might do a full-length review on this since it is a newer release, so stay tuned.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

As you can tell from my full-length review and previous mini review, I LOVED this memoir. Lauren Graham’s writing is inspiring, witty, and comforting–it was like reading a book written by one of my best friends. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but definitely add it to your TBR pile.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I think Mindy Kaling will always be one of my favorite writers/actors. You can definitely tell in her prose that she comes from a writing background because her written comedic timing is perfect. Mindy just seems to get it and I love reading about her take on things. I wanted to mention that I had started listening to the audio-book version of this, in which she is the narrator, but I’m just not a great listener so I couldn’t finish it. But while I was reading the memoir, I could totally hear her voice in my head, which just exemplifies her strong and individualized written tone.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (illustrator)

While I didn’t reread this, I did spend quite a bit of time going through the illustrations and reading some of each chapter. I think Jim Kay and Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling is a match made in heaven– he appears to completely understand the aesthetic and nuances of the world and effectively executes these themes in his pieces. I not only love the large color pictures, but the details at the beginning of each chapter and sprinkled throughout the pages add gorgeous touches. I feel as though every Harry Potter fan would love to add these illustrated editions to their collection.


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