Books

Taking Time to Read: A Husband’s Secret Book Review

The Husband's Secret Review

I picked up The Husband’s Secret after seeing it on quite a few summer reading lists with readers swearing it’s worth the time it takes to get through the 400 pages. I’m not someone who devours book after book so I read several reviews on it before I ordered my copy, hoping that it would be a better written Gone Girl type novel. Well, it proved to be disappointing on that front as I could fairly accurately predict most every twist and turn far before I should have, but I was impressed with the character development and the real-ness of their choices. Maybe the story is predictable because the characters make such realistic choices.

No one person in the entire book was either mostly good or mostly bad- they were all flawed in such a human way. Each person in the story lived out their reality individually within the complete narrative and it made me think about how life is pretty much the same way. We all live life in our own heads, living and reacting to our unique perceptions of the world around us. It’s something that I know cerebrally but easily forget. This book was an enjoyable reminder that everyone’s lives are intertwined and yet can be so solitary. We’re all fallible, limited by our own insecurities complicated by our past and hopes for the future. The story doesn’t end up perfectly because it’s like life, and there are no tidy endings in the real world. This book is definitely a book that I’d recommend, and unlike Gone Girl, is one that can be read in bits and pieces and still remain enjoyable.

Anyone finish their summer reading and want to recommend a good book? I’m on the hunt for something new!

-Katy


The Coolest New Book for Kids

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I wanted to let you guys know about this super awesome new children’s book written by B.J. Novak, of The Office fame. Cleverly, the book begins by explaining that the reader has to say everything that is written inside of books. Then the silliness begins. Here’s just a couple of the pages:

 

 

 

Book with no pages

It only gets more wonderfully silly from there. It’s a perfect way to induce a little bit of silliness, which is something we all could use. I bought this for a friend of mine’s child and I’m very excited to give it to her and read it to her. Any of you already read this? Any new children’s books out that you recommend?

Have a great weekend!

-Katy


A Southern Opinion on ‘Go Set a Watchman’ (No Spoilers)

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Guys, I wasn’t sure that I was going to read this book and then I ended up finishing it in one night. I’m sure most of you already know that I love Harper Lee, her book To Kill a Mockingbirdand most things Southern but after hearing somewhat negative reviews on the book I wasn’t sure if I could let my view of Harper Lee’s near-sainthood be tainted. And Atticus Finch. Oh, Atticus. How I envisioned you (looking like Gregory Peck, of course) standing for all truth and righteousness despite the cost. Maybe even in spite of the cost. And knowing that he would be racist in this book made it hard to pick up.

But I did read it and even liked it. Is it as good as To Kill a Mockingbird? Nowhere close, in my opinion. But is it worth reading? Absolutely. First, despite it’s unedited state, Harper Lee is a woman who can tell a story. She gets a little long-winded sometimes in this book, but it usually adds depth to the story and she ends up rerouting us to her point eventually. Second, and probably most importantly, this book gives you a look into the complexity of the South, her history and why her future will be painful. I love the South and I’m dyed in the wool of Dixie (or should I say dyed in the cotton) but explaining why I love this conflicted place is only slightly harder than trying to explain why she is the way she is. This book ambitiously takes on that task and humanizes the people living there while doing it.

Go Set a Watchman is as relevant today as it was when it was written. I know that it’s a strong statement, but with all of the recent racial turmoil we’ve had, it’s fitting that this was published now. Harper Lee swore up and down she’d never publish again and many are still questioning “why now?” I can’t speak for Ms. Lee but I’d like to hope that she saw what was going on around her and decided we needed it. And we do. We need to understand the past so we can more clearly see the present and better shape the future. Ms. Lee was our watchman in 1964 and her voice still clearly rings out to us today.

If you want to read more about the controversy surrounding the publication, check it out HERE.


Talk About It Tuesday: Will You Read Harper Lee’s New Novel?

Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman, the first book Harper Lee wrote, is being released July 14th. She submitted it to her editor over 55 years ago only to be asked to re-write it. The rewrite is known today as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” one of America’s greatest novels and arguably, one of the best books on racism and southern life. I fell in love with it when I had to read it for a middle school class and I’ve reread it many times since.

But I have some mixed feelings on “Go Set a Watchman” being published. Ms Lee has only ever published her one famous work and throughout the decades has insisted that she would probably never publish again and would like to be left alone. Now that she’s 89 years old, with her faculties failing her, her novel is going to be published. There are some reports that state that she is actually quite happy about it while other news outlets feel that her publisher and publicist might be pushing for this against her wishes.

So my question today is: Will you read it? The CEO of News Corp has read it and says it’s wonderful but they own the publisher, Harper Collins, and are counting on profits to help boast quarterly revenue. While I’m pretty sure it’s extremely well written and profound, is it the right thing to do considering some people feel like its publication is elder abuse? For me, I’m not sure which side to believe but if I’m being honest with myself, I’ll probably preorder it sometime this week as I can’t imagine not reading something Harper Lee wrote. My hope is that she did want it published and that the proceeds will help to take care of her in her twilight years.

If you’re looking for more information about Harper Lee’s life, I recently watched this documentary on Netflix and fell in love with her even more.

 

 


Think-Free Thursday: Defining Your Style

Define Your Style

So my husband and I are lackadaisically looking for a house. We’ve toured a few homes, some of which I like and some of which he’s liked. Turns out our aesthetic styles are quite a bit different. He craves everything modern while I love more of a Southern traditional feel. We’ve done our best over the years to blend our tastes (with mine winning over most of the time) and over time I’ve found that both of our tastes have changed just a bit. I’m leaning slightly more modern these days while he has definitely come to appreciate Grecian columns.

As I’ve been soaking up Elements of Style’s Book (and checking out her blog), I’ve made the husband pick out his preferences when we get to pages like these:

Elements of Style Book

I love being surprised by his choices and it’s a fun way to talk about our “dream” rooms. In the five short years we’ve been married, it’s remarkable how much our styles have converged, and thankfully, he doesn’t mind spending a few minutes talking about pillows, textiles and light fixtures with me. These chats have definitely helped me gain more of an appreciation for all things sleek and I certainly love his growing interest in design.

I’ll admit that I feel almost a compulsion to take every decorating style quiz out there and usually try to cajole my sweet husband into taking them too. If you’re tired like I am (hello, long week) and need a fun way to spend few minutes, try taking a few of these quizzes below.

Better Homes and Garden always hits the nail right on the head for me.

Houzz is a fun quiz that includes questions like what type of pet you like or where you prefer to eat.

Stylish Home seems to be the most accurate assessment of my style and the pictures are beautiful!

My Domaine feels more contemporary and has more customized results.

I got traditional, European chic, and even contemporary. While these tests certainly aren’t a refined science, they are a bit fun. Were your results what you expected?

And don’t forget about the giveaway!


Talk About It Tuesday: Summer Reads & Giveaway

My office

Hello Everyone!!

Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. And yes, for those of you who don’t know or are silently judging my grammar, Internet is capitalized. Always. Anyway, here I’ll be writing daily about this and that and everything is between. It’ll be fun-don’t worry.

So for today, I’m going to be talking about the books I’m already reading and a couple I’m planning to take with me to the beach.

Summer Reading June

 The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a highly rated and much talked about book written by Muriel Barbery. I’ve only just begun this novel but I’m already intrigued by its characters after a few short pages. Originally, this book was written in French but the translation is wonderful and the story is a moving one filled with laughs and unexpected friendships. You can also check out the trailer for the French film here.

The Charisma Myth is a book that challenges the idea that charisma and personal warmth are completely innate. Here Olivia Fox Cable gives meaningful advice and even specific techniques to help you gain that “je ne sais quoi.” I’ll admit that I didn’t devour this book like I normally do with business books but I think it’s best that way. Take small bites and really digest what she’s trying to teach.

The Pecan Man is a self published book that has been compared to “To Kill a Mockingbird” and I’m trying my best to save it for beach reading. I’m usually skeptical about self published books but its 4.4 star rating on Amazon and I’ve heard so many raving reviews about it that I just had to buy it.

Reconstructing Amelia came highly recommended for those who loved “Gone Girl” and love thrilling, easy reads. The story follows Kate, a mother who is trying to figure out why her high achieving daughter jumped to her death. It’s supposed to be one of the best books of the year so we’ll see if I can put it down.

So I know that you’re probably all wondering when I’m going to get to the giveaway part. Well, here it is.

The Charisma Myth

How to enter:

Leave a comment about what book you’re reading this summer and I’ll (randomly) pick one winner to send a copy of “The Charisma Myth” to. For an extra chances, head over to Intstagram and follow @katy_daydreaming and/or like our page on Facebook and then leave another comment letting me know. All entries must be submitted before midnight, June 12th.

Thanks for stopping by!

Katy