10.01.12 Personal

Good Reads : The Perks of Being a Wallflower

o say I had a panic attack would slightly dramatic, so I'll simply say I had a panic attack. A few weeks ago, JD and I spent a couple days in Monterey, California, a quaint city filled with tiny storefront windows, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, and sunbathing sea otters. It's all so quaint it makes a person feel like she walked into a west coast Norman Rockwell painting.

At 6pm, as we walked through a farmer's market, I announced I finished the books I'd brought for the trip (insert panic attach here), so JD found a used bookstore that made me feel like I died and went to literary heaven. A dog lounged by the cash register and incense burned in the corner window as I roamed the snug aisles of dog-eared books. I quickly grabbed a few books before the store closed and sat on the back porch steps as JD strolled the dock of the bay. On his way back, he grabbed a camera from the car and captured one of my favorite memories from the trip.

In case you're wondering what books I bought and read in Monterey, here's my most recent Good Reads...
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I don't what attracts me to uber depressing books, but this ranks pretty high on the list of Debbie Downer reads...and yet I enjoyed it. The story chronicles the life of a woman battling depression and schizophrenia, the aftermath of her journey through being institutionalized. Yes, there were moments while reading it that I wanted to come up for air, but that's what made it so good. The story sucks you in, and sucks you dry. It's heralded as an American classic for good reason.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. This was one of those books I debated buying because it screamed BEACH READ to me, like one of those books with a pink cover and the silhouette of a poodle, but gave in in the end because a friend recommended it. The story follows Lee Fiora's four years of prep high school as a scholarship student and the struggle to find balance between her life in the midwest and her new life as an outsider in a world of prestige, wealth, and weekends on Nantucket. In the end, the read was just okay for me...I wanted to like it more than I actually did.

Best American Short Stories 2008 edited by Salman Rushdie. Let me be real: You'd be hard-pressed to ever have me say anything bad about a compilation of short stories. Ever. I don't know what it is, but reading short stories is my jam! This highly curated book is filled with some of my favorite authors and pulled from the glossy pages of The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and the like. Loved.

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky. I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book, but the movie version is being released in a few months and it received great reviews. It's impeccably written and effortlessly adds layers to the story, resulting in becoming emotionally invested in Charlie's life. Charlie is an awkward high school outcast who befriends two people who accept him and invite him into their crazy world. He struggles to find his identity and battles insecurities, but soon realizes the value of true friends and voicing what a person truly wants from life. So good.

Happy Monday!
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Aislynn - I'm so glad you made it to my hooooood! Remember how I wrote you an e-mail saying that I'd get married in a dumpster just to have you there, well you stepped into my beautiful side of the world. Welcome to the Bay babe! I hope you enjoyed it.  10.03.12 - 12:22pm
RENAE - I love your book suggestions! I'm always after recommendations so thank you. And in the interests of reciprocity, I've just finished reading ME BEFORE YOU by JoJo Moyes. Don't be put off by the cover it is not your typical chick lit at all....this book had me alternately laughing out loud and sobbing into a boxful of tissues. LOVED it. xo  10.02.12 - 11:26pm
Ryan Larsen - Love the shot by the old book store. It is really hard to match black and white photos next to older buildings . The photo went perfect with the description of the quaint place you were walking around. Well I liked the description and photo.  10.02.12 - 5:44pm
Krystal Healy - I LOVE the Perks of beings a Wallflower. I live in Pittsburgh, and so does the author so the entire book takes place here! (And also the movie was filmed here) If you ever get a chance to see Pittsburgh, its a great city!   10.02.12 - 4:51pm
Alyssa - Have you read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? I picked it up last week and haven't been able to put it down yet! It's been sooo good!  10.02.12 - 2:51pm
Gris Brooks - I LOVED the Perks of Being a much that I recommended it to Bianca when she hurt her hand. It tugged at all my emotions, I laughed/cried and had a total book hangover when it was done. I'm looking forward to the movie : )  10.02.12 - 12:20pm
Sarah - I used to live in Mry, which seems like a distant dream compared to my NYC digs now. PLEASE tell me that you made it to the Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove. Obsessed. If you missed it, go back! Loved your write ups on the book as well.   10.01.12 - 10:11pm
Matt Smith - It's one thing to post a Good Reads entry....but to finish every book on the list this quickly is another. :)   10.01.12 - 5:59pm
Sara - I felt the exact same way about Prep!!!!  10.01.12 - 5:59pm
Derek - Just relocated to Monterey :D Thanks for the good reads!   10.01.12 - 3:20pm
Jeanne Mitchum - I guess I need to start reading more often to keep up with everyone. Those sound like great books!!!   10.01.12 - 2:36pm
Hannes Uys - Indeed an interesting list of reads!   10.01.12 - 2:01pm
abby - I've picked up the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It is the best thing I've picked up ALL YEAR! I'd love to hear your review on it.   10.01.12 - 1:28pm
ashley goodwin - I'm currently reading "Bossypants" soley due to the Tina Fey hair straightening trick you shared, and Marshall gives me the most quizzical looks when I LOUDLY laugh out loud in bed. And then I try to read him parts and clearly they aren't as funny as when Tina writes them. :) Good call! I think I will check out Perks of Being a Wall FLower now! xo  10.01.12 - 12:49pm
Alexis - Aww, sweet! I think I'll have to see the movie for the last book.   10.01.12 - 9:56am
Taylor Roades - Jasmine, my reading list is getting longer and longer this month. I don't know how you feel about historical fiction but I would highly recommend the World Without End trilogy by Ken Follett. The second book came out this past week and I've hardly had the self control to put it down and edit at all. :) Just in case your looking for something new.  10.01.12 - 9:11am
Chelsea Clukey - Oh the book Prep! :) I remember this from junior high! I believe there's an entire series!   10.01.12 - 9:09am
natasha - These are some of my favourite posts that you do!!   10.01.12 - 9:06am
Lisamarie - Oh I cannot wait to see Perks of Being a Wallflower. I am so lame... I didn't even know it was based upon a novel. Maybe I will pick up the book. Thanks for the heads up!   10.01.12 - 8:49am
Melissa Kate - I need to reread the perks of being a wallflower! It's so great that you love reading :)  10.01.12 - 8:16am