Happy Show Us Your Books Day! This seems to have been a month of enjoyable but not spectacular books for me.
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
If you’ve read any Sophie Kinsella books before, you probably know what to expect – the premise is kind of silly and the main character is annoying (bordering on insufferable), but it’s a nice light read when you’re in the mood for some relaxing fluff. Unlike most of her other books, this one focuses on a married mother of twins, rather than the single girl trying to get her work and love life in order. Despite a total lack of likeable characters, I did appreciate that the plot wasn’t completely predictable. Kinda forgettable, but it serves the purpose when you’re in the mood for this kind of book.
(This book will be published in February. Complimentary e-book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Okay, guys, parts of this book are a little out there, but I found it really interesting. The author is a doctor who really dives into the mind-body connection by having her patients do things like give a “voice” to their ailing body part or release pent-up emotions by beating up a pillow. The basic idea is that you subconsciously know a lot more about what’s causing your physical problems than you realize, and her techniques are intended to work around the mental roadblocks and help you figure out what your body is trying to tell you.
I do prefer her approach of figuring what’s going on in the patient’s life that might be causing the symptoms, vs the conventional doctor visit of “Your head hurts so take this pill.” I’m not sure I could get over the kind of kooky feeling of following her practices, though. For instance, saying “I am Crystal’s stomach. I feel (insert description here) because…. (whatever.)” I guess I’d have to experience being “diagnosed” that way in real life to see if it really worked. I wasn’t really a fan of the comic-style illustrations that are sprinkled throughout the book – they didn’t add anything that wasn’t already in the text and added a sort of goofy feel to it.
(Paperback was sent to me for consideration by the publisher.)
Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
This was a total guilty pleasure read. I vaguely remember watching the Girls Next Door during its first season or two, but I didn’t have TV after I moved to Orlando in 2007 so I missed out on everything after that. Holly’s book offers a behind the scenes look at her life in the Playboy Mansion both during the reality show and her years of being one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends beforehand. While Holly seems quite intelligent, I have a feeling she either worked with a ghostwriter or had major editing help because this is pretty well-written for a memoir by a non-writer.
Given how glittery and candy-coated the Girls Next Door show was, it’s interesting to read the confession of how miserable Holly was most of the time. (Apparently Hef was pretty verbally abusive and super controlling, traits that were obviously never portrayed on-air.) Reading the book made me go back and dig up a couple of episodes on YouTube, and even makes me kind of want to read Kendra’s book, but my library doesn’t have it and there’s no way I’m actually paying for it, so… meh.
Since I’m sure you’re wondering, she very briefly describes her first night in the mansion (read: sex), but otherwise doesn’t say a lot about it. She does talk a lot about the lack of freedom (they had a 9 pm curfew), feeling totally interchangeable with the other girls, feeling trapped because she knew the stigma of being a girlfriend would always follow her, etc. I found the post-Playboy chapters kind of dull, but I get why she wanted to finish off with “I left and did a successful show and found love and made a baby, yay me!”