It’s been quite quiet here on the Hidden Ponies front this week! I do apologize – I’ve been busy enjoying the company of my dad, visiting all the way from across the country for a few days :). Rest assured, we’ve been eating – in fact, I made eclairs again (they’re that easy), these cookies with Oreo chunks, these muffins…you get the picture. Food, food, and more food!
But I’m here to distract you for yet one more day from recipes…
I love reading, but when I’m in school I find I often get more into T.V. watching and other mindless activities since my school-required reading makes reading a book for fun seem a little less appealing.
That’s why I love book clubs, because they force me to read, and, once I start, I can’t stop. I love having a book to turn to when I sit down for a minute, or a page turner that keeps me up til the wee hours of the morning, even if I do struggle bleary-eyed through the next day. I’m in two real-people book clubs, but also occasionally get to participate in a fun online book club through BlogHer.com.
This month’s book, “Diary of a Mad Fat Girl”, by Stephanie McAfee, besides having a fantastically entertaining title, was a perfect book to read mid-semester. It’s a lighthearted, easy read about a single gal with a rocky relationship past, who is trying to fight small town politics at the same time as she is trying to get her best friend out of an abusive marriage. As totally not-funny as that may sound, this book actually had be laughing out loud regularly.
I loved the hyperactive chiweenie dog, the small town bar, the random biker gang that was totally not a gang, and so many other completely improbable but hilarious twists to this story that made it seem like it could actually be real life.
Ace Jones, the main character, is a pizza and beer-loving, loud-mouthed, walking ball of crazy, but you can’t help but like her. Her best friends, a skinny romantic lusting after a much younger deputy, and the aforementioned abused woman, have hefty personalities of their own, and, combined with their new friend, the richest old lady in town, rollicking adventures ensue.
This book was actually a self-published hit before getting a “real” book deal, a testament to everyone hoping for self-published success stories! I was happy to discover that the book is not actually written in “diary entry” form, but in regular first-person novel form. ,l;[While by no means a classic, and with era-sensitive lines and references like “I went after that like a Biggest Loser Contestant going for a one pound advantage”, this book holds its own as a fun escape read. I can’t help but wonder if it’s something of an autobiography after reading the brief author bio…
“Diary of a Mad Fat Girl” would be a perfect summer beach companion. The publisher was kind enough to send me a second copy, which I am thrilled to be able to pass on to one of you lovely readers! I love the idea that you can spend your lazy days of summer reading this fun, sassy novel, so all you have to do to enter is:
1) Live in Canada (I know right? When do contests EVER say that? But I live in Canada, and I want shipping to not ruin the whole point of a free book to give away :P Sorry, American friends. I still love you longtime.)
2) Comment below with your favourite summer beach read! Or really, any favourite book. I love book recommendations, so shout ’em out :)
*Note: This is a sponsored post for BlogHer Book Club, but all opinions are entirely my own! For the full discussion, which is bound to be entertaining, head over to the Book Club Page on blogher. com. The first discussion is all about whether you text (as Ace’s friend incessantly does) or actually pick up your phone and call!
*Other note: Giveaway closes Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 am. I’ll be back with some delicious Saturday Sweets and the name of the winner, generated by random.org!
Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty says
oh balls! I missed it!!
i still have reads for you though: The Lovely Bones or anything by Alice Sebold; The Life of Pi or anything by Yann Martel; Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan; Anything by Cormac McCarthy though The Road is probably one of his easier reads; Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill; My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki. Oh god, I’ll stop.
I’ll read almost anything on the beach, but if I’m going for something lighthearted and easy to get through, I love me a good Alexander McCall Smith! My book club is planning to read the Hunger Games trilogy over the summer months. Looking forward to that!
Great post Anna. I totally agree with your first commenter. I love Marian Keyes. I discovered her quite a while ago and then read every book of hers I could get my hands on. Definitely laugh-out-loud, but still good writing, interesting characters, and real life-like content. Great for a relaxing read that you don’t have to feel guilty about. P.S. I’d love to read ‘Diary of a Mad Fat Girl’!!
I am working my way through karen kingsbury’s latest series, like them because they are still non-thinking books, a relaxing read. But i think i’m going to look up some of the above mentioned books!
I try to avoid reading very much during the semester…a good book always seems to take precedence over any homework :) Some books I like are Kate Morton’s ‘The Forgotten Garden’, and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.
This book sounds hilarious!! Definitely will add to my “books to read” list for the summer! As I read a ton, (probably more than I should!!) it’s hard to pick a favourite, but one that really sticks out in my mind is Nineteen Minutes from Jodi Picoult. It’s heartbreaking and devastating, but such a good read.
Hmmm… one of my favourite series lately is the Seven-waters Trilogy by Juliette Marillier; the books are a blend of fantasy and fairy tale and so engrossing!
I don’t have a lot of time to read but the last book I read was Eat, Love, Pray
Living The Sweet Life says
This is a little embarrassing, but nothing makes me happier than sitting on the beach with a decedent cookbook ( it leave people a little confused – – to be honest lol)
Ooo, that book sounds interesting :) I love Francine Rivers too, especially the Mark and the Lion series. And I’d have to say The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is one of my favorites.
I absolutely love reading! I have a hard time putting a book down once I have started :-) I think my favourite books were the series by Dee Henderson…… But i pretty much like any book :-)
i’m not gonna lie, I read mostly cookbooks…but I love Atonement Child by Francine Rivers and Night by Elie Wiesel. Two very different books.
Cathy Hofsink says
For a light summer read I would choose Sisterchicks by Robin Jones Gunn, and for a little more in depth I would suggest Her Mothers Hope and Her Daughters Dream by Francine Rivers.
Alicia Louwerse says
For a quick, enjoyable, can’t take your nose out of it summer read, I would totally recommend the Hunger Games triology. I know you said you would never read it, but I’ve heard Divergent is sort of the same idea… :)
Su VdH says
This book sounds hilarious! I’m definitely adding it to my “must read” list! My favourite book was a recent read by Charles Martin called “The Mountain Between Us”.
Sounds like an entertaining read! Out of the books I’ve read lately, two that come to mind because I couldn’t put them down were Room by Emma Donoghue and Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Ooh, I’ve read both of those, and I couldn’t put “Room” down either!
Joni Black says
Hi, first off have to say I love your blog and your pics of food. They are wonderful. Already printed a few I want to make – love desserts! My favourite author has to be Harlan Coben – genre thriller. I am a very eclectic reader and read anything I can get my hands on, but for true escapism on the beach I love to read his books. Thank you – he has just published a new one ready for my beach read in May – unless I am lucky to win your offering of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. I’ll put it on my to read list. Have a great day…
Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I’ve never heard of that author, I’ll have to look him up since I like to read pretty much anything too :)
This author has a few books on my shelf also and they are were great reads. I will need to look for this particular one, have yet to read it. Thanks for the review and good luck to the entrants in your sweet giveaway. Also, glad you got to spend some time with your dad! Enjoy the day.
For a summer beach read, I love anything by Marian Keyes .. She’s an Irish author who writes fantastic, relatable, and really funny stories. I can’t even pick a favourite book of hers to recommend because I love them all!