SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #6: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling


I realize I’m late to the party, but that’s not new. I loved this book. It spoke to me. It’s like my Southeast Asian Republican life doppleganger wrote this book. I’m actually going to start using it as a litmus test for a future husband. If he does not find Mindy attractive and endearing in this book, it probably won’t work out because what she wrote is basically what goes through my brain always.

I’m not an avid fan of The Office, but I follow Kaling on Twitter because she’s funny and, as I said, speaks to me as a 25-year-old female. She had released the essay “Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities” as a preview, and that excerpt sealed the deal for me. Continue reading

SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #5: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

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This is a book I looked at a few times in the store but never felt compelled to purchase right away. I was finally compelled days after having an epiphany regarding my work:life balance. I figured maybe I could use some guidance.

Gretchen Rubin is a law-clerk-turned-writer who lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters. She had an epiphany one morning that she felt like her life was passing her by and all she wanted from it was to be happy. She decided to devote each month of a calendar year to improving a different facet of her life, including relationships, career-building techniques and general quality of life.  Continue reading

SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #4: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway


I loved this book in high school. I had to defend my love of this book to my closest friends. I bought it a couple years ago because I loved it, though I hadn’t read it again since high school, and I just wanted to have a copy of it because I like having copies of books and movies that I love. I decided to read it for the first time since high school to recall why I loved it so much.

I couldn’t.

This is a classic that I’m sure most people read in high school (unless you were like me and didn’t actually read half of the books you were supposed to in high school — this was one of the few I did), so I’m just going to share some random thoughts I had on this book:

1. Lady Ashley is one of the original Manic Pixie Dream Girls, if not THE original MPDG. Continue reading

SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #3: Girl Walks into a Bar… by Rachel Dratch

3 girl walks barHave you wondered what happened to Rachel Dratch? Why she’s no longer on 30 Rock? What’s she’s been up to? This memoir will give you a delightful look into her life predominantly post-SNL.

Many know about the casting switch involving Dratch on 30 Rock (For those that don’t: She played Jenna in the original taping of the pilot, only to be replaced by Jane Krakowski before the show even aired). If you’re looking for a bitter and gossipy tell-all, you will not get it from her. She discusses the situation with grace but more so to placate the curiosity of the reader (and random people who ask her on the street), trying to shrug it off quickly as, “That’s show business!”

In fact, her entire history from grade school, through college, her sketch comedy beginnings, and up to her end with her good friend’s sitcom takes up roughly one-quarter of the book. This is not a memoir about her career; this is a memoir about what was happening while that…wasn’t. Continue reading

SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #2: Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann & Mark Halperin

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As a political operative who first got involved with politics during the 2008 race, of course I had to read this book at some point in my life. I am an ardent Democrat who worships Hillary Clinton, worked to reelect President Obama this past year, hated everything John McCain stood for during the 2008 campaign and wish Sarah Palin never existed. I also live for campaigning and aspire to run a presidential campaign when I’m super wise and successful and important in the distant future.

All that being said, I had to force myself to finish this book. It made me wildly uncomfortable. I hated the gosspiy tone and how it mostly concentrated on failures. I know this is what comes with politics and campaigns, and I’m honestly not sure what I even expected from this book. Continue reading

SJfromSJ’s #CBR5 Review #1: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

ImageAh, The Bloggess. As someone who had been regularly reading her blog but kind of late to that game and not interested in the daunting task of going back to the beginning and catching up, I was extremely excited when this book came out (and subsequently super bummed that I was doing something job-related every time she was stumping the book in New Jersey). I had read many of her present-day antics but had little idea about her roots and why she was the way she was.

Continue reading