TLF Book Club: Spring 2016


Dear George R.R. Martin, 

I hate you.

Sincerely, Cristina

At the end of last year, I decided on a reading goal for 2016. And I then thought it would be great to have these quarterly updates here as a kind of accountability check throughout the year to keep me on task.

Then A Feast for Crows happened.

51T6kUoKSWL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_I knew going in that any book from the Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) series would take up a good chunk of my time; this particular volume has over 1100 pages.

1100. That is not a typo.

To add to the sheer length of it, George decides now would be a good time to add in a bunch of characters we’ve never met before. Please keep in mind that we’ve needed an index for characters since the very first book. On the bright side, some of my old favorites DO appear deeper in the book.

AND THEN (and I take full responsibility for this one), I finally caved and did the free 30-day trial of HBO Now…which means I had to binge-watch five and a half seasons of the Game of Thrones television series in one month.

In hindsight, I should have timed my trial better to coincide with the end of season six (which had its big finale last week), but it was definitely an impulse buy of sorts.

At any rate, plowing through this installment of the book series and watching most of the television series unfortunately left me unable to do much other reading over the past few months.

So, instead, here are a few books that I’m looking forward to getting to once A Feast for Crows is out of my life forever…and I get through A Dance with Dragons.

(1) Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf


Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives you a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns. She exposes the “switch” in your brain that will enable you to live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life where you achieve your goals, get your thought life under control, and even become more intelligent. And her 21-Day Brain Detox Plan guides you step-by-step through the process of replacing toxic thoughts with healthy ones.

Sounds good to me, right? I’m actually in a kind of book club that’s reading this…but I haven’t even bought it yet. Shame… (a la Cersei Lannister; it’s a sickness)

(2) The Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen


Andy Cohen is an American television executive, host, and author. As of 2012, he is the Executive Vice President of Development and Talent at the Bravo cable television network, a subsidiary of NBC Universal. He is also the host of the network’s nightly live talk show Watch What Happens Live and the author of a memoir, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture. He is the first openly gay host of an American late night talk show.

I really enjoyed Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, and I think it’ll be nice to take a break from such heaviness after GoT.

(3) The Assistants by Camille Perri


When a technical error with Robert’s expense report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her loans with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she hesitates. She’s always played by the rules, but this would be a life-changer. As Tina begins to fall down the rabbit hole of her morally questionable plan, other assistants with crushing debt and fewer scruples approach her to say that they want in. Before she knows it, she’s at the forefront of a movement that has implications far beyond what anyone anticipated.

In the spirit of fun… This book’s gotten some great reviews, and seems like a great potential beach read.

(4) I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam


Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week.

And then it’s back to work. While the premise seems a hair arrogant (you’re just managing your time poorly), I am an advocate of checking out any book that offers legitimate practical steps for self-improvement.

So, there you have it. George, I’m coming for you. Please be worth it. But after that, I have some gems just waiting to be read.


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