REVIEW: TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN, BY LAUREN GRAHAM

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.


My Thoughts: I was probably one of the last people to come to the Gilmore Girls party, but once I discovered the show on Netflix, I couldn’t stop watching. The term “binge watching” completely describes my experience.

Before I found myself a real fan of this show, I had already discovered Lauren Graham in movies and on Parenthood.

Now, in Talking as Fast as I Can, I liked discovering her personal take on her movies, TV shows, and relationships. Her self-deprecating voice kept me smiling, even as I felt like someone who was having a conversation with her.

I liked learning how she came to start writing, and enjoyed her descriptions of her writing process, which included tidbits from someone whose process became part of her writing style.

But my favorite moments were the peeks behind the scenes on the sets, especially the ones related to the Gilmore Girls reboot. Special moments involved the connections with the cast who felt like family, and the emotions they experienced as they wrapped up the show. As a reader, I felt like I was part of it all. 4.5 stars.

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OFF TO THE SHORE: THE BOOKS ARE COMING, TOO….

 

It is almost time for my trip to the beach!  You’d think I’m going for a week or more, the way I’m gathering things together, making lists, etc.

All week long, these pieces of half-packed luggage have been sitting by my bed.  Whenever I can tuck something away, which has to be an item I won’t be using again before I leave…in it goes.

At least I have refrained from bringing out my large luggage…my daughter has reminded me that other people will have luggage in the van.  LOL.

One thing I haven’t forgotten…books.  Maybe I won’t have much reading time, but you have to be prepared.  For late nights, when everyone else is out doing other things, I can curl up in my hotel room and read a little.  I’m thinking one of these, below.  I’m already reading The Cutaway, by Christina Kovac.

 

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I’ll be bringing Pippa, too, with many book choices, including One Perfect Lie, by Lisa Scottoline.

 

 

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I also have a short book on my Kindle, one I downloaded this week:  All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg.

 

 

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So….I will party with the others until I can make my excuses and retreat to my room…for reading, TV, etc.  That’s how I enjoy myself, and since many people will be having a bonfire on the beach after the festivities, I will not be missed, I’m pretty sure.

Now you know my secret…I am basically a recluse who comes out to play for only a few hours into the night.  That’s how I do things nowadays.  I had my days of partying all night back in the day…now I prefer curling up to read.

What do you like to do when you are on “vacation”?

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CURL UP…AND LET’S TAKE A LOOK BACK…

Madeleine on June 15 - coffee

Looking back, checking to see what I was thinking and feeling during a particular time period, is one of my favorite blogging activities.  Today I looked back two years ago, to February 2015 and my review of The Girl on the Train.  Remember that one?

You will see, if you check it out, that I loved it.  And later, I loved the movie, which is now available on Amazon Prime Videos.  I will be watching it…again!

I saw it twice at the theater, once alone and another time with my granddaughter.  She and I often enjoy some of the same movies.  We’ve watched White Oleander and Erin Brockovich too many times to count.

 

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I used to buy the DVDs of favorite movies, but now, with Amazon Prime, I can buy them on the site for less than the cost of the DVD.  So that’s what I do.  Sometimes they are free!

Speaking of Prime..and Netflix...and Hulu, I do enjoy visiting those sites, and haven’t been there in at least a week…but now that some of my favorite TV shows are back from hiatus, I tend to save those places for nights or weekends when nothing else is on.

Tonight it’s This Is Us, one of my favorites of the new season.  The actor, below, was a fan fave on The Young and the Restless…and those of us sad to see him go can now enjoy him on this show. (Hey, that sort of rhymed!  LOL).   Here is super-hot Justin Hartley…

 

 

JUSTIN HARTLEY

 

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What do you enjoy, in movies, TV, or even in books?  Do you find yourself gravitating to a certain kind of reading or viewing?

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A CHALLENGE: MAKING LISTS, COUNTING MY NUMBERS…

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Making lists is an ongoing part of my blogging journey.  They begin with pages on this blog, from which I gather information I need for the weeks and months ahead.

Since I will be participating in a new Read the Books You Buy Challenge, starting on January 1, I thought it was imperative that I take a look at the target months and the numbers.

What are the target months?  July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.

Let’s take a peek:

July 2016:

10 Books Purchased, 1 Book TBR (Not bad!)

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August 2016:

19 Books Purchased, 4 TBR

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September 2016:

9 Books Purchased, 3 TBR

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October 2016:

13 Books Purchased, 5 TBR

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November 2016:

14 Books Purchased, 6 TBR

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December 2016:

9 Books Purchased, 8 TBR

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Total Purchased for July through December:  86

Total TBR for July through December:  32

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So…32 books to read from 2016.  Not bad.  But guess what the best part is?  2017 is a Clean Slate!  Thanks to last year’s challenge, I feel as if I am in a good place.

What are you planning for the New Year?  Will you be signing up for a challenge or two to whittle the unread books from your stacks?  Good luck, and have fun!

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COMMITMENT POST: READ THE BOOKS YOU BUY CHALLENGE – 2017

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Kathryn, at Book Date, will be hosting another Read the Books You Buy Challenge – 2017.

I enjoyed participating in 2016, and while I didn’t ever “choose” a percentage, I’ve been working away at it all year.  So I think I’ll do the same in 2017.

My Challenge Page will list the books I read and review, with links to my reviews.

Let’s have fun!

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP: HELLO, OCTOBER!

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Wow!  The months are ticking by, and we just said goodbye to September.  My total books read dropped by one from last month’s, but everything I read engaged me.  It was hard to pick just one favorite.

What did your month look like?  Let’s link up to Kathryn’s Book Date so we can visit others.

Here are my books, with the titles linked to my reviews.

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SEPTEMBER 2016:

1.Cruel Beautiful World, by Caroline Leavitt – 352 pages – (Literary Fiction) – 9/28/16 (NetGalley – 10/4/16)

2.Girl on the Run, by Daryl Wood Gerber – 290 pages – (mystery/suspense) – 9/11/16 – (Author Review Request)

3. If I Forget You (e-book), by Thomas Christopher Greene – 255 pages – (literary fiction) – 9/22/16

4.It Ends with Us (e-book), by Colleen Hoover – 384 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/5/16

5.I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline, et. al. -304 pages – (memoir) – 9/3/16

6. My Life, My Body, by Marge Piercy – 128 pages – (nonfiction) – 9/30/16

7. Sister, The (e-book), by Louise Jensen – 330 pages – (psychological thriller) – 9/9/16

8. Sunshine Beach (e-book), by Wendy Wax – 414 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/25/16

9.  They May Not Mean To, But They Do (e-book), by Cathleen Schine – 306 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/14/16

10.This Must Be the Place (e-book), by Maggie O’Farrell – 400 pages – (contemporary/historical fiction) – 9/2/16

11. Untethered, by Julie Lawson Timmer – 332 pages – (contemporary fiction) – 9/19/16 (Amazon Vine)

12.Watching Edie (e-book), by Camilla Way – 291 pages – (psychological thriller) – 9/16/16

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN SEPTEMBER 2016:         12

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN SEPTEMBER 2016:    3,786

BOOKS READ YTD:                                                                     120

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK IN SEPTEMBER 2016:

It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

 

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LET’S CURL UP & MUSE ABOUT BOOKS

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It’s Monday, so let’s muse about bookish things, along with Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

Check out these topics:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Which book do you wish you’d written, yourself?

 

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Currently, I’m reading the NetGalley e-ARC, Leave Me, by Gayle Forman (Release date – 9/6).  Loving it!  When I feel connected to one character and dislike several of the others, I know that I’m in for a delightful journey.

 

 

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Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.

With bighearted characters–husbands, wives, friends, and lovers–who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?

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I have been eagerly awaiting this book, and now that I have it, I am so pleased that it wrapped itself around me and held on, making it a difficult book to put down.

What are you reading or pining for today?

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