Talking as Fast as I Can – Book Review

Book review: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Memoir/Autobiography
  • Comedy
  • Published in 2016
  • Goodreads rating: 3.93
  • Kindle Edition
  • 229 pages
  • Reading time ca. 5 hours

The full title of the book is Talking as Fast as I Can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between, so.. there’s your summary! Just kidding, I’ll be a little more thorough. The book is a memoir of Lauren Graham’s life, which includes two essays/chapters on Gilmore Girls (What It Was Like, Part One and What It Was Like, Part Two) and some chapters on her childhood, various endeavours, such as Project Runway and some small plays she starred in, the series Parenthood and her book Someday, Someday, Maybe, amongst other things. The book is written in chronological order with plenty of pictures.

I was actually really afraid to start on this book, because I absolutely love Gilmore Girls (I’m rewatching it for my 6th or 7th time right now) and I love Lorelai and Rory so much, so I was afraid that it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Also, I read some reviews in advance and they said that there was a lot of not Gilmore-related content and I actually don’t know any other stuff with Lauren Graham in it, but then I figured that I could just skip over those bits if they weren’t interesting.

I ended up reading the whole thing, start to finish, in less than 3 days (WHILE also reading Shatter Me). It was so much fun reading this. All of my concerns about the book were taken away in the first few paragraphs. The excerpt below is a quote from the very first paragraph of the book:

“I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, which is awesome right there, but three weeks later, before I even had time to work on my tan, we moved to Japan. The home of my favorite food ever: mashed peas. Well, that was probably my favorite food back then; what a waste, since I could have been eating spicy tuna rolls with extra wasabi.”

Lauren Graham, Talking as Fast as I can

If you “LOL”ed at this quote, I would recommend you read this book. And if you don’t know Lauren Graham, first watch Gilmore Girls, THEN read this book. I really had so much fun with this book. It’s actually what I’d imagine a book written by Lorelai Gilmore would be like. It’s the perfect combination of cynical, critical, funny and sweet. I annotated the crap out of this book with all the funny quotes, anekdotes and Gilmore Girls facts.

Even so, there’s a checked-out, drugged sort of look we get when on our phones that’s different from the look we get when reading a book, or even just staring into space. I get that look too, and when I catch my own reflection, it gives me a chill. It’s like Gollum’s face just before he drops his Precious in the water. 

Lauren Graham, Talking as Fast as I Can

I started watching Parenthood after finishing this book, because she talks about the series a lot (and the man she’s dating plays her brother in this series, so I was curious) and I’ve been loving it so far. It’s nothing like Gilmore Girls, but it’s a really enjoyable series about 2 brothers and 2 sisters struggling with raising their children. It’s weird seeing “Lorelai” with different kids, though. Also, I added Graham’s book Someday, Someday, Maybe to my TBR, a novel about a young actress moving to New York to “make it” as an actress, loosely based on Graham’s life.

You will like this book if:

  • You’re a Gilmore Girls fan and you’re curious to know about what was happening behind the scenes and the life of Lauren Graham.

Obviously if you have no idea who Lauren Graham is and you’ve never seen Gilmore Girls or Parenthood, there’s not really a reason to read this book. I mean, the writing is still fun, but you’ll have no idea what she’s on about half of the time.


Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given – book review

Book review: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Feminism/Gender studies
  • LGBT
  • Activism
  • Published in 2020
  • Goodreads rating: 3.90
  • Hardcover Edition
  • 224 pages
  • TW: rape, sexual assault

Disclaimer: I use the word “queer” in this review, because that’s the word that Florence Given uses in her book. Please do not take offense if that’s not the term that you prefer or think should be used.

I picked up this book quite a while ago in an American bookshop in Amsterdam (The American Book Center). It is Florence Given’s, a London based artist, writer and activist, debut novel. In 21 chapters, she gives an accessible introduction into feminism, self love, being queer, privilege, sex, ghosting, gaslighting, pros and cons of social media and many other related subjects. All of the art in the book is made by Given herself.

“Stop breaking yourself down into bite-size pieces. Stay whole and let them choke.”

Florence Given, Women don’t owe you pretty

I initially gave this book 4 stars, but in retrospect I decided to lower it to 3 stars. Mainly because I looked at the back cover and the blurb said: “The game-changing book that every woman needs” and well, it’s really not… Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good read. I went through it fairly easily and I definitely learned some new things every now and then, but it’s really more of a summary of the basics of feminism and it focuses A LOT on being queer, which I am not. If you are and you’re struggling with what that means to you and your femininity, I would recommend reading this book, because it does give a lot of useful advice in that department. However, if you’re a straight cis woman, a few of the chapters will not apply to you.

“There is enough room for all women to be whole without tearing each other down.”

Florence Given, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

I really liked chapter 20: Check Your Privilege. It gives a very clear definition of privilege and then does a privilege check on white privilege, cisgender privilege, male (passing) privilege, straight privilege, non-disabled privilege and class/financial privilege. It made me realise that I’ve always been really aware of male privilege, because I’m a “victim”, but I actually have lots of different kinds of privilege as well that I’ve been blind to.

I really liked the artwork in the book. It’s colourful and original and it’s a nice break from the heaps of information you’re given. The quotes also make it very understandable and easy to retain what you’ve learned.

I would recommend this book if:

  • You like reading about feminism or are interested in feminism;
  • You’re looking for a smooth introduction into feminism;
  • You’re LGBTQ+ and you’re struggling with femininity
  • You want to read about a queer girl’s struggle with feminism.

Side note: I’ve been seeing a lot of comments and reviews about this book saying that the whole concept of this book is stolen from Chidera Eggerue’s “What a Time to Be Alone”. I haven’t read it, so I’m afraid I can’t really shine a light on this matter. Reading the summary of “What a Time to Be Alone”, I do see some similarities in the topic, but no signs of plagiarism so far. I’ll put it on my TBR and see if I can do a post some day that compares these two books.

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Book Review

“Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”

Mark Manson
  • Paperback, 206 pages
  • Published September 13th, 2016
  • Nonfiction, Self Help, Psychology

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Gosh, I read this book back in like 2017 or something, but I still think about it all the time. I think I read this book in one, maybe two sittings, but definitely within 48 hours.

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck is a Self Help book that is one of a kind. It is very informal, very humoristic and full of anekdotes. In other books, I often find myself skipping the anekdotes, because they can feel redundant, but I read all of the anekdotes in this one. I actually still open this book every now and then and find some anekdotes that I remember from reading it in 2017 and reread them (and I NEVER reread books, so that says something).

This is thé book I will never stop recommending. There are so many funny anecdotes and quotes that really make the information stick with you for the rest of your life (or at least 4 years, I’ll keep you posted). My favourite is definitely the Disappointment Panda story (I am not going to provide spoilers. If you’re curious, google it or read the book).
Like most advice/self-help books, there are plenty of passages that I don’t (entirely) agree with or that don’t really apply to my situation, but that’s okay. We’ve all been blessed with a brain (although not everyone has figured out how to use it yet), so just filter out the advice that dóés help you and forget the advice that doesn’t.

“Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another.”

Mark Manson

Mark Manson is a really good writer, even if you don’t completely agree with his opinions (which a lot of people don’t). His writing is funny and clever, though maybe a little controversial sometimes. If you’re not sure if his book(s) are for you, he started out as and still is a blogger, so you should definitely check out his blog.

I five-starred this book back in 2017 and today, rereading some of the passages that I highlighted 4 years ago, I still whole-heartedly agree with 2017-me.

The Diary of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Book Review

“The immersive capacity of a good novel to transport you into a different world is unique to the written word.”

Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller
  • Paperback, 310 pages
  • Published September 13th, 2018
  • Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
  • Goodreads rating: 3.75

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Diary of a Bookseller tells the stories from the life of bookseller Shaun Bythell. He writes about the interesting customers that walk through the doors of The Bookshop in Wigtown (very original name for.. a bookshop), its extravagant employees and everything that makes being a bookseller fascinating (and sometimes infuriating).

I absolutely loved this book. It’s funny, it’s well-written, it’s packed with sarcasm, it’s interesting and it WILL make you laugh out loud. It definitely makes me want to be a bookseller.

The book is written as a diary (well, duh) and is actually the autobiography of bookseller Shaun Bythell. The book covers a little over a year of his life as a bookseller. Bythell starts every new month with a quote from George Orwell’s Bookshop Memories (an essay that describes Orwell’s memories from his time working at a bookshop), which really made me want to read Bookshop Memories (add to cart).

If you want a hilarious book about selling books, I would definitely recommend reading The Diary of a Bookseller. I honestly can’t think of anyone who likes reading, who would not like this book.

The ONLY thing I didn’t like about it, is that it’s a very slow read. It’s only about 300 pages, but it took me a full month and a half (of unemployment, I might add) to finish it. It’s the perfect book to read out of in between other reads, but it’s not a book you can finish in one sitting.

Bythell wrote two more books, Confessions of a Bookseller and Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, which I added to my TBR faster than you can say “Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops” (though I can think of a million things you can do faster than saying that).

If you’re not sure if my definition of funny is the same as your definition of funny, you can just go to Shaun Bythell’s Goodreads page and read some of his quotes. I especially like the one about Dracula (easy to find, it’s printed on the back) 😁