Christmas Reading: Three Books for Your Winter Vacation

Christmas Reading-One of my favorite things about Christmas week is having a little time off work to lose myself in some good books. If you’re the same way, here are three good ones I’ve recently read and recommend.

None of these are holiday-themed, but that’s ok, right? They’re all engaging, memorable reads, and while I can’t say they’re all “fun,” they all have their moments.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

a_560x0I somehow end up reading a lot of celebrity memoirs despite not being celebrity-obsessed. Usually they’re light reads with some interesting anecdotes and insights into the celebrity’s character, which is really all I want. I thought Poehler’s memoir offered more than that.

First, I appreciate her weird sense of humor. The bizarre photos interspersed throughout the book were cute, as was her author photo. The book also includes more sincerely chosen photos from Poehler’s past that offer that anecdote/insight piece I like so much.

More importantly, I appreciated Poehler’s perspective on being a successful woman in a male-dominated industry. She is frank about her reliance on others to manage her family and work responsibilities, and about the ridiculousness of the notion of “having it all.” When I finished this book, I wanted to go have some beers with Amy Poehler.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

41ihtHc9jvL._SL500_AA300_So this was a book I received from the library and didn’t read for like six weeks because the cover looked boring. Sometimes I forget why I requested a book on the library site (it’s usually because I read a good review somewhere) and when it comes I am not excited to read it. Well, I finally pulled out My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and it turned out to be excellent.

This is a novel about World War I and follows several different characters in England and France through the war years. I don’t want to spoil anything, especially since part of my reluctance to read it had to do with the book jacket making this out to be a war romance novel. It wasn’t, not really. There is a love story but also combat, medicine, politics, and some crazy historical information about plastic surgery that turns out to be true (Gladys Deacon, anyone?)!

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

20604350Yes, another celebrity memoir, but one that’s different from any other I’ve read. This is Cumming’s account of two personal stories that ultimately are related in how they change his sense of identity. The first has to do with his abusive father, and the second with his deceased grandfather.

What I loved about this book was Cumming’s articulate introspection. He puts beautiful words to his pain and makes a very unique story relatable. Cumming also has a sense of humor that I enjoy, but what really made the book unforgettable was his level of candor about his past and its effects on him.

Got book recommendations? Send ’em my way!