Tuesday, December 6, 2016

13 Authors Who Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Recently in my FB reading group a friend asked for book recommendations that would make you laugh out loud. We received a lot of wonderful ideas, and so I thought I'd pull them together in a post that would be a great resource for those of us out there looking for light and enjoyable, or even hilarious reads.

13 Authors Who Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

JENNY LAWSON

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Yes, I'm serious. Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess is my favorite person of ever. She's serious, but hilarious, and when I read Let's Pretend This Never Happened? I may have laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face. In a public setting. Seriously. This is the book of all books that I recommend to anyone looking for a book that will make them smile. My friend Beth over at The Angel Forever recommended the exact same book. I knew we were kindred peeps, but this confirms it.

It's one of my all-time favorite reads.

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

I'd be remiss if I didn't also recommend Furiously Happy, her second book, which is just as phenomenal.

DAVID SEDARIS

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I'll admit that I haven't read much by Sedaris. I read one of his books a few years ago and didn't quite find myself fully drawn in, but he is a favorite in my reading circles. One recommendation is Naked, which is, apparently, hilarious on audio, as well.

LAURIE NOTARO

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

I've been a Laurie Notaro fan for YEARS. Yes. Literally. She has made me think about the most ridiculous of topics. She's made me laugh with her self-deprecating humor, along with the real way she speaks in her work. One of the first books of hers I read was The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club. I can remember drawing attention to myself on my commute to and from work from laughing so hard.

JEN LANCASTER

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Lancaster's non-fiction works are my all-time favorites. From Bitter Is The New Black, to The Tao of Martha, and on and on - she's hilarious. I know she writes fiction books, as well, but I just adore her actual voice so much that it's almost difficult to find my way into her characters. I prefer hearing her talk about her life, her husband and her dogs.

SARAH SILVERMAN

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Silverman has a new book out titled The Bedwetter. It's just what you'd expect from her - raunchy and rowdy and entertaining. My guess is that it really depends on whether you're a fan of hers or not - because if you're not a fan you probably won't enjoy it. But if you are? It's true to who she is, and so you surely will.

AMY POEHLER

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

I adore Amy Poehler. Which is why Yes Please is currently sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to dive in. I love her voice, and her personality, and find her not only entertaining, but empowering to other women, and girls across the globe. Poehler's Smart Girls is a fantastic site worth looking into, if you're interested in seeing the kind of work she does that's beyond her usual funny.

ERMA BOMBECK

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

How could you not love Erma? I mean - she's everything every female humor writer would like to grow up to be. She's real, fun, funny and - well - simply put? She's Erma. She's Forever, Erma.

TINA FEY

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

I will confess something here. Bossypants wasn't my favorite read of ever. And anyone I know who has read it hasn't been completely bowled over. That said? Everyone I know who has LISTENED to it? Has loved it so much they've been ready to play it again and again. So, even though I don't tend to do audiobooks, I'm contemplating just for the sake of enjoying Tina, and several of these authors - in a whole new way!

JANET EVANOVICH

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Confession number two: I've never read Janet Evanovich's work. I am basing this on the recommendation of three people in my FB group who said that they find themselves laughing when reading the Stephanie Plum books and enjoying the stories fully. So. I think I need to introduce myself to her stuff.

MARY KAY ANDREWS

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews has been suggested as a laugh-out-loud read. I'm a fan of her work, so I can see where the recommendation comes from. Her writing is enjoyable and often light enough to leave you laughing, so I look forward to adding Hissy Fit to my to-read shelves sometime soon.

JONATHAN TROPPER

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

I haven't read Tropper's works yet, but I'm extremely interested. Not only was he recommended by a friend, but when you read up on his titles you find that each one is reviewed with more praise than the one before. This guy sounds entertaining and enjoyable, and like a must-read, for sure. I think that One Last Thing Before I Go might be my first pick.

JILL CONNER BROWN, 

aka SWEET POTATO QUEENS

fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

Have you ever read a Sweet Potato Queens book? It's been a while since I have, but I remember loving them when I did. Hearing this name brought me right back to some enjoyable titles that I think we'd all love to dive into. The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide To Raising Children for Fun and Profit? Sign me up, please. And their Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner)? Yup. I'll read that, too.


fiction, nonfiction, books, reading, goodreads, amreading, recommendations, what you should read, authors

This woman was a favorite of mine long before I moved to the South. She's hilarious. Honestly. Her books are just plain awful and entertaining at the same time. And speaking of titles? omg - You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning - and Bless Your Heart, Tramp - well, yeah, she wins with those titles right there, doesn't she?

So, there you have it. A baker's dozen worth of authors you need to pick up when you need a laugh.

And if you're looking for some book recommendations, consider checking out these lists:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Applesauce In The Instant Pot

Guys - first, heads up, there are affiliate links in this post.

Second - In case you can't guess where this is headed?

I'm ever-so-slightly addicted to my Instant Pot.

I bought it either on Thanksgiving or the Wednesday before. And though I haven't used it every.single.day? I've enjoyed using it as much as I can.

And tonight?

Tonight I made applesauce.

omg - you guys - it's SO good.

So, here's the quickest recipe you'll ever find.

Four Steps To Applesauce In The Instant Pot

Step One:

Peel and core 8-12 apples and place into your Instant Pot (With the liner, obvious to most, but just in case you're a newbie like me and unsure!)

Step Two:

Add the following ingredients:

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 cup (give or take) of sugar
1/2 cup water

Step Three:

Close Instant Pot and set manually for 5 minutes.

Step Four:

Allow Instant Pot to complete Natural Pressure Release - you could probably opt for the Quick Release, but I kind of let it go until there was no steam to come out, and it was amazing and DONE.

And when you're done? IT IS GLORIOUS.

And the whole house smells amazing.

Just look at it.


It's absolutely delicious when it's hot.

Like, incredibly delicious. I think it would be perfect on top of vanilla ice cream.

It could also be the perfect gift for family or friends for the holidays. Because - well - yum.

So, enjoy!

And if you don't yet have an Instant Pot? Go forth and get one. Stat.

Disclaimer: I found several applesauce recipes online, for the Instant Pot and the Crockpot. I tried to combine several of them to create one that worked for me. I am trying to go back and find the ones I combined and can link those here for you ... just got over-excited and did my own post, instead!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

12 Books To Read in Early 2017


I know - I know - I should be talking about the books you need to buy your friends and family members for the holidays. And I'll get there. I promise. But this? This is what it's all about. I mean, come on, you know that you just want to load up that Kindle or Nook or eReader of some other brand I'm not familiar with and pre-ordering can be SO FUN. 

Surprise! You were smart and ordered a book a few months ago so you can have something to read on your next vacation, flight, commute, day off ... the ideas are endless.

Here you go. Early 2017 releases. Lined up and ready for you to order now (affiliate links provided). They'll show up on your Kindle or your doorstep and you'll be GOLDEN.


TWELVE BOOKS YOU'LL BE READING IN EARLY 2017

Her Every Fear, Peter Swanson
January 10, 2017
Peter Swanson, fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions, psychological thriller

The Sleepwalker, Chris Bohjalian
January 10, 2017
Chris Bohjalilan, fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions

January 31, 2017
Abby Fabiaschi, fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions

January 31, 2017
Lisa Gardner, fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions
February 7, 2017
Fredrik Backman, fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions

February 7, 2017
fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, book suggestions, Neil Gaiman

A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline
February 21, 2017
fiction, amreading, books, reading, recommendations, goodreads, Kindle, Christina Baker Kline, book suggestions

There you have it. Twelve books you need to read in early 2017. EEK! It's almost 2017, y'all. 

And yes, I know that I didn't give you much to go on. But don't deny it, you judge books by their covers, too. It's okay. I won't tell.  

So don't worry. Some of these authors are household names. Immediately recognizable. 

Others? This is their first release! (Yay! Congrats! Welcome!)

And others are new to you - and possibly to me - but from psychological thrillers to enjoyable stories - this list will get you through the cold blustery winter months. And then before you know it spring will be peeking out at you and I'll have a brand new list.

Speaking of lists ... find more book recommendations from me on any of these:


And a fun one if you're shopping for a friend who loves to read. Or, let's face it, yourself:


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

6 Nonfiction Books For That Friend Who Has Everything

reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies


I'm all about a new book every month.

Honestly? I'm probably about way more than a new book every month. I buy books before I have a chance to finish the one I started before it. I'm a book addict. I'm a self-proclaimed bibliophile.

I'll admit it - I don't always read nonfiction. But these have caught my eye, whether it's the title that interests me, or the author, I think they'll be great reads.

So, whether you're shopping for yourself (because let's face it, this time of the year we all do, don't we?), or trying to buy your friend who has everything and needs nothing, here's a list of recommendations for you.

Reminder - there are affiliate links throughout this post to facilitate your shopping experience.

6 Nonfiction Books To Add To Your To-Read Shelf


Settle For More, Megyn Kelly

reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies
Regardless of where your political views, you'll note that Ms. Kelly is well-recognized these days. And if you find her remotely interesting, as I do (sometimes), you'll probably want to read up on her career, her youth, her education and more. Settle For More seems like the perfect read for that news junkie on your holiday list, too. Well, maybe a certain kind of news junkie, but still ...


reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies
Whether or not you felt the Bern, you've got to admit that Bernie Sanders had a heck of a campaign. His story is one about his journey leading a huge part of the nation. Tales from the campaign trail and a look at the future - goals, dreams, how to go about bringing change to our great country. Bernie's got it all.

Around The Way Girl: A Memoir, Taraji P. Henson

reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies

Taraji P. Henson has become a household name with her portrayal of Cookie on TV's Empire. Anyone who knew her before now knows of her ability to play characters to the fullest. This book is an expression of her life as a black actress finding her way through Hollywood. She shares her joys, her challenges and her disappointments. As many of the reviews have said, 'she keeps it all the way real.' And for me? That's all I ask of an author. Around The Way Girl has been on my want-to-read list for a bit, and I think that it might be the book that I buy myself before the holidays!

reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies
Anna seems like the kind of person you want to be friends with. She's the kind of person *I* want to be friends with. It's been a while since I've found myself interested in biographies/memoirs (you can thank Lena Dunham for that), but I'm interested in learning more about my new best friend. So Scrappy Little Nobody is on my wish list. I want to get to know the girl who I adored in Pitch Perfect, (one AND two) and who made me weep when I watched her singing with Kristen Chenoweth. 


reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies
I mean - it's Bruce. Don't you want to know how his mind works? When it comes to a celebrity like The Boss, it's easy for many of us to feel as though we know him. We grew up on his music! - we say proudly. We can recite every word to every song off of Born To Run. I believe you - I do. I'm pretty sure I AM you in that regard. Maybe not as intensely, but I am you. Or I was. But the fact that Springsteen has been working on his life story for years tells me more about him than I think I already know. The man has a lot to say. And I, for one, am here for it. 


Lab Girl, Hope Jahren

reading, amreading, books as gifts, gift ideas, nonfiction recommendations, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies
I don't know what it is that fascinates me so about this book. Lab Girl is the story of a woman scientist that, honestly, many of us have not heard of. Me, at least, I had not heard of her until this book caught my eye. Something about her journey through science, her personal, hands-on account of experience in the lab, her life travels and how she and her lab wind up in Hawaii (HAWAII!)? All of that draws me in. So I recommend Lab Girl. Mainly because I want to read it myself.

So, there you have it. Six books that you might want to either buy for yourself, add to your holiday wish list, OR consider buying for that friend you don't know how to shop for. Happy reading!

And if you're looking for more book recommendations, consider checking out these lists:

Fourteen Books You Need To Read This Fall (Fall 2016)

Five Unlikely Beach Reads (That work any time of the year!)

Five Books You Should Be Reading Right Now

Thursday, November 17, 2016

8 Gift Ideas For Your Favorite Bibliophile

books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile

Yes, I know. Thanksgiving isn't even here yet. How could I possibly?

Well, I'm not the kind of person who normally jumps ahead and discusses what you should do or buy for the holidays, but this year I'm getting it in early, so y'all can go on and pick a few for me - you're welcome!

But seriously, we all know that Black Friday is the day everyone looks for deals online - and - if you're really brave? In the actual STORES. omg, who are you people?

And so - for that purpose - I'm giving you a few ideas to get your friends who, like me, love to read and would love anything reading-related as a surprise gift from Santa or Chanukah Harry under the tree (yes, I know there are other gift-giving holidays, I happen to celebrate these two with my family).

All links go to Amazon and are affiliate links. Thanks for using them to shop so I can save my pennies towards buying myself a few of these fun presents. 

8 Gifts For Your Reading Friends This Holiday Season


Things I Like Almost As Much As Reading T-Shirt

While bacon may not be on MY list, you have to know someone who would really enjoy this tee. And so? You should buy it for them.
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile

If your friend is like me they will love keeping track of what they've been reading with a good ole pen and paper. This book is the perfect stocking stuffer - or combine it with a book or a gift card and you've got the perfect gift.
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile


Most book readers like to curl up with their book and a cup of coffee or tea, especially during the cooler weather. This mug covered with literary inspiration is the perfect match. Your reading buddy will love it. 
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile


This bag contains 25 teabags with literary quotes from around the world. What a fun idea. This with the mug ^ above? A perfect gift for the reader in your life, your child's school librarian, your favorite teacher - anyone who enjoys reading would find it unique and interesting. 
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile

These socks are really cute. And they're statement makers, too. Because banning books is ridiculous, isn't it? I mean - come on - it's 2016, people. Let's get past that already, okay? Anyway, one sock has the titles, the other has them blacked out. They're fun and funky. Find your reader friend who is also an advocate and he or she will enjoy these. 
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile


I can recommend this because I actually own one. Mine is from CafePress, too, I think I just have a different font than the one pictured here. It's fun, a good size, and it's a conversation starter. Get one. For your friend - or yourself, whatever, I won't tell. 
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile



Because maybe your friend doesn't carry a bag around with them, but remember what I said about coffee or tea? Yep. There you go. Perfect. 
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile


Do you have a friend who is your very own personal library? Or one who talks about how so-and-so still has her book from 7th grade? If that's just me - well - ignore this rec. But I think we all either HAVE or ARE that person, and this is the cutest gift!
books, gift guide, reading, holiday shopping, what to buy a reader, reader, bibliophile
And there you have it. Eight gifts you'll want to look into for your friend who absolutely loves to read. Let me know if you buy any - for them - or for yourself. Hey, you work hard, you deserve a little something, too!

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