Books I’ve Read Lately | Volume Three

Hey ya’ll! I’m back with another books I’ve read lately post for you just in time for the holidays! All of these books would make great gifts, even if they are gifts for yourself! I read lots of nonfiction this month, which is a little unusual for me, but so many good books have come out lately from some of my favorite people. 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

I actually listened to the audio book for this one. It was the first audio book I have ever listened to, as I generally prefer to actually read the book. While the choice to listen to the audio book was random (I had a free credit to audible and this was one of the first options that popped up) I’m actually really glad I listened to The Magnolia Story rather than read it for a couple reasons. The audio book is read by Chip and Joanna, so that friendly banter you know and love from Fixer Upper is apparent when listening to their book. Also, they co-wrote the book, each offering their perspective on various stories, and in the book this is only differentiated by two separate fonts. It’s a little confusing visually, and much easier to understand who’s “speaking” when you listen to it rather than read it. 

The book itself was really good. It was fun to get a little more insight into Chip and Joanna’s lives prior to filming Fixer Upper. I would have liked a chapter with a little behind the scenes on their experience filming the show, but perhaps it’s not something they can discuss since they are actively filming it. This is a fun, light read, perfect for a snowy Saturday afternoon. 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

Superficial is the follow up to The Andy Cohen Diaries. If you’re unfamiliar, these books from Andy Cohen are in diary form, with daily entries regarding his thoughts, comings and goings, and celebrity interactions. You don’t have to have read The Andy Cohen Diaries to read Superficial, but Superficial picks up right where The Andy Cohen Diaries left off. As you can probably imagine, Andy leads a pretty interesting life, so his diaries are anything but boring. Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa, and Sarah Jessica Parker are all frequent characters. He not only describes situations, but tells you his options on them, and he holds nothing back. If you’re a fan of pop culture, and love juicy gossip, you’ll love this book. Superficial takes place over the course of two years. The book is actually pretty long, and takes some time to get through, but every moment I spent reading it was thoroughly entertaining. 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

I love following Anna Kendrick on Twitter. I find her hilarious. So when she announced she was coming out with a book, I was super excited. I didn’t know a lot about her prior to the first films I saw her in, the Twilight series and Up In The Air, so it was interesting to learn that she started in musical theater in New York as a child. She was even nominated for a Tony at age 12! I also had forgotten she was nominated for an Oscar for Up In The Air. Probably because after that role she’s mostly done musical movies like Pitch Perfect, Into The Woods, and Trolls. You don’t see “Academy Award Nominee Anna Kendrick” in the title cards for any of those films. 

The book started off a little slow, but got more interesting to me in the second half. I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the other books, but I’m glad I read it. 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

I love Lauren Graham. I love Gilmore Girls. What’s not to like about this book? Side note- have you watched Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life on Netflix yet?? We loved it! Dear Netflix, please make more! Anyways, back to this book. I read and loved Lauren’s first book, which was fiction, so I was interested to read something more personal from her. As a big fan of Gilmore Girls, those chapters were probably my favorite parts of Talking As Fast As I Can, but the book as a whole was very well written and funny, almost as if you were watching an episode of Gilmore Girls. 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

I was pretty excited to read J.K. Rowling’s latest foray into the wizarding world. I read the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts in about an hour on the plane to Texas for Thanksgiving. This book is the actual screenplay, similar to the script for The Cursed Child I read earlier this year. If it’s not a format you typically read, it may take a bit for you to get used to it. 

I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t actually had a chance to see the movie yet, so my opinions are solely based on what I read in this book. It’s very apparent to me after reading the screenplay, that unlike the Harry Potter series, this format is (obviously) more conducive to film rather than the page. Especially in something like Fantastic beasts, which relies heavily on computer animation to make the”magic” come to life. In my opinion, the plot was pretty boring. I was expecting something with a few more twists and turns. I know they have announced there will be a total of five Fantastic Beasts films, so perhaps J.K. Rowling used the first film to set up all the characters and has more interesting plots planned for later films? Have you seen the movie? What did you think? 

Books I've Read Lately | Volume Three

What books have you read lately? Leave us your recommendations in the comments below!

-Ash xx


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  • I just saw the Fantastic Beasts movie this week and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read the book yet which I probably should have. I know some people were disappointed it it but I think they were expecting it to be exactly like Harry Potter and the story line isn’t. I think if you go into watching the movie and let go of the Harry Potter story line expectations, it’s an enjoyable movie. I’m excited to see what comes of the rest of the movie series.

  • Yeah, that’s pretty much what we’ve heard as well. Hoping to get to see the movie soon!