Good Reads : The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Personal

To say I had a panic attack would slightly dramatic, so I’ll simply say I had a panic attack. A few weeks ago, JD and I spent a couple days in Monterey, California, a quaint city filled with tiny storefront windows, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, and sunbathing sea otters. It’s all so quaint it makes a person feel like she walked into a west coast Norman Rockwell painting.

At 6pm, as we walked through a farmer’s market, I announced I finished the books I’d brought for the trip (insert panic attach here), so JD found a used bookstore that made me feel like I died and went to literary heaven. A dog lounged by the cash register and incense burned in the corner window as I roamed the snug aisles of dog-eared books. I quickly grabbed a few books before the store closed and sat on the back porch steps as JD strolled the dock of the bay. On his way back, he grabbed a camera from the car and captured one of my favorite memories from the trip.

In case you’re wondering what books I bought and read in Monterey, here’s my most recent Good Reads
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I don’t what attracts me to uber depressing books, but this ranks pretty high on the list of Debbie Downer reads…and yet I enjoyed it. The story chronicles the life of a woman battling depression and schizophrenia, the aftermath of her journey through being institutionalized. Yes, there were moments while reading it that I wanted to come up for air, but that’s what made it so good. The story sucks you in, and sucks you dry. It’s heralded as an American classic for good reason.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. This was one of those books I debated buying because it screamed BEACH READ to me, like one of those books with a pink cover and the silhouette of a poodle, but gave in in the end because a friend recommended it. The story follows Lee Fiora’s four years of prep high school as a scholarship student and the struggle to find balance between her life in the midwest and her new life as an outsider in a world of prestige, wealth, and weekends on Nantucket. In the end, the read was just okay for me…I wanted to like it more than I actually did.

Best American Short Stories 2008 edited by Salman Rushdie. Let me be real: You’d be hard-pressed to ever have me say anything bad about a compilation of short stories. Ever. I don’t know what it is, but reading short stories is my jam! This highly curated book is filled with some of my favorite authors and pulled from the glossy pages of The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and the like. Loved.

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book, but the movie version is being released in a few months and it received great reviews. It’s impeccably written and effortlessly adds layers to the story, resulting in becoming emotionally invested in Charlie’s life. Charlie is an awkward high school outcast who befriends two people who accept him and invite him into their crazy world. He struggles to find his identity and battles insecurities, but soon realizes the value of true friends and voicing what a person truly wants from life. So good.

Happy Monday!