scrappy little nobody by Anna Kendrick


If you know me a little, you know I’m obsessed with Anna Kendrick. Not in a I-need-to-know-everything-about-her way, not even in a I-want-to-look-at-her-picture-all-day-long-and-dream-my-life-away way, but in a way where I put myself in a position to enjoy her work. That’s mostly her movies, yes, but, awesomely, also her music, her tweets, and some rare interviews.

Well, and now her first book.

You may wonder: is there nothing sacred to this tiny, loud actress? Does she have to write a book now to make even more money? Apparently, she does, but even she admits that it’s for entertainment purposes only, so it’s okay to be just curious and pick it up.

What does she reveal in her book?

She reveals some insightful stories about how she got to the place she’s at now. She lets you catch a fleeting glimpse of the woman behind the words and then lets her sarcasm and wit make you laugh again and forget, it got serious for a second.

But that’s actually the beauty of it, her own style if you want. She does not dwell on insightful, dramatic, or sad, she just goes on to something more light-hearted or embarrassing.

What doesn’t she reveal in her book?

She doesn’t dish. As she admits near the end of the book, she’s being diplomatic and I appreciate that. If I wanted to read about her co-stars doing bad stuff, I’d read gossip columns. But that’s precisely the kind of stuff I’ve never been interested in. I know that many people are, but I honestly appreciate the work actors put out more than rumors about their personal lives.

She also doesn’t reveal herself, really. As I said, it’s mostly glimpses you get. Yes, she dwells on her flawed personality traits, but she does not become full-on philosophical about the person she is. She tells entertaining stories; mostly, she does on the page what she does in her acting – she’s telling stories, she presents someone, she fills it all with her personality.

I did enjoy this book a lot, it made me laugh, it made me think sometimes. It may just be that it offered me insights into my own weird self. And that’s because Kendrick is relatable. And I guess that’s what the title is really about: her being human, not superstar. The fact that a superstar is only a facade and that behind it, people still need to use the bathroom during award shows.

Kendrick proves that she’s not just a one-trick pony who can put out funny tweets. She’s someone who does a handful of things really well, and adulting isn’t one of them. She remains to be one of my favorites, just because of that, but also because she’s feisty and a fighter and someone who keeps me entertained for hours.


From the Boots Up by Andi Marquette


I know some people feel like self-publishing and electronic books have ruined the publishing world. But I find that there’s so much more stuff that can be read that way – and I’m happy. I’m aware that some of what comes out of the woodwork is not worth the reading, but there are also treasures that otherwise wouldn’t have been discovered. So, you can keep your cynicism when it comes to these new forms of publishing, because I love it. And I don’t mind reading something bad every once in a while – there’s a time for trashy stories, too.

Fortunately, From the Boots Up is not one of those. It’s a good one. Here’s a synopsis:

Meg Tallmadge works on her father’s dude ranch when classes are over for the summer. Her recent coming out is still a sore spot on the otherwise good relationship with her dad, Stan, when she meets Gina Morelli, a reporter come to the ranch to write an article about it. While the two women are attracted to each other, Meg doesn’t want to compromise the work ethics on the ranch – but can their passion for each other be contained by mere will power?

As said, I liked it. It’s a well-written novella from a woman who knows her story-telling. I must confess, I’m partial to stories set on dude ranches – or other kind of ranches. The romantication of the (wild) west has worked for me all my life and I’m drawn to lesbian romances that involve boots, hats and horses, and have read my fair share.

Still, I find From the Boots Up different in some respects. For once, it focuses entirely on Meg’s point of view and while her feelings for Gina are at the core of the story, her life does not only revolve around them. There are other things going on, other people in her life, her studies, her plans for the future. Gina does not step into a void, she rather disrupts Meg’s already full life, and Meg struggles with her feelings because they come at a inopportune time – as those feelings tend to.

There is a sequel to this story called From the Hat Down and it’s already on my reading list for next year (this year is already filled with books that made it to my kindle before this one). If you are like me and love stories with a western feel to them, if you care for well-written, well-told, well-established characters and plot, you should give From the Boots Up a try – you won’t be disappointed.