SmartChick’s Book of the Day: Memories of Madison County

Most people are familiar with the book Bridges of Madison County which relates an interesting love story that kind of touches the heart. Most people are not familiar, however, with another book called Memories of Madison County. It’s the memoir written by a woman who had her own affair with the author of the original book.

The original book is a love tale that’s slightly controversial since it’s about the burning love that happens during an affair. Affairs aren’t exactly what we hold up as the ideal love story but that doesn’t make them any less passionate or real.

The memoir is about another love affair – one that happened between the author and the man who wrote the book (Robert James Waller). It’s easy to read and is a good love story that stands on its own even if you aren’t familiar with the original book.

The memoir presents a new side to the original story since it gives insight into the author’s love life. Someone who enjoyed the original book might take an interest in this added perspective on the story. On the other hand, they may find that it ruins their impressions of the original tale so they might not like it after all. It’s probably worth deciding for yourself.

I listed this one on Paperback Swap but you can also get it on Amazon through the link above.


SmartChick’s Book of the Day: The I-5 Killer


For awhile I got really interested in reading True Crime books. I’m not sure what drew me to these tales. I was in high school and going through a morbid phase I guess. In any case, I read quite a lot of them at the time so of course I was familiar with author Ann Rule who has written tons of these books.

I don’t really read True Crime much anymore but every once in awhile I’ll find myself interested in one of these books again. It’s usually when I’m looking for a light and simple read and I’m tired of reading Chick Lit (which is my default genre for light and simple reads). Of course, True Crime is a darker kind of light reading that Chick Lit but it’s still easy on the brain.

On my most recent foray back into the world of True Crime, I found an Ann Rule book that I’d never read. It’s called The I-5 Killer and is about (as you might guess) a murderer who was committing murderers on a route along I-5. I’m not sure what there is to say about this book really. It’s pretty straightforward as far as True Crime goes but Rule is a good author and if you like her stuff but haven’t read this one yet then it should go on your list. You can get it through Paperback Swap if it’s still listed there.

On a related tangent, I’ve always wondered how you get into writing True Crime books. Does anyone know?


SmartChick’s Book of the Day: The Effects of Light


Yesterday I wrote about a book (Confessions of a Serial Dater) that was a fun easy-to-read work of fiction. Some people believe that all fiction is “fluffy” like this. I beg to differ. There are some novels that really address important issues and cause you to think about the lives of the characters even if those characters aren’t real. One great example of such a book is The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverley-Whittemore.

This is a book that I came across randomly at a book store many years ago. I read it once then and it struck me as a great book. Then I forgot about it until about a year ago when I re-read it. Once again, it struck me as a really great book. Things that are terrific about it:

  • The writing is really stellar. Sometimes you get that in fiction and sometimes you don’t. With this book, you do.
  • The imagery is impressive. The book is related to photography and you can tell that the author has an interest in the topic simply by how well she describes the images in the book.
  • The topic is controversial. Without giving too much away, the story is about two girls who had nude pictures taken of them and these pictures create a controversy that makes for an interesting storyline.

This is one of those books that I don’t want to describe in too much detail because it’s really a lot better if you read it yourself! I’ve read it a few times but now I’m done with it so I’ve posted it for trade at Paperback Swap. You can also get it at Amazon through the link above.


SmartChick’s Book of the Day: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

There are a lot of different types of books that I read. I like fiction and non-fiction. I like tough-to-read and easy-to-read. But the type of book that I read most often is the inspirational book. Almost every morning, I pick up a book and just read for a few minutes. The book is one that inspires me to live simply or to be better at my relationships or to otherwise do things a little bit better than I’ve been doing them.

One of the most well-known books that is on my shelf of easy-to-read inspirational books is All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The book serves to remind us that life may seem complicated but the important things in life are actually really simple. It does this through a series of essays that are short and succinct. You don’t need a lot of words to remember the basics about life.

At the core of this book is the belief that taking care of yourself and being kind to others are all that we really need to know in life. The rest of the suggestions are just tips to be added on to the core two tips to live a full and happy life. Although I do think that there are times when more complex thought is required of us, I love the easy inspiration of a book like this one.

In fact, I’d really like to check out the most up-to-date version of the book which has Twenty-Five New Essays that I haven’t had the opportunity to read yet. I’ll have to get that one from the library. If you’re interested in the original version of the book, you can get it from Amazon through the link above or you can get it through Paperback Swap here.


SmartChick’s Books of the Day

Just a quick note to let you know about a new feature that will be starting up here on Diary of a Smart Chick for the month of July. I’m going to be doing daily book recommendations. I read a lot of books. I usually read mutliple books at one time and I try to read daily. As a result, I have opinions on a lot of different books and I’d like some place to share those opinions. I’m hoping that this blog will serve as a good place. If it does then I’ll continue posting daily about different books for the rest of the year (with July being the trial for that). Would love to get your feedback on this new feature as the month goes on so feel free to leave your comments!

Note: I use Paperback Swap to trade books. I think it’s a great way to get books at a super low cost as well as a great way to recycle the books that I’m done reading. The first set of books that I’ll be reviewing on Diary of a Smart Chick will be from my bookshelf of available books on Paperback Swap. After that I’ll continue with the books on my own shelf and the books I’m getting from the library.