Talking as Fast as I Can (CBR9 #3)

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We already have a couple of reviews of Lauren Graham’s newest book Talking as Fast as I Can over at Cannonball Read and from the people I’m also friends with on Goodreads I’m sure there will be more. I am going to weigh in now with my review, and it’s this: the book is good, in parts only okay, with moments of great. Three stars.

Wait, you want more? Okay, fine. But, I don’t like coming in with the first meh review on this one.

Graham got her writing deal based on a book she started writing on the set of Parenthood, which as a Graham aficionado I have of course read: Someday, Someday, Maybe. That book was also good, and I rated it three stars as well, but that may have had something to do with the depression I was in during CBR5. Very little got through the malaise in 2013. Her authorial voice in the memoir is different from in the novel, and that was good. Very good news actually. But… I preferred her tone in Someday.

I bet this book works better in audio. The things that bothered me had to do with repetition in the short page count (barely over 200 pages). I love a parenthetical aside, but with books written from first person singular as if in conversation with the reader, the same asides can grow old fast.  Just how many times am I expected to think it’s cute that she’s saying hello to the various hosts of the Today Show as she references the morning show circuit?

The great stuff is that Graham shares her personality with us, and it’s very much what you would expect. It was nice to get an idea of her personal history and I enjoyed the stories about her extra year, undergrad, and eventually graduate school. I loved the chapter where she assesses her career history and the loving way she talks about both Gilmore experiences and Parenthood.

Also, and this really is a nitpick; I did not enjoy reading about what a struggle it was to get this book published on time. I was excited to see where certain projects are in the pipeline (I really am excited for her collaboration with Mae Whitman for The Royal We) but, it was a little off-putting.

Hopefully those of you who are going to read this love it more than me, but know that I really did enjoy my time reading it, and thanks to ellepkay for my book exchange gift!

This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.

Someday, Someday, Maybe (CBR5 #24)

I was always going to like this book. I have been a Graham fan for nearly 15 years, which is half my life. My sister and I use Gilmore Girls as the basis for our understanding of our relationship to one another and I watch Parenthood religiously. I will also watch terrible movies that feature her (why won’t she stick to television?) and I love watching her as a guest on Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show and her guest star roles on Matthew Perry shows.

And I do like this book, but I really wish I loved it.

Someday, Someday, Maybe focuses on six months in the life of Franny Banks, aspiring actress in New York City. Franny has a given herself three years to ‘make it’ and she is entering her final six. We follow her as she navigates class, work, agents, auditions, bookings, and boys. Graham was herself an aspiring actress in New York in the early 90s and while I believe her claims that Franny is a fictional character based on some of her experiences, I couldn’t help but see Graham as the main character.

The things I enjoyed most about this book happen near the end, and not because of how the story resolves itself but more in that Franny and her roommate Dan get into a great discussion about the trappings of romantic subplots and what they mean to the larger storytelling going on. It’s a great conversation and one that I would love to join in on, particularly as relates to Love Octagons (because Love Triangles are so passé).

There really aren’t any beats that a seasoned reader  wouldn’t see telegraphed a mile away, but it’s a fun quick read that is very much in the voice of one of our favorite television actresses.