Reader: Bri Burkhart, Mansfield University.
What I read: "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" by Chelsea Handler.
Genre: Nonfiction, humor.
Synopsis: Handler's stories ranging from her childhood to present day, have proven to be entertaining by being the author of four New York Best-Seller's.
From her off the wall antics about having a pet dolphin to planning the funeral of a living bulldog, Handler's stories in "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" could bring out a laugh in anyone.
The fun filled and detailed experiences of Handler's real life are told through her sarcastic and bitter attitude, creating the perfection of Handler's tone as a writer.
Stats: Paperback, $15.99, published by Grand Central Publishing in 2011, 256 pages.
What I thought: "Why couldn't it just start raining so I would stop feeling so guilty about lying around in my bra and underwear in an environment that would surely be awarded an F by the Health Department?" ("Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang," page 50).
This summer while every other girl on the beach was drooling over "Fifty Shades of Grey," I was laughing out loud to the ridiculous stories of Chelsea Handler.
You may have seen Handler on her late night television show on E!, "Chelsea Lately," but the laughs do not compare to the humor you will get out of her books.
Some of the stories are so outrageous that they could be mistaken for exaggerations of the truth, and for those moments, Handler adds a picture for proof.
Although some of the stories are completely vulgar, the lively spirit of them makes me wish that I had experienced them myself.
Handler might be a television star and almost 20 years older than I am, but I can still find her easily relatable.
If there is one person who hasn't let Hollywood get to their heads, it's her. Handler always stays true to herself, even if that means being a little offensive.
So if you're looking for an easy read and to have some fun, you won't have to look much farther. From one nonreader to another, any of Handler's books are worth your time.
Reading this book will not seem like a chore but more of a comic relief.
So next time you're in a bad mood, instead of turning on a funny movie, turn to Handler.
Staffer: Tara D. McKinney, correspondent.
What I read: "The Map of True Places," by Brunonia Barry
Synopsis: Zee Finch is a psychotherapist. It seems like she is living the dream - respected for her work, mentored by one of the leading psychotherapists in her field, and engaged to the perfect guy.
One could never tell that she spent her youth stealing boats and earning her the nickname, Trouble.
When one of her patients, Lilly Braedon, commits suicide, things for Zee start to unravel. She begins an emotional journey into her family's dysfunctional past.
Zee suspects a man Lilly was having an affair with of foul play, especially when he starts following Zee.
It is time for Zee to get out of town and visit her childhood home in Salem.
Zee's mother, Maureen, a writer of fairy tales, believed in the "great love."
She spent her time writing dark stories, leaving one she worked on for 12 years unfinished at the time of her death. Zee was still a child when she lost her mother.
She was raised by her father, Finch, and his partner, Melville, in Salem, Massachusetts. She returns home to find that her father's Parkinson's has taken a turn for the worse to the point that he can't be left alone.
The timing could not be worse for Finch and Melville to have split up. Just like ripples in a pond, her father's relationship troubles affect Zee and her fiancee who are struggling to make their wedding plans a reality.
To complicate things further, a new man, local rigger and navigator, Hawk, comes into Zee's life.
But Hawk isn't who he appears to be.
How often do people fall in love with the way someone looks as opposed to who they are?
Can people ever escape the past or are they doomed to repeat it?
How many people can you truly love in a lifetime?
Is suicide the fault of the person who committed it or the circumstances and relationships that lead up to it?
Stats: Published by William Morrow in 2010, 416 pages.
What I thought: If a dark fairy tale and modern fiction had a baby its name would be, "The Map of True Places," by Brunonia Barry.
As a main character, Zee was distant and very hard to relate to.
But it probably would be hard for anyone with a bipolar mother who committed suicide to have normal relationships with other people to come across as relatable.
I found Barry's writing to be completely engrossing and I truly enjoyed reading this book almost as much as her debut novel, "The Lace Reader."
"The Map of True Places," covered almost too many different issues: bipolar disorder, Parkinson's disease, a homosexual man in a heterosexual marriage and his disillusioned wife, suicide, domestic violence, extramarital affairs and depression.
I felt like Barry could have focused on a few of these disturbing elements instead of trying to include them all.
The plot also jumped around a lot without smooth transitions which was quite jarring.
Perhaps this was a device to help the reader feel like Zee, tossed back and forth between people and through time and memory like a ragdoll.
The most valuable things I took away from this book were the importance of good communication in relationships and holding onto people you love even when they try to push you away.
What I'm reading next: "Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling," by Michael Boccacino.