I read Kaling's book first. Although I didn't recognize the author right away (no, I don't watch The Office), the title was catchy (who hasn't felt like others are hanging out without them?). I soon fond out Kaling was both an actress and writer on The Office and feared it would effect my reading because I'm unfamiliar with the show for the most part. However, this wasn't the case. Kaling talks about many childhood events and her opinion on a variety of topics. Even the parts about The Office were funny to me because by the time I reached that section of the book, I was familiar with Kaling's voice and writing. I could imagine her actions and tone of voice and still get a kick out of what she described. I think Kaling's sense of humor seeping through the book is what made it most enjoyable. It is hard to find a writer with voice sometimes and as a writing teacher, it is hard to do, explain, and teach, so I'm always happy to see it.
Paris in Love was not as great an experience, but this really may have just been me. The book covers the year that author Eloisa James lived in Paris with her husband and two kids. The adventure predicates her survival of breast cancer and the need to appreciate life more. The book is written in chapters, each chapter opening with a longer essay on a topic. Following the essay is a series of journal-like/FB status type observations. They are literally snapshots of James's time in Paris (I believe much of it is actually a collation of her FB statuses over the year).
Story wise, it didn't move for me and I couldn't get into the reading at any point. I think it's partially because I prefer full fledged stories, whereas this one was pieced together throughout the course of the memoir. Also, I had started reading it when there were many things going on and I feel I was somewhat distracted. However, I can say that I did enjoy this author's use of literary elements - especially metaphor and simile. She painted great pictures in my mind at times. And I have to say she made me dream a bit. What would it be like to up and move somewhere so different than your home? To have the freedom to just explore and learn the area? I don't know that I'm brave enough to ever do what she did (I commuted to college!), but it makes for a nice daydream.
Have you ever traveled far away long term?