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Commencement. It’s a good one.

by Emma on January 6, 2012

in Books

Ok, now this is what I’m talking about! This would probably fall under the category of just-for-fun read, or easy-beach read, etc. And it is, sure. But it has enough depth and story to keep you interested and make you want to root for/be friends with the characters. I like that. I like all my fictional friends. Don’t judge me.

Commencement is, at its core, a simple story about four women who meet in college and remain friends throughout their early adult lives. They are different enough women that I feel it’s safe to say that the author, J. Courtney Sullivan, has a real talent for voicing very different points of view. The book is funny, irreverent, emotional, and engaging. Since the characters met at an all women college many of the interesting (and often funny) ideals in feminism come up while the characters discover who they are and engage in various relationships.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun but engaging weekend read. It’s a good one. For realz.

Did I just loose all credibility with you by using the word “realz?” Yes? Oh dear.

What have you been reading lately?

xo. Emma


Sarah Rooftops January 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm

*adds to wishlist*

I just read “Confessions of a Conjuror” by Derren Brown (he’s a magician/psychological trickster who’s popular across here; he goes around conducting pretend seances, guessing what people’s pets are called and exposing faith healers and whatnot) – it was meandering but interesting.

Right now, I’m reading a book by David Rakoff and wishing I knew more about New York so any of it made any sense to me.

hannah alehandra January 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm
Holly January 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I teach 5th grade so my reading lists almost always includes young adult/tween reads. They’re fast, easy, and surprisingly good. Walk Two Moons, Where the Red Fern Grows, Because of Winn-Dixie, Number the Stars, and The Captive are books I teach every year and re-read every year!

debbie January 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I think I was recommended this book once before but thanks for the reminder! I really would love to start reading for pleasure again.

Lucy January 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I’m reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts…. still, after a few months! It’s a mammoth book (almost rivals War and Peace in its page count, almost) based on the true story of an escaped prisoner’s life in Bombay. The author has an amazing way with language. Highly recommended!

Emilia January 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

I read Commencement a couple of summers ago and loved it, such a fun yet complex read! Right now I’m reading The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson, I adore his writing style, I’m constantly laughing out loud.

Kathryn January 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I really liked this book too! It was a great read.

I just finished The NIght Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really liked it too.
Now i’m working on The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr. My husband has been trying to get me to read it for ages. It’s all about the perfume industry.

So far so good!

Kayla Franson January 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I just read “Peace Like a River.” Have you read it? It was wonderful and beautiful, I loved it. I wrote a review on our blog right here:


chelsea January 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

i am always looking for a good book to read. i love your recommendations! i read “the third angel” because of your recommendation a while back, and i’ve passed it along to friends. thank you!

Michelle January 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I’ll have to check this one out! I just finished up reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and I loved it but it was a dense read, so I’m looking for something a little lighter.

Dania January 6, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I’m at Barnes & Noble debating on what book I should read.. I guess it’s a sign!! Love your blog!

paperpocket January 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Will def keep an eye out for this. Have been looking for a new book to add to my list. Just about to read Great Expectations again.

Anne Marie January 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I am going to be on the look out for this. I need an easy book after the over 500 page one I am reading. What was I thinking?!

Lela January 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Love your reviews on books! I’ll probably not get my hands on the book, but I enjoyed reading your post. :)

Debra January 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Hi Emma!! Never posted here before but I LOVE your blog!! :) Everything looks yummy & it makes me want to be a much better cook…baker really. Anyway..I’m reading The Help right now, but I also picked up The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross. Will let you know if it’s any good.

Lesley January 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

Looks interesting! I’m adding it to my goodreads list!

Steph January 7, 2012 at 4:00 am

Sounds good to me- I’ll add this to my to-read list. Thanks for the recommendation!

Right now I’m reading The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol 2, a comic book (series) by Jacques Tardi originally published in the ’70s. I think it IS pretty extraordinary if you’re into fantasy and Belle-Époque Paris. :)

Célèste of Fashion is Evolution January 7, 2012 at 4:12 am

I’m reading Sense and Sensibility (for the first time if you can believe it), The Sisters (a biography of the Mitford sisters), Catching Fire (totally addiction to Hunger Games now), and A Coco Chanel bio.

Ummm… did I mention I’m not good at book monogamy?

sarika January 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi Emma! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now ( it’s pretty awesome) but this is my first comment :)

I’m reading The Circus of Ghosts by Barbara Ewing at the moment. Its kind of cool.
It’s set in New York in the 1840′s and is pretty is a pretty awesome story that’s got tonnes of adventure and mystery.

Also try the Cat Royal series they are more for people under the age of 15 or 16 but they are still pretty awesome and funny :)

Gillian January 7, 2012 at 10:05 am

Emma- I love that you are an avid reader. Although I have no idea how u find the time to read with all the fabulousness you have going on!! I just finished reading ‘A Visit form the Goon Squad’ by Jennifer Egan. Loved it. Anyone into music, the eighties or powerpoint presentations will get a lot outta this one. I blogged about it the other day!

Hanna January 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

Sounds like a good one I will definitely put this on my reading list! I’m reading little bee at the moment which is great and beautifully written, but not exactly an easy beach-read.

Katherine January 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve just read two books: The Help and Airmail. Two great reads. Now on to The Great Gatsby ;)

Tirzah January 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for recommending this! I’ve added to my “To Read” list. It just keeps growing! Have you read “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern? I think you might like it.

:) Tirzah

Michal Lynn January 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I read this book this past summer. While it wasn’t a favorite, I was surprised at how realistic it was. I read about it in Entertainment Weekly (they suggested it to those who enjoyed the movie Bridesmaids), and was expecting a super funny read. But both this book and Bridesmaids touch on real human emotion and relatable feelings towards friendship, while still remaining funny and heartfelt. Maybe I should give it another go with a more open mind (it got iunexpectedly intense for a while there…).

As for right now, I’m 100 pages deep in The Marriage Plot. It is a very intense read so far, but I’m enjoying it and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

katharine Camiili January 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I’ll admit it…I read the Hunger Games. I was addicted! I highly recommend this trilogy for a quick entertaining read. Also! Read My LIfe in France, written from Julia Child’s perspective. A must for anyone who cooks.

Niki January 8, 2012 at 5:57 am

Hey! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but have never posted a comment. Heh heh…anyway. I’m currently reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I’ve been working on reading it off and on for a couple months…But it’s a really good book, if you like Dicken’s writing style. And the movie is fantastic! One of my favorites. :)


cheyenne January 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm

hi emma!
first time commenter over here :) i love your blog!
i finished reading man walks into a room by nicole krauss yesterday.
great book, but my all time favourite is the history of love by the same author!
now i’m going to finish on the road and sense and sensibility.

commencement looks really good, i’ll definitely look it up at the bookstore!
xo, cheyenne

Katia January 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Love this series of posts about books, I’ve been meaning to read more and I need my suggestions from somewhere! ;)
I jumped on the bandwagon (mostly because my younger siblings bugged me to!) and read the hunger games. I also have in my to-read pile The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I’ve already read, but thats ok!), Flowers for Algeron, The Help, and the Happiness Project!


Sam January 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

this book was not at all how I thought it was going to be, but it turned out to be super great! I definitely liked how different each of the characters were and I loved how there were always a lot of different stories going on. Engaging is the perfect word. Through the small amounts of time I have between homework I’m going to start reading Mindy Kaling’s book! Super excited.
Enjoy your next book!

Chris January 9, 2012 at 4:13 am

Thanks for the tip, always good to get a book recommendation. I’m currently reading “This Side of the Grave” by Jeaniene Frost, I think it’s the latest edition in the Night Huntress series (I might be behind by one book though, not sure). Good series for paranormal urban fantasy fans.

Chelsey January 9, 2012 at 6:53 am

Oooh cool, i may have to get into that!

I just finished reading “The Boy in the Suitcase”. Seriously, so so good. You guys should read this one. It’s a really good, interesting, enthralling (even a weekend read) read, translated from Danish. I’ll add in the amazon link so if any of you guys are interested, you can look into it further:

So good! I’ll look into this book too, i love a good, entertaining read!

Jessi January 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I just finished Mindy Kalings book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”
It was a great easy fun read. Next on my list are “”Extremley Loud and Incredibly Close”, “The Night Circus” and “The Sisters Brothers” (it’s a Canadian book getting lots of acclaim, I wonder if it is even on the radar in the US?)

mommaruthsays January 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I just finished The Hunger Games series and now I’m reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – I’m always looking for new books to read, so keep ‘em coming!

Daisy January 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

Thanks for the recommendation. Your hiliarious! For Realz! Ha!!

Angelique Facundo January 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

Awesome writing style!

annie bowen January 13, 2012 at 3:30 am

Currently reading Eating Animals. It strengthens my faith in vegetarianism! Emma, you should start an online book club. How fun!

Kristi(e) January 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

For the record, you gained credibility by using the word “realz” because you’re being true to yourself and that’s something I respect above everything else.

MrsK January 20, 2012 at 12:26 am

And then shot it down with “loose” for “lose.”

eleaca January 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I am reading The Help right now and Visual Poetry. I am enjoying them both. My favorite read this year was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn….loved it. You can never go wrong with a classic. I am going to have to add this one to my list.

Katie January 20, 2012 at 1:30 am

This sounds good. I’ll have to look for it at my library. I recently read the book “The Secret Lives of Dresses” by Erin McKean and I really liked it. It was a delightful read.