Book Talk, Splashin' Edition



The week after a long holiday is always a special sort of challenge. My way of dealing with it has to do with water: either drinking it (hydration is important!) or immersing my children in it (thus granting myself more reading time!).

splashin Weekly Book Talk

Recent Reads


Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan (Crown Publishing, 2013)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you, oh local library, for stocking books such as this. I don’t know, though, if I should thank Jim Gaffigan for having written it.

You’re guaranteed to laugh, but the laughing may come at a high cost: the fast expulsion of air may cause your body to rebel and make noises that other people in the room are sure to translate as “MOM’S FART-LAUGHING.” Which is, I’d like to add, COMPLETELY INACCURATE.

In a few pages per chapter, Gaffigan managed to make me both want to turn the pages and want to stop reading so the book wouldn’t end. It reminds me of reading Susie Lloyd: you’re up late laughing and making a racket and it’s all good, clean fun. (Or that’s the THEORY. Reference earlier comment regarding “special” laughter.)

I’ve never seen Gaffigan’s stand-up routine, but now that I know he’s one of “my people,” maybe I will check him out.

Then again, the side effect of the laughter he seems to produce in the room is…not so great.

(Read as: highly recommended.)


The Sinner’s Guide, by Venerable Louis of Granada (with the Catholic Spiritual Direction Book Club)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I read this over the course of a few months, and I think it was better reading for the time I spent with it. I’ve been writing about it on alternating weeks over at the book club, and it’s not the easiest book writing I’ve done. Venerable Louis is challenging and boy, does this book ever take you to task. It’s challenging reading and, like many spiritual classics I’ve read, it’s hard to believe that it was written hundreds of years ago. Guess it’s more proof that the human journey is pretty similar across time.


The Fault in Our Stars, by John Greene (YA fiction, Speak, 2012)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Yes, yes: everyone is reading this. I’ve had it on my Kindle since December at the recommendation of my nieces. And I finally read it because…well, I’ve been wanting to read it.

In the two days it took me to read it, I sobbed and laughed and marveled. It wasn’t trite or predictable. Great summer reading, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see the movie. The book’s an emotional investment and…I just don’t think I want to see it. Plus I don’t want to have my images of the characters ruined by the movie.

Current Reads


The Watson Chronicles: A Sherlock Holmes Novel in Stories, by Ann Margaret Lewis (fiction, Gasogene Books, 2012)

So I was going through my review shelf, looking for a novel (there are plenty there). How have I not read this one yet? I’m thoroughly enjoying it, both for the masterful writing and the expert storytelling. I have always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, but I never remember it when I am hunting for a book to read. Lucky for me, this one has been holding my nose quite delightfully.


Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, by Jean Heimann (Servant Books, expected publication 2014)

I’m not very far into this book, but it’s grand so far. I’ve been interested in the seven deadly sins for a few years, and the fact that they’re tied in with virtues has only just recently come to my attention. Pairing that with saints? Brilliant. From what I’ve read so far, Heimann also has a sort of “everyday hero” part of each chapter, with a real-life non-saint (as in, a living person who’s not inaccessibly holy). There are also suggestions for applying each chapter’s virtue at the end. So far, so great.


North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction, courtesy of Craft Lit)

The more I listen to North and South on Craft Lit, the more I love it. Heather Ordover is delightful and she’s that high school lit teacher I always wish I’d had. She teases out the awesome. And the narrator? Phenomenal. I catch myself checking rather impatiently for updates each week, hoping for the next chapter. Never mind that I could read it for myself. Nope. I want to hear it!

What have YOU been reading lately?

*Are you on Goodreads? I’ll see you there!

Curious about what my ratings mean? Here’s an explanation of what the stars mean to me.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2014, Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


    • Stuart, I’m not reading movie-lit per se. It just happens to be a book that was made into a movie. 🙂 So should I read The Giver? I’ve seen it at B&N…is it truly a classic? Huh? Do you recommend it?

  1. Wait, what, fart-laughing is bad? What about pee-laughing? Because that of course has never happened to me…

    You touched on a lot of books on my “to read” list, thank you! I think I’m going to run to Gaffigan first. I could use a good laugh, among other things.

    • Let us not talk about this theoretical body-expulsion-laughing. It is THEORETICAL *only* ^^OF COURSE^^.

      Let me know what you think of Gaffigan and whether you’re able to drink while you read it. Last week I talked about the high cost to my library of me having this book, because I fear there may have been some liquids leaving my mouth in the direction of the page as I read… 🙂

      • Oh my, ooooooooooh my……. you, Sarah, make me laugh (non-body-explosion/expulsion laughs, OF COURSE).

        I just finished North and South myself. I don’t say this very often (if at all), but I think the adaptation, with one or two exceptions, improved upon the book…. the saying of which may get me run out on a rail. 🙂 Serial novels sometimes need a good screenwriter to fix its pacing and other plot defects. My two cents.

      • Will do. I’m sure everyone who checked out Gaffigan’s book contributed similarly, haha! (I once had to buy a book out of B&N because I laughed so hard I ripped a page. But it was hilarious, so it was worth it!)

        • (The book was “Stuff Christians Like” based on Jonathan Acuff’s blog. You have to have lived in the Protestant world to understand a lot of it, but it’s HILARIOUS. I did all kinds of theoretical laughter-induced bodily functions).

          • Oh my, Brittany. I have almost read that book…I remember hearing about it when it came out. I might have to go look it up now… 🙂 (And I do have a Protestant background.)

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