All You Need is a Good Book & Coffee
In life all you need is a good book, a warm blanket and a cup of coffee — or more than one cup of coffee, I’ve pretty much deemed coffee the elixir of life. As Lorelai has said, “I think I was coffee in a past life”.
Have you ever read the first page of a book and immediately fallen in love?? I have while reading Lauren Graham’s book Talking As Fast As I Can; released shortly after Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life aired. I have to admit, I am a HUGE fan of the original series… I consider myself the missing Gilmore Girl (I bet you didn’t know one was missing). Truth be told, I never watched the show while it was on the air, I watched the series when I left home for university. Being EXTREMELY homesick, I felt like the Gilmore’s were my family — I know it sounds silly, but there it is. It may have been because my relationship with my mom reminds me of that of the Gilmore Girls — sometimes Emily & Lorelai and other times (most of the time) Rory & Lorelai.
Lauren Graham’s latest book is written as though the reader and the author are long lost friends catching up over dinner. In a lighthearted and witty way, Lauren shares her story from childhood to stardom to author. She expresses some of her thoughts and feelings that are no different than yours or mine — the worrying if she’s good enough if she’ll ever “make it” in her chosen profession, her unfortunate fashion choices and the feeling of “being behind” in life. She is not afraid to laugh at herself, and much of the book is written as though she is reminiscing about the past. I really enjoyed the captioned pictures she included in the book of when she was younger. It humanizes someone we may have put on a pedestal. She realizes the enormity of playing one of America’s most loved TV characters, but she also shares that this character is very special to her as well.
Lauren breaks up the book into chapters so it doesn’t feel like you’re reading one long never-ending essay (like in my English classes). She starts by talking about her childhood — being born in Hawaii but spending the beginning of her life in Japan (talk about an interesting childhood). She was familiar with television as an entertainment medium because of her mother who appeared on a Japanese talk show. When her parents split, she lived with her father…..on a houseboat! Lauren and I had some very different experiences as a child — my childhood certainly did not involve a house boat…I grew up in the landlocked region of the Canadian Prairies. Her life became more “normal” when she started kindergarten and her father married her step-mother.
Lauren also writes about the various school plays and auditions she participated in, earlier in her career. Her part as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! the high school play, had her fans radiating with enthusiasm (her grandmother & father), okay so maybe that play wasn’t a hit but it still helped her along in her journey as an actor. She moves on to discuss how she learned what boundaries were acceptable for her to cross as an actor — what she was comfortable doing for a part. Can you believe she was asked to try out for a part as a butt model…yup a butt model. Apparently, several females were selected to audition — basically, you were wrapped in a towel, you walked on stage, faced the back, let go of the towel and BOOM showed your hind quarters to the director (and anyone else who happened to be in the room). All this was immediately followed by crying backstage as Lauren learned a very important lesson in comfort zones.
“Independent Ladies” throw your hands up in the air…I think that’s the lyrics to Destiney’s Child popular song aeons ago. Lauren spends an entire chapter discussing singledom and the dating world. I’m not calling Ms. Graham old…but can you imagine the stories she would have had if Tinder had been around….the laughs would be endless I’m sure. She talks about how she spent so much time working and advancing her career she kinda forgot about everything else until BOOM one day it hit her on the head that there is more to life, which then began her struggles in “finding someone”– we’ve all been there. Attending parties and events with the secret hope that maybe, possibly we’ll meet the elusive “one”. She goes on to talk about meeting Peter Krause at an awards show years before they actually started dating…hmmm is it possible you’ve also already met your “soul mate”, I guess only time will tell.
Now Lauren’s book wouldn’t be complete without intimate details on Gilmore Girls & Gilmore Girls A Year in a Life. Apparently, the second time round she kept a diary! This was possibly one of my favourite parts of the book– a behind the scenes look if you will, into the world we all love. She describes returning to her character as fulfilling and a dream come true. I think it’s very sweet she tried to have as many people who were close to her participate in the show in some way. Personally, I was so thrilled when Melissa McCarthy agreed to return to the show as Sookie, Lorelai’s best friend and business partner. Although their scenes together were limited, it just wouldn’t be the same without her — every girl needs her gal pal. Parts of this chapter are also written as pages from her diary — what she was thinking/feeling during the filming, the costumes, the sets. Fans want to know every detail of… well, everything and they got some juicy tidbits with this chapter.
Now comes the part of the blog I get to make all Gilmore Girls fans jealous. I was lucky enough to be in LA while the revival was being filmed AND I visited the Warner Brother’s Studio and Backlots– OMG!! I saw the entire outdoor set of the show — I actually went to Stars Hollow. I saw Luke’s Diner, Ms. Pattie’s, the town gazebo, Sookie’s House… Everything! I was so giddy with excitement that I nearly fell out of the golf cart that they use to transport you around the lot. Unfortunately, because it was a weekend I didn’t get to meet any of the stars…nor did I get — hmmm, next time; but it was still an amazing experience to see it in real life. To celebrate the release of the revival my friends and I had a party, complete with themed T-shirts and all the junk food the girls in the show eat– pop tarts, red wines, chocolate, pizza etc. Such a great night with some really amazing girls!
Last, but definitely not least Lauren describes her time on the hit television show Parenthood. Personally, I have never seen this show, therefore it is hard for me to comment on this section or really even get excited. I’m sure true Parenthood fans could provide more insight on this part.
Lauren’s slight change in career path into author was somewhat serendipitous; she realized she had time on her hands — for once– hmmm free time, I wonder what that is like. With this time she decided to start writing a story — fictional but loosely based on her life. The book Someday, Someday, Maybe is about an aspiring actress and her journey. It is in this section of the book that Lauren gives her readers some insight into her writing process and I learned that like many of us, she also procrastinates and experiences writer’s block!
Overall, this was a wonderful read, well written and captured my attention from the beginning. I would encourage any Gilmore Girls fan to read it — it’s quirky and entertaining with no suspense but feels like you talking to a friend over coffee. I give it ♥♥♥♥ out of 5 hearts. I hope this post helps you pick your next great read — Copper Boom!
Trotting Traveller ♥