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6 In Books & Writing

Book Reviews | 2nd Bookish Talk of 2017

We’re nearly halfway through the year so it’s time for the 2nd bookish talk of 2017. It’s crazy to think that we’re so late in May. Where has time going? And especially where has my reading time gone? I’m probably about 4 books behind on my Goodreads challenge! Shame!

I’ve been extremely busy at work (even bringing work home) so I’ve been crashing so quickly in the past few weeks, barely making time for reading. And as my job involves a lot of reading/proofreading, I try to stay away from that on the commute to and from work. Arg, I know excuses! I need to get back on it. I’m tackling a large 800-page novel at the moment and am halfway through Girlboss, so hoping I get back to daily reading very soon.

Now to the books…

bookish talk

*Year of No Clutter. Eve O. Schaub. 3/5

I requested this book on Netgalley because I expected it to be a bit more like Marie Condo and less like the diary of a mentally unstable person. But hey, I got something halfway in between. The beginning irritated me a little because there was just a lot of obsessive talk going on. But, Schaub’s writing is actually excellent. I laughed out loud and halfway through the book I was captivated by her quest, not just to clear the one ‘hell room’ in her house, but her way of seeing life and her relationship to ‘things’ in general. I really enjoyed it in the end and would recommend it to anyone who likes the idea of reading about someone decluttering their house.

*The Lonely Hearts Hotel. Heather O’Neill. 3/5

This is a difficult book to review. There are things that I really liked about it, some of the characters, the artistry, the setting in Montreal. However it is also a really raw book that isn’t afraid of anything, from drugs, to murder, to abortion and rape. I didn’t expect it when I picked up this book, so perhaps that’s why I was surprised by it. But I believe it deserves a trigger warning, after all the book starts with a rape and goes on to have many more rapes. Though at times it felt as though the plot was being stretched far too long, it all made sense with the ending. It felt like a perfect circle. All and all, I wish it had been less pervaded by sexual and social deviance.

*Then. Now. Always. Isabelle Broom. 3/5

I have to say I really enjoy Broom’s writing. I read another book by her earlier this year and loved it and nearly finished it in one sitting. This book was the same. The storyline follows Hannah who finds herself filming a project in a little village in Spain. It was fun, romantic and progressed at a very good pace…a pace that makes you want to keep reading until 4am. Although this book also fell into obvious clichés and although the main character pined for a man like a 14-year-old girl for most of the book, the end of the romantic storyline did surprise me. I recommend it if you’re looking for a nice romantic and family novel. 

*100% Real. Sam Talbot. 3/5

This was definitely an interesting cookbook. The recipes were great, some more complicated and more elaborate than others, and overall I took note of quite a few of them. I especially loved the way the books was divided – from section based on meals, to pantry staples, how to substitute with healthy options, all aimed to educate the reader instead of just giving recipe without context.

What I liked a bit less was some of the practicality behind some of the book’s philosophy. Yes we should all aspire to eat food made fresh, we should all aim to create our meals from scratch. But how realistic is it? Is it realistic and affordable for people with normal jobs to go to the market every day and buy ALL their products straight from the vendors? I aspire to cook every day and make healthy fresh food, but it’s not realistic to think that the lifestyle of a chef is achievable by everyone. So while it’s a great recipe book, I think it could definitely have been a bit more accessible in some ways.

The Girl of Ink and Stars. Kiran Millwood Hargrave. 4/5

I thought this was a wonderful book and well worth the awards it has won in the past few months. I believe that 12 or 13-year-old me would have loved it. The characters aren’t likeable at all, but it doesn’t hinder the story or message. I don’t blame the author too much because it’s such a short book, the reader barely has time to get to know them. It was actually very inspirational. It’s set in a different world than ours – though you can see the similarities. A young girl must go on a quest to find out what happened to her best friend and her home island.

*Rubbing Stones. Nancy Burkey. 2/5

This book follows two stories in parallel, of African siblings who look for their brother, and an American family who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thought this book was a bit weird. It felt as though there was a lot of backstory (especially for such a short book) and yet it didn’t seem relevant at all in the long run. The story takes a dramatic turn, but it’s as if it gets swollen up by it and forgets everything else. It’s a bit predictable and feels a little bit stereotypical. 

*The Best of Adam Sharp. Graeme Simsion. 2/5

This book wasn’t what I expected and it was a little bit disappointing. The story follows Adam as he reconnects with an old flame. Partially told in flashbacks, Adam gets to a cross road that is truly ludicrous and felt very unrealistic. I was a fan of Simsion’s two first books The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, but this book got a bit weird with its approach to relationships and cheating. Though the ending warmed my heart a little, I had to keep pushing to even make it to the end.

Les Superbes. Léa Clermont-Dion & Marie Hélène Poitras. 5/5

A wonderful feminist book that my mom gave me for Christmas. It looks at women and success. The book questions so much and gives food for thoughts through essay-letters and interviews with many powerful Quebec men and women. It was pretty intense, so it took me a while to read because some things made me so angry. #westillneedfeminism. But the more I read, the better it got. I thought it was a wonderful delve into a certain category of sexism and societal expectations.

What have you read lately? Any good recommendations?xx

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  • Thanks for the recommendations! Are you reading Goldfinch at the moment? I read it a couple of years ago and loved it but boy… it’s long!!

    • No, it’s a fantasy book I’m reading now. But I have bought the Goldfinch and it is on my list! Also just bought the other Tartt, The Secret History. I’m excited! 🙂

  • I haven’t read anything from your list this month! My inner child is intrigued by “Girl of Ink and Stars” though! X

    • Yes my list has been highly tainted by Netgalley but I’m about to stop because my list of books at home I haven’t read is ridiculous! I would definitely recommend Girl of Ink and Stars, it’s very magical!x

  • I haven’t been reading anything lately because I’ve been so swamped with a lot of things, but Les Superbes sounds amazing. And I’m going to try to find out if it’s in any bookstores near me. 🙂

    Teesh ♥ || Adventures of Cupcake Girl

    • Oh my gosh, honestly, I have barely read in the past month or so, life at work as been hectic. Les Superbes is great! I don’t know if it will actually be on sale outside Canada though…