I don’t know about you, but to me September definitely goes hand in hand with books and reading. Maybe it’s the school-loving nerd in me, but September was the perfect time to bring back my book roundups. This 3rd bookish talk of 2017 will cover from early June into September, so forgive the long list. I’ve tried to keep the reviews short and sweet.
Girlboss. Sophia Amoruso. 3/5
Most of you will know Girlboss (the book and/or the tv show), it needs no introdution. What I have to say is that within all the inspiration and motivation that Amoruso is trying to show through this book, it because grating. Like if you’re not hussling you aren’t living your best life. Not into that. However, the book was enjoyable enough. I recommend the tv show though.
Miss Mary’s Book of Dreams. Sophie Nicholls. 2/5
I’m not entirely sure what I thought of this book, except it was a bit weird. I thought it was going to be about books, but it wasn’t sadly. Until I read other reviews I also didn’t notice it was a sequel, which is perhaps why I was a bit confused reading this book. The book was written well enough, but the plot was a bit of a mess. The whole novel felt a bit ethereal and the cosy vibe of it just wasn’t for me.
The Name of the Wind. Patrick Rothfuss. 4/5
This book is a huge conquest. It is nearly 800 pages long and while I read most of it in 2014/5 I only recently finished it. It follows the protagonist (who is annoyingly arrogant) through his learning of magical powers. That’s as simple as I can summarise it! The plot was quite mesmerising and toward the end I couldn’t put it down.
The One with all the Bridesmaids. Erin Lawless. 3/5
A funny and light-hearted novel about a group of bridesmaids preparing for a friend’s wedding. I enjoyed some of the romantic arcs and especially the real life funny anecdotes about weddings. I’d recommend this book if you feel like a light wedding-based read, perfect for a summer holiday.
Girl off the Grid. Jillian Dodd & Kenzie Harp. 1/5
I really liked the premise of this book. I’m all for travel bloggers after all! But sadly this book didn’t quite come up to the expectations. The romantic arc wasn’t believable, the ‘vlogging’ was annoying and the general premise fell apart quite quickly. What I did enjoy was learning about Costa Rica and eco-tourism.
Time Out City Guide: Amsterdam. 4/5
A great guide for the city of Amsterdam! It includes some maps, some attractions, some great tips for budget visit and food of the city. What I particularly loved was reading about the history and political heritage of the Netherlands and Amsterdam. That really added to the experience of getting ready to visit the Netherlands.
The Year of Living Danishly. Helen Russell. 4/5
I loved this book. What can I say – I’m already trying to convince the Brit to move to Denmark. The beginning threw me off a bit, the writer comes off as quite sheltered (also give me a break with your ‘we’re moving so far away from our friends and families’ like a whole hour’s flight away). But I loved the rest of the book. It was informative and entertaining.
Brooklyn. Colm Tóibín. 3/5
When I watched the film, it really touched me – especially with personal experience of immigration. The book was really good but I had trouble reading past the lack of female friendships and good relationships. Also I hated the ending – which is less inspiring than the film of course.
Herbs: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking and Growing. Judith Hann. 4/5
This book is a great bible to have around the house if you plan to grow your own herb gardens. This is our plan and I found this book so informative. It tells you the best things to do depending on the season, how best to take care of certain herbs, and additionally (going above and beyond) tells you what’s best to do with them when cooking. It includes lovely recipes that I personally can’t wait to try out.
The Secrets of Villa Rosso. Linn B. Halton. 2/5
This book started really well, but unfortunately went into a direction I wasn’t ready for and didn’t enjoy. The book wasn’t really a romance, it wasn’t really a travel fiction and it wasn’t really a mystery. It tried to be all, but in my eyes it didn’t really achieve any of them well. The main character goes on a work trip and feels a connection to the manager of the estate. This was all and well, but for some reason it turned into an esoteric connection, with frankly no real chemistry in my eyes.
True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop. Annie Darling. 3/5
This book surprised me. When I started to read it, it struck me as too much into the ‘romance chick lit’ category, too much so really. But I plod on and I was rewarded by a book that is very self-aware, full of tongue in cheek jokes about romance books and with a nice little romantic love story in the middle of it all. I didn’t realise it was the second in the series, but I enjoyed it on it’s on.
Nørth: How to Live Scandivanian. Aurell Bronte. 4/5
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve been obsessed with all things Danish lately and asked to read this advanced copy because it sounded interesting, about life in Scandinavia. The book delivered so much more than I thought. It was written brilliantly and with just enough tongue-in-cheek to make it an enjoyable but enlightening read. I’d recommend it if you want to learn more about Scandinavia, and about how people in Scandinavia seem each other and themselves.
The Little Book of Hygge. Meik Wiking. 4/5
I really enjoyed this book. It discusses Hygge as a way of life and how it permeates all aspect of the Danish lifestyle. I liked that it was separated into different life aspects.
I Should Be Writing. Mur Lafferty. 3/5
This book felt too simple to have a real audience. Most of the stuff said in this book has been repeated over and over again and there was nothing new under the sun. However, what I did like about this book were the writing exercises included, something to spark creativity.
Unstoppable. Maria Sharapova. 3/5
I’m not one for reading biographies, but I was curious to read about Sharapova’s early life and her road to the pro tennis circuit. I loved the beginning of the book, with the immigration story of her and her family. When she gets to her success and life as a pro tennis player, then it gets a bit less interesting. There is a lot of arrogance (or possibly self-awareness) you probably find with most pro athletes. I dislike how she often talks for her competitors though, and the recurrent rants about Serena Williams.
Stick Man (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) & Rory and His Magic Castle (Tom Cole and Andrew Wolffe)
These two were wee children’s books that I found in a cottage we rented. I gave them a quick read and they were cute enough. I do love a good children’s book set in Scotland too!
What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations?xx