I’m back with book roundup 7 of the year. Could you believe that I’ve already read 50 books this year, it feels great! And I’m off on holiday with my parents for a week where there is no Internet, so I will be doing even more reading I’m sure!
Below are all the reviews of the books that I’ve read since August, I hope you get a little inspiration from them.
All the books marked with a * have been given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – of course, all opinions are my own.
*Pancakes in Paris. Craig Carlson. 3/5
The non-fiction book recounts the ups and downs of Craig Carlson has he dreams, plans, opens and manages an american pancake diner in the French capital. The writing was witty, funny and so relatable. Carlson’s voice is the principal attraction of this book.
His experience is both inspiring and scary. It is an interesting read for any lover of american breakfast, or aspiring entrepreneur who want to open a restaurant.
*My Year without Meat. Richard Cornish. 4/5
This is exactly what it sounds like – Australian food writer Richard Cornish discusses and brings us along through the year he spent as a vegetarian. He discusses his effort to eat good ethical and seasonal food, his struggle to completely cut meat out and the judgement that comes with food choices. What I especially liked was how it was written without judgement concerning both those who do eat meat and those who choose not to.
*The Crepes of Wrath. Sarah Fox. 2/5
Crepes is the first instalment in a series of short mystery novels set in Washington state. When a murder happens, the main character tries to find out who could have disturbed the peace in such a cozy little town. It’s an interesting enough mystery novel and while I appreciated the novel, I didn’t take it very seriously as everything was so predictable and the main character, while being nice, was a bit all over the place, suspecting each and every weird character she meets.
*Small Lives Big World. R.M. Green. 3/5
This is a collection of short stories that follows people at the four corners of the world. I liked how this started short and simple. The first two stories really marked me for being so simply beautiful. The collection ends with two fantastic short stories ‘The Wedding Present’ and ‘The Interpreters’, both which kind of reminded me of Jonas Jonasson’s writing.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne. 2/5
I read it so quickly, constantly sucked in, though not at all times in a good way. I don’t want to reveal any ‘secrets’, but I have to agree with many other reviewers that it felt a lot like fanfiction, it just went in some crazy directions that felt very anti-‘harry potter’. At some point of the story, I would close my eyes and try to imagine how magical it may all look on stage. But the nature of the script doesn’t give you any of that of course.
*Paper Hearts: Some Marketing Advice. Beth Revis. 4/5
Another great book by Beth Revis. I loved the first book of this trilogy and this, the third instalment, was definitely as good. This book is primarily focused on marketing advice and it is very good. I just love Revis’ writing, it rings true, like reading advice from a friend. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on responses to reviews. Hilarious! I think this book is a must for writers, published or unpublished. It’s useful, it’s inspiring and will push you to keep working hard on your craft.
*Smoke. Dan Vyleta. 2/5
We follow three teenagers as they try to uncover a conspiracy. This is set in a different world, where sins pours out of our skin in coloured smoke. It’s a strange concept, but I was intrigued. Unfortunately it didn’t do it for me. The universe wasn’t really well explained, and since everything was looked upon as a conspiracy, nothing felt real even in the end. I wasn’t sure what was truly achieved and I wasn’t sure what it was trying to say.
The Penguin Lessons. Tom Michell. 4/5
This tale follows Michell himself as he saves a penguin from an oil disaster, smuggles him across the border into Argentina and integrates him into life at the private college where he is teaching. Along the way, alongside Michell, we learn the lessons that only an animal could instigate into us. Michell’s writing was great and funny and oh so relatable.
Big Magic. Elizabeth Gilbert. 4/5
I’m not a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I find that her writing is at worst, condescending, at best, narcissistic. BUT – I loved this book! It was full of inspiration and sometimes true and sometimes kind words that every artists, and mostly writers, have to read! It really lit up a fire in me, to keep pushing in my passion for writing. Overall I think this is a must-read!
*The Comet Seekers. Helen Sedgwick. 3/5
I have to say that I really really wanted to like this book – especially that it’s by a Scottish author and the sensibility of the writing really touched me. However, there was a feeling of uneasiness throughout the whole narrative (incest doesn’t do it for me). Despite that, I really did enjoy the format and weaving of the relationships. I enjoyed peeking at the different storylines across millennia, centuries and decades, all linked by the comets.
*Super Sushi Ramen Express. Michael Booth. 4/5
This book follows Booth’s (and his family) food journey through Japan, from Tokyo to Fukuoka, from ramen to intricate meals. This felt like the perfect mix of travel writing and food writing – it was both informative and entertaining. I loved reading about the culinary history and ideas that make Japan such a unique food destination.Booth’s writing is funny, relatable, and I always wanted to read more. There isn’t much to add except that it will make you want to head to Japan to also experience the food.
*Fulfilled. William A. Schiemann. 2/5
For some reason, when I picked it on Netgalley, I thought it would be a scientific book about people’s pursuit of happiness and fulfilment, or about the myth of being fulfilled. But what I got was a self-help book. I won’t pretend – I skipped through most of this book. As I wasn’t looking for specific ‘help’ to feel more fulfilled, I felt most of it was insignificant to read.
What good books have you read lately?xx