March Books-3 & 4.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller was a delightful little book of loveliness. A quick and easy read but one that you’ll want to savour and read in bits, so as to not miss anything. This book is hard to describe. What is it about? Life. Simple life. Insights into life as it is. The author takes us through her life’s stages and offers sound advice observations. A nice and valuable read.

I read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate in an evening! So let that be your first indication of my feelings toward this book. On one side of the story you’ve got your ‘river rats’ and on the other you’ve got your “powerful and well to do”. How are they connected? Read the book and find out! The story pulled me straight through -in an evening- and got me thinking about class and adoptions and prejudice and love. Another good read.


Book Brag- December *14!

If there has ever been a month built for reading, it has been this past December. 

While weather in Edmonton hasn’t been cold, its been fractious. All I want to do is curl up on my couch and read. Luckily for me, I have eyes that see, legs that walk me to the library down the street and my very own borrowing privileges. Life is good.

A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness was a fun read! I see that it’s #1 in a series of 3, and that has me all excited because I really liked it. It’s a book about witches and demons and vampires. It’s romantic and fantastical…and problematic at points- my feminist side was cringing at times- but over all it was a quick and engaging read and I didn’t hate the characters by the end for any of the things that made me cringe, ha! 

When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a true accounting of a dying man’s life. Dude is a young doctor and he’s diagnosed with cancer. I was excited about this one because a. reading about death is my jam b. it had gotten rave reviews c. it sounded like it would be touching and thoughtful. I mean, just look at that title! Unfortunately for me, while I felt sad at times, this book lacked depth and emotion. Perhaps I should not listen to hype. May he rest well, at any rate. 

Now this one, was very different. The End Of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe is about the books Will and his Mum read and discuss while going to Mum’s cancer treatment appointments. Its the story of a life, a family. It was thought provoking and tender. Honest and human. I liked it a lot. Twas a good read! 

Ugh! Look! A movie scene cover. I hate that! But I read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, anyway! And you know, it was good. At first I really found the odd format tedious but after putting it down for a bit and coming back to it refreshed, I found it easier to get into.  After that, I was fine. I don’t want to wreck the story for you so I’ll just say this is in an interesting, quirky read with memorable characters. It made me think and want to delve into the history of certain things more. I love it when books do that!

 I know right? Whaaaaat?! The Pornographer’s Daughter by Kristin Battista-Frazee was not nearly as salacious as I’d hoped for. Which I suppose is precisely the author’s point. Its the story of her childhood that wasn’t really all that special except for one thing: her dad distributed the movie Deep Throat, had some legal troubles and then later went on to work further in the industry. This was an alright read. There was some magical thinking at work here that I wasn’t able to connect with but it was written well enough and now I know a thing or two about the movie Deep Throat. Ha. 

What To Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapely is a little book, likened to something written by Nicholas Sparks. I didn’t find that all. The first chapter was great but then it just got complicated and hard to follow. I had to set it down *gasp! 

I’ve been watching The Crown so when I saw this book – 99 Glimpses Of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown- on a book list somewhere, I quickly added it to my list. It came in and I read it in one day. It.was.good! Not your average biography and what a relief at that! This book is such a breath of fresh air in the genre and I really hope other authors follow suit. The author paints an honest picture of a complex person and makes them seem all too human, the good, the bad and the ugly. It pulled me straight through til the end. 

The Wizard And The Witch by John C. Sulak was weird. I guess that’s no real surprise considering the subject matter. More than that, it was boring to read about two assholes who thought most highly of themselves and treated other people like crap.

Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman WAS weird but delightfully so! I enjoyed this book so much, my only complaint being that it was scarce in details I wanted to know more about! A quick and entertaining read.

I had such high hopes for The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD. It was a little long and technical for me although it tried not to be. Clearly a ME problem 🙂 It held a lot of vital information within and I’ll probably pick it up again sometime.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh is not my usual jam-mystery- but I really liked it. It has a twist that I didn’t see coming at all and deals with a matter that is quite alarming and leads you to think all kinds of things. Love that!

From The Corner Of The Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein was a fun and entertaining read. I blew through in an evening- New Year’s Eve to be exact-and found it well worth my time. It’s part insight look to a way of life I knew nothing about while being a personal memoir. I liked.

Heart-Breaker by Claudia Dey was a total train wreck of a book. In the best possible way. I don’t know how the author took such a strange and twisted story and made me fall in love with it, but she did. A quick read. A read that will stick with you long after you’re done. Go get it!

Becoming by Michelle Obama. I want to be this woman when I grow up! Do you think she’s really as awesome as she seems to be? I hope so. This was a great read! It was honest and inspiring. She just makes me want to be a better person on the whole. Entertaining and enlightening, this was a great read.

Not too shabby for a month, hey?!

I’ve got one book down for January already and of course, a HUGE pile just waiting in the wings. I’ve signed up for the GoodReads Challenge again but that’s Friday’s post. Until then HAPPY READING!

October Book Brag *7

I read seven books this month. That is pretty sad…didn’t I read more the month I went away? Let me check…Oh EM GEE, yes! I read 8 books last month. I’m a slacker!

ANYway, here is my round-up for the month of October.

 

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby is about an interesting girl with an interesting dream. Only what happens in the book was pretty damn ordinary in the end. Not horrible. A quick read.

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew is a memoir. It was honest and kind of long-winded. As someone who’s long winded herself, I can relate. Not horrible. I was hoping for something fabulous and profound because I respect and admire this chap’s work in our country. Once again, my expectations failed me 🙂

The Elephant In The Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson. This is a book about our hidden motives in everyday life. Basically, your brain is a selfish jerk BUT your brain doesn’t want you to KNOW its a selfish jerk and it especially doesn’t want other people to know! It’s all ok though because ALL human brains can be selfish jerks. Absolutely fascinating. Intelligent and interesting. Not at all dry and written in such a way that the science behind all of this is easy to understand. Highly recommend!

People Tend To Tell Me Thing by Amy Dickinson. Amy writes an advice column and this book is not really about that BUT it’s still a really good book because Amy is an interesting and intelligent person. She’s clever and unique and really honest about herself- She must have read The Elephant In The Brain!- and it all makes for a great read. I felt a kinship with her, as a messy human. Highly recommend!

 

Little Green by Tish Cohen was engaging. Its a story about two people, a marriage and what happens in that marriage when something goes really wrong. A quick read. I had strong emotional responses, good and bad to both main characters but the ending pissed me right off. Read it. Its not a waste of time.

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart was slow for me at first but then once I settled into it, I found myself quite liking it. Its part of a series of books based on a set of real life sisters, who lived unusual-for the times- lives. I grew to like most of the characters and was irritated by others. I love it when a book makes me feel something, so this one is a win for me.

The Marriage Of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. I think I may be growing out of this author. This is the second book I’ve read of hers that has disappointed me. In fact this one made me openly scoff. It was a long, complicated, fussy story about a family, told in two parts. The first part is mostly about the mother as a young woman and the second is about her son. In between all sorts of other things are woven with people acting like assholes and hypocrites throughout. Maybe it was my mood but this book is a definite nah for me.

Okie dokie! My goal for November is to read ten books. I don’t think this is going to be a problem because you see, I have a real problem! I added waay too many books to my holds list at the library and they’ve all come in at once. Ooops! Wish me luck.

 

Books, Books, Books! August 15.

Not too shabby! 15 books this month.

 

My favourite of the first five was a tie between Addict in the House and Well, That Escalated Quickly.

The two books couldn’t be any different from each other and yet they brought me equally as much delight.-Is delight an appropriate word when dealing with two tough subjects? Sure it is!-  I found “Addict” to be clear, concise and very helpful without being pandering. I also found it honest and straight forward which is such a relief when one is dealing with addiction, as the very nature or addiction is lying and deceiving!

As for “Escalated” I found it to be funny and well written. Very informative and written in such a way that I was educated and not shamed. It left me feeling smarter and empowered to go and be better. Oh my heart!

Torn and Leave were both meh for me. Not horrible just…not for me. I’m not sure if it was content, writing style, my mood…the phases of the moon…I just couldn’t get into them.

Girl in the Woods had me feeling SO many things and it was engaging and pulled me right along. It wins the vote for most interesting and thought-provoking!

 

Green WItch and Most Wanted are my least favourite out of this batch. The characters in Most Wanted annoyed the life out of me, douche husband, childish wife. It didn’t seem very believable to me and was pretty predictable in the end. Green Witch was…I don’t know…bland for me. It tried not to be, it really did! I just found it to be a pretty basic book. I was really disappointed by this because I LOVE Alice Hoffman.

Israel Eats didn’t meet all the hype but it wasn’t horrible. Nice stories, beautiful photographs, interesting recipes. Start Where You Are took me forever to read and was tough to get through. I think it’s just that the topics were over my head frankly, so I struggled a bit to get it read. But there is valuable information within its pages and it is worthy of respect.

“50 Percent” is a local book. Local to this province. For that reason alone, its my favourite out of this batch. It was interesting and funny and touching in the end.

 

 

Dietland was AMAZING! Brilliant, stunning, smart, fierce and oh so familiar to me as a human female. It’s not about diets per se (and OMG on Goodreads the amount of hate towards Plum when she stops dieting is sickening) its more about…never mind. Read it for yourself! I don’t want to ruin in for ya!

Feeding my Mother was OK. I love Jann Arden and have enjoyed her writing on her Facebook page. Its her personal experience living and taking care of her mother as she endures Alzheimer’s disease. Not a horrible read.

Along the Infinite Sea, was lent to me by a friend. I have mixed feelings about this one. One the one hand it was engaging and pulled me right along. One the other hand it was not at all believable and so bloody pat. Ugh.

The Prison Book Club is what we are reading for my non prison book club this month and I am in love with this book! It’s so well written and the author winds and weaves so many different tales effortlessly throughout. All without shying away from the hard truths and yet still writing with deep respect, compassion and care for the inmates she met. I wanna start a Prison Book Club!

“Badass” was pretty good. I started out with mixed feelings about it but quickly warmed up once I got off of my high horse and actually started reading and absorbing what I was reading. There is solid stuff within these pages and it was worth the read.

What did you read in August?