2016/09/29

BOOK HAUL:
SEPTEMBER

Alas, September is at an end and October is just around the corner. These are some of my favorite months of the year, although September has been unusually warm this year, summer stretching far into it.

However, October offers colder temperatures, darker evenings and the chance to wrap up in layers and scarves. And, of course, curling up with books and a cup of hot chocolate!

Anyways, it's time to show you the books I got this month, most of which I got for my birthday. I am especially excited about the new editions of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies books - nothing better than having gorgeous matching editions of books by one of ones favorite author.














I'm ready for October and obviously have loads to read! I'm also going to London for a weekend and I have made it my mission to finally visit the Persephone Bookstore, which will be wonderful (plus all the other bookstores there... sigh).
ALL LINKS ARE AFFILIATE

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2016/09/28

BOOK REVIEW:
MRS DALLWAY BY VIRGINIA WOOLF

Title: Mrs Dalloway
Author: Virginia Woolf
Published: 1925
Language: English
Pages: 233
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
One summer day in June in 1923, the elegant Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering those she once loved.


Review:
I have a hard time putting into words what I think about this book, but I shall try. In short terms, I thought it was fantastic.

I've previously read one other fiction book by Woolf, but this time I felt like I finally got it. I feel like I understood her style and the way it's built. It's a continuous stream of movement, very fluid, but beautiful. It gives you a real sense of being on top looking down at London and the characters moving around in it.

I thought the themes were fantastic and the characters great. It did take me a while to be fully immersed in it, but when I got into it, I thought it was gorgeous. There are some parts in it that blew me away.

I would definitely recommend this, but I think it's worth to keep in mind that it is written in the style of stream of consciousness and it doesn't really have much structure (there are no chapters, just long paragraphs), which I think can catch some people off guard if you're unfamiliar with Woolfs style.

I think this is a book that will stay with me for a long time, and it might be a five star read when it's simmered a bit with me.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/27

DO YOU HAVE ANY Q'S?

Just a quick note! I'm thinking of doing a Q&A, so I would love it if you could leave a comment here if you have something you want me to answer, book related or otherwise! I'll try to answer everything <3

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PERSEPHONE CLASSIC:
SOMEONE AT A DISTANCE

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2016/09/26

BOOK REVIEW:
CAREER OF EVIL BY ROBERT GALBRAITH

Title: Career of Evil
Author: Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J. K. Rowling)
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 494
Rating: 4/5

This is the third book in the Cormorran Strike series. You can read my review of the second book, The Silkworm, here.


Summary:
A package is delivered to Robin Ellacot and Cormorran Strikes office - one containing a human leg. The leg obviously meant for him, Strike has four people in mind that could've sent it, and while the police are off chasing others leads, Robin and Cormorran try to solve the case.


Review:
Ah, what a wonderful experience it was to return to this series, this book being a good and solid mystery novel.

I love the writing in this - it depicts a fascinating and more down-to-earth London than I often see elsewhere. The characters are true to form and fascinating. I especially enjoyed the development of Robin and seeing her grow over the course of this book. I also really enjoyed reading from the viewpoint of the murderer - I always love that, it brings an even more creepy vibe to it all.

I do have to admit that I have enjoyed the previous two books even more, as I felt this book was more enjoyable when it came to the characters rather than the mystery. Because of that character development, it's also a bit on the slower side.

All in all, definitely a good book if you're into getting to know the characters better, though perhaps not as fantastic if you're there solely for the murder and mystery. Personally, I can't wait for Rowling to write another one.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/24

BOOK REVIEW:
HOW TO BE A WOMAN BY CAITLIN MORAN

Title: How To Be A Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 312
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This book is a part memoir, part musing on what it's like to be a modern woman and the challenges of that.


Review:
This was a fascinating read and quite a funny book.

It says on the back of this that this is "part memoir, part rant", but to me this whole book feels like a rant. It discusses huge issues that Moran manages to bring down to earth, and it's not done in a careful way - it's rash, blunt and raw. She's a witty storyteller, that's for sure.

My main issue with this book is that I have a hard time connecting to Moran. Even though we have some obvious things in common, there's a disconnect that makes the whole thing less enjoyable. For me, a lot of the things discussed seems very one-sided and I wish the perspective had been a bit broader.

I had sort of imagined this book to be groundbreaking and fresh, and although I thought the memoir bit was fantastic, the whole "how to be a woman" part was a bit disappointing. I got some good laughs though, I'll say that.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/23

2016/09/21

BOOK REVIEW:
NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH BY SUSANA MOREIRA MARQUES

Title: Now and at the Hour of Our Death
Author: Susana Moreira Marques, Julia Sanches (translator)
Published: 2015
Language: English (translated from Portuguese)
Pages: 128
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is a nonfiction book about a journalist who spent a significant amount of time in a village in Portugal with people who are facing death.


Review:
This was an interesting read.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. The book is separated into two parts, the first being the authors various thoughts and musings on death and the second being called "Portraits", where we meet different people dealing with their own mortality. I really enjoyed the first part, in fact, I thought it was fantastic, but the portraits... they didn't quite reach me for some reason.

The writing is lovely. The structure is very loose and a bit weird, and I'm not sure if that's what put me off. I felt a bit like I was trying to decipher everything instead of actually feeling something, which I think is a shame and not at all what this book is trying to do.

It's definitely a bit of an experimental book, but I had expected it to be very different, so I spent a lot of time trying to adjust to what it actually was. I might have to reread this one to see if I feel different about it later.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/20

BOOK REVIEW:
POEMS BY SAPPHO

Title: Sappho
Author: Sappho, Mary Bernard (translator)
Published: 600 BCE
Language: English (translated from Ancient Greek)
Pages: 128
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
These poems, some in fragments, constitute virtually all of what remains of the great lyric poet Sappho.


Review:
I'll be honest with you, I did not have much expectations for this collection, as what I've read of ancient writings before have been a bit of a challenge for me to understand, especially those parts who do not survive in full. However, I was blown away by this.

This collection of poetry is absolutely lovely. It's sensual and intimate. Most of it is short, mainly due to the fact that most are only fragments, but I actually loved that. It reminds me in many ways of the style of haiku, and although it wasn't meant to be that way when she wrote it, I found it absolutely gorgeous. The only reason I didn't give this five stars is because there was one part I didn't enjoy as much.

Two of my favorites were these:

I confess

I love that
which caresses
me. I believe

Love has his
share in the
Sun's brilliance
and virtue
#6

Day in, day out

I hunger and
I struggle
#56

Absolutely beautiful. I would highly recommend this book if this style seems like something you would like.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/19

BOOK REVIEW:
THE GREAT SCIENTISTS IN BITE-SIZED CHUNKS BY MEREDITH MACARDLE & NICOLA CHALTON

Title: The Great Scientists in Bite-Sized Chunks
Author: Meredith MacArdle, Nicola Chalton
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 224
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This book covers important scientists and their discoveries in all fields since ancient times.


Review:
I picked this up in a bookstore in large parts because of the cover and because I think science is fascinating, so this seemed like a great read. And although it was interesting in parts, overall it was just an ok read for me.

I'd say the information you get about the different scientists and their work are more like crumbs than bites. It's very brief, and to me this was a bit disappointing because I already knew a lot of it, as I imagine a lot of people do. I expected this to offer some, if not many, new insights into familiar characters, or at least interesting tidbits you'd not neccesarily know, but this had neither.

For me, this worked as a refresher of a lot of things I already knew, but didn't offer up anything groundbreaking. I do think this can be an interesting read as a very basic introduction to some of the more important scientists, and I imagine I would've really loved this book when I was twelve.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/18

2016/09/17

2016/09/16

2016/09/14

BOOK REVIEW:
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES BY SUE MONK KIDD

Title: The Secret Life of Bees
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Published: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 318
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Set in South Carolina in the 1960's, after living with a blurred memory of the murder of her mother and being mistreated by her father Lily Owens runs away with her black "stand-in-mother" and ends up living with three bee-keeping sisters in a town she is sure holds the secrets to her mothers past.


Review:
Despite my best efforts, I couldn't help but get my hopes up with this book - it's one I've heard praise about countless times. And although I enjoyed it, it didn't quite live up to those expectations.

What I liked most about this book was the discussions of race and the feminist aspects. I loved reading about this home where these wonderful and strange women were living. I felt like a good a good sense of the house, the sisterhood, the bees, the warmth of it all - coupled with them taking in a young, white girl and the setting of autumn in South Carolina - it all made a vivid and lovely picture.

However, I couldn't quite feel the connection with the main character, and I felt like the second part of the book dragged out a bit. And I can't say that I was in any way overwhelmed (in a good way) by this book, which I had thought I would be. In fact, I find myself a bit underwhelmed.

Overall though, it was worth the read and it's a book I think many people would enjoy. I especially think this makes a good bookclub book.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/09/13

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT: @SILKREADS

Today, I have a bookstagram account for you guys that I have been LOVING the past month or so, and it is the lovely Silke over at @Silkreads.





Go follow! It will make your feed infinitely more gorgeous.
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