2017/08/31

BOOK HAUL:
AUGUST

September is almost here, which means autumn is just around the corner, and I am very much looking forward to it. It's soon time for hot chocolate, blankets, cosy mysteries, scarves and the joy of watching the leaves on the trees turn.

August was a very good month and I've been enjoying the last of the summer, eating ice-cream, reading and making good use of the long hours of daylight. I've also gotten my hands on a nice stack of new books, which is always wonderful.















I hope you're all having a lovely day!
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2017/08/30

BOOK REVIEW:
FOREIGN SOIL BY MAXINE BENEBA CLARKE

Title: Foreign Soil
Author: Maxine Beneba Clarke
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 288
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
In this collection, Beneba Clarke gives voice to the downtrodden, lost and mistreated.


Review:
This was an excellent collection of stories, and an absolute joy to have read.

The stories in this are unique, fascinating and diverse. Sometimes in collections like these, some stories are a bit similar, but in this, they're all different. They all have their own purpose and voice, and together with the rest of the stories they create an interesting image of humanity.

It's a collection that makes you feel and connect to the characters, and it's quite an intense experience. The writing pulls you in and takes you on these small journeys that speak volumes. It explores foreignness in a really interesting and eye-opening way.

This is definitely one of the better collections of short stories I have ever read, and I would highly recommend it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/29

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
LEATHERRBOUND

I've got another bookstagram account to share with you guys; this time it's Taylor from @leatherrbound. It's not all books, but a lot, and all her pictures have a really lovely and vintage look to them that I really, really enjoy.





Go follow!
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2017/08/28

BOOK REVIEW:
THE PASSENGER BY LISA LUTZ

Title: The Passenger
Author: Lisa Lutz
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 320
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This is the story of a woman who is desperately running from her past, constantly changing herself and trying on new identities - until her past starts to catch up with her.


Review:
I'll be honest; I don't have a whole lot to say about this book.

The story is incredibly fast-paced and action packed, but I found all the characters to be desperately lacking. I didn't care about any of them, and so I didn't really care about the story at all, and when I reached the ending and everything was revealed, I just didn't care.

It's not necessarily a bad book, though. I think this is a good read if you're more inclined towards plot than characters, but it's wasn't really for me.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can get the e-book on Amazon
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/26

BOOK REVIEW:
DEEP WATER BY PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

Title: Deep Water
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Published: 1957
Language: English
Pages: 304
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Set in the small town of Little Wesley, a marriage is falling apart - the husband feigns indifference as the wife carries a string of lovers, until one day a tall tale of murder becomes more than a tale...


Review:
This was a really interesting read.

The characters in this book are magnificent - I found reading the story from the main characters perspective to be utterly fascinating. He's a calm man at first, one can understand him, sympathise even, and then things take a turn and it gets even more interesting. It's also interesting because you can't help but wonder what the other side of the story is, seeing as all you get is the main characters thoughts and he's clearly a bit disturbed.

I think there's something wonderfully sinister about stories that reveal the darkness beneath what seems to be a fairly mundane and ordinary existence, and this is very good at it. There's suspense throughout the entire book, a waiting for something to happen.

The book is, however, quite predictable, especially once you get to know the characters. The writing is excellent though and I definitely want to read more of Highsmiths work in the future. I would definitely recommend it if you like character-heavy suspense novels.
You can get this work at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/25

2017/08/24

2017/08/23

BOOK REVIEW:
THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN BY LISA JEWELL

Title: The Girls in the Garden
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 320
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
In a communal garden in a neighbourhood where everyone knows each other, a young girl is found unconscious in a corner on a hot summer night...


Review:
This is a book with loads of potential, which is sadly rather unfulfilled.

The setting of the communal garden is fantastic and brought to life quite well. The characters of the neighbourhood are really interesting to get to know, even if they're often one dimensional. Getting to know the families and the dynamics of them was something I really enjoyed. It took me a while to get into the story but there's a bit in the middle where the mystery is all set up and you're suspecting everyone that is quite excellent, and then... it just flattens out and dies.

I found the ending of this to be far too fast, predictable and quite disappointing. Having finished this book, my main thought was that it was just meh. I didn't find the writing to be anything special and it just feels like the story didn't come together in the end at all.

There's a lack of connection in this that I just can't get over, sadly. It's a very easy read and in a lot of ways a cosy sort of summer mystery, but overall, it was just an average, OK book.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/22

THINGS I LIKE NO. 4

As a make-up wearer, but also as a slightly lazy person, this is one of my favorite things in my bathroom; it's the Brightening Face Wipes from Ole Henriksen. Now, I know you're not really supposed to take your make-up off with wipes, but if you're going to use some, these are the ones. I really enjoy them because they smell nice, they feel nice and they don't dry my skin out.

I especially enjoy using these in autumn and spring, as those are the seasons my skin struggles the most, and the difference between using these and other face-wipes I've tried before is monumental.


They can also be used as "refreshers" to just freshen up, but I never use them for that. If I want to freshen up when I'm not wearing make-up, I'll just wash my face. And did I mention how wonderful they smell?
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2017/08/21

BOOK REVIEW:
HOW TO BE BOTH BY ALI SMITH

Title: How To Be Both
Author: Ali Smith
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 372
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This is a book about art, love and the lives of two people; one is a painter from the Renaissance and the other is a child of a child of the 1960's.


Review:
Well. After having been recommended this book, as well as seeing countless wonderful reviews of it, I've read this and mostly I'm left with a feeling that there's just something here that I'm clearly not getting.

This is quite an original book, I must say. It's unique in its construction and style. Maybe the problem is that it's a bit too high brow for me, I'm not really sure. I quite liked the story, but I found the writing style very difficult to get on with, and because of it, I was not only confused more times than perhaps I'd like to admit, but I couldn't really connect with anything or anyone. I did prefer the story of the painter, but still... there's something missing in this for me.

I'm not sure what else to say. I do find myself wondering what people see in this novel, I must say. I think I'll just leave it at the fact that it wasn't my cup of tea at all.
You can get this book at The Book Depository
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/18

2017/08/16

BOOK REVIEW:
THE SPORT OF KINGS BY C. E. MORGAN

Title: The Sport of Kings
Author: C. E. Morgan
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 545
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Set in Kentucky, this is a family saga about race, slavery, humanity, family legacy and about a group of characters brought together through horse racing.


Review:
This is a huge book to review, but I will attempt to keep it brief; most importantly, I really enjoyed this.

I think this is an epic book, both in scale and the topics it discusses. The writing is wonderful and descriptive, and the characters are fascinating, although often horrendous (so if you don't like books with characters you won't like and won't always understand, you might want to pass on this one). I really enjoyed going deep with the characters and where they come from, and seeing the family unfold was very interesting.

I really liked how horse racing binds most of this book together, even though I generally have very little interest in it, and I like that it's not too overwhelming. I loved reading about the times and the history of the place its set in, and the general theme of race, legacy and family. It will probably make you uncomfortable, but it makes you think.

I do think it's a little bit longer than necessary, and sometimes the writing should've been reigned in, but overall, I just really enjoyed sitting down and delving into this world. I don't think it's the new "great American novel", but it's a great book to read if you like slow novels with a bit of experimental writing at times.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/08/15

UNBOXING:
LITERARY EMPORIUM

I had a very exciting package arrive a few days ago and I wanted to show you what was inside!

So, I have been following an account on Instagram called @Litemporium and after having drooled over their literary pins for a long time, I decided to get some! The full name of the company is Literary Emporium and they make all types of lovely things for book lovers.

They have a collection called The Gothic Literature collection which is what caught my eye first, but then I perused the website and found some other pins, as well as a lovely set of bookmarks with first and last sentences from some wonderful classics.









If you're interested, you can find all the stuff on their website, and if you just want to keep up with what they're doing, you can find them on Instagram as mentioned, as well as Twitter.

The gothic pins are already in place on my leather jacket, and one of the bookmarks in my current read. Everything was also packaged really beautifully, so I'm very, very pleased!
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