2018/07/29

BOOK HAUL:
JULY

Another month has passed us by and here in Oslo it's been pretty unusual. I only have one word to describe it; hot. It hasn't been a typical Norwegian summer which usually means a fair bit of rain and mild temperatures, no, it's been incredibly, incredibly hot.

Although I enjoy summer to a certain extent, I don't really thrive in hot weather and I feel myself getting really ready for autumn. I can't wait for the temperatures to drop and the leaves to turn. For now though, summer is still in full swing and I have a feeling it's probably not going to abate for a good while.

In the meanwhile, let's take a look at the books I've gotten this month, some of which I've very kindly been sent for free and others which I've bought myself.














(affiliate links)
(* books sent for free by publisher/author)

I hope you've all had a wonderful month!
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2018/07/28

EVERYMAN'S POCKET POETS:
HAIKU




One of my favorite poetry collections, Haiku.
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2018/07/27

2018/07/25

BOOK REVIEW:
WILD BY CHERYL STRAYED

Title: Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Published: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 338
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This is the story of Cheryl Strayed, who in the wake of having lost her mother at 22, decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.


Review:
So, I decided to pick this book up because it seemed like something I would really like, and although I am aware that a lot of other people seem to really love this, I just didn't.

The beginning of this book is fantastic though. Reading about Cheryl and the loss of her mother and the monumental grief she feels is so incredibly emotional and heartbreaking. You can really feel that she's completely lost her footing in the world and I get why she went on the journey she did.

The rest of the book, however, was a bit disappointing to me. It felt incredibly long and along the way I just completely stopped caring. I think there's something about it that I just couldn't connect to the further into the story I got, and towards the end I felt it started to border on just straight up navel-gazing. It's a little hard to sympathize with the author sometimes and it just threw me off.

I've read some reviews that are bothered by the discussions in this about sex and drugs, but I didn't mind any of that. What I did mind was just how bored I was by this, and it's a miracle I even managed to finish it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2018/07/24

THINGS I LIKE NO. 14

Today I just wanted to give a little nod to something I've been using for almost a year and that never lets me down; it's the L'Occitane Pivoine Gel Cleanser.

I use this to take off the remaining make-up I've got on my face after I've used a cleansing cloth. I feel like using this has completely transformed my skin from being fairly prone to getting pimples, to basically only getting them when I'm on my period (and even then, they're few and far between).

I love the smell of it and how gentle it is as well. It's just so damn good!
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2018/07/23

BOOK REVIEW:
RED CLOCKS BY LENI ZUMAS

Title: Red Clocks
Author: Leni Zumas
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 349
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Set in modern day America, we meet four different women who all live in a small town in Oregon who try to navigate this new reality where abortion is no longer legal, in-vitro fertilisation is banned and even attempting to get an abortion will get you time in prison.


Review:
This was such an interesting book, and brings up discussions that are both important and relevant.

It's one of those quiet dystopian novels where everything is kind of the same except this one law, and taking a look at how this affects these women is both fascinating and heartbreaking. Although it is set in our contemporary world, it's almost as if it's gone back in time to a place where women were not in control of their bodies, could not choose and therefore sometimes go to drastic lengths to take back their lives, often with horrifying consequences.

The way the author weaves all of these women together is amazing and I loved reading about the contemporary characters, but there are these small parts in between the characters where we meet a female polar explorer and I'm not sure those really worked for me.

I very much enjoyed the writing style. It's lyrical and structured in a really interesting way. I can imagine it's not the type of writing style everyone can get into, but I really liked it and I think it worked well with the story.

I think this is an incredibly interesting book about women, motherhood and freedom and it's well worth the read. The story is not far from a very possible reality, which is absolutely terrifying.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2018/07/20

2018/07/18

BOOK REVIEW:
THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING BY MORGAN JERKINS

Title: This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female and Feminist in (White) America
Author: Morgan Jerkins
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 272
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
In this book, Morgan Jerkins, explores what it means to be, to live and to exist as a black woman in America today.


Review:
This was a really solid essay collection and you can clearly tell that Jerkins harbours great talent.

This is a really insightful and fascinating portrait of one woman's experience as a black girl and eventually a black woman. The writing is raw and brutal and doesn't shy away from anything; I applaud her for getting personal and going places that should be natural, but are rarely explored. The stories of her being a young girl, growing up and trying to find her place in what is, unquestionably, a very white world, was eye-opening, educational and incredibly interesting.

I think, for me, I found it a bit difficult to engage with this book though and a part of that probably has to do with the fact that I'm not American. I also think, on occasion, it borders on stereotypical and generalising, for instance when it comes to portrayal of the very elusive, straight, thin, conservative and wealthy white woman, and it sometimes seems as if this is the only white woman that exists, which is obviously inaccurate. In the grand scheme of this book, I don't think it really matters though because that's not the issue of this book, but I did notice.

I think this is a really interesting book filled with ideas and issues that need more spotlight and more conversation and for that it's well worth the read.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2018/07/17

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
@BOOKSFEMME

I've got yet another beautiful bookstagram account to share with you today! It's the lovely @booksfemme, run by Femke who is Dutch and runs a blog by the same name as her account.

The style of her photos is just so great and she has a really lovely, magical vibe going on.

Et innlegg delt av Femke (@booksfemme)
Et innlegg delt av Femke (@booksfemme)
Et innlegg delt av Femke (@booksfemme)

Go follow!
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2018/07/16

BOOK REVIEW:
HOLDING BY GRAHAM NORTON

Title: Holding
Author: Graham Norton
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 320
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Set in the remote, quiet Irish village of Duneen, sergeant PJ Collins, who is living a rather uneventful life, finds himself in the middle of his first genuine case, one that threatens to unravel the village's darkest secrets.


Review:
I'm always a bit weary whenever someone famous decides to write a book, so I was a little bit surprised to find that I really, really enjoyed this novel.

I think the mystery in this is good, not great, but what makes this book so enjoyable are the characters and the setting. I really found myself wonderfully amused and intrigued by the main characters and I especially loved the sergeant. I also loved the way Norton captured that small town feel and that whole everyone knows everyone and everyone's business vibe.

Although there are parts of this book that are quite sad and heart wrenching, there's also quite a bit of delightful humor in this and I couldn't help but chuckle at some parts. It's just a tremendously enjoyable book, the kind of cozy mystery that you can't help but be entertained by. I know Norton is coming out with a new book this year which is another mystery and I'm definitely going to be reading that.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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