2019/12/10

BOOK REVIEW:
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY BY CAITLIN DOUGHTY

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 238
Rating: 5/5


Summary:
In this exploration of death and its rituals, mortician Caitlin Doughty travels around the world to see how different people and cultures care for their dead.


Review:
I thought this book was really interesting, easy to read and I feel like I learned a lot.

I've never really spent all that much time thinking about how we deal with our dead these days and that it could be so entirely different from place to place, but of course it's different in different cultures. I loved getting to know more about that and read about what helps people deal with their grief and how they feel the dead should be honoured.

The author makes a point of showing us that being around dead people and having a greater connection to them is very common in other parts of the world, like in Japan where relatives pluck bones from the ashes of their loved ones and put them in an urn. There are all these rituals being done that is so different from anything I've ever experienced and it really opened my eyes to how different approaches can work for people.

This book is also illustrated throughout and I loved having that in there; you get to see different places and rituals and even corpses, which the last one, you'd think be a little jarring but it actually isn't.

I really like how this book opened my eyes and how it made me think of death and grief and the ways we have to allow space for it in our lives. I also appreciate that there are some funny bits in here, as it gave room for some chuckles amid some of this heavier stuff. An excellent read and a great introduction to this topic.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/12/07

EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY:
CHRISTMAS STORIES

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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2019/12/06

2019/12/04

BOOK REVIEW:
DOOM ROLLED IN GLITTER BY LEENA NORMS

Title: Doom Rolled In Glitter
Author: Leena Norms, Emma Hayden (illustrator)
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 40
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Self-published by the author, this zine is filled with twenty poems all about the experience of being in your twenties.


Review:
I've been following Leena Norms on YouTube and Instagram for ages and back when the Notre Dame was burning, she shared a poem she wrote called Spaces in the Sky and it totally floored me; I've got it saved in my phone and I reread it all the time. It's easily one of my top ten favorite poems of all time.

So when she announced she was making this zine, I knew I had to get my hands on one and it did not disappoint. Spaces in the Sky makes an appearance alongside a well curated collection of gems. The poetry feels personal, many of them intimate and there are so many lines in here that I read over and over because I just loved them so much.

The collection also has a gorgeous cover and inside are three other illustrations by the same artist which work to separate the collection into three parts. I think that worked really well in this, serving as little breaks in between. I also just personally love the style of the artwork.

This is definitely one of my favorite poetry collections I've read all year and I'd highly recommend following this poet wherever you can (online, not in real life, obviously).

The zine is currently available at Etsy (limited run, so when it's sold out, I'm pretty sure it's sold out for good)
You can follow Leena on YouTube and Instagram
You can follow Emma Hayden on Instagram
You can read more about this on Goodreads
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2019/12/02

MY READING DIARY:
NOVEMBER

FRIDAY 01.11
Currently reading Asking For It by Kate Harding and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, but didn't have time to read in any of them today!
Pages read: 0

SATURDAY 02.11
All day went to filming and editing!
Pages read: 0

SUNDAY 03.11
Read in Asking For It throughout the day.
Pages read: 104


MONDAY 04.11
Finished reading Asking For It after work.
Pages read: 132

TUESDAY 05.11
Started Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd in the morning before work! Also read a bit in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall before bed in the evening.
Pages read: 79

WEDNESDAY 06.11
Read a few chapters in Unnatural Causes after work, and then a few chapters in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in bed in the evening.
Pages read: 79

THURSDAY 07.11
Had a late shift at work, so spent a few hours in the morning reading in both The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Unnatural Causes.
Pages read: 180

FRIDAY 08.11
Read a fair bit in Unnatural causes - such an interesting read!
Pages read: 119

SATURDAY 09.11
Had a long, long day at work, but when I got home, I curled up on the sofa for a few hours and read the remainder of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Pages read: 151


SUNDAY 10.11
Spent a lot of the day on the sofa with what I had left of Unnatural Causes, which was excellent.
Pages read: 181

MONDAY 11.11
Started reading Another Day In The Death of America by Gary Younge and read the introduction and the first chapter.
Pages read: 29

TUESDAY 12.11
Read for a bit in bed in the evening in Another Day In The Death of America.
Pages read: 31

WEDNESDAY 13.11
Read a chapter in Another Day In The Death of America in the morning.
Pages read: 25

THURSDAY 14.11
Made a little bit more of a dent in Another Day In The Death of America.
Pages read: 79

FRIDAY 15.11
Finished reading Another Day In The Death of America and after that, I started reading From Here To Eternity by Caitlin Doughty.
Pages read: 161


SATURDAY 16.11
Spent all morning filming and in the afternoon, I went to my nephew's birthday party and suddenly, the day was gone!
Pages read: 0

SUNDAY 17.11
Read and finished From Here To Eternity! Such a fascinating book.
Pages read: 180

MONDAY 18.11
Started reading 21 Lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.
Pages read: 49

TUESDAY 19.11
Read a little bit in 21 Lessons in the evening, but fell asleep pretty quickly.
Pages read: 7

WEDNESDAY 20.11
Super long day at work, so no reading!
Pages read: 0

THURSDAY 21.11
Read nothing today either!
Pages read: 0


FRIDAY 22.11
Started reading Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell, which is a poetry collection.
Pages read: 102

SATURDAY 23.11
Finished reading Pillow Thoughts and then read a few chapters in 21 Lessons.
Pages read: 230

SUNDAY 24.11
Spent a lot of the day filming and editing, but started reading Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine in the evening.
Pages read: 61

MONDAY 25.11
Finished reading Killing and Dying after work!
Pages read: 60

TUESDAY 26.11
Read quite a bit in 21 Lessons before work.
Pages read: 108

WEDNESDAY 27.11
Finished reading 21 Lessons!
Pages read: 131


THURSDAY 28.11
Read nothing today!
Pages read: 0

FRIDAY 29.11
Started rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, since I always reread this series for December and we're almost there. Didn't read a lot though, since it was Black Friday and work was crazy.
Pages read: 14

SATURDAY 30.11
Another long day at work and I was totally drained when I got home, so I just ate some dinner and went to bed.
Pages read: 0
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2019/11/30

UPCOMING RELEASES:
DECEMBER

It's time to look at some exciting new books coming out in the last month of the year!

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
10th
This is a supernatural thriller about a group of women who were obsessed with the macabre and serial killers in their youth and banded together in what they called The Dead Girls Club and this obsession got one of them killed. Then, thirty years later, secrets the other girls have kept since that night come bubbling to the surface.

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
31st
This is a contemporary fiction novel exploring race and privilege and it's about a young black babysitter and her well-intentioned employer who connects in a way that surprises them both. 

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
30th
This is a mystery thriller about a woman whose husband has two other wives and none of them know each other until one of them strikes up a friendship with the other without her knowing they're both married to the same man and then... mystery and drama ensues.

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
3rd
What drew me to this one is that the story is set in New Zealand, and it's about this woman who returns after having been gone for eight years and meets a newly arrived detective and helps him in a missing persons case.
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2019/11/29

2019/11/28

BOOK HAUL:
NOVEMBER

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Weird how the fact that we're almost in the last month of the year always catches me off guard, but here we are! November is almost over and it's been so rainy here this month, so much so that it's actually getting a little depressing (and this is coming from someone who generally really likes rain). We had about three days of snow early in the month but it's all gone now.

The days are also getting shorter and it's getting darker and darker each day, so hopefully it'll slow a little bit soon to brighten everything up a little bit! Snow also always helps with getting into the festive spirit.

Anyways, that's enough of this months weather report. To the books!













( a f f i l i a t e  l i n k s )

I hope you're all doing well and that you're having a good day!
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2019/11/27

BOOK REVIEW:
ANOTHER DAY IN THE DEATH OF AMERICA BY GARY YOUNGE

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives
Author: Gary Younge
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 267
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
In this book, Gary Younge chose a random day and took a look at all the children and teens who lost their lives due to guns in America during those 24 hours.


Review:
I kind of wish I had read this book right when it came out instead of putting it off until now, because I feel like I've been exposed to so many other stories since then which made this have less of an impact than perhaps it would've a few years ago.

I do think the topic that this book explores is extremely interesting. It's heartbreaking to see the impact such accessibility of guns and the culture around it has and the fact that all of the people we meet in this book who died are so young makes it even worse. It's infuriating that these kinds of deaths cause next to no outrage because they've become so common.

Personally though, there was something about the way this is written that didn't quite... it wasn't quite there for me. I felt like everything got a little repetitive after a while, some parts felt a little dry and I didn't quite feel like I really got to know the people we met; a lot of them bleed into each other a little bit. I also think the discussions in this book felt a little simpler than I wanted and I felt like it could've dug a little deeper into the issue.

I think this can serve as a good introduction to this topic though, so if you haven't read a lot or know that much about it, it would probably be worth the read. For me though, I don't know if I really feel like I got that much from it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/11/25

BOOK REVIEW:
UNNATURAL CAUSES BY RICHARD SHEPHERD

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: Unnatural Causes: The Life and Many Deaths of Britain's Top Pathologist
Author: Richard Shepherd
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 442
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
In this book, Dr Shepherd recounts his life and experience with working as a forensic pathologist, taking a look at some of the many cases he handled and how working with the dead affected him and his personal life.


Review:
This was an absolutely fascinating read.

I bought this book mostly because I thought it was a true crime book, and it is in part, but it's also very much a memoir. It worked out really well though; I really liked reading about both his life and his career. I especially enjoyed reading about the forensic science and to see how the field has evolved throughout his life. Although reading about the dead and cutting them up to peer inside obviously has something grim about it, I felt like it was handled respectfully and thoughtfully.

The writing in this feels honest and it's a very accessible read. The author opens up about life among all this death and how it affected him in ways he didn't want to face; that part felt especially emotional and raw.

There are some rather gruesome aspects to this book, which is not surprising, but overall I found it incredibly fascinating and I feel like I got to learn a lot about this profession and what it's like for people to face all of this on a daily basis.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/11/23

BOOK REVIEW:
THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL BY ANNE BRONTË

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Author: Anne Brontë
Published: 1848
Language: English
Pages: 524
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Running away from a disastrous marriage, a woman moves in to Wildfell Hall and struggles for independence.


Review:
After having read books by both Charlotte and Emily Brontë, I felt like I should read something by Anne as well and I'm so glad I did; this was fantastic!

I was surprised by how hard-hitting some of the things in this book were; it deals with female independence, alcoholism and abuse in a much more straight forward way than a lot of other classics. I sometimes find older books skirt around these issues or they get really vague (probably because those things were terribly shocking back in the day) but this felt like it faced it a little more head on.

I really loved reading about the characters in here, I thought they were fascinating, and I especially loved when we got to read from the perspective of our female protagonist. I didn't find the language all that difficult to deal with, as I sometimes do with classics, although I did think the story definitely dragged in some parts and there were moments were I felt like this book was just too long.

Overall though, I very much enjoyed this! Definitely worth picking up if you think the storyline sounds intriguing.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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