The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson 3/5 Stars The Vanishing Stair is the second book in the Truly, Devious series. Stevie Bell is pulled out of Ellingham Academy by her parents after the murder of her housemate. They were convinced to let her go back […]
Tag: book blogger
Lindy West’s 2016 debut novel reads like a collection of essays about her trials and tribulations of growing up and coming to age as a self-proclaimed fat woman. She discusses how it feels to always be on blast for her size, and how people often disguise their hatred of fat people as ‘helping’. She also talks about fighting trolls online and dating.
I think Lindy offers a very interesting and important perspective. I picked up this book after watching the tv series Shrill, more or less based on her book and her life. I’m glad I read it. I feel like I would have liked it more if I had been in a better headspace while reading it. I was already feeling down, and reading about how awful people are to her for so many reasons just made me feel really sad. If you love feminist literature, this is a good book from that genre.
Truly Devious is the first in a YA mystery series following teen detective, Stevie Bell. She arrives at the prestigious Ellingham Academy in rural Vermont prepared to investigate one of her favourite cases, a kidnapping that took place on campus in the ’30s. Along the way, a student is found dead and she works to figure out who committed the crime.
I thought this was a really fantastic YA mystery book. It had me gripped pretty early on. It has some classic YA elements like high school, young love, etc. but it didn’t feel unreadable for somebody barreling towards their 30’s. For a mystery book that involves murder, I didn’t find it particularly gory either. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and placed a hold on the next book as soon as I finished this one.
I had heard of Linda Holmes years back. She made a few guest appearances on a Survivor podcast I listen to, so I was excited to hear she was writing a book. I had this on my holds list for a while, and I felt like a few of the books I had waited a long time for didn’t really live up to the hype. This was not the case with ‘Evvie Drake Starts Over’ – I loved this book!
Evvie Drake is recently widowed, and everyone in her life thinks she has been withdrawn because she misses her husband, but that’s not really the case. She’s trying to deal with the guilt of not missing him at all. Her friend asks her if she is interested in having a lodger, his old friend and struggling baseball player Dean Tenney. They spend the year dealing with their issues, separately and together.
I really loved this book. It’s definitely going to be in my favourite books I’ve read this year come December. It was emotional, funny, and the story really drew me in. I don’t think the ending is spectacularly unexpected, but I loved the way we got there.
This memoir/advice book by comedian Ali Wong is written to her daughters. I love this genre of books, so I was really excited to read this.
I really enjoyed this book. Ali’s point-of-view is unique and engaging. She tells her stories in a way that makes you really connect with her. I laughed and I cried. It was a fun love letter to her beloved daughters.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 4.5/5 Stars In the latest offering from the writing duo Christina Lauren, the frequently unlucky Olive ends up taking her twin sister’s honeymoon due to an extreme illness that took over her and her beau’s entire wedding. The catch? She […]
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This was a really interesting read. It had a really different style than I was used to. My Sister, the Serial Killer had short chapters and it was a really quick read, but it was gripping right from the beginning. I finished it in a few hours because I just could not put it down. It had a few interesting twists, and I loved the style of the book. There’s a reason this was one of the most talked about books of 2019.
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal
I think this was my absolute favourite book I read in 2019. The whole book followed the life of Eva Thorvald’s life. Every chapter is from someone different in her life’s perspective. It was heart-warming and breaking. I loved the story.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I’m a little late to the game on this one, I know. This was a nice little vacation read. It was definitely dark and twisted, and the ending wasn’t THAT surprising. It was still a page-turner regardless. I tried to watch the show, and that’s just not for me!!
Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee
As a Top Chef fan, I was really excited to find a book by former Top Chef contestant, Edward Lee. It is a really cool book about Edward visiting various communities in America where immigrants have had a big impact on the cultural and food scenes. I learned a lot from reading it and there were some recipes inspired by the communities in the book.
Katie Fforde Novels
I’ve been looking for another author that does it for me in the way that Sophie Kinsella does. I believe I have with Katie Fforde. Sure, you know where a lot of her stories are going right from the beginning, but that’s fine with me. She creates some really nice stories, and I have really enjoyed reading her books this year.
Taskmaster was on my 2018 Favourites too. It deserves a place in this favourites list as well because it is just so good. It makes me laugh so, so hard. Series 8 and 9 which came out this year were two of the best seasons. Every episode is amazing. You can watch episodes on YouTube here.
I put this on as something to watch. I didn’t really think I would like it that much, since I usually prefer my reality shows to have a bit of a competition element to them. I was wrong and I loved it. I motored through all of the seasons in a matter of weeks, and I can’t wait for the new season to come out!
This was on my list of ‘Things to Watch in 2019‘ ( I tried my best, okay?) and I’m mad at myself for waiting for long. It is so, so unbelievably funny. And in its later seasons it’s developed this beautiful warmth that has gone hand-in-hand perfectly with the comedy of it.
Richard Osman’s House of Games
This is one of my more recent discoveries. I’ve had a great time watching this show. It’s a fun twist on your usual trivia shows. It features people from all walks of British celebrity.
Alamar Beauty Blush Trio
I resubscribed to Boxycharm for this palette specifically, and it did not let me down. I received the Reina del Caribe V1 palette and Ojitos Brush Trio in Boxycharms as well and I’ve been very impressed with all of their products. The products are not crazy expensive in comparison to other brands. I love this blush palette, it was perfect for spring and summer. There’s a sale on a bundle right now including all three products I mentioned plus a lipgloss that you can find here.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Beetroot
I own a lot of lipsticks, but this one really stands out to me for both formula and colour. It leans purple, but it’s not unwearable. I love the Amuse Bouche formula. It’s creamy, but pigmented. Here are all of the BITE products I’ve tried.
Hayu quickly became my favourite streaming service of 2019. I spent a lot of hours watching shows on Hayu. My Vanderpump Rules and Top Chef watches couldn’t have happened without it! It’s also pretty reasonably priced at $5.99 a month.
Bon Appetit Videos
The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen videos took the internet by storm this year. Who doesn’t love charming people talking about and making food? I know I do. Obviously Claire Saffitz’s ‘Gourmet Makes’ series is my favourite.
A friend introduced to me Who? Weekly very early on into 2019. It quickly became one of my favourite podcasts. I never miss an episode (and there’s 2 a week!). If you love pop culture, this podcast is a must.
Google Home Nest
In this household we are suckers for Google Home. Sorry, we can’t help it. We recently got a Google Home Nest for the kitchen and it is a game changer. It’s great for playing music, looking up recipes, and watching videos. I really love having this in the kitchen.
Food posts on Instagram is not for everyone, but it is very much for me. I started following Allison on Instagram after hearing about her on the Jam Session podcast. Since then, I’ve been a big fan of her and even bought her two cookbooks. I love her approach to cooking and hosting, which is that it’s not going to be perfect and that food is to be enjoyed.
I’ve been hearing about Lightroom for years, but never really explored it. I finally tried it out early this year, and I love it! It’s an easy way to make photos look nicer. If you can believe it, I’d been using PowerPoint for years to lighten and edit photos. I graduated from that this year, and I think my photos have benefited from it.