The Cactus by Sarah Haywood 2/5 Stars Susan Green is what some would describe as ‘prickly’. She has a job she tolerates, and apartment that serves its purpose, and a family that is often more trouble than Susan appreciates. She likes to do things by […]
Tag: book blogger
In the month of May I managed to read quite a few books and make up for my lacking in other months. I’m now on a better track with my reading challenge! Anyway, on with the books.
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
In Julia Whelan’s debut novel, we follow American Ellan Durran as she follows her dreams through a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. In her first moments in England, she bumps in a rude stranger who ends up being one of her professors. Later he becomes much more than just that. Ella must figure out if she wants to stay in England, or continue her job with a presidential candidate back at home.
Lately, I haven’t really been reading the descriptions, and have just been diving into books head first based on recommendations and pretty covers. So there was a bit of a twist that I really wasn’t expecting. I did enjoy the book, but it probably wasn’t my favourite that I read this month. It did feel a bit darker than my usual romcoms.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into Jessica Simpson. She always seemed to be the distant third of female pop stars of the late 90s. I’d of course heard about her desire to remain ‘pure’ until her wedding. I knew she married Nick Lachey and they had a TV show. She just was never really at the forefront of my mind.
But I LOVE a celebrity memoir.
Especially one that tells me the dirt. I love when a book names names, and Jessica did that. She was very open and honest in a way that I didn’t really expect from her. The book is a compelling read, as she talks about her struggles with alcohol, assault, and body image. I found it a really endearing book. But please note that it is pretty religion heavy. Which I guess is to be expected from her.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy Moore was recently broken up with and she needs to get out of the apartment they shared FAST. She’s on a tight budget, as she doesn’t make much at her job as an editor for specialty craft books. Most of the apartment she sees are not really what she’s looking for. She finds an add for a flatshare – and more importantly – a bedshare. Leon is looking for someone to share his flat as he works nights and only sleeps during the day, and wants someone with an opposite schedule. He could use the extra $350 a month to pay the lawyer in his brother’s armed robbery case.
Tiffy and Leon, while avoiding meeting, get closer and become good friends through a series of notes left around their shared apartment. They get to know each other and themselves better than they could have hoped. Tiffy faces the dark truths about her recent breakup.
I had heard about this book from blogger Beth Sandland and put it on my hold list immediately. It finally came to me in the middle of this month. I loved this book. I thought it was an interesting entry into my favourite genre. The Flatshare also dealt with some darkness that I wasn’t expecting, and a darkness that I don’t usually see in many books. I’d definitely read this one if you love a British romcom!
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Vivian Morris is a young woman in the 1940s with no direction. She is sent to live with her aunt in New York City after being kicked out of university. She romps around town with showgirl, Celia Ray, while working as a costumer at her aunt’s playhouse, The Lily. One evening, she makes a misguided, childish choice that changes the course of her life, and she returns home. She later returns to the city with her aunt to help her during the war. She continues to live her life in a different way in a whole new NYC.
So, I think I liked this book.
The whole story is told by Vivian to a woman named Angela, who wrote to her asking what she was to her father. I kind of forgot about that part, because it didn’t totally become relevant until the very last quarter of the book. In fact, the part where is kind of is relevant, the 20 year span is covered in a few pages. Whereas we spent 3/4 of the book on about a year or 2 of action.
I feel like the first half could have been condensed just a touch. I feel like Elizabeth Gilbert takes pride in being exceptionally wordy. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The world she created was very clear and robust. It just felt a bit disconnected.
So yeah, I liked the book. But it wasn’t an absolute page-turner for me. I wasn’t craving to pick it up and read it every day. It took me a little longer than it normally does to finish a book.
Many of us, myself included, have a lot more time to read these days. I’ve always been a big reader. It’s a great way to escape into another world. There are a few books that I read over and over again because they are warm and comforting.
Most of these will fall in the category or predictable romcom or funny person autobiography.
Anything by Sophie Kinsella, specifically Can You Keep a Secret? and Wedding Night
Sophie Kinsella has been one of my favourite authors for a very long time. I picked up Confession of a Shopaholic early in my teens, and have read almost all of her new releases since. My absolute favourite is Can You Keep a Secret? As you can tell by my copy in the photo, it has been well-loved by me. It’s a book I pick up whenever I want something easy and breezy to read.
I also really loved Wedding Night. I feel like it’s one that doesn’t really get brought up when talking about Sophie’s books. I think it is a funny, unique concept and I love re-reading it.
The ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ series by Louise Reninson
I was obsessed with this series as a teen. I went back and re-read the first book in the series recently and I still thought it was great. Although it’s undoubtedly a series for teens, it doesn’t feel particularly juvenile. It’s a really funny, light-hearted coming of age series.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I mean what a perfect time to dedicate a few weeks of your life to reading this behemoth of a series. Especially if you haven’t read it before!! I’m sure everyone who had any interest in reading it has done so, but maybe try something new.
Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? and Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I loved both of these books by tv’s Mindy Kaling. I love her in general, so it’s no surprise I was a big fan of these books. It was a nice insight to her life and why she does what she does. It’s honest and vulnerable but not in a sad or dark way.
This is a book I’ve read pretty recently, but I loved it. I laughed all the way through it. It was a very fun romcom story.
The Joy of Cooking
Okay obviously this isn’t much of a reading book (although there are lots of great tidbits to read sprinkled throughout!) But this is my favourite cookbook. I got it as a Christmas gift, and I haven’t put it down since. Anything I can think of that I want to make is in this book. It’s not the fanciest cookbook on the block, hell there isn’t even pictures. It’s definitely the most useful one I own.
Let me know what books you’re reading, I’m always looking for books to add to my holds list.
If you’re looking to purchase any of these books, check out the websites for your local bookstores to see if they carry them. Or check them out online through your local library. Most times, you can sign up for the online services without going to your library as long as you have a card. If you don’t have a card, contact your local library to see if you can sign up over the phone or internet.