Also, Hermann Rorschach looks like Brad Pitt.
Also, Hermann Rorschach looks like Brad Pitt.
I came home to some more surprise bookmail today. Many thanks to past me for preordering 'The Inkblots' about a month ago and then completely forgetting about it. Present me is very happy.
I'm slowly building a little collection of sciencey non-fiction books. If anyone has any recommendations they'd be greatly appreciated 😬
I got some surprise book mail today! My copy of 'The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley' that I won in the Goodreads giveaway arrived (4-6 weeks early) and hello Tarantino comparison; and I won a book in another comp too and no idea!
I'm apparently very lucky at the moment so if there's something you want just let me know and I'll try to win it for you 😬
Had a couple of accidents. I shouldn't be allowed out of the office at lunchtime.
I've never read past the first book in this five-part trilogy (that gets me every time), so I'm excited to get started on these.
I feel there are three stages of believing in Goodreads giveaways.
1. They exist, but no one ever really wins, even though strangers claim to win. It's all a gimmick.
2. Someone you know claims to have won, and you maybe start to believe.
3. You win and it's the most magical feeling ever*. This is probably how it would feel if you saw a unicorn.
*But you still won't believe until that book hits your letterbox.
In the last two weeks I've read books featuring sexism, racism, serial killers, and weird messed-up horror. My mind hurts.
So I thought I'd give 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' a reread (I have my towel, of course). Sure the planet gets destroyed in it, but at least it's done in a lighthearted manner.
Wow. D e f i n i t e l y not suitable reading before bed. This book makes 'The Talented Mr Ripley' look like Lemony Snicket's 'Littlest Elf'. It's a tough read in parts and won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's well worth getting to the end (it's hard to put down once you start so you'll be done in no time). If super dark psychological thrillers are your thing then I'd definitely recommend giving this a go.
So we all saw the exciting Philip Pullman news today, yeah? A new companion (or "equel", as Mr Pullman put it) trilogy to go with 'His Dark Materials'! October can't come soon enough.
(Please excuse my pjs.)
You want horror? Look no further. Tremblay can give you want and more; all wrapped up in a neat little bundle of completely messed-up-ness. I especially liked the use of framed narratives. The audio wasn't too bad - I'd like to actually read the book, too, but I think hearing someone say some of the things that were said rather than reading them made the whole thing a bit easier. Read/listen to this if you like 'The Exorcist' and its spawn.
I learnt so much from this book about the brain, hormones, evolution and how it all works together to make us what we are, and about how the differences between women and men (including the supposed existence of a male and female brain) are more of a social construct rather than fixed differences. It challenges what we perceive as "natural" and I'd definitely recommend it to those interested in gender politics and the science of the body.
This is based on a true story and 100% relevant right now. It was beautifully written and taught me about a piece of history I'd previously known nothing about. It was difficult not to be affected by the things that happen to the characters in this book. It‘s been a while since I cried so much at the end of a book, so maybe don‘t read the final chapters in public like I did (or at least make sure you have tissues).
I had a great time listening to this audiobook. I didn't know anything about Lakshmi going into it and I really enjoyed hearing her story - she's a woman getting shit done and I love that. She's a wonderful narrator and wonderful to listen to. I think the book could have been trimmed a little, but who am I to dictate how someone should tell their life story?
I enjoyed this, but it took a little while to get going - I probably shouldn't have watched the movie first as that probably ruined the book a bit. I didn't love it, but I've come this far so I'll be reading the final book in the trilogy - I need to know how it all ends!
In WHEN THERE'S NOWHERE ELSE TO RUN, we meet a cast of characters who are all running away from something; some literally, others figuratively. None of them are overly likeable, but they are relatable in their normality. Middleton' writing is comfortable to read and his strength is definitely the ability to capture the ordinary and make it readable. A good, not great, collection of short stories - but I'll definitely read more of this author.
If thrillers are your thing, then you'll be thrilled by Daniel Cole's debut novel, 'Ragdoll'. It's clever, bloody, humourous at times, and it has some of the most horrifying but original deaths I've read.
I think it's out in Australia (and probably the UK - maybe the US too?) at the end of this month, so keep a look out for it.
Maxine Beneba Clarke's childhood in suburban Australia in the 80s and 90s was so like my own - we're around the same age so I could relate to a lot. Except for the racism she experienced at the hands of other students, her teachers and the community at large. Seeing my childhood as experienced by a POC is something that needs to happen to all of us who have never been the targets of racism. Even more important? That stories like Clarke's are told.
I just finished 'The Sign of the Four' and enjoyed it way more than when I had to pick it to pieces for my lit class, which just goes to show how over analysing something can ruin it for you!
Now I'm up to 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', which includes 'A Scandal in Bohemia', and 'The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips', amongst others.
I had a lot of fun listening to this audiobook. There's some pretty good life advice in here, but it won't be suited to everyone - as is the case with most self-help books. But if you have a lot of mental clutter and frequently feel unable to say no to people, then there might be something in here for you.
If you're sensitive to the 'f' word I'd steer clear of this one as it gets used A LOT.
I just finished 'A Study in Scarlet' (which I really enjoyed) and now it's on to 'The Sign of the Four'. I've read this one before and I'm not particularly fond of it, but I was studying it for uni the first time around so maybe I'll like it better when I'm not having to analyse it.
I read this last year when it was first released and I loved it so much I thought it give the audio a try and oh my gosh it was so perfect.
It's narrated by le Carré himself and he does it so brilliantly and naturally that it's like he's there with you - you can hear him turning the pages as he reads and it's just so wonderful.
If you enjoyed the book I'd definitely recommend listening to the audio as well.
"I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was therefore free as air—or as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be. Under such circumstances I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained."
Ah, Dr John H. Watson. Such a way with words.
I don't know. I think maybe I liked the movie better - they're very different in some ways. But I think it's interesting to compare the book to the movie to see what upping the drama can do. The bear scene was worse to read though, and was the highlight of the book for me.
I found the writing a bit tedious and too detailed at times, but I finished it quickly, so that's something.
Still, an interesting read with no horrific horse scene.
I'm not usually one to reread books unless I REALLY love them. But 'The Hobbit' is one of the few that I have read on multiple occasions, and it's probably the one that I have the strongest memories of reading as a youngster.
I'm pretty sure I checked in out of the library about three consecutive times in primary school because I loved it so much.
So here's a happy 125th birthday to Professor Tolkien, who gave us all such a magical book.
I'm all for detail. But there's detail and then there's overkill. I personally don't care how deep the paddles dig into the water. As I near the end, my current opinion is that this book could have done with a bit more of an edit to get rid of pretty useless little bits of stuff like this.
I just finished the new episode of Sherlock and my lips are sealed. No spoilers here! I will say I can't wait for the next episode though!
Last year I read a big book - 'War and Peace' - so I thought I'd chip away at another big book in 2017 as well. This year it's 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes'. AKA, my own personal gym. It's so hefty.
I will absolutely be attempting to live well in the Danish way. While I can‘t recreate it completely since I live in Australia, there are loads of little ways in this book to make life happier. I highly recommend this book if you already love:
1 - books
2 - tea and or coffee
3 - ugly cosy socks
4 - snuggly blankets
You'll learn how all about hygge and how to make the most of these things so you can appreciate them even more.
I liked the first and last third of this book, and I can see why it's considered a masterpiece. Nabokov's writing is brilliant and I found myself liking the character of Humbert Humbert in the beginning, despite knowing the sort of person he is and I ended up feeling super manipulated. Which is fine. The middle dragged on A LOT though and made it a chore to continue reading. Still, it's clever and I'd definitely recommend it.
I've just finished 'Days Without End' and I think it broke me - it has so much brutality and tenderness; and death and life; and despair and hope; and so much LOVE, it'll make your heart pop.
Sebastian Barry's writing is pure poetry and I think I'm in love with his use of words - I just want to go read everything he's ever written.
I'm giving up on this only 34 pages in (my usual rule is to read to 30% of a book, but that would mean I'd have to read to p .120 of this one and I just don't think I can make it). What I read was like The Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, with a bit of modern politics/conflict thrown in to give it relevancy. I'd enjoy any of these things separately, but put them all together and it just doesn't work for me.
This was ok - but not amazing. I thought it was a cool retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but it took a little while for things to *really* get moving. Which is fine for a longer book, but not in a shortish one like this because it meant the end was a bit rushed. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it enough to bother picking up the sequel.
I'm in two minds about this one. On the one hand I loved the setting in the Golden Age of Polar exploration; I loved that one of the main characters was a female explorer; and the descriptions of Greenland and all the cold places were wonderful.
On the other hand it could have done with a trim as 600 pages really felt like 600 pages. And the super graphic sex scenes were too many and too long. It felt like a real chore getting through them.
I don't agree with everything in this book, but it's certainly changed the way in which I look at how I've moved through my own life, and how I'll continue to move through it (hopefully with a bit more courage). I'm not sure what else to say other than read it and encourage everyone you know to read it.
I really enjoyed this. The art was cool and the story was great. There were a few things that didn't make sense early on, but everything gets clearer as you read. A solid 4/5 and I'll definitely be reading the next volume (or subscribing to the single issues - WHO KNOWS?).
(But the artwork you guys. Wow.)
I requested this from NetGalley because of the writer, Cullen Bunn, who writes another comic I read, 'Harrow County'. He knows how to spin a tale.
But let's all take a moment to appreciate how f**king outstanding this artwork is. I've got super high hopes for this one.
Aaaaaarrrrggghhh!! You have to read this series if you haven't already, starting with Rivers of London.
After the publication date of The Hanging Tree was pushed back several times, it feels like we've been waiting forever for it - but it was 100% worth the wait. Just brilliant.
Even though magic doesn't properly appear until about 100 pages in, this is probably the most magical of the series so far and the easiest to get completely lost in (I nearly missed my train stop this morning as I got into the final pages 😳). It's also set things up wonderfully for the next book in the series which you will DEFINITELY want to have ready to go right away.