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sophierayton

sophierayton

Joined June 2018

Books, Music, Food & Naps
review
sophierayton
Perks of Being a Wallflower | Stephen Chbosky
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I wish I had this book when I was a teenager. I read the 20th Anniversary edition and the epilogue from the author at the end had me crying my eyes out. I hope this book continues to find its way to all who need it.

kyraleseberg I was lucky enough to find this book when I was 15. I still re-read often and I'm 34 now! 2y
sophierayton @kyraleseberg I have 4 sons aged between 7 and 14 and feel glad this book is now on my radar so I can give it to them to read (Or just leave it laying around because no self respecting teenager takes book recs from their mum, right?!). 2y
46 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

Reading this made me hungry even when I was full. It made me want ALL THE FOOD! Edward Lee is a really good writer and seems like a cool person, this is a very good food memoir.

Chrissyreadit This sounds like a fun food book. @Mitch it made me think of you. 2y
Mitch @Chrissyreadit I‘ve read this Chrissy and loved it! 👏🏼👏🏼 2y
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
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sophierayton
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Panpan

Not the best way to start the year. This book is chatty and anecdotal, which some people might love but I prefer a more data and research driven approach. I thought some of the advice was dangerous and her attitude towards life (and how others should live theirs) reeks of white privilege; I don't think this approach is very transferrable to people from other countries and cultures.

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sophierayton
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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I had to take a break between parts 1 and 2 because the content was so challenging for me. It took a while for me to get back to it and the heart-breaking agony did not let up. I did think this novel was excellent but it hurt in a way that made me hate and distrust everyone rather than 'this hurts so good'.

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sophierayton
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I usually avoid these types of memoirs but after watching the documentary 'Can I be Me' it became clear that Robyn (who was previously unknown to me) had not written this memoir to 'sell out' but because she had something valuable to say, and boy, did she!
I really enjoyed this book. It's well written and doesn't go for anyone's throat (even though some people may have deserved it). It was a pleasure to learn about Robyn and her life and journey.

37 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Middlemarch | George Eliot
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I read a print copy of this originally when I was in my early 20s, half an hour at a time before bed while getting my baby to sleep. As a result, it took me so long and I didn't really get it. Fast forward 10+ years - I'm older, wiser and have access to audiobooks that can go double speed. 'Reading' it this way the second time around was so much better and I was really able to enjoy it for the masterpiece it is.

36 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
Waiting for Tom Hanks | Kerry Winfrey
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Some parts of this book infuriated me, but overall I did enjoy it.

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sophierayton
Wolf Hall | Hilary Mantel
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Way to bring history to life!
When you hear the stories in bite-sized snippets over the years it can seem so ridiculous that people ever carried on in such a way, but reading this book makes you realise how serious all these matters were.
Very much looking forward to the next two books and whatever else Mantel has written or will write in the future. Very good.

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sophierayton
Bridget Jones's Diary | Helen Fielding
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Just what the doctor ordered. Bring on the rest of the series and a movie marathon.

Reggie Did you see the last movie where she has a baby? I love the whole series of movies. 2y
sophierayton No, not yet. Looking forward to reading all the books first then watching all the movies. Lots of fun. 2y
43 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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sophierayton
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I'm glad the 'idyllic' place of Three Pines got a rest from all the goings on for once, that place needs a breather! This book is set in Paris and has the vibe of a Dan Brown caper.

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sophierayton
Open Book | Jessica Simpson
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Sophie (hearts) Jessica!

What a woman. Love her. This is a great memoir.

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sophierayton
Girls with Sharp Sticks | Suzanne Young
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This book is not subtle. It is full throttle teen feminist bad-ass. The obvious lines about Trump and Kavanaugh were brilliant. The screaming take away is that literature 'woke up' 'the girls' from the story and reading these books will help to awaken readers to the dangers, injustices and systemic misogyny that exists for females. It's a valiant effort and a great cause and I hope it inspires a lot of people to push for equality.

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sophierayton
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Essential reading for everyone.

38 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Shuggie Bain | Douglas Stuart
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Painful but compassionate, your heart breaks for all the characters from the start and when you think you can't take any more, you break some more. I can imagine some people optimistically proclaiming this is a hopeful book of hardship and triumph; this will likely be the spin put on it by those who haven't 'been there'. For those who have been there, this book will act as a talisman which cosmically connects them so they know they're not alone.

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 2y
37 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
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I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this is like a grown up mash-up of Harry Potter and Narnia. Kinda weird, but kinda awesome. Looking forward to seeing the TV programme and continuing the books in the series.

43 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

This book is pure filth! Not your average Werewolf+Vampire teen drama story, this book is very adult. I was willing to do the series, but have decided not to now, I just don't care enough about the characters.

39 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Personal History | Katharine Graham
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What a remarkable badass woman; you go girl!

37 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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This memoir is less about wine and more about how good people are awesome and bad people suck.

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sophierayton
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I thought this was really good and it was nice that the main characters were older but still fully fleshed out. There's lots of critiquing in the book and it strikes me that Shriver is not afraid to 'go there' and offer a counter opinion to several movements prevailing at the moment. No doubt some people will be offended, but I expect that's likely the point. I thought it was good, but I'm not sure how well it's going to do.

TrishB I think that‘s a given, she does tend to look like she wants to offend. 2y
39 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
Over the Top | Jonathan Van Ness
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Ah Jonathan! What a legend. I'm glad everything seems to be going well for him and that he's been brave enough to tell his story. I hope this book finds its way into a lot of hands.

38 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
Ducks, Newburyport | Lucy Ellmann
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Mehso-so

It's taken about a year for me to get through this with lots of stopping and starting. I've invested so much time, money and energy into this book and having also met the author I really wanted to LOVE IT, but that 'click' moment never came for me. I'm glad it's done but if I could go back I'd tell my younger self to give it a miss and she'd probably say that a thousand pages of internal dialogue doesn't scare her and proceed to read it anyway.

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sophierayton
Brideshead Revisited | Evelyn Waugh
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This is a book of its time so it's problematic in some ways, but if you're able to excuse those issues it's actually quite progressive and strives to support and represent homosexuality without explicitly saying so. I wanted to give most of the characters a quick “snap out of it“ slap and didn't particularly like any of them, but I suspect they will stay with me and be remembered whereas many characters from lesser novels inevitably slip away.

Cathythoughts I loved this book very much X 2y
erzascarletbookgasm I agree the characters are memorable. 👍 2y
31 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

I was so excited for this book, but it was majorly “meh“ for me. Some interesting nuggets but not enough to redeem it to be a great book.

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sophierayton
The Deal of a Lifetime | Fredrik Backman
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Mehso-so

And the winner for the most depressing Christmastime story goes to.... Fredrik Backman for The Deal of a Lifetime.
He's a great writer, but this is my least favourite of his works I've experienced so far.

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sophierayton
Wanderlust: A Modern Yogi's Guide to Discovering Your Best Self | Jeff Krasno, Sarah Herrington, Nicole Lindstrom
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Beautifully Bohemian.

36 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Thunderstruck & Other Stories | Elizabeth McCracken
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Masterful! I enjoyed this even collection even more than the novel I've read by this author (Bowlaway). Very impressive.

Megabooks Agree! 2y
36 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
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This book is excellent. Literary, plot driven, heart rending etc - and yet, it was so hard for me to get through; I didn't 'enjoy' it and making it to the end became more of a chore than a gift. Still, I predict good things for this book, I'm sure it will be included in award season, but it's not my favourite.

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sophierayton
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A powerful and brave collection of poetry which reads as part memoir and part revolt. I read this on ebook and audiobook and my vote goes to the audiobook - having the author read his own work with the appropriate emotion and rhythm in which he intended it to be experienced was excellent. I was extremely uncomfortable for most of this book, but that's the power of art and it's up to me to deal with why one person's truth makes me feel that way.

36 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
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Divided into tiny alphabetical chunks and personal stories, this book is easy to pick up and put down based on the needs of the reader. The author is affirming of the difficulties some people struggle with and has created this no nonsense guide to help. It's not a book I'd read again or study in depth but I'd recommend it to anyone who needs the occasional reminder to look after themselves.

41 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Cleanness | Garth Greenwell
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Literature with a capital L with plenty of explicit and violent gay sex. What's not to like?!

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sophierayton
Memory Police | Yoko Ogawa
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I'd love to have a book club about this book because there's so much to unpack and so much I'm sure I didn't get or understand that it'd be great to discuss with other people and hear their perspectives. I recognise it's literary merits, but I didn't love it.

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sophierayton
Chestnut Man | Soren Sveistrup
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Sad and scary novel about the harm people do to each other. I felt like some things must have been lost in translation as I was confused as to what was happening several times throughout, however, that could have been part of the writing style in order to create an unsettled feeling in the reader. The last third was very strong and I thought that it ended well. I would read more from this author.

45 likes2 stack adds
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sophierayton
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Panpan

Painful. Absolutely painful. At no point did the desire to quit this book ease up. I read this book because it was the first in a series in which Alafair Burke co-authors and I wanted to read everything she has written, but I am going to skip them now as this book was so bad.

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sophierayton
Kite Runner | Khaled Hosseini
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Oh Hosseini - I'd like my heart back when you're quite finished stomping all over it with your beautiful but terrible words.
It took three attempts for me to read this book as I couldn't get past one of the more harrowing scenes. Ultimately I'm glad I powered through, it is definitely a book that will stay with me.

MynameisSnow Heartbreaker for sure. I‘m 100 pages from the end and my tummy hurts:( 2y
43 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sophierayton
The Stand | Stephen King
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Whoo - that is one long book! The first part was great, the middle not so great and the last part was good. Unnecessarily long but that is the case with most of King's books and I've just accepted that's his style.

Mistermandolin I agree it‘s too long. One of his best, though. Great characters, suspenseful, and the dialogue crackles throughout. Excellent choice. 2y
37 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

When unexpected sequels or prequels are offered in a series, it seems like the somewhat 'cool' thing to do to pooh-pooh it. Because of this, I was mindful to give this book a fair shot and give praise where it's due. However, it's pretty shocking and I'm not just saying that to sit at the cool kids table, it's really not good and just gets worse as the book progresses ending on the ultimate bad note. Interesting history but not great.

Andrew65 Oh no! 3y
Melismatic I‘m interested to hear your thoughts - I‘m 100 pages in and am enjoying it so far! 3y
38 likes3 comments
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sophierayton
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I went into this blind having not seen the TV show, and it is a lot creepier than I expected. Looking forward to the rest of the issues and watching the show.

pilardib The show is amazing and so is the soundtrack! You won't be disappointed! 3y
36 likes1 comment
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sophierayton
Fitness Junkie: A Novel | Lucy Sykes, Jo Piazza
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Super fun and thought provoking.

41 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
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Mehso-so

I found it a bit hard to get into the groove of this book. It's told from multiple points of view and largely from a child's perspective but the subject matter is very serious and not childlike at all. Great that the author is shining a light on the issues highlighted in this book, but I found it hard to read.

39 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Beautiful Chaos | Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
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I don't believe in 'guilty pleasures' - but this is the closest I've come to declaring one. These books are so bad in so many ways, and yet, I just really like them.

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sophierayton
Correspondents | Tim Murphy
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Award alert. If I was a gambling woman, I would put money on this book being featured in most of the 2020 book award lists. Best wishes to this book and author, I hope they both do well.

Cathythoughts Sounds great! Stacked 3y
41 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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sophierayton
The Devil Wears Prada | Lauren Weisberger
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This book was just the ticket. It has the same fun vibe as Crazy Rich Asians with the right hint of drama to prevent it from being complete fluff. I imagine it would make a good beach read.

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sophierayton
Flight Behavior | Barbara Kingsolver
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Beautiful writing and incredible insights into humanity and the world.

Christine Agreed! 🦋💙 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Loved this one! Now I plant milkweed every year. 3y
41 likes2 comments
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sophierayton
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Part yoga how-to, part memoir, part inspirational/self help.

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sophierayton
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I especially appreciated the viewpoint on sociopathic children; not an easy topic to tackle. Very good.

39 likes1 stack add
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sophierayton
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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So frustrating to have so many loose ends not tied up. Lila is a brat right until the end.

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sophierayton
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This book was a tricky one for me. I recognise the excellence of the writing, but the story was just so painfully tragic (no doubt due to the excellence of the writing) that it hurt me to read it, so I couldn't really enjoy it nor would I recommend it to anyone. Some hard books leave me devastated in the best possible way (A Thousand Splendid Suns) but this book just left me devastated.

60 likes4 stack adds
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sophierayton
Me | Elton John
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I'm really glad I read this book. I've always been a fan of Elton John's music but on a personal level thought him something of a twat. This book shows that he will be the first to admit that his behaviour at times has been unacceptable and explores the reasons why without relinquishing responsibility. This book is raw, honest and respectful and the ghostwriter (Alexis Petridis) did a beautiful job of telling Elton John's story.

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sophierayton
Red, White & Royal Blue | Casey McQuiston
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I really liked this. It's a great love story and it highlights so many important social issues. The parallels to the real British monarchy were a bit too much for me (as a Brit) and I felt like that was intrusive in a way that this book is criticising, so somewhat ironic there. Still, this book will likely be treasured by many for years and will likely encourage more mainstream publications of diverse representation love story.

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sophierayton
Into The Water | Paula Hawkins
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Mehso-so

Massively struggled with this one, but at the end of the day, it's still a good story and well written, I just didn't really like it.