How to Be A Woman ~ Caitlin Moran


How to Be a WomanHow to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t often pick up non-fiction-y books but I finally got around to picking up this one after wanting to read it for years. This is typically my MO. For shame. Caitlin Moran is hysterical, witty, and wise. I reckon that if you’re someone who’s all confused about feminism and what it means this might be a good book to start with. Not because it’s all preachy or anything, but because it is so real. I kind of just wish everyone would read this book.



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Lady Oracle ~ Margaret Atwood


Lady OracleLady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore Margaret Atwood. I wish she was my friend. I wish I had this sort of wise older human to hang out with and learn about life from. I guess my imagination and my Margaret Atwood collection will have to suffice. God I love this woman. Weirdly this is only the third Atwood book I’ve even read. Out of how many are there? I have heard that all her books are “so different” and I must admit it is a strange phenomenon this. How talented must you be to pull off this kind of consistent brilliance without ever becoming monotonous? Salut, Madam. You are a goddess.



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Shantaram ~ Gregory David Roberts


ShantaramShantaram by Gregory David Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok so this book is super long which is great for folks who live on reading but I tend to live on coffee and sparks of anxiety born from attempting to raise children and not screw it up, and then I try to fit reading in between all that. The book is LONG, man! But, it is brilliant. And it was cool as hell to fit it in before I went off to India so I was super stoked about that. Roberts has a sort of lyrical way of writing that is wise and beautiful as hell. You can’t help but fall in love with his voice.

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Review: Big Ups! No Three


Big Ups! No Three
Big Ups! No Three by Ros Haden

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I must admit that picking up a little reader filled with short stories by South African authors was kind of damn nice. It’s about time we start seeing more of this kind of thing. Reading little short snippets from different perspectives is kind of great and I hope that a publication like “Big Ups” will continue to play their role in bringing South African writers to South African readers. This is the sort of thing that will inspire future generations to not give up on their art and take part in what could potentially be a creative revolution in South Africa. Wouldn’t that be awesome?



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Review: The Library of Unrequited Love


The Library of Unrequited Love
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book is a sweet soliloquy by a librarian woman as she converses with a man who accidentally spent the night in the library. If nothing else, the idea of the book intrigues me and I have to admit that I currently feel inspired to attempt something similar. I love the style of it. It’s so different.



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Review: Martin Misunderstood


Martin Misunderstood
Martin Misunderstood by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this little bit of odd brought to us by the queen of crime was…well…odd. I swear Ms Slaughter decided to just have a bit of fun with this one, I must admit that it made me kind of giggle a few times. She kind of disses Patricia Cornwell at some point which I thought was a bit “ok then”. Weird. Just weird. But nice and short. My newly lazy reading ways have started to appreciate nice and short. So at least there’s that.



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Review: Mister God, This is Anna


Mister God, This is Anna
Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mister God, This is Anna is a book a bout a man who finds a little girl wandering the streets, and he takes her home. This always tickles me, because: how insane! Granted it does sort of explain itself out of that hole, and the book is set in the 1930s so it is forgivable, but still, it makes me giggle. Then again, if you pulled that kind of thing today, would anyone notice? I think it’s probably less likely than we expect.

Anyway, the book is ok, I suppose. I don’t think you need to be a believer in God to enjoy it, you simply need to be respectful of religion, I suppose. Anna is a precocious little thing who spends her days puzzling the narrator, Fynn, with intense questions and poignant observations about the world around her. It does get a bit blahblahblah in the middle, but all-in-all it is quite a sweet story.



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Review: The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling


The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling
The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Over the weekend I was mock-pouting at my husband for “abandoning” me to go and run a marathon (seriously: why do folks in their 30s insist on this weird phenomenon?) and for the fact that I was up way too early on a Sunday morning because of his sudden need to sports. I then jokingly grumpy-yelled at him that he needed to go and find me a book to read and that he should be aware that the state of our relationship depended on his choice.

This is the book he brought me. I imagine it is because it was one of about 3 that he has read in my entire library.

So this book has a copyright date of 1976. Now honestly I find that quite impressive because often when I read older books, I find them filled with cliches. This is not necessarily the fault of the authors themselves, because maybe they weren’t cliches back then but they are today. Anyway – this book is quite low on the cliches and I love that becauseI personally suck at steering clear of cliches in my own writing, but am quite adept at spotting them in the work of others.

This is a fast-paced read and it’s heavy on the dialogue. Somehow it’s easy to read without being annoying, in fact sometimes it’s even quite charming with a hint of humour that doesn’t try too hard to be funny. It’s not meant to be a grand masterpiece and that’s fine. Just something easy to read over a couple of days before moving onto something a little more taxing, perhaps?

I loved the relationship between the protagonist and his sidekick. She is a lesbian, which is a subject barely tackled in the novel. I love how flippantly it is treated, like it was no biggie for those days. Then again, I suppose he is also treated as if his burglaring is no biggie, just an extension of himself. (I mean no offense in comparing homosexuality to burglaring – of course I don’t think they are the same. I am merely pointing out that these two characters were beautifully accepting of each other while never making any sort of big deal about the acceptance. It was nice. Especially out of a time when such things were far more taboo than they are now.)




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Review: The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some books are kind of lovely when you think back on them, have you ever noticed that? It happens to me a lot. I find myself slogging through something that everyone else seems to have loved (I mean come on – this was one hella popular book at one point) and just longing to get to the end so that I can move on, and then once I’m done I kind of look back and go “hmmm that was good” and I feel all glad to have made the effort. Is that insane? I’m starting to think that maybe it is…

Anyway, The Lovely Bones is well written, of course. And the concept of it all is quite sweet. I want to rewatch the movie sometime (I remember not loving it before, but that is all I remember about it) so that I can compare the two. But I didn’t love this book. It is sad. And kind of heavy. Some folks say that it is hopeful but I didn’t feel that way about it at all. It was just heavy…

I never really know how to rate books that are good but that I didn’t enjoy. Enjoyment seems to be the point. I can understand how some might enjoy it, of course, so I can still value it’s merit. But I didn’t love it. And I think that loving it is kind of important. So my apologies for the 3 star rating, as I do feel that the book maybe deserves more. It just doesn’t deserve more from me.

Does that make sense?



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JK Rowling Makes So Much Sense


Anyone who knows me knows that JK Rowling is my queen and that I’d be the first to vote for her as world president. For one: you can tell a LOT about someone by reading their books, and she is no exception. Her heart, humour, and humanity is written all over those pages. She is so beautiful to me. She always has been.

But with this Lumos video? She’s outdone herself. I can’t stop thinking about just how much sense this makes. And I cannot fault how right she is. Thank you. Jo, for being the beautiful humanitarian that you are. We all have so much to learn from you.