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: 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: 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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Review: Love


Love
Love by Toni Morrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holy hell. I did not enjoy this book. This book is not entertainment. At all. It is a gut wrenching piece of pure raw honesty about how life is. My insides are sour. I can feel the blood in my veins. My heart is pounding. Be warned that it is full of triggers. It might be best to keep that in mind for those who are sensitive to them. Shit. I can’t even get my words out. Nothing made sense. And then it all made sense. And now I feel sick. I didn’t enjoy reading this book. It wasn’t like my favourites, the sweet magical stories about abnormally bad circumstances being overcome by average, but secretly special, people. There’s no feel-good. But it is also not Virginia Andrews-y or Picoult-y where all these crazy unbelievable bad things happen and you are able to remain sane because “that’s crazy”. This was not crazy. This was real. And I cannot escape the truth that Toni Morrison’s work is incredibly important.



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Review: Horseradish


Horseradish
Horseradish by Lemony Snicket

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I completely forgot to mention that I re-read this little gem of wisdom over the weekend. Funny enough it actually did quite a bit to uplift an otherwise dreary mood. I think it might be one of those books I should read yearly, like Love That Dog (Actually maybe I should go and re-read that one now!) as it is one of those that gives far more than it takes. Thanks Mr. Snicket, sir. You have served me well once more.



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Review: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt


The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m giving this book a 5 because I think that being the type of person who writes these sort of weird and confusing – for – most – people stories is kind of important. About 4 years ago when I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake I did not love it as I expected to. I have kind of evolved since then. I have become more open to obscure voices sharing beautiful content. I have learned to set aside expectations and receive what I am given instead of bemoaning what I have not. I cannot help now but envy Ms. Bender. How free she is in spirit. How unconventionally wise. How odd. How exquisite. How real.



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Review: An Invisible Sign of My Own


An Invisible Sign of My Own
An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Feeling humbled by the (to me) unpretentious quirk that is Aimee Bender. How glorious when reading feels a little bit like falling in love – something that you instinctively understand but could not possibly explain. I must admit that for this novel a lot of the charm lay in the reviews of others. Indignant school teachers offended by an inaccurate portrayal of teaching and children. Fussy readers who cannot cope when a story is not “just so” – as if being “realistic” and “structured” is the only way to be when it comes to putting yourself on paper. And yet here I sit, grateful for strange minds that take me to different worlds, and especially grateful that my own mind allows for me to be taken there.



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Review: Starting Over


Starting Over
Starting Over by Tony Parsons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I could explain my feelings for Tony Parsons in a way that would do him true justice. Whenever I read his books I feel a sort of heartbreaking hope. I know why, but not well enough to be able to express it accurately. The way Tony writes makes you feel relieved that someone is paying attention to life in such a way that they really do just get it. I think with this book especially, the way George loves Lara makes me feel hopeful. After all that time he still loved her, and not in a daft star-crossed lovers kind of way, but in a real way. It feels a relief to know that someone wrote that, because it kind of means that he feels that way, and feeling that way in itself is kind of lovely. Tony Parsons is someone that I wish everyone would read. I often wonder while I am reading his books if other people see themselves in the characters he creates. And if they do, do they learn about themselves in the process? Do they learn a little something about relationships? Are they inspired? Or does it take too much radical honesty to be able to look at yourself in this way? Maybe that kind of honesty is too rare for it to make an impact. It’s strange, I guess. Tony Parsons’ work seems so relevant to me, and yet I cannot help but think that relevance might be lost on most. Which is a real pity.



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