Garden Spells ~ Sarah Addison Allen

Garden SpellsGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I tried not to read this book in one day but I couldn’t help it. Even though I had guests and things to do and people to cook for, I started this book on Saturday morning and but a little past midnight on Sunday morning I was done. Every time I read one of Allen’s books I fall in love. It is rather an exquisite feeling to be so enchanted with the mind and worlds of another. She creates true magic on the page and I must admit that I am eternally grateful to her. I started reading a bit of Magical Realism with Alice Hoffman but didn’t quite love her s o much. Ali Shaw excited me far better. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake excited me in theory but not in execution. And then Allen came along. The more I read her stuff the more empowered I feel to write the same genre and the idea excites me more than I can express. Some writers are so good at this particular genre that experiencing their stories feels like childhood fantasy come true. That childlike search for wonder has been satiated by these writers for me. How do you say “thank you” for that? How do you let someone know that because of them something in your own universe has shifted for the greater good and that they have given you a priceless gift for which you will  always be grateful.

If you’ll excuse me, I now have to go and find the rest of Ms. Allen’s books because it has become very clear to me that I need them…


A Long Way Down ~ Nick Hornby

CYMERA_20140313_150819As you can possibly see by this failed sort-of-attempt-at-arty photograph, I own three copies of Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down. I’m not entirely sure how this came about. No. I lie. The red one I bought when it first came out because High Fidelity, About a Boy and How to Be Good were awesome. The purple one I bought because it was on sale at Bargain Books  and the cover was pretties than the red one. And the blue one my mom bought me at a flea market because she knew I liked Nick Hornby. So now I have three. To be honest I’m not even sure this particular red one is mine. I loaned someone a bunch of books once. Since then she kind of broke up with me friendwise (ok then) and so because she wasn’t speaking to me I asked another friend to ask her for my books back. I’m sorry but I really don’t think you should have to go through all that whatthefuckjusthappened crap and then still have to lose your books as well. Anyway – she returned a bunch of books and none of them were mine. I used to have a red copy of this book, but I’m pretty sure someone else has it at the moment. So now…. I don’t really know what to do or why this blog post has ended up being such a giant preamble to what is essentially probably only going to end up being a vaguely informative review post.

I decided to indulge in this particular book for the third time (see…I have three books… I’ve read this book three times…. totally normal!) because 1. I am reading my favourite authors this month and I don’t have any Nick Hornby books that I haven’t read yet and 2. the movie of this book is coming out soon so it’s always fun to have a bit of a catch up before watching the movie. Anyway….and here is where the vague part comes in…. I love this book. It is awesome. Nick Hornby never fails to impress me with his ability to become so many different characters. Of course, this book is extra special to me because it kind of inspired my own novel (which I now hate, but still) and I must be honest I was kind of weirded out by how little of it I actually remembered. I guess it’s kind of cool that my brain doesn’t retain stuff properly. It means I can kind of enjoy my favourite things more than once.

So who would enjoy this kind of book? Anyone who ever gave any real thought to pretty much anything ever. Anyone with the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Actually I’m kind of high on a flu virus right now…. Possibly no one should listen to anything I have to say….


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ~ Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! It is so awesome when a book you’ve been longing to read lives up to your every expectation and more. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is magically beautiful and will surely haunt me for many years to come. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

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Life As I Blow It ~ Sarah Colonna

Life As I Blow It: Tales Of Love, Life & Sex . . . Not Necessarily In That OrderLife As I Blow It: Tales Of Love, Life & Sex . . . Not Necessarily In That Order by Sarah Colonna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sarah Colonna is my soulmate. How dork-ass fan-ish is that? Meh. I’ve read a couple of reviews about this book and it seems to be one of those you-either-love-it-or-hate-it books. Or should I be saying that about Sarah Colonna herself? I think it takes a big bite of “special” to be this kind of honest. I think it’s pretty damn fantastic to say “this is how it is” and be telling the truth. You can feel it, hear it as the words wash over you. Hearing that honesty in writing is my absolute favourite thing about reading. That “I believe you” feeling that washes over me is my cocaine. It is my reason for writing. And it is my reason for above all else, striving for honesty in the things that I write. I write so that when you read it, you will believe me. Even the most far fetched of stories can hold the most precious nugget of truth.

I don’t know who Sarah Colonna is. My sister is a huge fan, but I don’t have a clue who she is. Also, I don’t usually read non-fiction. Memoirs and biographies don’t really do it for me. I like play-play people in play-play worlds. But I’m glad I picked this up. I’m not sure why (apart from the fact that it’s funny and I enjoyed reading it). Something about it just feels hopeful. Or made me feel hopeful. I dunno.

Whatever it is….I think it would be pretty damn cool to go out for drinks with this chick 🙂

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The Girl With Glass Feet ~ Ali Shaw

The Girl with Glass FeetThe Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl With Glass Feet is a love story about a shy photographer and a girl who is slowly turning into glass. It is completely whimsical, utterly devastating, and astonishingly beautiful in every way. I loved The Girl With Glass Feet in that quiet understated way that one might love a good cup of tea.

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The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the first page of this book I felt the most intense connection with Aibileen, as if I wan’t reading her thoughts but had her in the room with me, telling me her self. I could hear her voice and see the expressions on her face so incredibly clearly. I can’t express how incredible this book it. How heartwarming. How frustrating. How true. I can only simply be grateful for it’s existence. And for being lucky enough to have it on my bookshelf. What an amazing read!

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon ~ Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the MoonThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve definitely started to fall in love with whimsical tales lately. Like Water for Chocolate, The Girl with Glass Feet. And now this one. So gently and upliftingly magical in a sweet way that makes your heart smile. Yes, I have become a mushy being who has been swept away by the idea that life can truly sparkle sometimes. And it’s going to be hard to move onto another book after this one…

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Men from the Boys ~ Tony Parsons

Title: Men from the Boys

Author: Tony Parsons

Publisher: Harper

Pages: 330

Where I got it: Little Brother bought it for me for my birthday this year

Rating: 3

I am very much a fan of Tony Parsons and the way he writes. It is no secret that I count One for My Baby as one of my absolute favourite books. Men from the Boys is the third and final installment in the Harry Silver series. Harry Silver is a single dad and the trilogy is basically dedicated to the journey he faces as he raises his son. The first two books meant a lot to me personally. The first especially helped me to consider what my own ex was going through when faced with the inevitability of not being a daily part of his own child’s life. I loved getting the male perspective on a lot of ordinary things. I didn’t really relate to the this particular book at all though. Most likely because I do have a teenager to deal with yet. I struggled to get into it at first but I did enjoy it in the end. It’s definitely a must-read if you’ve read the other two.