To call this month’s reading recap a mashup is an understatement. It could also be the library checkout recap or even the non-fiction recap—which is huge because I’m virtually certain I’ve never read more than one non-fiction book a month, much less four. And on all kinds of subjects! But there you have it.
May also turned out to be another monster month for how much I read: 18 books for the second month in a row. I think it’s because I tend to skim non-fiction, but it’s still a bit startling.
I wish I could say the reviews are flowing as easily as the reading, but sadly I’m still struggling to stay focused and motivated. Enough about that, on to the important stuff—the books!
The Way She Wears It: The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Revealing Your Personal Style by Dallas Shaw
Published by William Morrow
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Shaw is a fashion illustrator so this little book is a lot of eye candy—fey drawings of chic looks intermingled with photographs of real clothes and accessories. The book is divided into the four seasons and is a guide to finding your personal style. At the very least, Shaw offers a lot of ideas to break out of a rut and at most, it’s a fun book that made all my girly, fashionista bones sing. The only caveat? It’s definitely geared to the 20-40 crew so if you’re like me, you’ll need to think of modified versions for the options Shaw describes. Lacy crop tops and shorts aren’t going to happen.
Bobbi Brown's Beauty from the Inside Out: Makeup * Wellness * Confidence by Bobbi Brown
Publication date: April 18, 2017
Genres: Non-fiction, self-help
I love her make-up and her attitude so thought this might be a useful book for tips on skin care. She covers a lot of terrain, but the book is like a tinted moisturizer—great if you only need minimal coverage. It’s beautiful to look at with gorgeous photos and step-by-step instructions for various kinds of make-up application. I was just hoping for more details on specific brands or ingredients.
Weed: The User's Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana by David Schmader
Published by Sasquatch Books
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Non-fiction, Lifestyle, self-help
First of all—I live in Washington state so calm down. Second, if you still believe marijuana is addictive and a gateway drug then we’re going to have to agree to disagree. No one has EVER died of a marijuana overdose and while it may be psychologically addictive it has no physically addictive properties. Anyway, this book is a great, fun primer about how to enjoy cannabis recreationally. You know, with the same restraint and responsibility you’re legally allowed to enjoy a glass of wine. Because really? They’re about the same and the ‘information’ we’ve been fed for decades about it is flat out lies generated by our government. Go figure.
Eat Clean, Stay Lean: 300 Real Foods and Recipes for Lifelong Health and Lasting Weight Loss by Prevention Magazine, Wendy Bazilian
Published by Rodale Books
Publication date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Non-fiction, Health, Food
Eat Clean Stay Lean: interesting reading with lots of photos to hold my interest. Prevention magazine is for the uber-healthy so a lot of this was beyond what I would do, but I did appreciate the single paragraph charts of numerous foods with the headings: Not Clean, Clean, Cleanest and which version of that food fits where. A wide variety of recipes. This would be a good basic resource for anyone trying to eat healthy.
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan: LOVE LOVED. Cannot recommend this one enough for summer fun reading. Review
The Heirs by Susan Rieger: For everything Rich People Problems is, this novel is not and yet, it’s still wonderful. It’s wealthy family dysfunction but written with elegance and restraint. Another 5 stars for me. Review
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Published by Michael Joseph LTD
Publication date: April 30th 2008
A great premise and interesting structure: Four Irish women, three of whom are related by family and friendship and one man. One man who’s known all of them since their teens. Keyes intersperses chapters with paragraphs of graphic violence against an unknown woman. Creates a sense of tension, even after the man’s identity becomes less of a mystery. My biggest problem with this novel? 704 pages! It’s chick-lit, which I love, but it is 400 pages too long. There is absolutely nothing learned, shared, or revealed that needed that length. Plus, one of the characters is written in a style with no pronouns or articles making for maddeningly incomplete sentences. I read that it was because she’s supposed to be jotting thoughts in a diary there is plenty of dialogue which is not diary style. It blew the whole book for me.
Party Girls Die in Pearls: An Oxford Girl Mystery (Oxford Girl Mysteries) by Plum Sykes
Published by Harper
Publication date: May 9, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
Plum Sykes is my pantheon of chick-lit authors I can count on to take me away to girly, blingland where I don’t need to think about anything real. Imagine then when an author you trust at that level writes a book so bad you can’t even finish it. Seriously, I can only think that someone else wrote this dreadful book. The dialogue was clunky and the plot incomprehensible. This is on par with your best friend telling you that “Yes, you’d look great with a perm.” Plum and I have now broken up.
This is one unusual book. Enough so that I was not able to review it. It’s supposedly fiction, but the author and the narrator have the same name and the story is a twisted one about a writer who loses her ability to write when a new ‘friend’ insinuates herself into her life. Vigan does a great job with tone- there is an increasing feeling of dread as the novel progresses, but the ambiguity was too much for me. It reminded me of The Other Typist except in that case I was able to draw a conclusion and in this one I couldn’t. However, two bloggers I respect did review the novel so check out their thoughts ( Susie at Novel Visits, Sarah at Sarah’s Bookshelves – (some spoilers in her discussion, but honestly there is so much in the novel that it won’t ruin it for you)) and decide for yourself.
Whew, that’s it! How about you, did you read anything great in May?
Sarah's Book Shelves says
OMG – you read a pot primer?!! Haha – that’s awesome – wouldn’t have expected that!
And – wow – a zero star review. Don’t think I’ve seen that before. Sorry it was such a disappointment.
IKR?! It was interesting. So much I didn’t know and so much mis-information out there.
Eva @ The Paperback Princess says
The pot primer made me laugh too! Next summer we’ll be legalizing it in Canada too. Surprising it’s not already legal when you wander around Vancouver…
I REALLY want to read The Heirs because of you. Like I said, I really need to stop coming here. I was in the bookstore this week, thinking to myself “there’s a book I’m supposed to look for…” – it was The Heirs. Which I remembered TWO days later.
My brain is broken.
No, dear, your neighbors to the south are broken and it’s hurting your brain. All the more reason for legalized cannabis! So much better than a cocktail.
Susie | Novel Visits says
You continue to amaze me with the number of books you get read. I aspire to be like you!
Love that you read the pot book. So perfect for WA. Thanks for the mention with Based on a True Story. It was a really blurred book. I hadn’t thought about The Other Typist when reading it, but you’re so right.
Hope you have a great weekend.
You’re too kind! It just means I spend more time reading about life than living it. Plus, you have a job and my only job is reading. I’m a lucky gal.
I am getting absolutely fascinated by it! Especially the CBD aspect of it- the part of the plant that doesn’t make you high, it just quiets the brain and works on anxiety etc. Who doesn’t need that right now?!
Okay I didn’t laugh about the pot book (seemed sort of normal for a person trying to survive all things Trump) but I did laugh about the 704 page chick-lit book being 400 pages too many. HA, Is Marian Keyes crazy? who writes a book of that genre like that?!? Nothing is that Charming about that Man. cheers!