Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Title: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
Author: Sarah Knight
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 179
Genres: Non-fiction, Narrative, Humour

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
The surprising art of caring less and getting more.

Are you stressed out, overbooked and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? Then it's time to stop giving a f**k.

This irreverent and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt - and give your f**ks instead to people and things that make you happy.

From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple 'NotSorry Method' for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 338
Genres: Historical Fiction

Burial Rites
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the months leading up to her execution on the farm of district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed her spiritual guardian, will listen to Agnes’s side of the story. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force everyone to work side by side, the family’s attitude to Agnes starts to change, until one winter night, she begins her whispered confession to them, and they realize that all is not as they had assumed.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review: The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Title: The Arrival
Author: Shaun Tan
Publisher: Lothian Books
Pages: 128
Genres: Graphic Novel, Science-Fiction

The Arrival
In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.

Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.

Review: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Title: The Gracekeepers
Author: Kirsty Logan
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Pages: 293
Genres: Fabulist

The Gracekeepers
As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Title: Americanah
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Pages: 477
Genres: Literary Fiction

Americanah
As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Title: The Book of Lost Things
Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 512
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The Book of Lost Things
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Lost Souls
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 544
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

City of Lost Souls

What price is too high to pay, even for love? Jace is now a servant of evil, bound for all eternity to Sebastian. Only a small band of Shadowhunters believe he can be saved. To do this, they must defy the Clave. And they must act without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. Clary is willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Review: Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Title: Everyday Sexism
Author: Laura Bates
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 384
Genres: Non-fiction, Narrative

Everyday Sexism
After experiencing a series of escalating sexist incidents, Laura Bates started theeveryday sexism projectand has gone on to write 'a pioneering analysis of modern day misogyny' (Telegraph).

After an astounding response from the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, the project quickly became one of the biggest social media success stories of the internet.

From being harassed and wolf-whistled at on the street, to discrimination in the workplace and serious sexual assault, it is clear that sexism had become normalised. But Bates inspires women to lead a real change and writes this 'extremely powerful book that could, and should, win hearts and minds right across the spectrum' (Financial Times).

Often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant, everyday sexism is a protest against inequality and a manifesto for change. It's 'a game-changing book, a must-read for every woman' (Cosmopolitan).

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Review: Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: Saga, Volume 5
Series: Saga (Collected Editions) #5
Written By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image
Pages: 152
Genres: Comics, Science-fiction

Saga, Volume 5

Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies. Collects Saga #25-30.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 Throne of Glass
Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?

Review: The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

Title: The Girl in 6E
Series: Deanna Madden #1
Author: A. R. Torre
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 352
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

The Girl in 6E
Deanna Madden, aka Jessica Reilly, hasn't touched another person in three years.

She hasn't left her apartment.

She makes money from performing to webcams on a sex site, where her clients pay $6.99 a minute for her time.

She's doing alright. The dollars are piling up in the bank. She's the number 3 model on cams.com.

And she hasn't killed anyone for years.

But when Deanna sees on the news that a little girl called Annie has gone missing, the story rattles her carefully ordered world. It's uncomfortably similar to the dark fantasy of one of her most disturbing online clients. She's convinced he's responsible for the girl's abduction - but no one will listen to her.

So, after three years, Deanna finally leaves the apartment.

And this is what happens...

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Review: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

Title: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships
Author: Neil Strauss
Publisher: Dey St. Books
Pages: 448
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

The Wrath and the Dawn
Neil Strauss became famous to millions around the world as the author of The Game, a funny and slyly instructive account of how he transformed himself from a scrawny, insecure nerd into the ultra-confident, ultra-successful “pickup artist” known as Style. The book jump-started the international “seduction community,” and made Strauss a household name—revered or notorious—among single men and women alike.

But the experience of writing The Game also transformed Strauss into a man who could have what every man wants: the ability to date or have casual sex with almost every woman he met. The results were heady, to be sure. But they also conditioned him to view the world as a kind of constant parade of women, sex, and opportunity—with intimacy and long-term commitment taking a back seat. That is, until he met the woman who forced him to choose between herself and the parade. The choice was not only difficult, it was wrenching. It forced him deep into his past, to confront not only the moral dimensions of his pickup lifestyle, but also a wrenching mystery in his childhood that shaped the man that he became. It sent him into extremes of behavior that exposed just how conflicted his life had become. And it made him question everything he knew about himself, and about the way men and women live with and without each other.

He would never be the same again.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Review: Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: Saga, Volume 4
Series: Saga (Collected Editions) #4
Written By: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image
Pages: 152
Genres: Comics, Science-fiction

Saga, Volume 4

From the Eisner Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Pride of Baghdad) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thor), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wrap up Wednesday - May 2016

I managed to read fourteen books this month: two were 5 star reads; five were 4 star reads; four were 3 star reads; and three were 2 star reads.

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Author:  Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The Wrath and the Dawn
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.