Three Women - Lisa Taddeo
★ ★ ★
I really didn’t get the hype around this. Written after eight years (!!) of research into the sex lives of women, this non-fiction read follows the lives of three women in different phases of life and their sexuality; one in a sexless marriage, one in a marriage where her husband likes watching her have sex with other people, and one who had an underage relationship with her teacher who she now stands before in court. Three very interesting perspectives, no doubt. However, the point of difference of this book is that these are true stories, written off the back of so much research, which was totally lost. I kept feeling like I was reading a fiction, that fell into a narrative of sexual manipulation a lot of the time. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it felt like a fiction that we have all read before.
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
★ ★ ★
I finished this book yesterday and did really enjoy it despite the three stars. It made me laugh out loud in so many places, and I will definitely read more of his. The only reason I have rated it with three stars is because it was quite repetitive. Bryson is documented his journey around Britain, and as it turns out, many of the towns we have here are very similar. The writing seemed quite samey at times and I was willing this read to be over from about the halfway mark. However, it is very very funny in places, and I am definitely converted to a Bryson fan.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
★ ★ ★ ★
This was such a beautiful read. Following three love affairs in 1960s Czechoslovakia, the book had so many beautiful themes and sections I wanted to highlight and memorise! It took me a while to read as it’s such a thoughtful read, so it’s a pleasure to take your time with it too. Everyone should have this on their bookshelf!
Everyone Died And So I Got A Dog - Emily Dean
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I LOVED this book!!! I sobbed and laughed my way through it. As the title suggests, this memoire of Dean’s life starts with her childhood, into adulthood where she is confronted with more grief than a person should ever have to deal with, never mind in the space of a few years. The dog theme isn’t HUGE throughout the book, just a pleasant thread that she uses cleverly to describe her upbringing. I loved this so, so much
Flieshman Is In Trouble - Taffy Brodesser-Akner
This was shit. Another one I don’t get the hype over. I didn’t give up on it because it had so much promise of getting better, but it just didn’t!! The story follows a recent divorcee slowly (painfully slowly, might I add) to realisation his ex-wife is missing, while he tries to manage his home and children, and his new dating life via online apps. I liked the promise in that story, the modern day dating AND a bit of a missing person drama. But it didn’t deliver on any of it. It’s written with a third person narrative that doesn’t make any sense at any given point, with a story of a third character sporadically placed throughout the book. This only added to the frustration!
Station Eleven - Emily st. John Mandel
★ ★ ★ ★
This was such a lovely post-apocalyptic story! After surviving the endlessly dreary read of The Road earlier in the month, taking on another novel of a similar topic was risky business. The story follows a Shakespearean Symphony travelling through America after almost all the population was wiped out by a deadly flu-like virus. There are two narratives; one of Kristen who is travelling with the Symphony, and Jeevan, who is telling the story of the past as the fly broke out, and the years before. I really enjoyed it and the ending is brilliant.
My Name Is Why - Lemn Sissay
★ ★ ★ ★
This memoire documents the life of Lemn (The story of how he got that name alone is so interesting) through the foster systems in the UK. It’s incredibly sad and frustrating to read. It’s interspersed with lots of documents from the various institutions Sissay was in, which at times I felt slowed down the read. Someone made a good point to me that they served a purpose of showing just how frustrating the system is; all the back and forth, and struggle those have who are trying to to do the best thing for a young boy. I do agree with this, and it really makes you want to rip your hair out, but I LOVED Sissay’s writing so much that I just wanted more of that and his opinion on these documents. But still, it was a great read.
Calypso - David Sedaris
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
LOVEDDD this!! My first Sedaris experience, and I think I happened to kick off with the best one. His writing (not too dissimilar in tone to Bryson) makes me laugh out loud. The way he creates a story from the smallest details in life is commendable. Everyone needs to read this. The fact he bought a beach out and named it Sea Section is nothing short of genius.
Naked - David Sedaris
★ ★ ★ ★
Not as good as Calypso but still brilliant. All of these books I have read by him so far are the same format; short stories (brilliantly titled too), documenting different parts of Sedaris’ life. Naked follows his childhood, which was eventful beyond belief.
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
★ ★ ★ ★
BLEAK but AMAZING! Hands down the most harrowing book I have ever read. Following father and son as they attempt to survive a post-apocalyptic America. There is literally no light at the end of this tunnel, but the way McCarthy writes it is brilliant. The pace is perfect, it matches the struggle of the journey, but also has so many moments that literally have you gripping the book. The subtlety in how tension is built it brilliant.
Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
★ ★ ★ ★
Another great one, just get them all and read them all!! Apparently his audiobooks are brilliant too.