Has anyone else read this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Has anyone else read this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
It’s been a great reading week for me- I have a lot of favorites to share! I’ll be sharing three different books I enjoyed today.
The first book I wanted to talk about was Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live off the Land by Kurt Timmermeister.
This non-fiction book is part memoir/part how-to by the author on giving up living in the city and owning a restaurant to starting his own dairy farm when he was in his mid-twenties. He shares his changing relationship with food from owning a restaurant and getting food products in mass quantities, to caring for and creating the best food possible with his own two hands. He also does include a lot of tips and ideas for anyone who wants to make their own food and start a farm like he did.
My interest in agriculture and sustainable farming/living has been growing over the past few years. This book was a great, very practical look on how difficult something like this is. However it is also very motivating and really helpful on even small steps you can take in your everyday life.
His writing was clear, entertaining, and made me excited to keep reading. The chapters were evenly mixed of stories of his life and advice for those reading it. I would recommend it for anyone interested in small farms or sustainable living in general.
Here’s my review of the book on Goodreads:
Here’s a link to buy the book on Amazon (affiliate link):
The second book I loved this week was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
I was a little late to the game on reading this, but I am so glad I finally did! This middle grade book is about a little boy named August, who was born with a facial difference that keeps him at home for most of his childhood years. He finally starts going to a school in fifth grade, and has to deal with what his peers think about anyone different from them. He deals with people treating him differently than everyone else, bullying, and other hardships as a unique kid entering school for the first time.
This book was perfect for kids who struggle with looking different or who treat others who look different badly. I really appreciate children’s stories that tackle issues like this. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a heartwarming story or loves middle grade books.
Here’s my Goodreads review:
Link to buy the book on Amazon (affiliate link):
The last book I am going to talk about is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Women’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. Now, I am only giving a brief synopsis on this book since I’m doing a book review video for it tomorrow.
This story is a true crime nonfiction book written by Patton Oswalt’s late wife. She had been extremely passionate about finding the Golden State Killer for years, and even started the well-known website True Crime Diary to connect with other people with the same interests. The book is a mixture of snippets from McNamara’s own life, her growing obsession with finding this killer, and the history of the Golden State Killer as well.
I absolutely loved this book, and I’ll be posting a video review of it tomorrow!
Thank you so much for reading!
What were your favorite reads this week?
This was a pretty mediocre reading week. Most of what I got through was either just plain bad or just OK. However there was one book I really did enjoy.
Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller
“One of the more popular theories behind the triggers for hoarding indicates that people who were neglected emotionally as children learn to form attachments to objects instead of people. When they do connect with others, they then keep any object that reminds them of that person as a way of holding on to those attachments.”
If you follow me on Goodreads or ever talk to me about books, you probably know that I love memoirs. The darker the childhood or story, the better. I had heard good things about this particular book and I was not disappointed.
The author talks about her life growing up in New York with her parents. As a young child, she worships her father and doesn’t realize how strange his habits of keeping every piece of paper/trash he comes across in the house.
His habits get worse and worse. and we find out that he is a recovered alcoholic who had horribly abusive parents. He doesn’t even remember most of his childhood, and won’t talk about it.
As Kimberly gets older, the house they live in literally begins to crumble as it’s taken over by garbage. Her parents fight about the mess, Social Services makes regular visits because of the state of their home, and she becomes angrier and angrier at her life.
Her mom becomes horribly depressed after a botched surgery for her Scoliosis, and begins to add to the trash herself by excessive online shopping. It gets bad enough that a homeless person is able to live in their attic without them knowing.
Once Kimberly grows up, she becomes the complete opposite of her parents. She cleans excessively, won’t stand for any clutter or mess, and has nightmares about her childhood. The book ends with her coming to terms with what she grew up with and attempting to help her parents repair their destructive habits.
This book was super interesting to me. I didn’t know anything about hoarders, and was interested in all the information she provided about the psychology behind the habits. Her writing is clear, concise, and shows a lot of mixed emotion towards her parents. I appreciated her frankness and the amount of details she shared about her childhood and recovery.
Unlike a lot of the memoirs I read and talk about, this one does not have excessive abuse in it. There are a few very small instances where it is mentioned, but it’s not a huge part of the book.
Here is my Goodreads review of the book, I gave it 4/5 stars:
Want to buy this book? Here it is on Amazon!
*This is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you purchase the book using this link I may receive a small portion of the funds.
Have you read this book? Are you interested in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If any of you are interested, I have started a YouTube channel all about books! I will be posting my weekly videos on here as well.
Let me know what you think! Any suggestions or thoughts are welcome!
I had a lot more time this week to get in some reading, so here’s my second favorites post!
Most of what I’ve read over the past two weeks are classics. I read Life of Pi by Yann Martel, after having it on my TBR list for about ten years. I am only sorry to have waited so long.
“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”
This story follows Pi Patel as he is travelling to Canada with his family and some of their zoo animals. The ship wrecks, and Pi is left stranded on a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Over the next 200 or so days, they brave the elements together, and come to have a special bond.
Pi’s personality was something I really enjoyed. He isn’t satisfied with one religion, so he proclaims himself as Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. To him, he is loving the same god no matter what, he just loves to worship in different ways. He is kind, even to an enormous cat that could potentially kill him. He is always thinking of the pain that the animals around him suffer, even when he has to eat fish while stranded on the boat.
The writing was lovely and surreal, the development of characters (especially Richard Parker the tiger) was amazing, and the story was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.
Here’s my Goodreads review of the book:
My second favorite this week is a book that’s also been on my TBR list forever- We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I had watched the movie years ago, and the book has been on my list ever since.
“I thought at the time that I couldn’t be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that’s a common conceit, that you’ve already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.”
For those of you who don’t know the story, it’s incredibly disturbing. The story is told from the point of view of Eva, who is the mother to Kevin- an emotionless child who ends up becoming a mass murderer. The story follows them as Kevin grows up, hating his mom from a very young age. The book starts before Eva has him, and climaxes into the moment he ruins the rest of her life. The writing is amazing, the story is horrifying but incredibly interesting to read, and the character development left me almost confused on who to root for by the end of the book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but I’d personally recommend it to anyone who can handle disturbing subject matter.
Here’s my Goodread’s review of the book:
What are the best things you read/watched this week?
I love getting suggestions for new books/ magazines/ movies/ articles/ shows to try out! There is a lot of great content that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it, so I figured I’d share my favorites every week as well. It will be books most of the time, but as other things come up I will share them too.
This week I wanted to talk especially about this book:
I don’t read a lot of YA fiction anymore, but I couldn’t pass this one up. This story is about the Black Lives Matter movement, and more specifically a young girl who watches her friend get shot by a cop and how she deals with the aftermath. The story was heartbreaking but very hopeful, the characters were wonderful and developed, and it was from a point of view that I personally did not know much about. I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I’m really glad I did. Bahni Turpin narrated the book, and she had the perfect voice for the story and for all the different characters. I think it’s great that there are young adult books like this are coming out to provide younger readers with important topics.
Here’s my Goodreads review of the book (click the link):
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
The second book I read last week that I wanted to talk about is:
I really enjoy memoirs-especially ones that include horrible childhoods that are then recovered from. Running With Scissors was one of the most horrifying yet hilarious memoirs I have ever read of this sort. I would feel myself gasping out of disgust and then immediately laughing minutes later. This story of the author follows him as he watches his mother spiral into serious mental illness, and then as he is placed in the care of his mother’s equally insane therapist. This book definitely highlights some of the ugliest parts of mental illness and manipulation, and it’s probably not for the faint of heart.
My Goodreads review of it (click the link):
“It’s a wonder I’m even alive. Sometimes I think that. I think that I can’t believe I haven’t killed myself. But there’s something in me that just keeps going on. I think it has something to do with tomorrow, that there is always one, and that everything can change when it comes.”
What did you read/watch this week that you loved? Please feel free to share in the comments!
On this lovely, freezing first day of 2018 I wanted to share my favorite books I read over the last year that were published in 2017.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk – Kathleen Rooney
Lillian Boxfish is such a wonderful, vivid, quaint character. She’s hilarious, heartfelt, and undeniably charming. This story follows her on the last day of 1984 as she decides to take a long walk around Manhattan. While she walks through the city at night and encounters thieves, security guards, children, bartenders, etc. she’s also reliving the events of the past 85 years of her life. This was a light-hearted novel, but also very thought-provoking- hearing about a woman’s life who has lived through all of the 20th century.
Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough
I have talked about this book in a blog post before, and months later it’s still one of my favorites of 2017. This thriller is about a couple that has an extremely strange, creepy secret. If you’re into supernatural elements- the twist at the end of this book will be extremely exciting for you as it was for me. However if you don’t like that sort of thing, this book probably won’t seem that great. The writing and story are exciting, suspenseful, and very easy to read.
Fate of the Tearling – Erika Johanson
This is the final installation in the fantasy trilogy about a queen in a futuristic world that is currently crumbling. I would highly recommend this entire series to any fantasy fans. The ending was definitely a twist, and not necessarily one that every reader will enjoy, but it did make sense for the story and took me by surprise.
Talking as Fast as I Can – Lauren Graham
This collection of essays from Lauren Graham, who we all know best as Lorelei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, is a great look into the show and the actresses’ life. Lorelei’s clever and witty sense of humor is clearly purely Lauren’s. Memoirs from celebrities are hit or miss with me, but this fun, witty, eye-opening, adorable collection of stories from Lauren definitely earned it’s place as one of my 2017 favorites (this one was actually published at the very end of 2016).
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This short book comes in the form of a beautiful letter written from Chimamanda to her childhood friend who wants to make sure she raises her baby girl as a feminist. The letter offers fifteen wonderful, insightful suggestions for empowering a daughter to become an independent woman. If I were ever to have a daughter this is what I would live by to raise her.
The Stranger in the Woods – Michael Finkel
This is actually a true story of a man who ventured out on his own to the woods, and ended up living there completely alone for 27 years. At 20 years old, Christopher Knight dissapeared and was only discovered after almost three decades because he was caught stealing food from someone’s houses. As someone who loves stories of survival and living as a ‘hermit’, I thought this book was amazing and wonderfully entertaining.
Hunger – Roxane Gay
This is a lovely, heartbreaking insight into Roxanne Gay’s childhood trauma and her views and stories of her body. She’s an amazing writer and woman- every book I’ve read of hers, fiction or nonfiction, is fantastic.
Turtles All the Way Down – John Greene
John Greene’s new YA book tackles a mental illness in a really interesting story that involves love, crime, disaster, and teenagers. This was a great look into the world of crippling anxiety. The story was interesting, funny, and a little heartbreaking at times- pretty normal for a John Green book. I really appreciated his honesty and the rawness that he uses to write about mental health issues.
Difficult Women – Roxane Gay
Another beautiful, beautiful book by Roxane Gay written last year. This collection of short stories explores the diverse lives of many different women and the troubles and joys they face in their everyday lives. Another wonderful book from one of my favorite authors.
What was your favorite book published last year?