Look everyone! It’s the Lesser-Spotted Pink Book Reviewer! You must all be very, very quiet or else she might take fright and scamper away before she’s actually gotten round to writing a damn review!
This is a Thursday meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company to shine a light on those books we’ve had on our TBR piles so long that they’re practically part of the furniture.
To join in, just post about a book you’ve been really meaning to read and then hop on over here and link up. I love looking at everyone else’s TBR piles, so you can see a full list of the other participants over there too.
This is For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English.
I’ve had this on my TBR for a while now, but my lack of masochism has stopped me from reading it so far. It’s a look at the changing attitudes towards women through how they are told to live their lives and it’s highly likely it’s going to irritate me quite a lot.
I do want to read it soon-ish though – I love reading about the changing of social views.
So let’s all just pretend it’s Monday, shall we? I’ve been at Zombie Camp (a.k.a. ‘A Camp For Young People With Lupus’ for those who don’t find my life-threatening illness as amusing as I do) for a few days and so I’ve only been able to stalk my blog on my phone instead of actually updating it.
But hey, I’m back from playing with the other zombies and so here’s my slightly belated In My Mailbox.
I’ve done very well this week actually. Or very badly, depending on how you look at it…
So. First up, I got Tolstoy and the Purple Chair sent to me by a friend on Library Thing. It actually arrived early last week so I’ve already read and posted a snarky review here. Snark snark.
I also went slightly psycho at a carboot sale this week. My Dad has an endearing habit of just holding out money when I start to rifle through book boxes, so it usually ends well for both me and the stall-holder. I came away with –
Enemies of the Heart by Rebecca Dean. I do have this out from the library at the minute, but for the sake of 50p I thought I might as well buy it.
Lucky by Alice Sebold. I loved The Lovely Bones so I thought I’d give this one a try too.
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. Oops. I actually already have this, but I preferred the cover of this one. It features a woman with my name in, which is a massive cause for celebration as no-one has my name.
Shopaholic & Sister by Sohpie Kinsella. Her books are the only chick-lit I’ve read that I actually like. I don’t know why, but they’re so fluffy and light that the Shopaholic set really entertain me.
Not bad for 50p each, right?
I was sent an ARC of this by a friend of mine on LibraryThing who spotted it on my wishlist. She wasn’t overly impressed with it, but I adore books about books and so I thought I’d give it a go.
From Amazon – ‘After the death of her sister, Nina Sankovitch found herself caught up in grief, dashing from one activity to the next to keep her mind occupied. But on her forty-sixth birthday she decided to stop running and start reading. Sankovitch devoted herself to reading a book a day: one year of magical reading in which she found joy, healing, and wisdom.’
Ms. Sankovitch has a background in Law, but her writing ability would easily lead you to believe she had years of literary training under her belt. Her prose is beautiful from beginning to end and the images she creates of her childhood holidays and her parents’ wartime experiences seem to jump off the page.
The most memorable aspect is Ms. Sankovitch’s grief over the death of her sister. I have never read such moving descriptions of a lost relative as in this book. Anne-Marie was clearly a beloved sister and that is never forgotten here. Nina’s words really convey the depth of her loss.
It’s not really as ‘book-ish’ as I’d have expected, considering the basic premise of the book. It’s more of a jumpy autobiography, using snippets of book plots to prompt various memories from the author’s life. She relates her own experiences to literary ones and theoretically learns how to deal with her own feelings based on those in novels.
I particularly liked the list of the 365 books read in the back. There are some interesting titles there, including some I’ve added to my own wishlist. They’re not the usual type of books I read, so it’s broadened my scope a little bit and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those titles.
I have to admit though, the concept doesn’t make much sense to me. Surely a better way to deal with your grief is to face up and deal with your issues, not hide your head in the sand (or a book) and pretend they don’t exist? Her husband goes to bed alone every night because she’s too busy reading and her children beg for attention. She completely ignores the real world in favour of reading. Trust me, I know it’s an appealing idea sometimes but it comes across as very, very selfish.
‘I had to bring back joy enough to reignite belief in my children that the world is not about death and that living is not about waiting to die.
And that is why I was here, in my kitchen with a pile of waiting books on the counter, and more books waiting on a shelf in the next room.’
Uhh… what? If you want to reassure your children that life is worth living and that death isn’t to be feared, crazy idea and all, but why not talk to them!? This paragraph irritated me beyond all belief. Hiding away does not help your children deal with death. If anything it teaches them that ignoring their problems (and their family) makes them go away. On Thanksgiving, Ms Sankovitch reads a 376 page book instead of bothering to enjoy the festivities with her family. Boy, I sure wish I could be as festive and jolly as her during the holidays.
It also annoyed me that she constantly refers to her challenge as ‘work.’ No, dear. ‘Work’ is what your husband does to support you and your four children because you’ve decided you’d rather read all day instead of contributing to the household income.
I’ve come across as quite snarky in this review, and I didn’t mean to because I genuinely enjoyed living through the author’s memories and bookish musings. However – we all use reading to escape from our problems, whether it’s grief, illness, relationship issues… we do. But we don’t call it dealing because it’s not.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
- Firstly… TEN FOLLOWERS! 😀 I know that’s hardly an achievement compared to some of you, but I’m still at that stage where I’m very excited and so I’m ridiculously happy to see every single one.
- Last week I wrote about Lady Chatterley’s Lover for the The Time Will Come meme. It must have prompted me to actually read the damn thing this week, because here’s the review!
- I must have felt cultured this week – not only did I read a classic, I got through non-fiction as well! You can see my review of The Natural History of Unicorns here.
- This week I actually managed to get hold of and post a review of The Hunger Games. A little behind the times maybe, but I got there in the end. Catching Fire and Mockingjay to follow!
- I also joined my first ever book challenge this week – the Book To Movie Challenge hosted by Two Bibliomaniacs. I’ve signed up to read six books and their film adaptations before the end of the year and you can see my progress here. Wish me luck!
- Want to know what I’m wishing for this week? Take a peek at three from my Bottomless Pit of a Wishlist here.
Unbeknowst to most, I’ve been preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse for a year and a half. It began with the bold declaration that I’ve developed a convenient disease known as Lupus, which is actually a cunning disguise. The symptoms of Lupus are very similar to those of Zombiehood (slurred speech, shambling walk, slow speed…) that should the zombies come, they will assume I am one of their own and leave me be.
Additionally, my Lupus makes me so weak that my boyfriend will feel duty-bound to protect me and so I shall cower bravely behind him while he battles the dreaded undead in my name.
Like most of you, I have a wishlist the length of the Nile or, at the very least, the River Severn. It’s long. Most of them will never see the light of day as they were added on a whim or a reading phase I’ve gotten bored of, or have been so trampled on by the newer additions that they languish on page eight, completely forgotten about.
However, Carolyn from Book Chick City has a solution to make all those neglected wishlistees feel loved again. Each week, she posts a few of those books that one day (one day, God damn it!) she will eventually buy.
I have as much guilt over not yet introducing those unloved tomes to my shelves as anyone, so here’s part #3 of my now-weekly Wishlist. These are three books that I might have eventually got round to owning by 2019. Maybe.
First up, Uglies by Scott Westerfield.
I wanted this when it first came out years ago, but apparently I hadn’t developed the crazed obsession for book-buying that now defines my being.
This would neatly slot into my current dystopian phase, so it might find it’s way into my next book blow-out. I think there’s a film/TV adaptation coming out (although I might have made that up…) and I’d like to have read it before then.
Sometimes I read things that haven’t/won’t be made into a film, I swear. But no, you’re quite right, this isn’t one of them.
I saw the trailer for the film with Amanda Siegfried a few months ago and wanted to see it immediately. I’m a sucker for wolves and fairy-tale retellings, and you can’t get any closer to that than a Red Riding Hood story.
This is Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell – I wanted to read more about the artist after I finished The Swan Thieves a few weeks ago.
Honestly, I doubt I will ever, EVER buy this and it will fester unwanted on my wishlist until I eventually admit defeat and delete it. But hey, it’s existence is recorded forever on my blog now, so maybe it won’t feel quite as rejected.
I do want to read it, it’s just not likely I’ll actually get there.