Posted in Hype or Like Meme

Hype or Like Friday: Best Reads of 2016

It is time. Wrap-ups, recaps, the big self-questioning to see if you’ve made the best of 2016, list of achieved goals… I smell the end of the year and the assessment that comes with it.

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Larkin, Britt and Jill . Check out the Goodreads group to know more about it and stay up to date with the weekly discussions and book of the month.

December 23rd : Best Reads of 2016 – Tell us your top favorite books that you’ve read this year! 

Continue reading “Hype or Like Friday: Best Reads of 2016”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (September 21st 2016)

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This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

∧ Then ∧ Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Jen Campbell

weird

This Sunday Times Bestseller is a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments:
‘Can books conduct electricity?’
‘My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that’s ok… isn’t it?’

A John Cleese Twitter question [‘What is your pet peeve?’], first sparked the ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor.

From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to’Excuse me… is this book edible?’

This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top ‘Weird Things’ from bookshops around the world.

I cheated. I was supposed to read Jenny Lawson’s good looking book, but then my birthday happened and I received brilliant gifts, including Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. Between two fights with the post office, I just had to grab this book and get a good laugh. Some people should not be allowed in bookstores.

≈ Now ≈ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson

lets pretend

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

I am only a few chapters in, so I can’t really say much, but I am not as convinced by this book as I was by Furiously Happy.

∨ Next ∨ Manipulated Lives, H.A Leuschel

manipulated

Five stories – Five Lives.
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

I really like the sound of this book. I will try and catch up with the three reviews waiting to be written before picking it, so I better get to work.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (September 14th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

∧ Then ∧ Undertow, Elizabeth Heathcote

undertow


A heart-pounding psychological thriller for fans of Disclaimer and Apple Tree Yard.

My husband’s lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.
Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of ‘second wife’. She knows she’ll always live in the shadow of another woman – not Tom’s first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night.

It turns out I quite enjoy the “don’t trust your husband” trope. Beware of your husbands, ladies. It starts with hiding the dirty laundry and before you know it they hide a body.

≈ Now ≈ The Ice Beneath Her, Camilla Grebe

the ice beneath her

Starting this one today! Cleo’s review sparkled my enthusiasm about finally discovering a Nordic crime story.

∨ Next ∨ Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson

lets pretend

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

Time for a small break from my usual genre to something lighter before my head explodes. I am sure this one will be entertaining enough to give me the break I need.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

 

Posted in Tags & Awards

The Goodreads Book Tag

Hello lovelies. It’s currently 3-ish pm on a Sunday and I am writing my Suntag post. I was sure the tag of the week had been prepared, written, formatted and scheduled. Turns out I only hallucinated or dreamed doing all of this (probably both). I was tagged by the adorable Michelle @ Book Adventures to do the Goodreads Tag, thank you dear 🙂

My love story with Goodreads started slow. No love at first sight. Rather a “what the hell is this and how do I keep it organized” kind of first date. It took us some time but we’re doing good now. My shelves are not perfect and I keep forgetting to add books to read, but my Read shelf is up to date and my reviews feel at home on the website.

goodreads book tag.png Continue reading “The Goodreads Book Tag”

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (August 17th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

∧ Then ∧ Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson / If You Were Here, Alafair Burke

furiously happy

In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.”

“Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you’d never guess because we’ve learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, ‘We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.’ Except go back and cross out the word ‘hiding.’”

Jenny’s first book, LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it’s about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn’t need a bit more of that?

Do I really need to say anything other than “buy that book, you’ll thank me later”? My review will be up tomorrow.

if you were here

Magazine journalist McKenna Wright is chasing the latest urban folktale-the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks, seconds before an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a short video snippet that purportedly captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine.

She is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier. Investigating her disappearance, the NYPD concluded that the nomadic Susan-forced by her father into an early military life, floundering as an adult for a fixed identity-simply left town to start over again somewhere else.

But McKenna has always believed the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached, and sees Susan’s resurfacing as a sign that she wants to be found. Yet when she shares the image with her husband, Patrick, who was Susan’s classmate at West Point, he isn’t convinced.

What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search for the missing woman, a twisting journey through New York City that will force her to unearth long-buried truths much closer to home-to her own husband, who seems to know much more about Susan than McKenna could have ever imagined…

It took me a few chapters to get into the story but then suddenly I was so engrossed in the events that I lost track of time.

≈ Now ≈ Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas / The Last Day of Captain Lincoln, Exo Books

throne of glass

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

To be able to prepare the best snark-off possible and give my eyes a break, I decided to get the audio book of Throne of Glass, naively thinking it would be easier than rereading it. I now laugh at that terrible idea. The narrator’s voice is perfect for Celaena. High-pitched and annoying.

lincoln.jpg

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

For some reason, the Captain Lincoln reminds me of Ten on his final days. I’ve only started it today so I can’t say more than that for the moment.

∨ Next ∨ Return To The Little French Guesthouse, Helen Pollard

french guesthouse

Blue skies, new love, and a glass of Bordeaux . . . what could possibly go wrong?

When Emmy Jamieson leaves her life behind and moves to La Cour des Roses, a gorgeous guesthouse amidst vineyards in France, everything is resting on her success as the new guesthouse manager.

Looming in the calendar is the biggest booking ever, when the entire eccentric, demanding Thomson family will descend for a golden wedding anniversary. With airbeds on the floor and caravans in the garden, La Cour des Roses will be bursting at the seams.

Emmy knows she’s up to the challenge, especially with the support of the gorgeous Alain, the half-French, half-English, caramel-eyed accountant. But she hadn’t counted on a naked, sleepwalking travel blogger, or the return of owner Rupert’s venomous ex-wife Gloria.

Gloria has a few things to say about Emmy’s new role, Rupert’s finances, and the unsuspecting Alain, which send everybody reeling. Just when Emmy can see a future for herself of endless sunshine, true love and laughter, are her dreams about to be ripped at the seams?

I am so excited about this book. I admit I was hoping to get an ARC of it as soon as I finished the first book a few weeks ago. Now I’m eager to see what happens to Emmie.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!

Posted in Mental Health, The Pub Corner

Do You Trust The Ingredients List? My 100th post, some ramblings and a confession

I am one of those people who systematically read the ingredients list of all products I buy, whether they are cosmetics, food or meds. The first reason is that there are a hundred things my body can’t take and will make me pay if I force them into my system. The other reason is that I love to make sure I know what I am using. This applies to people, too. I love getting to know people, but they don’t come with a list. Also, I love reading. That counts as reading, right?

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Right this second, you must be wondering what the hell is happening and what kind of post this is. It’s a confession post. See, I had an epiphany. Actually, I have lots of them, but I swear this one is worth sharing.

Back to the confession now. I have been blogging for eight months. I have met the most awesome people. Bloggers that I admire, bloggers who make my TBR so long I will need two lifetimes to get to the end of it, bloggers who make me laugh. It all started with a shared love for books. Then you get to know some bloggers better, you take part in tags and share bits of yourself. Not actual bits because we all need all our bits to keep functioning, of course. All this information create your very own ingredient list. I can’t say what you would put on mine based on what I have revealed of myself (except that I’m a fantastic waffle maker) but there is one thing I am sure you would not write, and for a long time, I thought it did not matter. But it does. Because it is who I am.

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I suffer from an anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and mild depression. Spark insomnia on top and you have a little bomb. I’m a cute little red bomb (red for the hair, not the big button that will trigger the zombie apocalypse everyone has been talking about for weeks.)

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This post is not about me complaining about how life can be unfair and hard (even though it sucks when it’s midnight and you’ve run out of Rum and all the shops are closed just when you need waffles again.) or beg for nice words to make me feel better.

I struck up real and adorable friendships around here, but I feel there’s always a wall between me and the rest of the world. That wall is made up of all the days I can’t get out of bed, or bring myself to read because I am too tired and my hair is unwashed but I can’t muster the courage to drag myself into the shower, the days I can’t apply to a job because I know there are times I won’t be able to leave the house, the excuses I make for not going out to get the latest book at the bookstore because it’s too far and too crowded, the lies about living an awesome and “normal” life. I am tired of hiding this huge part of me. If someone cannot handle me with all my craziness and my mental issues, then I can leave without them. But I can’t live without myself, so it’s time I accept it and stop lying to myself and others.

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(The wonderful powers of a change of hair color and my lack of photography skills)

This whole epiphany was triggered by the wonderful book Furiously Happy, and while I am not as fun and awesome as Jenny Lawson, I admire her for talking about her problems, laughing at them, and being true to who she is. She inspired me and showed me the next step to making my life a little better, a little easier, was to stop feeling guilty about all the things I cannot do, and stop hiding who I am. So this is me, standing naked in front of the blogosphere with a Taylor Swift song in the background, saying loud and proud that it’s take it all or leave it (and close the door because it’s freezing).

furiouslyhappy4
(courtesy of Jenny Lawson on her blog )

Now that it’s in the open, I feel a lot better. Of course, it is easier to tell people from the Internet who can’t stare at me with that worried expression saying my issues might be contagious or that I’m merely exaggerating than to family and friends that can actually get all freaked out in front of me and make me feel terrible. But it was important to me that bloggers I talk to on a daily basis and new or old followers could get a real sense of who I am so that our relationship could be based on the truth. Thank you all for making me comfortable enough to talk about a subject I haven’t discussed with more than 2 people in the last five years.

No more lies, no more fears, from now on, you get the real me, and only the real me (now is time to run)

This is my 100th post (one to remember! or time to erase me from your reader) and the first step towards a new part of my life. I am feeling very drama-queen today. I thought the celebration could be more about appreciating my lovely bloggers, taking a weight of my shoulders, letting others know that they are not alone, rather than drinking to a number that only means I have stuck around enough to bore you with such posts!

I might talk about my issues in future posts. I am even considering featuring books that handle mental illnesses well (or not, so you’d know what to use as a good reference and what to burn). But today I just wanted you to meet the real me.

So, hi! I’m Donna, nice to meet you.

hi david.gif

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (August 10th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a weekly update on what you’ve been reading hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found . A similar meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

This summer is all fun. After the forced break, here I am, counting the hours spent on the laptop or reading. An eye condition forbids me to spend more than 3 hours a day looking at a screen or focusing on a page, which means once I’m done with my studying, there isn’t much time left to blog or dive into a book. I’ve started writing reviews on paper, and boy is this hard! My hand is so lazy I need a decoding expert to understand what I’ve jotted down…

∧ Then ∧ Lawyers Gone Bad, Vincent L. Scarsella

lawyers gone bad

Lawyers Gone Bad,” is the story of beleaguered attorney disciplinary counsel, Dean Alessi, and his trusty investigator, Stu Foley, in their fight against lawyers gone bad – that is, lawyers who commit ethical and criminal wrongs. In this case they’re investigation the local District Attorney who may have committed the ultimate ethical wrong – murder.

Novelist Vincent Scarsella draws on his over 18 years of real life experience as head of the Eighth Judicial District Grievance Committee in Buffalo, New York to craft a gripping, suspenseful novel about lawyers gone bad.

But the story is more than a crime novel. It concerns friendship, loss, unrequited love, and ultimately, justice. It seeks to answer the question, does what goes around, come around?

I need to stop choosing books with an obvious connection to lawyers. I am disappointed every time. I’m sure publishers are aware of the fascination some of us have for the law and its officers, and they’re using it against us.

≈ Now ≈ Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson

furiously happy

In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.”

“Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you’d never guess because we’ve learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, ‘We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.’ Except go back and cross out the word ‘hiding.’”

Jenny’s first book, LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it’s about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn’t need a bit more of that?

I love this book so much that I don’t want it to end, hence I’m taking my time to savor it (this and I can’t read a lot during the day). It is refreshing to see mental illness discussed by someone who genuinely lives and struggles with it. Jenny has such a strong sense of humor and she wears it like an armor against the always-returning bad days. And I’m in love with Rory the dead raccoon.

∨ Next ∨ If You Were Here, Alafair Burke

if you were here

Magazine journalist McKenna Wright is chasing the latest urban folktale-the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks, seconds before an oncoming train. When McKenna locates a short video snippet that purportedly captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine.

She is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier. Investigating her disappearance, the NYPD concluded that the nomadic Susan-forced by her father into an early military life, floundering as an adult for a fixed identity-simply left town to start over again somewhere else.

But McKenna has always believed the truth went deeper than the police investigation ever reached, and sees Susan’s resurfacing as a sign that she wants to be found. Yet when she shares the image with her husband, Patrick, who was Susan’s classmate at West Point, he isn’t convinced.

What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search for the missing woman, a twisting journey through New York City that will force her to unearth long-buried truths much closer to home-to her own husband, who seems to know much more about Susan than McKenna could have ever imagined…

This will be my second book by Alafair Burke. I really enjoyed The Ex, so I’m hoping this one will be just as good.

Have you read any of these books? What is on your list this week?
Do share in the comments:)
Happy reading
!