Book Review

Book Reviews: March 2017

 I read a surprising amount of books in March, considering everything crazy that was happening in my life. But reading to me is a perfect way to relax. And it’s especially wonderful when reading interesting and enjoyable books! A coworker of mine told me about The Fifth Petal, suggesting I read it as it sounded like something I would be interested in. She was absolutely right. When I found out who the author was, I was extremely excited because the book, “The Lace Reader” had been on my “to-read” list for years! As The Fifth Petal is a semi-sequel to The Lace Reader, I’ll began my month of reviews there.

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The Lace Reader

by Brunonia Barry

This story literally begins with the main character telling you she’s a liar and that she can’t be trusted. So I was literally hooked from that moment. I’m notorious for flipping through books to see if my guesstimations are accurate so reading books where narrators are not reliable are the perfect solution to prevent me from flipping. Not to say I didn’t do that, because I totally did, but flipping ahead didn’t really give me an explanation as to what was happening. Anyway! The Lace Reader is the perfect combination of magical realism, a maybe murder, definite mystery, and a whole lot of fucked up family drama that I definitely did not see coming – but thoroughly enjoyed! Much of my own writing revolves around character development so it’s something I find I lean toward in my readings. By the end of this book, I was in bittersweet tears so I highly recommend.

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The Fifth Petal

by Brunonia Barry

Gotta say, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as The Lace Reader. I was bummed by the lack of character cross-over and while magical realism is always interesting, the mystery was a real let-down. It was pretty obvious from the beginning who was behind the murders, and I was extremely disappointed by that fact. I can’t really give too much else away without spoiling the whole story. I had it figured out by about halfway through and so I kept reading at that point because I felt I had to finish the story. Also, I wanted to see justice done to the victims. Which I got.

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House on the Strand

by Daphne du Maurier

I actually finished reading this one in a matter of days at the end of February, and I didn’t include it in my February book review because I discovered it shortly after posting. A coworker and I were talking about time-travel in books and she mentioned having read The House on the Strand years ago and how it revolved around a man who was taking some kind of substance in order to go back in time. What’s frightening is that while his mind is back in like the 1300’s, his body is roaming around the countryside in present time (aka like the 60s because this book is hella old. But still.). So he could potentially wander in front of, oh, I don’t know, a car or a truck or a train! Cue the ominous book cover. . . What’s more, the more he takes this substance, the more he becomes addicted to it and, when he runs out of the batch of the “good stuff” he attempts taking previously created batches that don’t have exactly the same results. He begins experiences a lot of negative affects caused by the drug, like paralysis. Daphne du Maurier is a master of suspense and terror, especially regarding the bizarre. She did pen The Birds after all, which has to be the most terrifying plot ever created. Two thumbs up for this read.

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 How to Hygge

by Signe Johansen

I first discovered “hygge” a year or so ago on Pinterest while doing a search for Scandinavian decor and bedding. If you’re not familiar with hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) consider yourself as living off the grid or under a rock because it’s apparently the bee’s knees right now. Also, you should know that I’m kind of jealous of you right now for that fact. The library I work for ordered three titles published this year on the subject and they also have three other related titles. Craziness. But, I suppose in these crazy times, when Scandinavian countries are continuously found to have to happiest of citizens, the rest of the world is trying to figure out to capture that simple essence of slowing down and enjoying the moment.

I’m sure it was somewhere on Pinterest, but I became really fascinated with the idea of how they make their beds. I know it’s a weird thing to obsess about, but there you have it. When I learned that they skip the sheet and simply use duvets – two twin duvets, so you have one for each person – I was sold. You have a perfectly sized blanket apiece instead of fighting each other for square footage! Brilliant! I quickly bought two twin duvet inserts and a couple of covers and we’ve been living the dream ever since.

So I was curious what other useful tidbits I could gleam about living the hygge life. Honestly, if you’re going to start your journey to discover more about hygge, this is not the book for you. This is basically a how-to guide to pretend you’re living life like a Norwegian. And it also made me feel ashamed for not wanting to go on park hikes in the rain. Because Norwegians don’t care how terrible the weather is! They’re apparently designed for outdoor activities. Even if it’s -40 degrees. Do not recommend.

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Superlife

by Darin Olien

So I requested the library buy this book (which they did!) because really the only reason why I wanted to read it is because I’m a major fan of the author’s wife. Creepy? Whatever, you guys. Put your judgement aside because this is the best book I’ve read this year. Move over, The Sixth Extinction. There’s a new favorite non-fic in this town!

The Superlife is a fantastic guideline and simple breakdown of the five basic things we need to be doing in order to live our most awesome lives ever. I currently have this on order through Amazon because I found myself wanting to mark certain pages and passages for future reference, and I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t my book. So I’m getting my own copy.

Also, Superlife comes with an extremely handy-dandy guide in the back that breaks down food by the nutrients they provide, offering you an array of extremely nutritious meal options by mixing and matching. He also include a 10-day recipes which seem incredibly easy to put together. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive so I can mark it up and try all the recipes without worrying about protecting pages.

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