Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

First impression

I decided to read this book by Shannon's recommendation. I have only one complaint, and that is that no one warned me that I shouldn't attempt to listen to it at work...10 or 15 minutes in I was already fighting the tears. The whole book is full of emotional and very touching subjects that will move you deep inside. If I could recommend this book in one line it would be: It is painful to read, but oh so beautiful!

Final thoughts

I never read Dear Sugar before and now I feel like I missed something truly wonderful. People would write to Sugar with questions that might be pretty straight forward at times and super obscure. She would answer them either way with the best advice she could think off. Sometimes, this advice came with personal anecdotes and when it did...that's when the waterworks came for me. Because you can feel how honest and brutally direct she was being about herself and about the issues on topic.

The fact that this particular version of the book was read by the author probable made it even more wonderful, because there was true emotion on each letter, on each answer. And listening to it goes deep in your heart and beautiful feelings, albeit sometimes sad ones too, nestled in there and after weeks of finishing the book I still choke up remembering certain passages.

I know this is a short review, particularly for a book that I loved, but I cannot put into words how this book makes me feel. It made me laugh, cry, laugh while crying, miss my family like crazy, made me tell people I love them and even took away weight from my shoulders. I would recommend this book to everybody, but get some tissues first. Now go and read it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nonfiction November: New to my TBR

I cannot believe that this month is almost gone! And I haven't even send my Christmas cards yet!!! Let's hope they make it on time.

But our topic today is "Which ones have made it onto your TBR?" Well, I have a bunch, and I mean A BUNCH, but I wanted to concentrate on 5 for now, just to keep it relatively simple.

FromTrish@Love Laughter and a Touch of Insanity: She had a great post on Nonfiction and Diversity and from it I got Spirit Boy by Paul Apowida:
[...]Ghana, Paul Apowida tells his story of his childhood amongst villagers who thought he was possessed by the spirit of demons and continually tried to kill him or rid their community of him. His story is not an isolated one and he is currently trying to raise awareness in his home village as well as with other Ghanan villages.
From Shanon  @ River City Reading: Once again from the Nonfiction and Diversity post; she had some kick-ass recommendations (she always does) but the one that I put in my TBR was Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay:
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
Also from Shannon, but this time from my comment section, she  recommended The Emperor of All Maladies by  Siddhartha Mukherjee. I've already had this one considered for A, but I think I will give it a try for myself:
The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.  
From Becca @ I'm Lost in Books and her post on "Being the Expert" I want to read The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam:
Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life–until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love and leading them into new life.
And then I stumble by accident with Black Milk by Elif Shafak. I was looking for her book Honor and ended up putting both books in my cart. On Black Milk:
After the birth of her first child in 2006, Turkish writer Elif Shafek suffered from postpartum depression that triggered a profound personal crisis. Infused with guilt, anxiety, and bewilderment about whether she could ever be a good mother, Shafak stopped writing and lost her faith in words altogether. In this elegantly written memoir, she retraces her journey from free-spirited, nomadic artist to dedicated by emotionally wrought mother. Identifying a constantly bickering harem of women who live inside of her, each with her own characteristics-the cynical intellectual, the goal-oriented go-getter, the practical-rational, the spiritual, the maternal, and the lustful-she craves harmony, or at least a unifying identity. As she intersperses her own experience with the lives of prominent authors such as Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Ayn Rand, and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shafak looks for a solution to the inherent conflict between artistic creation and responsible parenting. 
I am very happy with this selection because as you probably noticed it is quite diverse (something I want to work on during 2015) not only in the origins of the authors but also in the type of stories that are being told. It also scares me a bit, because they all touch very "heavy" subjects (well maybe not the Emperor, but it is a heavy book) but I think this is a good thing, I can't just read funny nonfiction.

So there you have it. What about you? did you get a lot of books in you TBR? Let me know in the comments :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar

I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the book. The expected publishing date is November 25.

First impression

The first novel of this author, inspired by her owns experience with a mother with schizophrenia, the book’s description really felt like what I was looking for; something different, a drama and even better, one inspired by real events. While in this sense the story certainly gives you a unique point of view it felt to me that there was a lack of flow, and certain event just felt abrupt and some characters were underdeveloped, even though they would at first seem quite relevant. I think this are all “problems” due to the fact that it is a first novel but the potential is definitely there and I believe we will have more news from Mr. Majumdar.

Final thoughts

Neil Kappor is the main voice in this story; at 23 he is just starting drama school and he is trying to start this new life without the influence that her mother’s schizophrenia has had on anything else. He doesn’t count with the full support of his father, a university professor, who is afraid that going into drama school will only affect Neil in negative way and even push him to be develop the same illness as his wife. Neil will go to school determined to show him different and in this path he will also fall in love with Emily. As the story advances Neil will have to learn that everybody has problems in their lives and that hiding them doesn’t solve them.

The book started great, very touching and compelling. However, as Neil goes to school and meets new people and gets into “the college life” it began to feel like any other story about a boy getting to college. At certain points it even felt like the schizophrenia story was forgotten. And then you have Emily and the other “friends” Neil gets. They all seemed so messed up and yet could be oh so very boring and predictable. While I believe the idea was to exactly show that everyone has something to deal with, throwing a bunch of broken characters but only showing the cracks seemed superfluous and at times unnecessary. I would’ve preferred less characters and more development of the main ones. I barely got to know the father, or Auntie or for that matter Neil or his mother.

I haven’t been exposed directly to someone with a mental illness such as schizophrenia; when I approached the book I was not expecting to learn about the illness, but rather what it is to live with it or with someone with it. Unfortunately by the end of the book I didn’t get that. Very little family dynamics, only presented as memories, and even then they were very sporadic. I wish we would’ve had chapters about the mother, before and during her stay at the hospital, which by the way, seemed terrifying.

Towards the end it read more like a coming of age story, which is not bad, but again, I approached the book expecting it to be more about the mental illness and less about Neil finding himself through drama school. I would’ve also liked a bit more of the Bengali culture.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2) by Ann Leckie

First impression

After really loving the first book on the Imperial Radch series, Ancillary Justice, and seeing that I was not the only one (is there any price Leckie didn’t win?) it was a no brainer to continue with the series. It was hard to though, because as it turns out, the changed the narrator (First book was read by Celeste Ciulla and this one is Adjoa Andoh) and so several of the pronunciations, names, etc changed and for the first quarter of the book it was hard to fully engage. Once I was past this, the story was great. Leckie has a gift in building and sharing this new different cultural groups and the Radch universe can be very dark and very colorful at the same time.

Final thoughts

While the first book was intended to be obviously the introduction to the world and developed the revenge sentiment in Breq, this book went deeper into her as character, and that was great. I really appreciated the character growth and development not only for Breq, but for Seivarden and all the rest of the team in Mercy of Kalr.

Breq is still the main voice in the story, but as she herself points out, she is missing her extra ancillaries, and while she still has the connection to Ship, there is a void on how she can “see” or perceive multiple events, compared to what she was in her past with Lieutenant Awn. Her getting accustomed to her new “unique” self was a very different part of the story, but one I really did enjoy, actually feeling her confusion and somewhat sadness to “just be one”.

At first I disliked Lieutenant Tisarwat but by the end of it I was quite fond of her and I am hoping to see her again in Ancillary Mercy. While in this book the focus is settled in character development I feel there is still room for surprise from all the main characters.

The book is set in Athoek Station, far away from the lord of the Radch, but certainly not far from political intrigue. In case you haven’t noticed, the Radch are very keen to maintaining or improving their social status and what is “proper” might change according to what is convenient. Not for Breq; in my own opinion she sticks to the parameters of being a Radchaai even better than any other character even if she despises a big deal of this façade based behaviour.

As much as I liked the book and even if I wasn’t expecting the final twist (no spoilers, don’t worry) there was something missing and I can’t help but to think that this feeling comes from the struggle to engage with the story at the beginning, due to the change of narrator. While both narrators did a terrific job, I am used to a certain continuity of voices by now when I am listening to a series.

This does not dissuade me from waiting anxiously for the next book. I still loved the whole world that Leckie has constructed for us, and contrary to some reviews I saw, I didn’t feel like the political critique was heavy or obscured the rest of the story; on the contrary I think that it is one of the sides I enjoy the most of the series. Let’s hope the trilogy closes with all the spirit and strength present in AJ.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Life of a Blogger: 10 Things you will never do

In the words of Jessi from Novel Heartbeat:
It’s a weekly feature. Each week I will choose a subject and talk about that subject in my life. The topics will be non-bookish so that you can get to know me on a more personal level! I definitely encourage you guys to participate, too. I want this to be meme style with a linky for you to add your posts to. I want to know more about you guys as well!

As you saw in the title this one is a top 10 of things you would never do. Now I had a bit of trouble with it, not because I am the "never say never type", far from it, but mostly because there are things that in the past I was sure I would never do (like enjoy poutine) and then I am proved wrong. So here are 10 things that this time in my live, I feel I would never do:

1. Go hunting: I like eating meat but I just can't find it appealing to do this for pleasure. 

2. Eat anything made with brains: I understand it is a delikatessen some places, and my grandma used to make a type of cake that most of my family loved, but not me, I just can't.

3. Buy a huge car, like a Hummer: first of all I would need a stool to get in and second of all I just plainly don't like massive cars.

4. Get used to the darkness of winter: while I've gotten used to the idea of winter, the darkness that arrives always hits me hard, and I seriously doubt I will ever be able to make peace with it.

5. Get a piercing: When I was younger I wanted one, but as years go by I no longer want one, so probably I will never get one.

6. Steal: I am lucky in a way that I can afford all essentials and even more, so I hope this one never changes.

7.Do any "high adrenaline" activities/competitive sports: It is just not my thing you guys, I am horribly competitive, which is not good; and adrenaline wise I can even get panic attacks :/

8. Do anything that might hurt the people I love: I would think this is prettey self explanatory

9. Get a face tattoo: again, just not for me 

10. Get Plastic Surgery for non medical reasons: I have as many body issues as the next person, but surgeries are not fun, so doing it without NEEDING to, just doesn't work for me.

That's it for now! Leave me a link to your list in the comments below so I can check them out :D


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What We see When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

First Impressions

This book is so pretty! I got it with my BookRiot Quarterly box this September and I was dying to read, just because it is soooo pretty. Mendelsund nailed it with this book. From what we see to how we see it when we are reading a book, with gorgeous pages and amazing aesthetics, this book put into words what I haven't been able to when I try to explain my reading experiences to non readers.

Final thoughts

As a cover (or jacket) designer, Mendelsund has to put into images what a book might be about and boy he does a great job. If you check his profile at The Book Cover Archive for example, you will see what I mean. Gorgeous and interesting covers are his signature, and the one for his own book is not exception, being very simple and yet so full of meaning. This continues all over the book, where ideas are not only written by put into images, giving a whole new dimension.

The book is constructed in small chapters that all address the different parts that reading might have: Fictions, Vividness, Synesthesia, just to name a few of them, and then they all flow merging into the experience that is reading.

I was very lucky, as the copy that everyone received through Quarterly had post-its by the author with extra comments. But even without this, I can tell I would've loved the book just the same. I felt like a kid reading a picture book, except that this one was making me understand better what my brain did with books without pictures. At a times it even felt like someone else was reading the book to me and I was just there for the ride. This was actually nice, to get so immersed in a nonfiction book. 

Words made into pictures and pictures made into words and all of this weaved in a beautiful package to try to explain how our imagination fills the blanks that sometimes are there and how it utilizes the (sometimes) little information about imagery given by an specific author. 

I keep going back to it, sometimes just to look at it, sometimes to re read phrases or whole paragraphs that marked me in particular; those "aha" moments that your brain goes: "Yes, that's what it is like!"

This was a great read for me as a reader, but I think it would be great for designers as it is so rich visually. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nonfiction November: Diversity and Nonfiction

Week 3: Becca from Lost in Books asks: What does diversity in nonfiction mean to you? Is it about the topic or theme of the book? Or is it the race or ethnicity of the author? Do you have any recommendations for diverse nonfiction books? Are there any topics that you’d like to see written about and/or read more widely?

Guys, I am so ashamed, so so ashamed. I've spend several minutes looking at my nonfiction reads, fro the last 3 years (say since I started blogging regularly and actually having reviews) and you know what I found? Out of 28 books (which is already very low mind you) only 2 books was written by a non white person, and that is if we count the one that I haven't read yet.

Gender wise things are more even, but boy oh boy, it is a huge black star over my head to realize that I read so little diverse nonfiction. Is not even that I could compensate by saying that the subjects are a bit more diverse, because I don't feel right down so. 
Here is the thing. I have made a decision, an early new year resolution if you may: 2015 will be my year of reading diversely, both in fiction (where I am happy to tell you guys, I am doing much, much better) and in nonfiction. I am lucky to have discovered this event, because so many of you guys are giving a lot of fantastic recommendations. I had already thought about the fact that, since it might be my last year of PhD and hence I will have to actually start writing my thesis, the amount of books I will be able to read for leisure will go down, compared to later years. But I think as long as the quality and the spectrum of what I read improves I can't be sad about it, right?

So I am asking you guys to leave me a comment with the book you think I HAVE to read next year in diverse nonfiction. I can't promise I will read them all, but it would be nice to start with a strong list.

Thank you!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

First impression

I've read so many references to this book, and yet had never approached it. I finally did and how I am happy I finally got to it.

Final thoughts

2 years ago, when my brother came to visit for Christmas I asked him to try to read the book, since I've heard it pleased even the most reluctant of readers. You see, he doesn't like reading, which off course kills me, and I am always in the quest for a book that might work for him, because I would so love to share this with him. Anyway, he made it to page 20 and that was it. So I thought maybe the hype was wrong and finally decided to try it for myself this year. The hype is not wrong, and I have come to terms with the fact that my brother is not a reader.

J.D. Salinger tells the story of a sixteen year old (that somehow I kept picturing like the younger version of Don Draper, including the sleek look) boy named Holden Caulfield. He is facing yet another probable expulsion. He hates phonies (he will let you know that several times) and the story basically shows him a couple of days before winter break, in New York where he meets with Sally, a past girlfriend; goes to a bar and sees his sister; all described with the most cynical and depressive typical voice of a teenager sprinkled with an amazing vocabulary.

One thing that I found extremely fun of this book was the way the dialogue jumped from the page in the way I feel old movies do (think 1930s, which I guess makes sense since Salinger was 16 at this time, and hence he wrote a teenager who spoke the way he did) and so the whole rhythm of the book goes fast and fun and snappy. I loved it. Caulfield is sad, he is depressed it seems to me, but he doesn't know it. He has a lot of disdain for others and yet...and yet he melts into puddles for his sister...the way I would do anything for my brothers.

I was not expecting for this book to touch so many inner fibers, but it did. I can see why it has been challenged over the years; I suppose a teen that behaves like Caulfield does can be deemed inappropriate to some audiences. But I also think people should see Caulfield for what it represents and not as "just a 16 year old who is discontent with this life". He is, to me at least, that part of ourselves that is always weird out by the society around us. This part might be louder in some and almost a whisper in other, but it is always there.

I know there are a lot of subtle details that I probably missed in my first read. There is so much I always miss in book that is written by someone with a different idiosyncrasy, a different culture. But that is not surprise. However, I was a teenager not long ago, and all that represents being in that limbo that is adolescence is beautifully represented in this book. I don't often re read books, but I see myself going back to this one, and probably bringing this review to a full 5. The only reason why is not there yet is because I feel there is still something left in the book for me that I haven't gotten out yet, and so I intend to find it and when I do so, I will revise this review and tell you: I found it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nonfiction November: Be the Expert

This week is the Expert Week, and I have chosen to be the expert, and hence give some recommendations to you for this Non-Fiction November. Being that I am a Science PhD student AND I saw how many of you seemed interested on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I decided to go with the science theme. All the books are already published and available ;)

If you have someone in your life that is starting their Science studies I recommend Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson. I read this book last year and as someone who is still a student I can tell you, frustration becomes a constant. However, this tiny book is full of words of someone who has done great things in his field and can tell you for sure why and how not to despair. It even made me cry a bit and I gave it to my little cousin who started her Biology Undergrad studies this year too. 
If you liked or want to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks because you want to know a bit more about cancer and it's history, I would recommend Pandora's DNA by Lizzie Stark. This book is focused on Breast Cancer, particularly the one that you can inherit. Part memoir, part research, this book will leave you with knowledge about how this particular cancer has been treated over the years, the advances in the science and other fields; as well as the touching humane part of a whole family affected by a gene mutation. 

If what you want to learn is...well, how is it that we learn, may I recommend How We Learn by Benedict Carey. While the subtitle might be a bit deceiving (The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, I wasn't really surprised, sorry) it seems to me like a great introduction if you want to learn about this subject. It even has a couple of exercises that can be very fun. Again, it might not be very surprising with the info unless is your first time approaching the subject, but it is very well vulgarized, it is engaging and perfect to being to journey on how do we learn. 

Those are my suggestions. If you do read any of them, please come back and let me know what you thought. I you already did, even more so! Have a wonderful nonfiction week!!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

First impression

When I first read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I was pleasantly surprised; the book had a fair amount of diverse characters and most importantly the whole story was driven not by the romance part between Mara and Noah, but on the mystery that IS Mara. I was very excited to read the second book. As it turns out, it was very entertaining…I almost gave it a full 5, but then…the end left me rolling my eyes a bit too hard, and hence I took a full star.

Final thoughts

In general I really like the series so far. Mara is complicated but not in an annoying way, she reads as a smart, complex girl with a big problem that she cannot understand, nor control. I like that, while she is crazy about Noah, the story doesn’t seem to revolve around their relationship.

I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks in India; I was looking forward a full mythology development, with the references to Maat and other points I thought that was where the author was going to take us, and oh boy was I hoping for something like that. Even with the Santeria everything was pointing to something more mythological….so when the end came I was flabbergasted and not in a god way. I am going to try to not ruin the end for you guys, so I will not mention the specifics. But the truth is that the end for me was ludicrous, at the same time in satisfying and worst of all, seemed like it belonged to a completely different story. One thing that I ask from fiction is that everything happening in the described world makes sense in it.

Maybe the author wanted to throw us in the wrong direction, with diversion all along the way. But really? This “explanation” felt as farfetched as they come and not to sound like 14 year old me, but I can’t even deal with the end you guys, I can’t.

And still I gave it a 4. Why you ask? Because removing the past 20 or so pages of the book I really liked it. The whole psychological part for Mara; the new character;, the fact that Jamie was back; the fact that I read this book in 2 days because it flows so easily; it all account to a very amusing read. Will I be reading the next book? Probably, just to close the trilogy. But I will remain frustrated about the end of this one.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three Daughters: A novel by Consuelo Saah Baehr

I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the book. The expected publishing date is November 25.

First impression

When I first saw this on NetGalley it grabbed my attention almost immediately; beginning with the gorgeous cover and then reading that it was a three generation saga of Palestinian women. I had to read it!. I have to admit that when I saw it was 720 pages I was a bit overwhelmed, but I was so interested in the story I told myself to just start reading. While I am happy I did, after finishing it I still feel the book could've been considerably shorter.

Final thoughts

The story begins with the story of Myriam, from 1882 to 1920. She is the first daughter in this trigenerational story. Daughter of Jamilla and Mustafa who happens to be deaf. Her fair skin and reluctance to speak marks her as the odd one, and then when she finally speaks she has a very deep voice, which doesn't help her. She will feel ostracized by her own mother, but she will have the opportunity to go to school learn not only to speak but also to write a bit. She is the first step into improving (to my eyes) the conditions of the women in her clan. Myriam will give birth to 4 kids, the last one being Nadia (the second daughter) who will go even further in her education and way in live, having the last daughter: Nijmeh. I don't want to give anything away, but both Nadia's and Nijmeh's stories are way more than what you might think.

That said, since every daughter in the story was going further, at least education wise, I was expecting this to be more relevant in their outcomes. Don't get me wrong, it did have certain relevance, but inevitably the women in the story seemed to be framed by the man they would marry or get involved with. I though Nadia was going to be a stronger character but then she gets pretty much swayed away and for me it felt like a flickering light going out.

I mentioned that the book could've been shorter. Once again, this is just my opinion. You see, a lot of times the story would go on the branches; several situations would be developed to all of the sudden get closed abruptly. For a book this long there were many sudden changes that at times felt out of nowhere. In the same chapter I would be confronted with side stories that didn't bring that much to the main story, yet will take a big part of the chapter while at the same time there would be a completely change of character that felt random and awkward.

It was certainly a lovely story, and if you are looking for a multigenerational story set in the middle East this would be perfect for you.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Concerts

In the words of Jessi from Novel Heartbeat:
It’s a weekly feature. Each week I will choose a subject and talk about that subject in my life. The topics will be non-bookish so that you can get to know me on a more personal level! I definitely encourage you guys to participate, too. I want this to be meme style with a linky for you to add your posts to. I want to know more about you guys as well!

This week's subject is concerts; I have an issue with concerts you see, I love music, I love live music...I hate crowds. I am very uncomfortable when everybody is pretty much over me, and since I am quite small I can easily get smashed by the crowd.

But sometimes you have to just breath deeply and get to see your favorite artists, right? Luckily, being able to hold A's hand all the way has always helped. Here are some pictures of the concerts we've been to. Our first concert together was Silversun Pickups, but we've been to concerts by Zero 7, Muse and Misteur Valaire (local, from Quebec, you should really check them out ;)

Lately we have stuck to a bit more classical music, going to a couple of Operas (so far our favorite being Rusalka) and several violin concerts, since I used to play it. No pictures of those though :$.

What about you? what is your favorite concert that you have been too?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

First impression

I got this book for Christmas in 2013 and for some reason or another I didn't get to it until now (Oct 2014). To clarify, I got the book because I asked for it and I was really looking forward to reading it, since I've heard wonderful things about it. As it turns out, it was not my cup of tea. It is the first Western, or Western-like book that I've ever read and I guess it is just not my genre. The writing was witty and it made me laugh a couple of times, but the story itself never got to me in the way I thought it would based on the reviews

Final thoughts

The book was entertaining but I never engaged with any of the characters. More often that I would like to admit I found myself forgetting who was who, and there aren’t even that many characters in the story.

Charlie and Elie Sisters work for the Commodore and their job is fairly simple: to dispose (a.k.a kill) of people who get in his way during the Gold Rush. This time they are ordered to Herman Kermit Warm, only with the knowledge that he took something that didn’t belong to him. They set on their quest, moving across Oregon all the way to San Francisco, dealing with the inclement weather, the dessert, a bad tooth and each other.

Something that I found extremely amusing was the whole ordeal with tooth paste; it was a perfect example of the type of humour the book has. Is just that the funny parts were not enough for me to get grabbed into the story.

The writing was flawless; the description and construction of setting was spot on. But the characters…and is not a “they are not likeable” complaint. They are not, but they are not meant to be. I do not think that characters have to always be likeable; but I do think they have to be engaging, make you want to know what is going with them.

This book was not for me at the end. But I am not the Western type, even in movies. I like Blazing Saddles, but that is the extent of it. If you do enjoy this type of genre, I would say go for it!

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Year in NonFiction

Kim, from Sophisticated Dorkiness is kicking up the Nonfiction November event!. While the year is not officially over, part of NonFiction November is reviewing your Nonfiction year, and so here we are. Above you have the nonfiction books that I've read (or listen to) this year in no particular order.Now, let's answer some questions

  • What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
I have 2 books so far that I really enjoyed: Smarter than you think by Clive Thompson was enlightening and was a fun read too, both for me and my boyfriend. We are very different as readers, so a book that makes us both happy gets extra points. The second book would be Pandora's DNA by Lizzie Stark, it was touching, full of personal experiences and with a lot of information I didn't know about the prior treatments of breast cancer.

  • What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? 
I have recommended The Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. While is not the book I have enjoyed the most, out of the books I've read so far is the one that I've mentioned the most to a lot of people looking for a nonfiction related to science. The author did a very nice job vulgarizing a lot of the subjects, and as first approach to science nonfiction books is a perfect one.

  • What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? 
Ironically enough, reading! and that's why my selections for the event are both relating to reading :)

  • What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Well, so far barely 10% of my reading this year has been Nonfiction. The main reason to that guys is...when I get back home from the lab, I feel like reading things that disconnect me, that are very different from the scientific articles I read. However, the same way that I want to read more diversely, authors wise, I want to read more diversely SUBJECT wise and this is the main reason for joining the event, I want to fall in love once again with nonfiction :D. 

So there you have it, what about you? Leave me a link to your post, give me recommendations! And have a lovely week