Archive for February, 2020


The Dirty Book Club

by Lisi Harrison

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 4: about a book club, 13: same title as a movie but unrelated, 27: featuring a deadly sin (there is a lot of lust), 35: Three word title (if you are not counting The).
I am using it for prompt 4.

This is a interesting book in that it is quite easy and fluffy but it also looks at female relationships and how important they are to womxn.
The book includes two sets of four womxn who belong to The Dirty Book Club – The first set are in 1962 and they establish the Club as a safe space to talk about their lives and deal with what life throws at them. The second group of four womxn inherit the club from one of the original members and carry on the tradition. The trials faced by the womxn are starkly similar – love, pregnancy, social restrictions, marriage, fidelity – all the usual.

This is not a deep book that delves into the angst but is more like your best friend who pours you a glass of wine and just knows. As a female reader the book felt very familiar – it was unnecessary to unpack everything and examine it all – we all know, we know!

The Good Daughter

by Karin Slaughter

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 12: Bechdel test (the women talk a lot about crime and murder), prompt 27: deadly sins (its about murder after all), prompt 33: 4 star rating on Goodreads, prompt 35: 3-word title, prompt 43: character with visual impairment. I do one prompt one book so I am picking prompt 33.

A great unraveling of a number of twisted stories with family secrets, bad decisions, and terrible results.
The twists are chilling and surprising; the writing tight and contained. Slaughter keeps the reader, or listener in my case, gripped throughout.

A worthy thriller

Gross Anatomy

by Mara Altman
#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 36: pink cover
I liked this style of non-fiction – the anecdotal mixed with the researched factual. It makes the whole lot easier to read and less dry but is still educational.
I know it does not work for all forms of non-fiction but personal ones like this, and, I have to add, those covered by Mary Roach, fit perfectly into that narrative style.
I was surprised at how much I learnt listening to this book (yes, I did the audio version. The body is an amazing thing and I enjoyed the female edge to the information. Our bodies are so policed by society it was interesting to learn about how we try to subvert natural body processes in order to better be approved of by society. Appalling but interesting.
Altman is approachable as an author and easy to consume. I would imagine this book is as readable as it was listen-to-able.

by Amrou Al-Kadhi
#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 41: author in their 20s

This book was so much more than I expected. I expected glitter and camp conversations; discussions about shoes and contouring; possibly some seedy post-show sex.
I did not expect the indepth, authentic and truly touching look at family, religion, self doubt and personal growth Al-Kadhi offers.

This is a wow book – Kadhi had so much to survive and process before they could become this fabulous self they now are. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to unfurl in the way they did with all of the family, social and religious constraints they lived within.

While deep and difficult topics are addressed in this book it is not a heavy book. Al-Kadhi is funny and irreverent too – their writing will make you laugh as much as it will make you want to cry for the little boy they once were and rage against social bs which threatens the lives of so many who are not exactly as expected to be.

This book is valuable and worth experiencing – I challenge anyone not to feel moved and educated by it.

by Abbi Waxman
#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 50: character is their 20s.

This was an okay book – easy enough to read and quite enjoyable. But essentially not really memorable.
I liked Nina and was quite happy to walk alongside her for a while as she navigated her life. I was glad she found family and love and books and a purpose. I really was. I just didn’t really care once I had put the book down.
Not all books are supposed to linger forever; some are for pure immediate enjoyment – and this is one of those.
If I saw another Waxman I may well pick it up and read it but I doubt I’ll be out hunting for one.

Last Breath

by Karin Slaughter

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 46: author with more than 20 titles
I am not sure I have ever read a Slaughter before – which surprises the sh*t out of me. I have heard that her work is very gruesome but this one is not. There are no gory scenes, just wickedly clever evil characters. And those are, for me, scarier than any blood or guts.
I completely believed everything Slaughter wanted me to believe; I blindly traveled along in the deception she wove. And when the truth was revealed I was slightly embarrassed at my own gullibility.
Well played Slaughter, well played.

This is the prequel to The Good Daughter which I shall read very shortly.

by Eddie Izzard

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 2: By a trans/non-binary author
 
Oh my – I did not think it possible to love Eddie Izzard any more – I was wrong!
He is so funny and just marvelous. The audio book of this may be the best audio book I have every listened to (although Becoming is also a real winner). Izzard reads it himself and goes off script a lot. He also reads with the wonderful intonation, speed, aside and humour that only he can do (and that I was mimicking for days after finishing the book).
 
The contents of the book are fascinating and endearing – as a human being Izzard is an outstanding specimen. He has lived a life and continues to do so with such an integrity and sense of his own role and place in the world. He is wildly successful and probably stupid rich but still does real human things and is aware of others.
As a South African I also love that he came here and ran those 27 marathons. He didn’t throw money at the charity, or endorse the actions of others, or sit on a couch raising funds – the man ran 27 marathons in 27 days! And he’s not an athlete – he’s a showman. It astounds me the depth of his abilities.
 
As a comedian he is in my top 2 (I do like Michael McIntyre); as an author is a smart and funny and emotionally connected; and as a narrator of his own work he is brilliant.
 
Is my fangirl showing 😀
I don’t care – i think he is amazing and I loved this book

by Sue Black

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 22: by or about a woman in STEM.

I really liked this book. I loved the mix of science with personal stories; I loved Black’s scientific distance and deep emotional connection to the bodies she works with; and I loved how I felt both chatted to and educated, all at the same time.
For me this book was a perfect combination – a hugely successful woman, death and a memoir – ticks many of my reader boxes.

If you like Mary Roach then you will enjoy this author too.