Archive for May, 2020


A Children’s Bible

by Lydia Millet

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 1: published in 2020

What a very odd book that I could not stop listening to. The slide of the two sets of characters from the start of the book to the end is fantastical and also so very believable – for the most part.
The kids are super mature but then they do have rather odd lives, even at the start of the story. The adults are deeply immature and I did struggle a little with their lack of regard for their kids at the start.
As a post climate change, post collapse of capitalism post the crumbling of society this book is very gripping and quite scary. And under all of that is hope in the younger generation – however they do it, survive they shall.

As an audiobook this fell a little short because the narrator seemed bored throughout. But that is no fault of the book at all.
Millet will certainly be on my radar from now on – I want to see what else she has done.

by Sayantani DasGupta

#readingwomenreadingchallenge prompt : inspired by folklore

I really quite liked this middle grade fantasy story with all of its lovely references to Indian folklore. The story is simple enough, as is expected at this level I would think. But it was also fun and engaging.I really liked the bit at the end where all the folklore references are mentioned – it made the whole book much richer. I do wonder if all that information may have been more valuable as a foreward rather than an afterward. But that may be because I am an adult.

I am certainly quite interested in exploring more Bengali folklore – I want to know the whole story of so many of the characters in this book.

Most kids would love this and a good few adults I know too.

Parable of the Sower

by Octavia E. Butler

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 16: A book with a book on the cover

This is my first Butler and I doubt my last. I found this book engaging and challenging. It made me think while sweeping me along.
In this dystopian world, Lauren and her ever increasing group of people set off for safety and more opportunity after a fire devastates her community.
The world she lives in is a harsh one – water is expensive, law and order non-existent, jobs hard to come by and opportunities scarce. Despite growing up in this world Lauren has a dream for a future kind of society. This is, in part , because of her ‘gift’ – hyper empathy or the ability to feel what others feel.
Written in the 90s what then seemed a very far fetched future now seems possible if not probable. Scary stuff indeed

I am going to have to get the next one in the series to see what happens – so job well done really

Rebecca

by Daphne du Maurier

#readingwomenreadingchallenge prompt 11: book/movie adaptation
I absolutely loved this book – and the 1940s Hitchcock version was amazing too.
Outstanding

I didn’t know anything about the book before I read it, so the dark twists were a wonderful surprise. I did not see that coming – twice!

Just great

Brave

 by Rose McGowen
#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 14: author with flora or fauna in their name
 
I found this book very interesting. I knew very little of Rose McGowen’s story and found it fascinating. She grew up in a cult and likens Hollywood to be the second cult to get its hands on her.
 
Abused, assaulted, blacklisted and mistreated, McGowen had a pretty crappy time in Hollywood – and her point is that this is the experience of so many woman.
She is understandably angry and indignant and hurt. As should we all be for the way Hollywood, and society, treats girls and woman. But she is also very brave – some thing so few people are in the face of greater forces and fear.
 
What I hated was that my own brainwashing made me think at times that she was being a bit whiny. How awful that I am so indoctrinated as to hear a fellow woman voice her strong, reasonable and based in actual experience opinion, and think it whiny!
 
This book will make you think! And everyone should read it.
 
The author narrates the audiobook admirably.

by Isa Mazzei

#readingwomenreadingchallenge prompt 12: a woman who inspires

It may seem odd to claim a camgirl is inspirational but I think any woman who lives her life with authenticity is inspirational. Mazzei did what she did well and with great strength. She did what she needed to do for her own well-being. and when it no longer served her greater need, she stopped doing it. That what she was doing was sex work does not minimise her strength. In fact, I think it enhances it. To do what you require despite society’s judgement is truly brave – and inspirational.

Mazzei is funny and biting and this memoir very accessible. I did find some sections in which her clients’ conversations were recited a little long-winded but all in all – an interesting look into the life of a camgirl and that of her clients.

by Lucinda Hawksley

Jennifer M. Dixon (Narrator)

#readingwomenreadingchallenge prompt 15: A biography

This was surprisingly interesting and kept me engaged from the start.
Princess Louise was Queen Victoria’s sixth child and had a childhood unlike that which you would expect for a princess. No Disney fantasy this life. Treated appallingly by her mother, who sounds like a awful woman with some real issues, and then marrying a man who it seems quite likely was gay and not really interested in her, Louise spent most of her life trying to escape the shackles of expectations.

An artistic, creative, forward thinker, Louise was born a good few decades early. In addition to being a sculptor, something considered inappropriate for girls in those days, she believed in equal education for both girls and boys, and the rich and the poor, good medical care for everyone and freedom for women.

A fascinating look at an unexpectedly difficult life with a tricky and domineering mother.
This book has sent me off to find a good biography of Queen Victoria too.

Dixon is easyto listen too and does a great job narrating this book.

by Deborah Cadbury
#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 24: on a subject I know nothing about

This was a really interesting book about the son of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. He was 8 when his mother was beheaded, imprisoned in Temple Tower and facing the most awful abuse as a result of the populace’s hatred for his parents.
Two years later he was declared dead. And so began the 200-year long mystery – was the dead boy Louis XVII or a replacement child. For decades other people claimed to be the child, all grown up. Some of these impostors were believed and supported by sections of the population, while others were clearly lying.
More than 200 years after his death, a stolen heart and modern DNA finally settled to question of whether Louis XVII died in 1795 or not.

This book was about so many things I knew nothing about – the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the Lost King.
It was fascinating.