My Best Books for 2017

As I did last year, I’m paying less attention to four and five star ratings and more attention to the books that are still speaking to me. Continue reading

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Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Unbearable Lightness is de Rossi’s story of her eating disorder (she suffered both bulimia and anorexia). Much of the book is focused on the ‘physical’ elements of her experience – dieting to fit into the modelling world that she became a part of from age 12, constantly under the scrutiny of a camera, the stress of wardrobe fittings. She goes into great detail about her exercise regime and what she ate (and vomited). The details are horrifying –

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A Year of Sample Saturdays 2017

I’ve read 99 Kindle samples this year – downloading sample chapters is better than impulse buying books… I think. Of the 99 I’ve read, I’ve said ‘yes’ to 53. Of those that I’ve said yes to, a bunch I’ve now read (or have in the TBR pile), thanks to the library, ARCs and two purchases (I was at the author talks – it would have been rude not to!).

However, if I buy the remaining 47 books, it kind of destroys the small gains I’ve made on reducing the TBR stack this year. So, I’ve narrowed it down to 12 that I’m busting to read. Continue reading

I do sometimes read non-fiction…

I’ve done more non-fiction reading this year than I have in previous years. Partly stuff associated with uni, partly stuff about dementia (particularly relevant to my family at present), and of course I continue to be a sucker for a memoir.

I’ve jotted down a few thoughts on some of the books I’ve read recently – not reviews as such, just a record. Continue reading

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

New York, 1995, and newly graduated 23-year-old Joanna Rakoff has deserted her ‘nice college boyfriend’ and has moved into a slope-floored, unheated apartment in New York with domineering Don – a Marxist, aspiring writer, and everyday arsehole.

Although she dreams of becoming a poet, Rakoff takes a job as an assistant at the literary agency that represents J. D. Salinger. The ‘Agency’ is from another era – plush wood-panelled offices complete with Dictaphones and typewriters; old-time agents doing business their way, including martini lunches and afternoon naps; and a boss (‘swathed in a whiskey mink, her eyes covered with enormous dark glasses, her head with a silk scarf in an equestrian pattern’) who keeps track of her authors on specially printed index cards. Her boss notes –

‘…agents used to be upstanding. None of these multiple submissions…no auctions, with publishers bidding against each other. It’s uncouth. That’s not the Agency way. We send things out to one editor at a time. We match writers with editors. We have morals.’ Continue reading

Non-fiction November: Be the Expert/ Become the Expert

Most of my non-fiction reading is related to what I’m studying/ have studied at uni – genetics and now counselling. Although these areas are separate, there’s a fascinating intersection when you start looking at the role of instinct, intuition, nature/nurture and fields such as neuroplasticity.

Like this week’s Nonfiction November host, Sophisticated Dorkiness, I’m going to break the rules a little bit and offer up a list that’s a combination of Be the Expert and Become the Expert – three books about the intersection between our physical being and our psychological being.

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