Biography, Keep Moving Forward

Very Good Lives–J.K. Rowling

Sometimes I feel the need to curl up in J.K. Rowling’s writing like a security blanket. Harry Potter is obviously my favourite book series, even though I promised not to read it for five years after the movies were over I still broke that promise to myself and snuck them in a few times when I was stuck in a book rut and needed to break out.

I grew up with them and learned how to be a kind and clever person. So it only seems natural that in a transitional phase of my life, where I don’t know where I’m going, what I’m doing, who I want to remain, what I want to do with my life, and generally growing up from my 20s into my 30s, that I need her.

And this time she was making a very valid point:

Failure is good.

Failure IS an option.

 

Failure helps you learn more than success sometimes. And it’s not shameful or something you need to guilt yourself over.

This was a speech she had written for graduates at Harvard, and while it’s short, she makes you feel better if all you’ve ever felt you’ve done is fail. Or at least have a day where you feel like that’s all you’ve done and you are trapped in your own cry factory and BooHoo Festival.

Everyone needs to read this when they are feel stuck or like a failure or like their lives aren’t going anywhere.

She always puts things in perspective in a smart and articulate way that speaks to real people.

Curl up in her words, it’ll make you feel better, I promise.

Jo always has my back.

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Biography, Comedy, Fantasy, Fiction, Kids Books

The Short Stack.

Good morning everyone!

I’m clearing house of the tiny reviews. So here’s four to take a gander at.

Summer of My Amazing Luck—Miriam Toews

Literally only picked this up because I knew it was set in the summer. (Book challenge #14-A Book Set in the Summer [26BooksWithBringingUpBurns 2015.])

What a treat it was though! I love this writer, she’s really in tune with empathy over sympathy. It’s very interesting to read her books because they are about real humans and their struggles.

All about people living on welfare and their troubles, stories, and how they rise or fall.

Definitely interesting to pick up. In this you follow Lucy through how she got to the Have-A-Life welfare housing, how she makes friends, and then ends up on a road trip with her friend Lish to find a fire eater that knocked her up awhile ago.

Very cool take, I can’t gush enough about this writer, but I’ll stop for your sake.

Truly great.

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I Feel Bad About My Neck (And Other thoughts on being a woman)—Nora Efron

Okay. This also might seem like an odd choice for me to read but hear me out:

I was reading a lot of female authors and was like ‘Hey. This lady writes sweet movies and books and maybe she has some perspective as well on being a woman that would interest me like the last five!”

Well unless you are over 50, don’t bother with this.

I found it quite boring and useless. Which sounds awful since I do like her movies, but I didn’t gain anything from this or learn anything besides ‘I never want to get old’.

*Audience booing*

To be completely fair to her: I will read her other books in the future, I just happened to pick a dud for my age group. Her writing was good, I just didn’t connect to what she was going through and didn’t much care for her stories.

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(#16 A Book You Learned About Because of this Challenge….this might be a stretch I think, I was just trying to fill in holes. But I did learn about this because of the other books I was looking through for this challenge, so that has to count.)

The Pilot’s Wife—Anita Shreve

Someone suggested this to me when I lived in Vancouver and it’s been sitting around on my shelves ever since.

That’s how backed up my reading list is. I’m hitting living at home for two years already.

Jesus Christ I need to get my shit together.

Anyway.

This book is about a woman (obviously) who’s husband was a pilot.

Shocker. Haha.

Her husbands plane goes down and she has to deal with all that comes with it. Including their teenage daughter and her grief.

I really loved this book actually, it was beautifully written, not overwhelming with emotions and drama, and enough mystery to hold my attention.

Thank you to the random lady in Vancouver who suggested that I read Anita Shreve’s books. I’m excited to read more of her stuff in the future.

(#18 A book with a blue cover.)

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Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges—Jen Mann

This book jumped the line because I was in the mood for a holiday laugh. (I read this around Christmas) My cousins family gave this to me. (I’m their nanny and I get all the good stuff from them. Including baby snuggles!)

It was hysterical. And accurate as all hell.

Start to finish had me laughing. And nodding like ‘I feel ya girl!”.

Definitely worth it for a present to someone with a sense of humour around the holidays. Or for a treat for yourself because it was awesome.

Short and sweet and to the point. Just like this review.

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Bunnicula—Deborah and James Howe

Another present from a family member, my Auntie Jo (or as she calls herself Aunt Torage. Best word play of life.) I was presented with this for my birthday because I love bunnies, I love horror, and I love ridiculous novels written for children.

This was a good and spoooOOOoooky read.

Okay, it was all right. It IS for kids after all. But it was pretty cute and funny and I’m sure some kid somewhere is having nightmares about this rabbit.

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Happy Monday everyone! Constant vigilance!

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Biography, Comedy, Keep Moving Forward, True Story

How to Be a Woman–Caitlin Moran

Morning all! This book is truly amazing. I borrowed it from my sister out of nowhere and I was pleasantly surprised. Borrowing is a little ridiculous since I have roughly 10000 books in my room so what the hell am I doing reading other peoples book lists?! But here we are. And I’m glad I did it.

Admittedly, I didn’t think this woman would teach me anything. I figured this would be a good laugh and some stories from her life. Overall, I thought I was walking into a dumb-dumb funny read for my piddlesworth puddle brain.

Well.

It was all that. I feel like she actually taught me some interesting things about feminism and sexism and all manners of which I can now use the word “Cunt”.

It was a funny, smart, and great book to read when you need a reminder of what it is to be a woman. She talks to you like your her friend, student, and daughter and we all need to hear what she has to say.

EVERY woman needs to read this because she goes through everything from adolescence to giving birth, to talking about feminism to talking about abortions, breastfeeding, growing older, and all that in between.

It’s just so damn good.

I’ve also learned recently that Emma Watson added this to her GoodReads book club “Our Shared Shelf”. So you know that it’s a smart, clever, and all around great book for women. (And men can learn a thing or two from it as well. Can’t wait to read ‘How to Build a Girl’ that I just found at the Elora book sale this weekend!)

(#17 A Book That Will Make You Smarter. Didn’t know until afterwards. Well worth it. #26BooksWithBringingUpBurns 2015)

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Constant vigilance!