Shitty Witchcraft, Pretzelesque Twists, And The Weirdest Book I’ve Ever Read

Damn you, Jenny Lawson. (Not really, I love you.) But because of your weird new book club I ended up ordering The Haunted Vagina from Amazon, and now my recommendations are almost as strange as yours. Almost.

It’s easily the weirdest book I’ve ever read. But it’s not the only one I’ve read recently, so rather than spending a whole post focusing on its oddness, here are a few of the books I’ve hung out with lately and what I thought of them.  Read more

The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong

I’ll admit that I agreed to review this book because the protagonist is a swimmer, and I was hoping for some passages about how wonderful swimming is. Something like Jessica J. Lee’s Turning: A Swimming Memoir.

If you’re buying it for that reason, you’ll be disappointed at the lack of swimming-related content. But you won’t be disappointed by the book itself, which is excellent. It was so gripping that I got angry with myself for not being able to stay awake long enough to finish it in one go.  Read more

It’s Book Blog Tuesday, So Here, Have Some Novels

There are currently sixteen pictures of books in my Google Drive folder, which is how I organise my upcoming blog posts. If I blog one per week it will therefore take me sixteen weeks to complete the posts, but I also have other books on my TBR list so by that point I’ll still be behind and then it will just keep spiralling on forever.

So I’m going to smush a few together in a post for today, and only save a couple for their own special featured posts.  Read more

The Truth And Lies Of Ella Black By Emily Barr

First of all I should apologise to the lovely people at Penguin who sent me this book to review, because they sent it in mid-December and it’s now mid-February. Sorry about that.

I must also apologise because they asked me to take a selfie with the book in a place that means a lot to me, and I told them I don’t really do selfies but I’d try to do the place thing, and then I completely forgot because January was fucking mental.

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

A house burns to the ground while the family who live in it stand outside and watch. All bar two, that is: the absentees are the father, who is away at work, and the youngest daughter Izzy. Everyone knows it was Izzy who burned the house down, because that’s just like her: ever a wild child, impossible to control, Izzy has been the family’s unpredictable rebel practically since the day she was born.

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How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

At the moment I’m writing a novel. The protagonist is a teenage boy. His name is Anthony and he’s dealing with a lot of things in his life, one of which is the underlying current of societal expectations of masculinity. This isn’t exactly a huge theme in the book, but I think it’s probably an important part of any boy’s upbringing, so I want to get it right. I decided therefore to read some things about what it’s like to grow up male.

I am not, and nor have I ever been, male. However I have always empathised with expectations of masculinity. I’ve been the breadwinner in every household I’ve lived in since a young age, and I’ve been surrounded by people and situations that made showing any kind of emotion discouraged. Growing up, I felt pressured to swallow whatever I might have been feeling and essentially ‘man up and get on with it.’ Despite not knowing what it’s like to be a boy, therefore, I have perhaps an above-average level of empathy for the challenges brought on by society’s expectations of masculinity.

Enter Webb’s autobiography.

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