Book Chat: March 2015

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How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (Unabridged Audiobook)

  • Genre: Autobiography
  • How I Found Out About It: Moran’s ‘How to Build a Girl’ left me wanting more.
  • Where I Bought It: iTunes for $32.99
  • I would recommend it to: Every woman and any men who want an idea of what it’s like to be a woman!
  • Quick review: Part memoir and part modern-day feminist manifesto, journalist and bestselling author Caitlin Moran shares funny and thoughtful anecdotes of her life so far, with a fair share of poignant moments too.  For me, Moran is at her best when ranting passionately about important topics such as equal opportunity, womens’ health and big, comfy undies.  I think there is something for everyone in this book.  Moran is proudly unapologetic for her views, but I didn’t find her preachy.  The audiobook is read by the author herself and Moran has a spectacular speaking voice with excellent comic timing.  Listening to her stories for over nine hours made me wish she was my friend; in a non-creepy way, of course.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? By Jeanette Winterson 

  • Genre: Autobiography
  • How I found out about it: autobiographies of modern day feminists are inspiring me at the moment, and I stumbled across this in my research.
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $29.99
  • I would recommend it to: readers who enjoy learning about mental health, LBGQT studies and feminism.
  • Quick Review: When aspiring author Jeanette Winterson told her Mother that she would always love women romantically and being with a woman made her happy, her Mother tragically asked “why be happy when you could be normal?”  This book is about Winterson’s search for happiness and battle with depression along the way.  Winterson also explores her achievements in the field of writing and making peace with her difficult childhood.  Much like Winterson’s fiction novels, the story is not told in the expected linear way, which may upset some fans of the traditional memoir; but I enjoyed having some details left to the imagination.  If you read this book and relate to the distressing times in Winterson’s life, please reach out to Lifeline Australia (13 11 14) or a similar organisation in your country.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Unabridged Audiobook)

  • Genre: Romance Fiction
  • How I found out about it: iTunes recommended it to me
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $24.99
  • I would recommend it to: lovers of a warm, fuzzy romance novel.
  • Quick review: After the more serious reads I’ve been sinking my teeth into, I was in the mood for something lighter.  ‘Landline’ is exactly what you’d hope for in a romance novel.  Georgie is going through troubles in her marriage with her husband Neil and feels distant from him and their children.  She can’t help putting her job and passion for script-writing first.  I don’t want to give too much away, but a supernatural twist occurs (which is kind of a la ‘The Lakehouse’) which shows Georgie exactly what she is missing.  It’s a cute story, which gets a little too sickly sweet at times for my taste and I don’t agree with all of Georgie’s opinions, but she is fictional after all.  A good holiday read.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak (Unabridged Audiobook) 

  • Genre: Fiction/Short Stories
  • How I found out about it: It was referred to in some blog post I read.  I have a feeling it might have been on Raptitude.
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $27.99
  • I would recommend it to: Short story fans
  • Quick review: I don’t think I have read a book of short stories since we studied a collection of them in my Year 7 English class.  I usually prefer the more long-term character-reader relationship of a novel rather than the fleeting romance with characters in a short story.  I’m really glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone and gave ‘One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories’ a chance.  Almost a collection of quirky modern-day fables, B.J. Novak creates a selection of characters that you can’t help but like/relate to/dislike, even though you only know them for a very short time.  I would love to check out this book in hardcopy so I can see how the stories are grouped, as it was a bit difficult to follow the chapters while listening to the stories.  However, a fun bonus of the audiobook was the celebrity guests reading some of the stories such as: Lena Dunham, Katy Perry and Emma Thompson.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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