One year ago, in a country far, far away… just kidding, just kidding.
But really, 2016 was a damn good year for reading and did my best to keep up with all of my Goodreads reviews, but the last few months of the year definitely got away from me. And those books were some of the best! Below are my recent reads, recommendations, and links to the reviews.
Past Reads & Fictional Places is a list of all of the books I read during 2016 in Thailand, as well as what I’ve read so far in 2017. Reviews Archive is a list of all of the reviews I’ve written on GoodReads if you’re ever looking for particular thoughts on any past reads (ctrl+f to search the page for specific book).
A Short Review of Short Reviews
Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis
Goodreads – 4/5 – Definitely a niche audience for this one, but I would recommend it if rock and roll memoirs are your thing. Kiedis has had a hell of a life and some damn good stories. Like a shot of tequila, remember to take this one with a grain of salt.
People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks
Goodreads – 4/5 – As a lover of books, there was a lot I loved about this story. What I’m calling the historical fiction portion of this novel read as almost a love story to the Sarajevo Haggadah and left me with such a sense of respect for this book and the challenges so many faced to save it. Unfortunately, the present time storyline missed completely for me and I was definitely disappointed in the main character and her relationships. Except for this one really funny quote: “It always makes me laugh when I see actors in period movies scribbling away with flamboyant ostrich feathers. For one thing, there weren’t a whole lot of ostriches marching around in medieval Europe.” I still gave this one a four out of five stars because I strongly appreciated at least three-fourths of the story.
Just Kids – Patti Smith
Goodreads – 3/5 – There were things I loved about Just Kids, as well as moments that I felt bored and uninspired. On the whole, I think Patti Smith is an incredible writer and her use of language is beautiful. The stories from the Chelsea Hotel are amazing and to listen to stories with casual references to Janis Joplin, Ginsberg, and Jimi Hendrix will always be mindblowing. This isn’t my favorite book (I can think of a few people in my life who would appreciate this even more than I did), but think Just Kids still has a lot to offer.
How To Build A Girl – Caitlin Moran
Goodreads – 5/5 – Every person should read How To Build A Girl. Caitlin Moran is a genius and she is somehow able to tell a story that exactly characterizes what it is like to be a young girl trying to figure out her place in the world. She wasn’t telling my story exactly, but I saw myself in this book and I think so many others will agree. I think young people, as well as adults, can learn so much from the main character, Johanna Morrigan, in regards what it is really like to try and become who you are amongst the midst of so many telling you what you need to be. Plus, Moran is hilarious and How To Build A Girl made me laugh, and smile, and think all the way through the very end. This book makes me happy to be a girl, to be interesting, to have layers, to be inspiring, and to be a girl that is happy.
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef – Gabrielle Hamilton
Goodreads – 5/5 – Gabrielle Hamilton has had such a damn interesting life. From her unique childhood influenced by rather eccentric (or French) parents to incredible experiences traveling all over the world, to a definitely unconventional marriage and adult family life. I want to know Chef Gabrielle personally and hear her stories first hand. Hamilton’s writing is beautiful, exciting, and energetic. She makes me jealous of her travels and her huge Italian family dinners, and yet she made me appreciate my experiences in Asia and my own Chicago family dinners even more. Whether or not cooking is your passion, I definitely recommend this memoir – her stories are something else, you’ll forget this isn’t fiction.
Lovers At The Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 – Francine Prose
Goodreads – 5/5 – This one has officially been added to the list of books I keep in my head to recommend when people generically ask for book recommendations with no other criteria. It’s unique, interesting, full of solid characters, and set in the ever-enticing city of Paris in the 1930s. My fear in recommending this one is that the title might throw off potential readers because it almost did for me. I am not one to chose or generally enjoy a love story, but this so much more than that. For me, a book worth recommending is different from the crowd and this definitely fits the bill.
click the links above for my Goodreads reviews