October 2018 Book Haul: Or, I am not reading, so let’s buy more books.

I am currently not really reading. Work is still crazy and I come home feeling absolutely knackered, so I have not finished a single book in nearly two weeks. So I did the sensible thing and bought more books. I bought a mix of mostly short stories and non-fiction in the hope of one of these getting me excited enough.

Here are the books I bought, in no particular order:

Black Wave by Michelle Tea

32800012Blurb: It’s 1999 in San Francisco, and as shockwaves of gentrification sweep through Michelle’s formerly scruffy neighborhood, money troubles, drug-fueled mishaps, and a string of disastrous affairs send her into a tailspin. Desperate to save herself, Michelle sets out to seek a fresh start in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, climate-related disruptions and a string of extinctions are the background noise of impending doom. One day, Michelle wakes up to an official announcement: the world will be ending in exactly one year. Daily life in Los Angeles quickly becomes intensely surreal.

Humans begin to collectively dream of the lives and loves they would have had, if not for the end of the world, and the lines between fantasy and reality become increasingly blurred. As the planet nears its expiration date, Michelle holes up in an abandoned bookstore and calmly begins to write—convinced she’s finally stumbled upon the elusive “universal story”—a novel about a struggling writer facing the end of the world.

Funny, gritty, improbable, and endearing, Black Wave muses on the hallucinatory confusions of addiction, the hope and despair of a barely published writer, notions of destiny, and the porous boundaries between memoir and fiction.

Why I bought it: It sounds like such a brilliant book that is so up my alley I am bemused that I haven’t bought it earlier. Also, Maggie Nelson blurbed it. Continue reading “October 2018 Book Haul: Or, I am not reading, so let’s buy more books.”

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2018 Book Haul #3: All these books are beautiful.

It has been a while since I posted my last book haul but if I wait any longer to post this one, writing it would take forever. Because I went overboard. But I have also read quite a few of the books I bought already, so that’s at least something.

So Sad Today by Melissa Broder

29213247Blurb: So sad today? Many are. Melissa Broder is too. How and why did she get to be so sad? And should she stay sad?
She asks herself these questions over and over here, turning them into a darkly mesmerising and strangely uplifting reading experience through coruscating honesty and a total lack of self-deceit.
Sexually confused, a recovering addict, suffering from an eating disorder and marked by one very strange sex fetish: Broder’s life is full of extremes. But from her days working for a Tantric nonprofit in San Francisco to caring for a severely ill husband, there’s no subject that Broder is afraid to write about, and no shortage of readers who can relate. When she started an anonymous Twitter feed @sosadtoday to express her darkest feelings, her unflinching frankness and twisted humour soon gained a huge cult following.
In its treatment of anxiety, depression, illness and instability; by its fearless exploration of the author’s romantic relationships (romantic is an expanded term in her hands); and with its inventive imagery and deadpan humour, So Sad Today is radical. It is an unapologetic, unblinkingly intimate book that splays out a soul and a prose of unusual beauty.

Why I bought it: I adored The Pisces so much (my gushing review is here), I needed to read this ASAP. And I also loved it. Continue reading “2018 Book Haul #3: All these books are beautiful.”

2018 Book Haul #2: I want to own all the memoirs.

I have not bought any books since I posted my last haul, so obviously I just went overboard and purchased too many. Now, to be fair to myself, I have been craving memoirs and essay collections and hardly own any anymore that I haven’t read, so I had to remedy that. Also, as I have recently talked about, I just love owning books.

And now, without further ado, here are the books I bought, first fiction, then nonfiction (but in no particular order):

When I hit you: or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

38821165Blurb: Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.

Smart, fierce and courageous When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India.

Why I bought it: This is one of the few books on this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist that I am actually interested in and don’t own already. Also, that title is just brilliant. Continue reading “2018 Book Haul #2: I want to own all the memoirs.”

2018 Book Haul #1: I bought too many books

Oh boy, it has been a while since I have done one of these posts and well, let’s just say, I bought way too many books. Which on the one hand is super cool because I like books and I like owning them and looking at them, but on the other hand, I am not making it any easier for me to choose which book to read next. I have also recently written a blogpost about the novellas I bought. I obviously feel like reading genre fiction and memoirs more than anything else.

These are the (physical) books I have bought:

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

34666764Blurb: I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference – the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman’s life in near-death experiences. Intelligent, insightful, inspirational, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life’s fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell.
It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

Why I Bought This: I have been wanting to read this FOREVER and was declined for an ARC more than once. But, now I own it, and it is pretty, and I cannot wait to read this.

Continue reading “2018 Book Haul #1: I bought too many books”

Book Haul: How did this happen again?

I keep telling myself (and others) that I won’t be buying any books in the foreseeable future – and then I do. I had a frustrating few reading weeks, so obviously I need more books to overwhelm me. I make brilliant choices … But then again, I don’t think I can actually have too many books. My own personal rule so far is that I do not want my unread books to be more than a third of my book collection and I am very far away from that.

Since my last haul I have bought 11 books and 1 audiobook.

His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

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I only owned these books in German (and now not anymore because apparently my father decided there were his all along) and really wanted to have an English edition. I love the way these books look together. While these are not my favourite books, I adored them when I read them and felt my bookshelves were incomplete without them.

Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie

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Practical-minded Isma has spent the years since her mother’s death watching out for her twin brother and sister in their North London home. When an invitation to grad school in America comes through unexpectedly, it brings the irresistible promise of freedom too long deferred. But even an ocean away, Isma can’t stop worrying about her beautiful, headstrong, politically inclined sister, Aneeka, and Parvaiz, their brother, who seems to be adrift—until suddenly he is half a globe away in Raqqa, trying to prove himself to the dark legacy of the father he never knew, with no road back.

Then Eamonn Lone enters the sisters’ lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to—or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The instrument of Parvaiz’s salvation? Suddenly, two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined.

This has been on my TBR for a while now and I finally could not resist it anymore. This sounds like something I will just adore and I need these kinds of books right now.

Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor

31143800From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even the Dogs. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family’s loss.

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home.

Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.

The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.

As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals.

Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods – mating and fighting, hunting and dying.

An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Another one from the Man Booker Longlist that I never got to, this has since been nominated for other prizes and garnered even more praise. There was no way I could not buy and read this. This sounds like something that will either blow my mind or bore me to tears.

Sour Heart – Jenny Zhang

36146264Centered on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Zhang’s collection examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s role in the Cultural Revolution to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these seven stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves.

I was refused for a review copy more than once and this was one of those times I was super disappointed. I hope to read this sooner rather than later because I am so very excited about it.

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial – Maggie Nelson

31817301In 1969, Jane Mixer, a first-year law student at the University of Michigan, posted a note on a student noticeboard to share a lift back to her hometown of Muskegon for spring break. She never made it: she was brutally murdered, her body found a few miles from campus the following day.

The Red Parts is Maggie Nelson’s singular account of her aunt Jane’s death, and the trial that took place some 35 years afterward. Officially unsolved for decades, the case was reopened in 2004 after a DNA match identified a new suspect, who would soon be arrested and tried. In 2005, Nelson found herself attending the trial, and reflecting with fresh urgency on our relentless obsession with violence, particularly against women.

Resurrecting her interior world during the trial – in all its horror, grief, obsession, recklessness, scepticism and downright confusion – Maggie Nelson has produced a work of profound integrity and, in its subtle indeterminacy, deadly moral precision.

I adored Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts when I read it and have since wanted to read more of her books. I love creative non fiction when it is done right and Maggie Nelson really knows what she is doing. I rarely read true crime (if ever) but I trust her and am intrigued to see how she tells this story of her aunt.

The Clocks in this House all tell Different Times – Xan Brooks

32869842‘An orphan is travelling through the deep, dark woods and discovers that the monsters she encounters are as much tragic as wicked and that the handsome young prince may be ugly inside. The world around her is callous, unjust and horribly scarred by the past. But she brings compassion and even a glimmer of hope.’

Summer 1923. The modern world. Orphaned Lucy Marsh climbs into the back of the old army truck and is whisked off to the woods, where the funny men live. If she can only avoid all the hazards on the path, she may just survive into a bright new tomorrow.

This is on the Costa First Novel Award Shortlist and it sounds so amazing that I am a bit confused as to why I haven’t already read it. From the title to the cover art to the blurb this book amazes me.

The Wrong Way To Save Your Life – Megan Stielstra

32600746From an important new American writer comes this powerful collection of personal essays on fear, creativity, art, faith, academia, the Internet, and justice.

In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece “The Wrong Way To Save Your Life,” she answers the question of what has value in our lives—a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family’s goes up in flames. “Here is My Heart” sheds light on Megan’s close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality.

Whether she’s imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra’s work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful—this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.

Intellectually fierce and viscerally intimate, Megan Stielstra’s voice is witty, wise, warm, and above all, achingly human.

I don’t remember whose review it was that made me add this to my TBR, but I know that Roxane Gay’s blurb is what convinced me to buy it (I am so obviously a fan). I have read the first essay already and I can tell that I will enjoy this immensely.

The Beginning of The World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell

36453128‘These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button.
That’s why I bought her heart online.’

Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.

Jen Campbell is one of my favourite BookTubers and there was no way I would not pick up her first short story collection. Plus, that title.

Dora: A Headcase – Lidia Yuknavitch

13544002Ida needs a shrink . . . or so her philandering father thinks, and he sends her to a Seattle psychiatrist. Immediately wise to the head games of her new shrink, whom she nicknames Siggy, Ida begins a coming-of-age journey. At the beginning of her therapy, Ida, whose alter ego is Dora, and her small posse of pals engage in “art attacks.” Ida’s in love with her friend Obsidian, but when she gets close to intimacy, she faints or loses her voice. Ida and her friends hatch a plan to secretly film Siggy and make an experimental art film. But something goes wrong at a crucial moment—at a nearby hospital Ida finds her father suffering a heart attack. While Ida loses her voice, a rough cut of her experimental film has gone viral, and unethical media agents are hunting her down. A chase ensues in which everyone wants what Ida has.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no-one that I am a huge fan of Lidia Yuknavitch (exhibit a). I want to read everything she has ever written and I want to read it now. But I also want to take time to do so because I don’t want to not have any of her books left to read. It’s a dilemma.

The Child Finder – Rene Denfield

36264514Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as “the Child Finder,” Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

This book was surrounded by so much buzz I couldn’t not read it. I rarely read crime fiction but this sounded like something I would enjoy. I have already started listening to this and I am more than half way through and it deserves all the praise it has gotten.

Have you read any of these books and which would you recommend the most? Let me know your thoughts!

Look what came in the post #2

I got a whole bunch of books this week. I am a fickle reader – and even though I own too many books I haven’t read I felt it was prudent to buy more.

The Book of Joan – Lidia Yuknavitch

30653706In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

I read The Small of Backs of Children earlier this year and adored it. I found it original and startling and very very beautiful (you can find my gushing review here). The Book of Joan got very mixed reviews but I am still very intrigued by it.

The Chronology of Water – Lidia Yuknavitch

9214995This is not your mother’s memoir. In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the reader through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist. In writing that explores the nature of memoir itself, her story traces the effect of extreme grief on a young woman’s developing sexuality that some define as untraditional because of her attraction to both men and women. Her emergence as a writer evolves at the same time and takes the narrator on a journey of addiction, self-destruction, and ultimately survival that finally comes in the shape of love and motherhood.

I am beyong excited about this book and have already started reading it. So far I adore this – Lidia Yuknavitch’s writing is on point, breathtakingly beautiful and raw.

PS: My version had the boobs hidden behind additional paper pasted above them – which I find odd and hilarious and also super stupid. Thankfully it was easily removed.

The Southern Reach Trilogy & Borne – Jeff VanderMeer

Earlier this year I reviewed Borne and while it wasn’t without its flaws it stuck with me. Jeff VanderMeer writes unlike anybody else and his brand of weirdness that is grounded in what we know of the worlds he creates really appeals to me. And now with The Southern Reach trilogy being made into movies starring Nathalie Portman (who I adore), I couldn’t resist any longer. I have been eying the books for years after all.

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

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A race for survival among the stars… Humanity’s last survivors escaped earth’s ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?

WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

I have been wanting to read more science fiction and this one comes highly recommended (plus his new book Dogs of War sounds really cool as well). Science Fiction is always a bit hit and miss for me – I love it when it deals with the sociological aspects of space but when it becomes too technical I tend to get bored. Still, it is a genre I have read not enough of, so I am looking forward to this.

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

34273236In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

I adord Celeste Ng’s first novel Everything I Never Told You and have been eagerly awaiting her second one ever since I finished that. I pre-ordered the book as soon as it became available and cannot wait to read it. I will have to be in the proper mood however because I am sure it will destroy me.

Look what came in the post

This week I broke down and bought some books although I am on a self-imposed book buying ban. I have too many unread books already and quite a few NetGalley arcs to get to – but sometimes you still have to buy some books! So, here they are, first the ones that I haven’t read yet and then the ones I had arcs for and wanted to own to look pretty on my shelves.

City of Blades (The Divine Cities #2) – Robert Jackson Bennet

28436115The city of Voortyashtan was once the domain of the goddess of death, war, and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to try to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone missing in the middle of a mission, but the city of war offers countless threats: not only have the ghosts of her own past battles followed her here, but she soon finds herself wondering what happened to all the souls that were trapped in the afterlife when the Divinities vanished. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

This one is the reason why I bought books in the first place this week. I absolutely adored the first book in this series – City of Stairs – and just had to know how the story continues. And then the book arrived late. And then I started a different fantasy book already. And now it is smiling at me from my night stand and testing my resolve. I am beyond excited to get started with this.

City of Miracles (The Divine Cities #3) – Robert Jackson Bennet

31522139Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.

So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.

Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And perhaps most daunting of all finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.

I am squinting very hard as to not read the synopsis I just pasted above. I do not want to spoil the second book for me. I am a bit annoyed at myself that I – again – managed to buy books in the same series in different editions but at the same time I don’t want to get too hung up about it because I try to still see whats inside the books as way more important than their covers.

Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood – Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

33540347This is the second volume in the brilliant Monstress series. I adored the first book and had this one pre-ordered for months. I haven’t been reading that many graphic novels lately but want to remedy that. I love the artwork done by Sana Takeda and I adore how very feminist this work is at its core.

My review for the first volume can be found here.

 

 

 Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch – Kelly Sue DeConnick & Taki Soma

29972029A few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But what happened on Earth that this new world order came to pass in the first place? Return to the grim corridors of Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2, to uncover the first clues to the history of the world as we know it…and meet PRESIDENT BITCH.

Again, I am very excited to finally have this in my hands. I loved the first volume when I read it forever ago. Again, super feminist graphic novel, which is something I usually enjoy.

 

Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo

31349579Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which, finally, she does, but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

This is one of the books I had an arc for but wanted to have for my shelf. I adored this book and was very pleased to see it short listed for the Bailey’s Prize for fiction, even if it ultimately did not win. You can find my gushing review here.

Little Nothing – Marisa Silver

29429934In an unnamed country at the beginning of the last century, a child called Pavla is born to peasant parents. Her arrival, fervently anticipated and conceived in part by gypsy tonics and archaic prescriptions, stuns her parents and brings outrage and disgust from her community. Pavla has been born a dwarf, beautiful in face, but as the years pass, she grows no further than the edge of her crib. When her parents turn to the treatments of a local doctor and freak sideshow proprietor, his terrifying cure opens the floodgates persecution for Pavla. Little Nothing unfolds across a lifetime of unimaginable, magical transformation in and out of human form, as this outcast woman is hunted down and incarcerated for her desires, her body broken and her identity stripped away until her soul is strong enough to transcend all physical bounds. Woven throughout is the journey of Danilo, the young man entranced by Pavla, obsessed only with protecting her. Part allegory about the shifting nature of being, part subversive fairy tale of love in all its uncanny guises, Little Nothing spans the beginning of a new century, the disintegration of ancient superstitions and the adoption of industry and invention. With a cast of remarkable characters, a wholly shocking and original story, and extraordinary, page-turning prose, Silver delivers a novel of sheer electricity.

I adored this. It ticks all my boxes: lyrical writing, fantasical retelling, matter of fact story telling, wonderfully drawn characters. My review for this wonder of a book can be found here.

Blissful Basil – Ashley Melillo

29502542Experience the happiest side of life through beautiful, nourishing foods.

Ashley Melillo believes in enjoying a wide array of wholesome foods in order to thrive—physically, mentally, and emotionally. For her blog, Blissful Basil, she finds innovative ways to use plants for fun, flavorful dishes that keep her readers coming back. Her gorgeous debut cookbook brings brand-new recipes, plus a handful of signature dishes, from her kitchen to yours.

Blissful Basil focuses on bringing out the best flavors of whole foods and features more than 100 plant-based dishes that will delight vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. What’s more, most of the recipes are free from gluten, soy, and refined sugars.

This is, hands down, the best cookbook I have ever seen, own, or tried recipes from. Since I had the pleasure to receive an arc for this, I have tried and loved many of the recipes here. Some becoming favourites of my partner and me. Especially the vegan Chili is absolutely to die for and has impressed many of our friends so far. You can find my review here.

I am so glad to finally own the book because it is even more beautiful this way. I adore the pictures accompanying the recipes and I cannot wait to try more dishes.