Review: Calypso by David Sedaris

If you’ve read a Sedaris book and hated it…well…you won’t like this one either…I also have to ask why the hell not? Do you take life too seriously?

Don’t get me wrong, I think Sedaris takes life way too seriously, hence why he is so bitter and so very snarky.

I lost track how many times I laughed out loud during this one. Despite all the laughter there was some serious issues going on in this one. I come from a family that isn’t really what you would call close. I am not so daft as to not realise that the lack of family bonding I’ve had hasn’t affected me a great deal with my “grown up” issues. So whilst reading this, I just have to marvel at all the times Sedaris and his family attempt to be a family, despite the fact that they often don’t seem to feel that closeness…or perhaps that closeness is why they continue to reach out to one another. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Sedaris has a close bond with some of his siblings, however I often get the feeling that with others, meh, not so much…Maybe because of his age he makes those attempts and I still have a few years to get it right myself…after all, Sedaris also makes it clear that for many years of his youth he was out of touch with everyone on the planet, including himself!

However, I don’t think that’s it. Maybe my wires are completely severed and beyond repair…but alas, Sedaris in all his snark makes it pretty clear to me that it’s a choice I make…just like it’s a choice he makes to continue on…even though both of us might feel like it’s not really a choice at all…

See, I guess this isn’t a review, but it’s just the musings that reading the book has brought me to…

Regardless of all of that, if you love Sedaris even a little bit, you should hurry up and get to this one…

Why? ***Skip to the end if you’re easily offended*** Well, because honestly, now I can’t wait to to tell some to shove their fist up me arse and give my shite a good wanking off…you too, might need this ultimate insult information as well one day…

Honestly, maybe I shouldn’t post this review on my blog now…but dang it, after I picked my jaw up off the floor I almost fell down with the laughter at this ultimate insult..don’t we all need some honest to god outrageous and inappropriate belly laughs such as this from time to time…and Sedaris, as always, is happy to provide them for us…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it here Calypso by David Sedaris

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Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Sometimes, not nearly enough times, mind you, but sometimes a book comes along and it changes you.

It doesn’t just break your heart, it crumbles it. It grinds it to bits. Sure you can gather all the bits and try to put them back together again, but it will never be the same. Just like crumbled biscuits you can gather them all together and make an amazing biscuit pudding (here’s a recipe! goo.gl/rPn9JF ) but no matter how hard you try to imagine it is hard to remember what the biscuits started out as.

That is my heart now. Different than it was before I started this novel. Perhaps a bit bigger, maybe even a bit better, maybe not, but certainly forever changed.

In the vast history of discrimination in the USA it is sometimes easy to focus on some types, whilst brushing the others under the straw mats of backwoods shacks.

Kya is beautiful. She is mysterious. She is a treasure. Not because she is different, but because she is the same. We all have that need to be seen and to be loved. Even whilst we run from these things, we often are just trying to see if someone will ‘stick’ regardless of it all.

I could go on and on about how an entire (except for a select VERY few) failed Kya. Instead I will challenge everyone, myself included, to see beyond the perceived facts we make about those we know not, and instead, see to the person that actually exists. The richness we find ourselves in or out of in this life, the country we live in, the religion we believe, the religion we scoff at, the colour of our skin, the education we have, well, so oftentimes, it’s just a roll of the dice. We have no control over it. It is decided before we are even born. We are all privileged in some way that another is not. Does that privilege make us a better, or a more worthy person? Or does it mean we need to try harder to be conscious of this and look deeper at those that aren’t so ‘fortunate’ as ourselves? If nothing else, I hope this book shows us that at the end of the day, we are not just cheating those we cast aside, but also ourselves by our inability to see the treasures right before our eyes.

Read this book. I could hardly put it down.

My heart is still ebbing with every rise and fall of the tides…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it here

Review: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

This was a truly fascinating read. I’m not much of a science person. Never have been. It was perhaps my least favourite subject in school. I even liked maths more…and I HATE maths…but regardless, I found this novel fascinating.

Two points, as I am sure you don’t need me to summarize this novel and tell you what it’s about…that’s what the blurb on the cover is for!

First point, whilst I loved this novel it was a bit off-putting after a while to be so obsessed with needing to know what was fact and what was fiction. The author does a decent job helping separate the fact from fiction in the notes in the back of the novel…however, I didn’t know this whilst reading it! Ha! I kept putting the novel down and searching out different incidents to see if they really happened. This was wonderful at the start…but it soon became hard work!!! It was distracting me time and time again from actually enjoying this novel as much as I think I could have.

This novel probably educated me more about history and inventions than school ever did. I couldn’t help but to wonder what it must have been like. To live in the an era that was changed so much by new inventions. How lives were forever changed by such men as were in this novel. Yes, there will always be new inventions…but I can’t imagine any that change so many lives in such a huge fashion.

Now, second thing, history is shaped just as much by the people who write it as it is shaped by the actual events that happen. Simplified, imagine all those times in primary school when your parents told you to ignore something and it would go away. That if you keep on fighting with someone and giving them attention it wold never stop. Well history is the same. If the media, or schools or whatever, never talk about xy&z, well it’s not very long before xy&z just completely disappears in the history books…but on the other hand, the things that the media choose to report, or the schools decide to teach…well they remain the history that future generations start to believe. It doesn’t matter if huge chunks are missing…or even if they aren’t all exactly true…they *become* true over time as more and more people hear and repeat it.

It really makes one wonder…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Review: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

If you can put the “gross factor” out of your mind this is absolutely fascinating. I liked it so much more than “Stiff”. I loved “Stiff” at the start but soon found myself loosing interest and felt it a bit long drawn. With Gulp I was sad to see it end. I wanted more! All I will say is that having read this I am sure I shall never ever ever use another tablet of alka seltzer.

As in the past, Mary Roach proves herself to be very funny and her curiosity knows no bounds. She doesn’t hesitate to show and share her excitement no matter the subject. No question she can dream up is too embarrassing for her to ask. I can’t imagine what a nightmare she was to her mother growing up (hahahaha, I mean that in the best way possible).

Just keep in mind that they book is aptly named “Gulp” but what goes in must come out as well (or else there are lots of problems!) and this book goes into great detail on both processes! Having said that, don’t let that put you off…this really was fascinating, and quite funny at times as well…and I bet you have at least one jaw dropping “Whoaaaaaa” moment as well!

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

100% my type of book. I loved every single minute of it and hated for it to end.

Oh. My. Word.

Sometimes I look at my library and despair at ever finding a book to read. I have thousands of books in my TBR pile. No, I jest not. My “to-read” list on Goodreads is currently at 9,886. These are books I own in one format or another (audio, DTBooks or Ebooks). I don’t have them all listed of course. so you could probably add a couple thousand more. My cloud on Amazon alone lists over 6,000.

I can spend hours trying to decide what to read next. I am always trying to find the perfect book for me. I hate to know that I can pick a book that, although a good book, isn’t a great book.

The book I am forever searching for is THIS TYPE OF BOOK! This is the type of book I live for. Some people live for chocolate. I live for this type of book.

Just oh my word. What did I NOT love about it? Ummm….I can’t think of anything…except maybe that it ended. Some say it has a fairy tale sort of feel. Yes, I can see that. It also has that fable type of feel as well. It has moral conflicts scattered throughout. It has old folklore scattered about as well. It has strong secondary characters that one finds just as intriguing as the main characters. And oh my dear lord, Chava and Ahmad. *swoons* Talk about two halves of a whole. Two creatures that mirror and reflect off each other. I’m not talking romance here. This novel isn’t a romantic type of read. Please don’t think this is some hot and steamy romance. It’s so not. This is…well it’s just what I said…It’s two halves of a whole and reflections off one another that go on to shape who these creatures are. What does it mean to be human?

This is one of those novels that you have to stop and leave all your expectations at the door. This isn’t a novel that you go into imagining it to be some sort of read…because what you imagine won’t be true…you just need to let the story unfold and let it be your guide…not some preconceived notions of what a story is meant to be.

I can’t express enough how much I loved this book. If a jinni came up to me and granted me one wish of a book I would like to read…well, I would be completely unable to tell them exactly what I wanted/needed/craved…but if I were able to tell them and express every desire…

Well here you would have it…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Review: Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

** spoiler alert ** This was hard for me. I just found it a bit far-fetched. I know bad parents exist. I know they hide from the system. However, I find it very hard to believe that Ginny was able to be place for adoption so soon and that no one discovered about baby doll. I understand that no one asked the correct questions for Ginny to explain that the baby doll was real, I just find it hard to believe that social workers never discovered her. Especially since it was obvious Ginny’s mother didn’t want to give up custody. You add to the fact that Ginny’s mother is kinda portrayed as not very intelligent, unstable and very impulsive, well it doesn’t make sense to then have her smart enough and level-headed enough to be able to hide the existence from the authorities. I feel like there would have been some supervised visits between Ginny and her mother before adoption was placed on the table. Especially since drugs were involved and Ginny’s mom went into treatment voluntarily. Maybe it’s different in other states, but when I worked within the system it was evident that the main purpose of the system is to try all means to keep families intact. Even those that (I feel) have no business intact or with parents I felt should never have second chances.

Also, the adoptive mother….I get the whole protective mother thing and maybe even postpartum depression (giving her the benefit of the doubt here) but I just don’t understand the relationship at all. I do get that Ginny might have been very difficult, but still. To turn off like that and then at the end for us all to believe in a HEA ending…it was just too much. Again, I worked within a small part of the system, so I understand that people like this do exist…but it just didn’t mesh for me like it should have in this story.

Even Ginny’s doctor didn’t seem to understand the proper way to communicate with her at times. Yes, I get it. But as a trained professional, she should have understood the basics.

I hope my review is clear, I didn’t dislike Ginny. Or even the story. And certainly not the plight that all the characters found themselves in. I just think the things I mentioned left too much of a stretch for my imagination to believe. It really ruined the whole book for me.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig