Friday, 26 August 2016

Recent Reads #10

Reading makes me feel like I'm home when I'm not at home. But in a better sort of home where I don't have to think or worry about everything, and where I'm living my life through someone else. Reading is comforting and relaxing. Reading is the best thing you can do when you want to feel happy, and comfortable, and normal. I didn't have a huge number of opportunities to read whilst being away, with jam-packed days and evenings spent with friends, but I managed to get my way through a couple of books, sitting in airports, on minibuses and during sleepless nights. So here's a look back at a few of the things I've read recently...

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
So I've never seen Saturday Night Live or Parks & Recreation, and I don't really know who Amy Poehler is. But it didn't really matter. This book was recommended to me as a good plane/holiday read: something isn't too heavy, but isn't mind-numbingly awful. As I've said before, I don't read a lot of non-fiction but I always seem to enjoy it when I do, and this book was no different. It was the perfect travelling read, so easy to dip in and out of, and funny. It even made me laugh during my ninth hour spent waiting in Johannesburg airport. It's a kind of autobiography, but also kind of a 'have some life lessons because I'm a normal woman too', and it was the variety that kept me interested. I imagine that if you are a huge Amy Poehler fan and/or you've watched some of her shows, this book means a lot more to you than it did to me. I still appreciated it for what it was though: an insight into acting/showbiz, an insight into a brave, hilarious and confident woman's working life, a reminder that we're not all perfect all (much of) the time, and a laugh. It's a book that's impossible not to enjoy. Give it a go. 
4 / 5

Together Apart - Natalie Martin
I listened to this book as part of an Audible trial, and I wasn't that impressed (with Audible of the book). Firstly, I think Audible is a bit of a rip off. It's like if Netflix said 'hi, pay this subscription and you can only watch one tv show a month'. Needless to say, I've cancelled my membership. I don't know if my opinion of this book was tainted by the fact that the lady reading it had a really annoying voice, or whether the book just wasn't very good. The book begins with Adam's proposal to Sarah...and the rest of the book is about why Sarah says no. It felt like not a lot happened for a really long time, and then loads was squashed in right at the end. Neither of the main characters are likeable, and it's hard to really empathise with either of them. It was one of those books that I definitely would have put down if I hadn't already paid an Audible subscription, and I wasn't spending 7 hours sitting in a minibus with little to do but listen to an audiobook. An insubstantial novel with horrid characters. 
1 / 5

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby 
This is a bit of a retro one. I saw an advert for the film on tv a couple of months back, and figured it looked good. But I don't really like watching a film before I've read the book...if I know there's a book. So that's what I did, and I thought it was great, and I now want to watch the film. I love Nick Hornby: his books are warm and funny and engaging. His characters share the same flaws as us, and are hilariously and scarily relatable. High Fidelity is about one man's struggle with love, and the exes that made him and broke him. It is through this re-examination of his life and loves, and his time spend wallowing in his record shop, that he rediscovers love, right where he started. Rob asks the same questions and worries about the same things we all do: is she the one? Is she too good for me? Why him? And what am I doing? It's the book of self-discovery and commitment and change and love and selfishness that we all need in our lives. 
5 / 5

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