Review: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, by Randall Munroe

how to randall munroe

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-fiction, Humor, Science

Goodreads

I received a free eARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest opinion.

How to is the second book by Randall Munroe. The first one, What If?, answered absurd questions with science. This one answers normal questions with absurd science, which is absolutely hilarious. So if you’re considering moving and have to pack and move your things, Randall Munroe will give you several absurd ideas on how to do that! Much like the first one, this was a quick, great read and I have a really nice time.

The best thing about this book in comparison to the other one is that Katie Mack and Serena Williams made appearances in some chapters! That was really exciting. I also loved the space-related questions, although I suppose that’s because I love space science. As expected, some chapters are better than others, so I really enjoyed the one about how to throw a pool party, but was rather underwhelmed about the one on how to get a Christmas tree.

This reads easily despite being science-y, the language is accessible and fun, so I would say it works for readers who aren’t science geeks, too, but if you are a science geek, this book is quite a perfect fit.

Review: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, by Jia Tolentino

trick mirror jia tolentino

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, Essays

Goodreads

Trick Mirror is a collection of essays by Jia Tolentino, a writer for The New Yorker, in which she discusses social media, gender violence, reality TV, self-optimization and more.

I did not know Jia Tolentino very well before reading her book, but I saw Sarah reading it and it sounded like such an interesting book that I decided to pick up the audio. The author herself narrates the book, and it’s pretty well done!

I found this book to be a mixed bag, with some essays very interesting and thought-provoking, but others felt more like a narration of news I already knew, without adding much more to them than adding them together. Jia Tolentino is a witty, matter-of-fact writer and her essays make for really good reads, even those I didn’t enjoy as much. Continue reading

Review: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

in cold blood truman capote

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-fiction, True Crime

Goodreads

In Cold Blood tells the true story of the gruesome murder of the Clutter family, and the subsequent hunt for the killers.

I’ve been looking forward to read this for a while! In Cold Blood is Truman Capote’s most famous work, the last book he ever finished, and has been on my list for many years now. I decided to pick it up as an audiobook, and I’m a bit disappointed to say that it’s not a book that worked for me in audio. I’m sure this influenced in some capacity my enjoyment of the book in general. It’s not that the narrator isn’t good, he is, but the writing style sounds pretentious and a bit repetitive when read out loud. Continue reading

Mini-Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson

lets pretend this never happened jenny lawsonRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Humor

Goodreads

I picked this up as an audiobook a few months ago, and I think it’s the first humor book I listen to, which was an interesting experience – Jenny Lawson narrates it herself and she’s so funny. It was also quite weird – there is a lot of exaggeration in sound effect, with bells and singing and cows. I’m not a fan of absurd humor, including said bells and singing and cows, but it’s alright because the actual book content was good!

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is the first memoir of Jenny Lawson, and includes stories from her childhood, teen years and adulthood.

I liked Furiously Happy a lot more than this one, which is probably why this got 3 stars, but it definitely has the same hilarious, witty tone that I loved about Furiously Happy. I love that Jenny Lawson keeps it so real and honest, and while there is not much sensitivity in the way she talks about things, it can be pretty relatable, too. The parts she talked about being anxious in dinner parties and rambling embarrassing nonsense, that was such a highlight for me. She’s pretty candid about her experiences.

I recommend this if you want to get a good laugh and don’t mind Jenny rambling nonsense for most of the time.

Review: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

bad blood john carreyrouRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Goodreads

I saw Rachel’s glowing review of this book on Goodreads and my interest was immediately picked. I wasn’t originally going to read this book because the words “Silicon Valley Startup” kind of threw me off and I wasn’t too keen on reading a “business book”. Boy, was I wrong.

Bad Blood tells the true story of John Carreyrou’s investigation on Silicon Valley’s Theranos, an obscure company led by the brilliant Elizabeth Holmes into overnight success worth 9 billion dollars. Theranos’ product, however, a device that uses a person’s blood to quickly and efficiently perform 200 blood tests with just the prick of a finger – was a fraud, and could be putting people in danger.  Continue reading

Review: Savage Appetites, by Rachel Monroe

savage appetites rachel monroe

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Goodreads / Amazon

Savage Appetites tells the true story of four women in the four archetypes of every true crime story: the detective, the victim, the attorney, the killer. It explores the morbid fascination of people (especially women) with the true crime genre and the obsession of violence towards women.

When I saw the words “true crime” and “stories of women” and realized Rachel Monroe was going to tell stories of women in true crime where they aren’t only the white, thin and pretty dead girl, I was immediately drawn to it. This was a quick read – I read it in two sittings and only because I had to put it down the first time. Continue reading

eARC Review: Notes on a Nervous Planet, by Matt Haig

notes on a nervous planet matt haig

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, Self Help, Memoir, Mental Health

Goodreads

I have received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Will I read anything Matt Haig ever publishes? Well, probably. I’ve loved his Reasons to Stay Alive, a book that means so much to me and that came to me in a perfect time and helped me face and deal with my own mental health. So I was beyond excited about his new book, Notes on a Nervous Planet! Continue reading

Mini-Review: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, by Jenny Lawson

furiously happy jenny lawsonRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Humor

Goodreads

Furiously Happy is a collection of stories from Jenny Lawson’s life and experiences with mental illness. I’ve been wanting to read Furiously Happy since it came out, but somehow I never got to. When I saw it in the airport on my way to my vacation I bought it immediately – and have zero regrets.

This book was such a fun, light read and yet it had such deep emotion and many relatable moments. I loved it very, very much and it was perfect for the trip – the short chapters made it easy to read just a little every few days. Laughing about mental illness should absolutely be a trend, as it makes you feel so much less alone and weird. Jenny Lawson is hilarious.

Highly recommend this one!

Review: The Fact of a Body, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

The Fact of a Body Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Nonfiction, Biography, True Crime

Goodreads / Amazon

The Fact of a Body is the true story of the murder of little Jeremy by Ricky Langley, a strange young man who’s a convicted pedophile. It merges with the story of the author, who was an intern in the law firm working on Langley’s defense after the first trial, which sentenced him to death. Alex is strongly against the death penalty her whole life, but finds herself struggling with her own history. For the first time, she wants a man dead.

This was a difficult book to get through at times, in the sense that the theme of child abuse (especially molestation) is so very recurrent and graphic. This made me wince and felt quite heavy to read about. I considered putting it down several times, but in the end I was entranced by the story and wanted to see where it was going. If you hate open endings, maybe skip this one – it’s not that it leaves you in a frustrating note, but it leaves margin for interpretation and I didn’t really know what to make of Ricky Langley in the end. Not a good person, that is for SURE. But how much of what he did or said was true, we might never know. Continue reading

Review: All about love: New Visions, by bell hooks

all about love bell hooks

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-fiction, Feminism

Goodreads / Amazon

This gorgeous edition of this book was published last year (2018) and I remember having seen it in Emma Watson’s feminist book club Our Shared Shelf, which is always a big plus for me. Since I’ve committed this year to reading more non-fiction feminist works, I immediately bought this.

In All about love, bell hooks explains the definition of love and how it gets constantly misunderstood for affection. She talks about love in modern society and modern expectations of it, and how we need to rethink our approach to loving others and ourselves. Continue reading