Monday, 26 October 2015

Recently Read #1

I gave y'all a call for action on my birthday and asked if you wouldn't mind some extra book posts on this here blog. My girl Michelle immediately demanded more book posts, and so here I am, typing this out. I've decided to lovingly rip off the format Daniella uses, as it's great and I love her. Without further ado, let's talk about books! 





Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
"I've gone. I've never seen the water, so I've gone there. I will try to remember to come back." If that isn't the greatest start to a blurb, then I don't know what is. Etta takes off one day, determined to fulfil her greatest wish - to see the sea. Despite being 82 with some previous incidents of memory loss, she packs a bag and starts the 2,000 mile trek to the water. 

I found Hooper's writing style to be very endearing, and it really made EaOaRaJ (that's what the cool kids are calling it) an extremely enjoyable read. Some people find the jumping from past, present, different characters thing a bit of a gimmick, but it felt like every jump was necessary to help the story along. I think if you enjoyed The 100 Year Old Man... and other books along that vein, then you would enjoy this one.


Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler - or Lesley Knope, to some - doesn't call this an autobiography as such, but more of a 'book full of words to live by', which sounds more impressive, if you ask me. With personal stories, real life advice and charming tales of love, friendship and parenthood then it's clear that Poehler is onto a winner. 

Closely compared to Tiny Fey's Bossypants, Yes Please is a not-autobiography book about a funny person's life. I would go as far as saying if you're not interested in Amy Poehler, then you probably shouldn't read this book. Although it is full of advice and really funny moments, if you're not a fan to start off with, you probably won't get a lot of the references. 


Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Reasons to Stay Alive has been talked about by practically everyone in the entire universe, and for that reason alone I decided to put myself on the library waiting list to see what the fuss was all about. Detailing Haig's experience with depression and anxiety, I found the book to be more like a series of essays rather than a book due to it's 'pick up at any page and read' vibe. Which isn't a bad thing, of course, as this isn't a novel as such, or a self help guide as such, so it makes sense that the reader can dip in and out when needed.

Of course, although numbers of people suffering from depression and anxiety are increasing, there still isn't one true definition of either mental health issue. One person's symptoms are completely different to the next person, and so on, so although it is great having a list of things that help Haig, I don't think it would help everyone. I would certainly suggest reading it if you suffer from depression or anxiety, or even more so if you know someone who does and aren't quite sure what to do, but I would be wary that this isn't the be all and end all on the subject.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Often cited as Ness' best book, I really wanted to read it before seeing him speak at the Bath Children's Literature Festival. I reserved the illustrated version from my local library and I made sure I didn't have a sneaky flick through the pages, in fear of spoiling it for myself. The story follows Conor, a young boy who lies awake waiting for a nightmare to haunt him - until one day, a different kind of nightmare comes. 

My goodness, I devoured A Monster Calls. The writing, the illustrations - everything about this was completely mesmerising and I couldn't put it down. Despite being a YA novel, I think A Monster Calls deals with issues that affect people at any age in life. Sure, you might not be a teenage boy (thank the lord for that!) but I challenge you to pick up this book and not feel like Conor. If you're going to pick up one book from this list, then I suggest it's this one! 

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these? 


Chelsea xo

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