Thursday, April 25, 2019

April Book Reviews

I knocked four books off of my reading list this month.  I have two left and I currently have holds on both of them at the library.

The Cozy Life (re Hygge) by Pia Edberg

This was a cute little book about how to incorporate the Danish concept of Hygge (or coziness if you want to try and translate it to English) into your life.  It was a short read but repetitive and although the author does a good job of applying Hygge to all aspects of your life, basically the message is to enjoy spending time inside during the winter by lighting candles, cuddling up in a blanket, inviting people over to spend simple quality time, and eat pastries.  Nothing I want to argue with there, but not really groundbreaking stuff.  It is a good reminder that simple is better and to spend less time on your electronics and more time with personal interaction. 

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
This book takes place in the South in the 1960s and jumps back and forth between narrators - a young social worker and a teenager who is one of the social worker's clients.  The girl lives and works on a tobacco farm with her grandmother, sister, and nephew.  The social worker is new to the position is trying to get to know this family and the others at the tobacco farm.  There is one aspect to this book that is so fascinating because it is based on true events, and it's just heartbreaking and really shows the attitudes that people had to poor white and black folks during that time.  This one had me turning pages and just like An American Marriage that I read last month, there were a few times when I almost missed my subway stop. 

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
As a fan of Mr. Bourdain, I absolutely loved this book. I could hear his voice reading it to me in my head and I was enthralled with his life as a chef working in a variety of different kitchens.  My favourite chapter was a Day in the Life and it just made me exhausted. I worked in a restaurant as a server for a few years in university and I could definitely relate to some of his stories, although I don't think our kitchen was ever as bad as the ones he described.  If you are a fan of his, read this book.  

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I'm sort of cheating with this one because as I write this post I am only about halfway through this book, but I should be finished by the end of April so I think it counts to include it here.  Plus I already know I love it and would recommend it. As usual I don't like to give anything away about the plot but I will say that it starts out set in Toronto, which of course I always enjoy, and then it bounces back and forth between interconnected characters' stories from the past and the "present" following a flu pandemic that has wiped out a majority of the world's population, think Walking Dead but without the zombies (at least no zombies in the first half of the book, not sure if they show up later).  The characters are well written and the plot is very engaging.  Pick this up for something different! And it's Canadian!

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