The Book of Joan comes highly recommended. Check out the link above and you’ll see lists of glowing reviews and the number of ‘must read’ roundups this book was apparently on. Joan of Arc in space! What’s not to get excited about?
Apparently, quite a lot. Eep.
I’m a pretty easy-going book reader- I read fast, and as long as the story has something to keep me involved, I’m normally pretty happy to keep going. Also, I love the dystopian genre and anything that turns a familiar story on its head, so The Book Of Joan should have been a home run. Unfortunately what it turns out to be is just…strange. It’s convoluted, inconsistent, and frequently graphic enough to be offensive. The language will jump from incredibly beautiful to incredibly…wtf in the space of a sentence. There were also a number of incredibly convenient plot points that appear just in time to save the author from having to do any real work – and for me to notice something like this, you had better believe that they were glaringly obvious. Like I said, I’m an easy-going reader. The premise is great, but The Book of Joan fails to get anywhere close to what I was hoping for. I would suggest you guys give this one a miss.
While most of the interwebs seem to be gearing up for Autumn, Spring has come to Australia! I live in a beautiful (but tiny) little apartment, so when the sun starts to stream through my windows again, the urge to declutter inevitably arises. In true procrastinator style, to achieve anything, first I must read the book.
Goodbye, things is the journey of one man from an alcoholic slob (not an exaggeration), to a happy, fit, minimalist. It’s part auto-biography and part how-to guide, with a few spotlights on other minimalists thrown in. While a lot of the things Fumio covers are useful, it’s easy to get frustrated with the touting of minimalism as the cure to all ills- if, like Fumio, you’re drinking yourself into a stupor every night, wasting your money on items that you never use or wear, and struggling to maintain a relationship due to your general horribleness, then you and Fumio will probably see eye to eye. If not, it’s probably best to take the results promised with a grain of salt and focus on creating a lifestyle you’re proud of instead.
Ahh, Marie. What was there to read after Goodbye, Things but the first book from the mother of the de-clutter craze? This book does bring me a strange sense of peace, which is probably the main reason it’s managed to do so well. Move through your house step-by-step with Marie and you’ll never have to Spring-clean again. You’ll enjoy cleaning, and your possessions will thank you for it. While some of her advice may be one step too far (booklovers, skip the chapter on how she tries to cull her books by ripping out the pages she likes. Just skip them, for your own good. I may never recover), a lot of the advice given is incredibly practical. I started folding my clothes according to the ‘Kondo method’ a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. Your mileage may vary, but if clutter is getting you down, it might be time to set aside a few hours to make friends with Marie and starting experiencing some of that ‘life-changing magic’.
After reading The Hag Seed earlier in the year, I’ve been curious to explore the other titles in the Hogarth Shakespeare series. Having finally seen my first production of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is My Name was the one that called out to me the most. Let’s hope it leaves me in less of a blubbering mess than the play did.
I seem to be on a non-fiction bend! I haven’t had anything queued up on Audible since finally finishing the Expanse Series, so the credits have started to stack up. Since I’m currently trying to focus my life towards having more side hustles and less day job, I thought I should reach for the self-help shelf. The Success Principals met the criteria of not sounding too hokey, and also being the longest listening-time on my shortlist (because value for money, y’all). And you know what? So far, I’ve actually been finding it really useful. I haven’t really delved into self-help before, and some of Canfield’s advice definitely fall too far into the ‘pseudo science’ category for me to put into practice, but there are still a whole bunch of principals that I can see putting into practice to bring about some changes in my life.
What have you been reading this month? Comment below to share your favourite, I’m always looking for recommendations!
You can check out some of my earlier Reading Roundups here: