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review 2016-09-28 00:10
The power of the past
The Life-Writer - David Constantine

This is a beautiful book about a literary biographer named Katrin, whose beloved husband, Eric, is dying from cancer. I had to marvel at the author’s ability to so movingly depict those last months they have together.  After Eric’s death, Katrin starts reading through his paperwork and old letters and decides to write his life history in the hope that it will help her through her grief.  As painful as it is, she begins to reconstruct the time frame when Eric falls passionately in love with Monique when he was a young man.  Katrin had been so happy with Eric but now she begins to doubt whether their life together could begin to compare with his love for Monique.

 

Katrin’s dwelling on Eric’s past became obsessive. There were times when Katrin would want to stop reading the letters and just get on with her life and I wanted to selfishly plead with her to please keep reading since I wanted to know more.  This was one of those books that I didn’t want to end and when it did end, I wanted to start from the beginning again and that doesn’t happen often.  This book wrapped its words around my heart and just wouldn’t let go.  Gorgeous writing that touched me in so many ways.

 

The only negative thing about the book was that there were times when the French was not translated and I had no idea what was being said. There was one vitally important sentence in a letter from Monique to Eric that wasn’t translated which I found very frustrating.  At the end of the book, there was a list of translations with the page numbers, which wasn’t very helpful when reading an e-book.  Plus I wasn’t aware those translations were there until the book had ended.  Since I was reading an ARC of the book, hopefully that will be rectified in the final edition.

 

Highly recommended.

 

This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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text 2016-04-07 04:01
On My Nightstand
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills - Daniel Coyle
How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran
Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild - Mary A. Kassian
Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life - Kathleen Norris

I couldn't help but add a few more books to my nightstand book pile. I have been meaning to read Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild for years and this is my chance to cross it off my list. I heard about How To Be A Woman from Emma Watson's Book Club and thought it was an interesting read. I haven't decided which one I will read first but I can't wait to dive in.

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review 2015-11-04 19:17
It Came From Ohio!: My Life As a Writer - R.L. Stine

4.5 stars. R.L. Stine is one of my favourite writers, and so when I heard about this book I just knew I had to have it.

The book isn't written by R.L. Stine, but by a ghostwriter/a friend of his. On the one hand I wasn't entirely happy about it when I found out, but as I started reading I didn't mind it at all, it just felt like R.L. Stine could have written it, it has the exact same feeling, the same Stine-ish wording to it as all his other books have. After a couple of pages I even forgot about the book being ghostwritten. :)

The book focusses on R.L. Stine's life, from kid to bestseller author of many many books (which btw, he typed with only one finger!). We find out about how he got to be a writer, what his fears are, about his family and friends, about his school years. It was all interesting, and I loved that there were photographs of him/family/friends and photographs of his earlier works. I just loved the annotations under the photographs, those really cracked me up at times.

I am glad that he kept it all a bit to the surface, didn't go into it deeper, he did talk about that his move to New York wasn't easy, and he does mention some stuff, but he keeps it on the surface. On the one hand I am curious as to what he has experienced, but on the other hand, this is also a book meant for the teens/kids, and I know that they wouldn't care or would get bored by stuff like that.

I loved the format of the book, and also the font. It gave the feel of a Goosebumps or another one of R.L. Stine's scary books, which is a big plus point to me.

I also have to give a mention to the amazing cover, I love seeing all the monsters on the front with R.L. Stine in the middle of it all!

All in all, I would highly recommend this book to everyone, and I hope that R.L. Stine will keep on writing great books for a long time to come!

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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video 2014-10-19 19:21

The protagonist of our last meeting: Agatha Christie. 

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review 2014-07-13 04:55
Slices of Life by Leah Eskin
Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum - Leah Eskin

Full review on my blog

I had never read a cookbook like Slices of Life by Leah Eskin. Was it a cookbook? I’m still in doubt.

Slices of Life is a collection of essays that Leah Eskin has posted on her Chicago Tribune column: “Home on the Range“. In each essay, Leah Eskin shares a slice of her memorable life moments. Each slice is matched with a recipe that is suitable for that particular moment in her life. In terms of her recipes, they look doable and simple, nothing too fancy or complicated.

I gave it 3.5 stars because for starters I had a hard time getting into her sense of humor and writing style. The book comes with cartoon-like images of some of the slices of her life that I thought could have been better. Another thing missing from this cookbook that doesn’t look like a cookbook were pictures of the recipes. And the ARC copy I had didn't have a recipe index. The recipes are not in the usual cookbook order. They come randomly mixed up. Emphasis on randomly!

I couldn’t review a “cookbook”, without at least trying one recipe from Slices of Life. So I finally had time and I tried her Best-Friend Biscuits (page 21 on my ARC copy). Without further ado let me tell you this recipe was a hit with my canine friends.

Slices of Life is not your regular cookbook. This is also not a book to read in one sitting. It is an unconventional memoir which gives you a glimpse into Leah Eskin’s life. Each memory is better taken one at a time. I’m sure it works fine on her column. Not sure it works that well on a book. This book is like a cake, you take it slice by slice. No slice is the same, each one is different. Some taste better than the others, and to fully enjoy them, it’s better if they are broken into small pieces and eaten a bite at a time.

 

buy on amazon

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