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*The Motion Of Puppets - ★★★☆☆, 3/5I was attracted to the book initially because of the gorgeous and intriguing cover and the blurb which sounded so unusual and almost magical. To me, it began as a contemporary with a sense that it could turn into a bit of a thriller. It follows Kay and Theo, who have recently moved to Quebec as Kay has a summer job as a circus performer.
The descriptions of Quebec were so lovely and quaint, the author seems to love the city and it was nice change for me to read a book set somewhere I've never been or read about before. I liked the writing style, even though it can be a bit overly descriptive sometimes.
The story follows their relationship, Theo's work (which I really didn't find interesting at all) and Kay's disappearance and her life while Theo is looking for her - I don't really want to say more about Kay or the ending as I'll spoil it for you. I didn't really form any kind of attachment to the characters but I did like Kay, Theo and Egon as well as some of the puppets. I found the parts of the story with Theo and Egon interesting but my favourite parts were the puppets as it was quite magical and really quirky - I think Tim Burton could make an amazing and heart breaking movie with this story but as a book it was a little predictable, distant at times and sometimes a little boring and or frustrating as I just wanted to know how it would end. The ending to me wasn't very emotional as I wasn't very attached to the characters as a whole and it was really anticlimactic. Th book was a re-telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice which I am not familiar with but I think if you were then it's maybe not worth reading as finding out what happens ultimately was the only thing keeping me intrigued through the book.
*The Women Who Made New York - ★★★★☆, 4/5One of my reading goals for 2017 is to read more classics and non-fiction but I always find it difficult to get through non-fiction even if I'm interested in the topic as it's easier and quicker to watch a documentary and fiction is usually quicker to read but this book was so interesting and enjoyable to read (well, 85% or so was). It follows the lives of so many incredible women who were either born, raised or lived-in New York and contributed to it's architecture, the lives of people who live in the city, it's cultural or food scene, New York's reputation or justice and law enforcement.
I adore the cover, the layout and the illustrations throughout the book and I will definitely be buying the hardback edition so I have a physical copy as it's a gorgeous book and I know I'll want to read parts of it again. The book took me a couple of weeks to read fully as it obviously isn't massively action packed or mysterious like the fiction I've been reading recently but it was very enjoyable and I liked the writing style so I do hope she writes more!
History mostly focuses on men but the women included in this book are all amazing and definitely deserve to be recognised! I'm English so I only knew about four of the women mentioned in this book but if I were American I would have probably known many more. My favourite sections were the ones focusing on the women who helped the sick, poor and immigrants as well as civil rights. My least favourite sections were the ones about the topics of music, food and art which I did skim read a little if I'm honest. I'd definitely recommend it, even if you're not a fan of non-fiction; there needs to be more books like this for other cities as I'd buy them all!
*Map of Days by Robert Hunter - ★★★★★, 5/5I was very kindly sent this book by NoBrow which is an amazing publisher; it's not released for a couple of weeks but here's my review. I have read Robert Hunter's graphic novel/comic book 'The New Ghost' which I loved for it's sweet and endearing story and the stunning illustrations so I wanted to read this new release. As with all books created by NoBrow, it's beautifully published and I adore the cover; the illustrations throughout are minimal but striking and vivid. The story follows a creation type story that is something I'm familiar with in graphic novel form and this one is equally as sweet. It's a very quick, easy and enjoyable read and makes a lovely and unique change to the full length novels I mostly read.
*Night Shift by Debi Gliori - ★★★★★, 5/5This beautifully presented and put together short illustrated book was kindly sent to me from Bonnier Zaffire. As with the previous book it is a hard back edition and contains gorgeous but minimal illustrations. This book is the authors attempt to describe her struggle with depression, in the hope that it could help others in the same position as her. The illustrations are as lovely as they can be considering the topic. She describes depression as a dragon which I can on some level relate to as this time last year was awful for me with the most horrendous eczema flareup I've ever experienced as well as anxiety and depression. I think it described some of the feelings of depression well and I found it relatable to an extent so I think it would be a great little book to relate to and to show that there is also hope.
*Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg - ★★★★☆, 4/5This is the second book about hygge that I've read, well flicked through a couple of times; the first book was The Little Book of Hygge which is beautiful and published by Penguin Life. I was very kindly sent this book as part of a hygge kit and you can win it along with other amazing goodies (my giveaway ends on the TODAY). The book cover is stunning, I love the lay out and I especially love the recipes in the book, some of which I'll definitely have to make. I also really like the 'hygge dictionary' included which is really useful.
*Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Anderson - ★★★★★, 5/5I've wanted to pick up some of her products before as I love her super relatable and funny illustrations so I'm glad I was accepted to review this ebook via Netgalley. It's her second book and I now want her first. I love the simple illustrations and the topics as well as all of the funny captions. I loved this little ebook and I'd definitely recommend it!
*The Slanted Life Of Emily Dickinson by Rosanna Bruno - ★★★☆☆, 3/5Another illustrated book via Netgalley and this one is based around the life of the American poet Emily Dickinson. To be honest, the reason I wanted this book was because I love learning about writers and I want to read more non-fiction but I was quite disappointed by this book - I think it's aimed at an American audience who are already familiar with her, which I'm not. I do love the illustrations though and I found some of it interesting but I won't be reading it again sadly.
I'm currently over half way through More Very British Problems and I'm loving it, I read the first a couple of years ago and adored it. It's the second book and I think it's the same as the Very British Problems Abroad book - just a different title. I'm also part way through Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I'm loving it but annoyingly I'm in a reading slump.
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What have you been reading recently? Have you read any of these books?