January Reading Wrap-up

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
January Reading Wrap-up
Well, January has been an okay reading month, it hasn't been amazing but I have managed to get through a few full length books and comic books/graphic novels as well as cookbooks. There have been a few books that I've loved, some were very average and others were disappointing enough to DNF. 

*On The Trail of Sandalwood Smugglers by Lush - ★★★★★, 5/5
I love Sandalwood within fragrances and products but I had no idea about the illegal Sandalwood trade and how valuable it is or that people would go to such lengths to sell illegal sandalwood. It has simplistic but effective and interesting artwork, it's easy to follow and I love the cover artwork and how well it is produced – it's a lovely hardback graphic novel. I knew Lush and it's founders were always trying to be as ethical, responsible and as natural as they can be but I didn't know the lengths they go to to make sure they're using the safest, legal and most natural, environmentally friendly and ethical ingredients they possibly can.

Paper Girls Volume One - ★★★☆☆, 3/5
Paper girls is a graphic novel about four friends as they carry out their paper route and come across some interesting and unusual… characters. I love the artwork style, the cover and the general story but I didn't like some of the language in the comic book, for example the use of AIDS as an insult - I really had a problem with this! However the story was quite fast paced and interesting and I wanted to know what happened but it wasn't enough to make me want to buy the second volume. 

More Very British problems - ★★★★★, 5/5
I read the first book a couple of years ago while on holiday as it really quick and easy read and I loved it so I picked up the second book. This one is almost just as interesting and entertaining as the first although I think I do prefer the first one. I related to so much of it because we British are an unusual lot! If you liked the first then definitely pick up the second and also if you like their Twitter account or TV show and definitely pick up the books!


*The Story of the Company That Came Before Lush by Lush - ★★★★★, 5/5
I had no idea that the founders of Lush originally produced products for The Body Shop including some of the most famous products now such as the peppermint foot lotion! But they didn't just make products for The Body Shop, they also made products for John Frieda and others!

I also didn't know that the founders originally started producing products, under a different name, back in the 70s! Lush is one of my all time favourite brands, I've been using their products for about seven years and it was so interesting to see the history of the products and companies that eventually became the famous brand we know today. 


*Succulents by Robin Stockwell - ★★★★☆, 4/5
I want to be green fingered but sadly I'm not, the only plants I've been able to grow are succulents; I have one that's been growing for almost a year now and it has grown so much since I received it so I wanted to hopefully learn a bit more about them and how to look after better. The book has fantastic photos as well as great ideas of what plants to use in different areas/environments such as growing them in containers which is what I'm most interested in. I love the idea of planting succulents in hanging cones and as wedding arrangements and gift toppers which is such a unique idea! I wasn't as interested in the first half of the book but the second contains so much information that I wanted.


*Treat Yourself by Jessica Siskin - ★★★★☆, 4/5
One vegan treat I've wanted to make for a while are vegan rocky road bars, as vegan marshmallows and chocolate are easy to find so they should be easy to make. The cover drew me in; it's a fantastic book with so many creative ideas of what to make with crispy rice - so many of which I never even thought of! I love the idea of making a newspaper, pizza and book out of puffed rice, chocolate, icing and marshmallows! I will definitely be making some of these, they'd be a great birthday treat idea to make instead of cake! My only negative about the book is that at least half of the photographs are quite boring and they could be really creative, eye catching and fun but they aren't sadly which I think is a big letdown for a food focused book. 


*The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition by DeeDee Stovel - ★★★★☆, 4/5
Pumpkin and squash are some of my favourite vegetables to roast, add to soup, bake and mix with pasta, salad and more but I'm always looking for more meal ideas. The photography within this book is gorgeous however I wish there was more of it of the finished recipes - it's my only negative of the book! I've made a couple of the recipes, albeit with some alternations to make them vegan/vegetarian and when autumn comes around again, I'll definitely be using this cookbook so much! 


Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - ★★★★★, 5/5
I started reading the Harry Potter books last year and I wish I had started reading them sooner but I loved the films and I mistakenly thought that the books would be too similar to the films so they wouldn't be worth reading but I was very wrong! I adore the cover, J K Rowlings writing style and this magical, homely series. I'm always looking out of differences between the books and the films; there are quite a few differences with this book. For example, the dementor scene on the train, the boggat lessons and Harry's new broom has a lot more focus in the book than the film; also Harry in the book is more confident, and speaks up more than the films. 

The Maurders map is different in the book with little people and their actions shown on the map, Snape is much more of a bully and as with the other two books I've read, the ghosts are more prominent and mischievous compared to the films. One of the main differences is with Black, he is more prominent throughout and he seems to be trying to get to Harry more. There's more of a backstory of Lupin including his school days at Hogwarts in the book that I had absolutely no idea about as well as an explanation of how Black gets out of Azkaban which I don't think was in the film. As with the previous books, the main action scenes and the focus of the films seem to be the last 30% of the books, everything is always left to the very end to be explained. I loved being in the Harry Potter world and I can't wait to move onto the fourth book. 


*The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - DNF 
I was very kindly sent this book from the lovely people over at Alma Books; I adore their collection of classics with stunning covers and they are all so inexpensive too which is always a plus! I love this cover, it is so striking and colourful. I read The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde from Alma Books which I absolutely adored so I was excited to try The Picture of Dorian Gray. I didn't fully know the plot before going into this book but I have watched a few TV shows and films that have a Dorian Gray style character within them such as A League of Gentlemen and Penny Dreadful. 

Oscar Wilde's writing tends to be very flowing, poetic, descriptive and almost lyrical which I like but this book seems to be nothing but flowery descriptions, high societies views of beauty, culture/art and each other which I found to be quite boring as well as the constant insta love everyone seems to have when they meet Dorian Gray which was, if I'm honest, a little bit annoying and frustrating (sorry!). 

I have DNF'd this book which I hate to do but I read almost half of the book and I couldn't carry on as it was so boring for me but just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that you won't and if you are looking into buying some pretty but inexpensive classics then definitely check out Alma Books (also check out The Canterville Ghost if you want to read some of Oscar Wilde's writing). 


*Incendium by A. D Swanston★★★★☆, 4/5
I am a fan of historical fiction and this one also contains mystery and action elements; it's set in Elizabethan England which I adore so I knew I'd love this book. The book follows Christopher throughout his job as an intelligencer for the Earl of Leicester during a time were there's political tension, religious uprisings and unrest in Europe and threats to the Queen's life. I loved the historical setting, action and adventure as well as the mystery; however there were a couple of things I wasn't a fan of such as ALL of the travelling, the overly violent scenes towards the beginning of the book and the ending was a little anticlimactic and predictable but I think it's definitely worth reading! 


What books have you read recently? Have you read any of these books? 

1 comment

  1. You read Incendium but I read Incendiary by Michael Cannell :P It's non-fiction, about criminal profiling, which I've been into especially as I've been watching lots of criminal minds :3 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

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