On My Nightstand is going to be a regular feature this year, as I read my way through 40 books in 12 months (yusssss!!!! Best challenge everrrrrrr!!!). These are not typical reviews, just some short (and sometimes longer) responses to the books that end up on my nightstand.
How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
Oh. My. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! This book has stayed with me, and maybe it will always stay with me a little bit, kinda like Claire and Henry from Time Traveler's. There's a feeling you get when you pick up a book and the writer is SO skilled that you automatically feel your limbs just relax, even as your excited anticipation grows. That might sound pretty weird, but it's just what happens. Weeeeelllll. To me. I did a bit of an internal fist-pump when I began this book. I had just spent two weeks getting through Across The Universe (felt like I really was road-tripping across the entire universe, just sayin'), and devoured How I Live Now in two nights. That's not to say it was an easy read. It was hard. Painful, devastating, and utterly utterly beautiful. Oh my freaking goodness, I can't even handle.
Disclaimers: I definitely would not recommend this novel to every reader (firmly Edgy Contemporary YA, with some pretty heavy imagery and a fair amount of 'mature' content) but if you can handle a good dose of pathos and, and you like your romances to be tinged with sadness and a little bit of weird (not that I do, but it is) then maybe probably you will love this book as much as I did. It got that pretty gold sticker for a reason y'all!
The Fault in the Stars - John Green
While I don't always love listening to audio books (in comparison to reading by torchlight into the wee small hours), this story is read superbly, making it such a pleasant listen. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this, actually. I read Looking for Alaska several years ago and didn't overly enjoy it, which made me a little bit dubious about trying Green again. But I needed some try-to-pretend-I'm-not-running audio distraction and I figured I had nothing to lose (thank you e-library! Did you know you can rent e-books and audio books from your library? Okay, you did. Just me who found this news shocking in the very best of ways), aaaaaaand I actually really loved it.
Hazel and Augustus are super adorable, smart, funny and outright lovable. It's sad, yes, but also unexpectedly uplifting, and gave me a much clearer picture of something that I have always felt quite terrified of. Mostly it's just a good story, cleverly told, with a cool leading voice. I really liked it, and my evening runs just won't be the same without these two sweet characters chatting in my ear.
I Quit Sugar - Sarah Wilson
Okay so I'm still actually reading this, but it's non-fiction so I figure it's okay to publish all my initial thoughts (there's not going to be any epic finale that changes everrrrrrrythiiiiiiiiing).
I bought this book on impulse because I have tried intermittently to give sugar the boot, and I figured it was time to enlist some expert help. Overall, I think this book will be super helpful. There are lots of pros. For instance, the layout of this book is super organised and easy to dip into when and where needed. The back of the book is dedicated to recipes, many of which I was immediately drawn to, and some that I want to try this minute. Sugar-free baking never looked so good (but okay, I'm so not an expert on this). The programme itself (I didn't actually realise prior to purchase that there was a programme, but all good, I'm down with programmes) looks simple enough to follow. Even maybe too simple, but we'll see (I haven't actually read past week two, yet). There are handy shopping lists, and lots of useful tips. So yeah. I think it will be helpful-as.
Anyway, there is enough that is useful to make the book feel absolutely worth the purchase, for those (like me) who are keen to 'recalibrate' their bodies (Wilson's term - I like it) and live without sugar. But I must say, I'm a tad tempted to pull out my twink pen and attack certain sections. Haha! I would never do that... or would I? Yeah... I would.
On My Nightstand - Jan
On My Nightstand - Jan/Feb