1 star, 5 star, meme, wrap up

Wrap Up: November 2019

Hello readers!

December is finally here, and here’s the recap of my readings in November. At the end of November, I reached my goal of 110 books on Goodreads, I’m so happy!

In November I read a total of 10 books, with 1 DNF. As I’ve done last month, from now on I will include in this wrap up the books I read in Italian too, with title translation when possible.

5 Stars:

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Il Mondo è un teatro (Shakespeare, The world as stage) by Bill Bryson: my first ever Bryson book, I totally love it, it’s a great non-fiction about Shakespeare and the world where he has lived.

4 stars:

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The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross: I’ve finally read this hyped book! Everyone in my country seems to love it, I’ve found it really readable and full of action, but a little predictable.

3 Stars:

Sitting Murder by A.J. Wright: this is the fourth book in the Lancashire Detective Mystery series. I love the cover, and the mystery behind the crime is interesting, but there’s a lot of dialects (of Lancashire, I suppose), that makes difficult for me to read.

Crypto by Dan Brown: hello again Mr Brown! I really liked the action parts of this book, but also found boring the computer and codes parts.

2 stars:

Il Drago verde (Dragon’s green) by Scarlett Thomas: this is a strange and confusional book. Sometimes it seems a middle grade, but then there are more adult scenes. It began with a simple plot, but then it adds more worlds, and magic and characters and I was really confused.

La Maschera di Bali by Francesco Durigon: sorry, no translation for this one! A steampunk book, too short for the plot.

The Butchered Man by Harriet Smart: the first 3 chapters were really interesting and I was captivated by the story. Then it began to be boring and more focused on gossip about the characters than solving the crime.

1 star:

Circe by Madeline Miller: I know. I’ve cried all my tears when I finished this book and I understood that I hated it. Well, I really disliked it during my reading too, found it boring and not at all write as good as The Song Of Achilles.

Island of the dolls by Jeremy Bates: as you can read in my review (link on the title), Island of the dolls as the exact same plot and situations as the Suicide forest. But now I want to read all this series, just to find out if even the other books are the same as these two.

DNF:

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The Shrigley abduction by Ashby & Jones: Oh my, I was bored to death.

And that’s my recap! How was your reading month? Have you read some 5 stars books?

Tell me in the comments!

non fiction, review

Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to review it.

Hello readers!

Here I am with a review of an ARC I request through Edelweiss. I liked the cover and the title, and I’ve thought that, as an introvert, I will see myself in the main character and maybe learn to be less introvert.

Spoiler: I learn nothing.

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Title: Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come. One introvert’s year of saying yes.

Author: Jessica Pan

Editor: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 272

Genre: Non-fiction, memoir

Goodreads Rating: 4.00/5

My rating: 2.5/5

Synopsys:

What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out. With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. Chronicling the author’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures, this book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.

Review:

Have you ever read a book that makes you uncomfortable?

I am an introvert, I was always an introvert, and I was really uneasy reading this memoir. I’m not really a memoir person, because I never find a person who has the same experiences as me, but I admit that the beginning of this book was promising.

I saw a lot of myself in Jessica and her social introversion, and I laughed on some scenes, remembering how I acted pretty similar to her.

But the more she pushes herself doing something more extrovert, the more I began to analyze the book.

Because I’m also a shy person, and I suffer from social anxiety from a very young age, and I was thinking, due to some scenes in this book, that also Jessica suffers from social anxiety, maybe a little less than me. But she also lives and does something that I will never do, and her experiences during her extrovert’s year are specifically (in my vision) for people living in a big city and living a healthy life. If you live in London and have money and good health, you can go out, or participate in a show, or take an aeroplane and goes to a “surprise weekend” in a random city. But not everyone is like you, Jessica!

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So this restricts a lot the people who can apply to her lifestyle.

I will also say that I found her “racist” vision of the population of a city very disgusting. She stands very clearly about the flaws of Londoners, or people of Budapest or Hong Kong. I’m not a citizen of these cities, but I don’t think it’s polite to talk so harsh about them. She’s very harsh to Budapest especially, so please be prepare.

I know that I have a vision of the world really different from most of the people, so please do not be offended by this review. It’s only my opinion and my feelings.

 

5 star, non fiction, review, Senza categoria

ARC review: All That Remains

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Title: All that remains

Author: Sue Black

Genre: nonfiction, biography, medical

Editor: Arcade

Pages: 360

Expected publication: March 5th 2019

Trigger Warning: death, blood, corpses, medical examinations, violence

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Goodreads rating: 4,43

My rating: 4,75/5

Summary:

Dame Sue Black is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist. She has lived her life eye to eye with the Grim Reaper, and she writes vividly about it in this book, which is part primer on the basics of identifying human remains, part frank memoir of a woman whose first paying job as a schoolgirl was to apprentice in a butcher shop, and part no-nonsense but deeply humane introduction to the reality of death in our lives. It is a treat for CSI junkies, murder mystery and thriller readers, and anyone seeking a clear-eyed guide to a subject that touches us all.
Cutting through hype, romanticism, and clichè, she recounts her first dissection; her own first acquaintance with a loved one’s death; the mortal remains in her lab and at burial sites as well as scenes of violence, murder, and criminal dismemberment; and about investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident, or natural disaster, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She uses key cases to reveal how forensic science has developed and what her work has taught her about human nature.

Review:

After the mini-reviews of 2 nonfiction books about an asylum and murderers, here it is a review of a biography/nonfiction book about death. Well done Diana! I have to say, this book is really fantastic!

I found it on Edelweiss and it was free to download for everyone. If you are interested in the subject (not only death, but anatomy too), you really need to read this book.

“What makes us human? One of my favourite definitions is: Humans belong to the group of conscious beings that are carbon-based, solar system dependent, limited in knowledge, prone to error and mortal.”

Dame Sue Black writes about medical and anatomical things but it’s not difficult to comprehend, and she melts accurately with some dark humour and even memories from her past and her family, so it’s not a book totally focused on death.

In fact, the part that I enjoyed the most is the chapter who explains how the human body is formed when we are a fetus. And alongside with that, I totally enjoyed these medical facts and “rules” (like the rules of 3 for surviving) and I even memorized them!

But please pay attention: it’s not a book suitable for children or sensible readers.

I truly learned a lot about humans, anatomy, death and grief thanks to this book, and thanks to the author too. My mum hopes they translate it in Italian so she can read it too!

So why it wasn’t a full 5 stars rating? Because one chapter is really gross and difficult, and, in my humble opinion, not to be included in a book for masses (It’s a spoiler, if you want to read it, highlight the following phrases): a chapter is dedicated to the best instruments, techniques and locations for dissecting corpses if you want to get rid off of them. I totally understand that this is a book about death and murders too, but I really don’t want to know where is better to cut a leg with a chainsaw, or if the shower is better than the floor to wash away the blood. Seems like a manual for serial killers, and definitely not good to put in a book.

*all the quotes are from the ARC copies. I received a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info

1 star, 5 star, non fiction, review, Senza categoria

From Madness to the crime: 2 mini reviews

 

 

 

 

Title: Bedlam, London and its mad / Underworld London, Crime and Punishment in the Capital City

Author: Catharine Arnold

Pages: 320 / 352

Genre: true crime, non-fiction, history, mental illness

Editor: Simon Shuster Uk

Rating on Goodreads: Underworld 3.91 / Bedlam 3.54

My rating: Bedlam 1/5 – Underworld London 4.5/5

Trigger Warning: death, blood, graphic description of corpse, violence and murder, child abuse

Goodreads: Bedlam / Underworld London

Reviews:

I will review these two books together, because I read them in the past months and they are from the same author. And better be prepared, because one of the books will receive a negative review.

Let’s begin with Underworld London, that’s so much better than Bedlam. I have a thing for macabre and dark history, so I was always attracted by the books of Catharine Arnold. Underworld London it’s a long journey about the crime, the most famous criminals and the punishment in London.

We can read of assassin and murderers, from Newgate to Tyburn, from the middle age to the modern days. Each chapter is focused on a famous criminal of a location, but most of the times the author tends to divagate from the main topic. It’s okay, I can tolerate.

But there is a problem: a series of mistakes in one of the chapters. You maybe want to know that I’m obsessed with Jack The Ripper, so obviously I know a thing or two.

Well, in the so brief chapter about Jack and his murders, the main Inspector who conduct the investigations is named Abbeline. But everybody knows that his name is Frederick Abberline. I thought of a series of typos (it’s weird, but…) but then, I read Bedlam and a review on Goodreads has caught my attention: the reviewer says that there are a lot of errors about a character in this book.

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Are you kidding me? A non-fiction book with poor research and a lot of mistakes about real people, and maybe other errors in god knows what. meybe there are mistakes about other people, or their crimes, or about the psychiatric treatment. I was so disappointed.

Bedlam is also the most muddler and chaotic book I ever read. I wanted to read about Bedlam, the hospital and the illness, the life inside the hospital and the most famous patients.

Instead, I’ve read chapter and chapters about all the supervisor of the hospital, about the land on where was the building, and a lot of digressions. A transantlantic of digressions.

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It’s like: I want to read Harry Potter, instead I read a finnish manual about salmon.

I haven’t learned a single thing about the building I visited in December, and also the chapter about the Modern Bedlam, now the Imperial War Museum, is poor written. A couple of lines and that’s all. And it’s a shame because the museum is extraordinary.

I’m also disappointed because I already buy Necropolis from the same author. I don’t know if I want to read it.