Drop It Like It's Mildly Warm: Reading List
Right. Seeing as most people will be having at least (I HOPE) some time off this summer, I thought I'd give you a nice and meaty BOOK LIST. It may keep you away from the loneliness that's going to seep in once Love Island finishes off in a couple of weeks or so. Probably won't, but i'll give it a shot.
I asked WikiHow's advice on where to start by typing in: 'How to write a book review'. The illustrations were probably the most useful thing there.
1. Read the book.
2. Think about the book.
3. Write about the fucking book.
Oh wiki you golden gem you.
I have read them, thought about them, rated, smelt, and would-you-rathered them all, which I hope will give you a little more insight than the average Guardian/goodreads generic 'this was a rollercoaster/must-read/awful-buzzwords-that-I-will-defs-be-using' reviews. There aren't any official spoilers so don't be afraid to read on.
So here it is. Courtesy (nope) of WikiHow's super informative article. You're welcome.
Three Martini Lunch - Suzanne Rindell
1 sentence sum-up: New yawwwwk 50s feelin' myself type of book with lots of large egos and creative geniuses that end up in a creative fluster because of said egos and EVENTUALLY leads to a super sad but very real ending.
Book smell rating: Paperback solid 8/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Thicc af. Looked hard work if it wasn't going to work. It worked.
Cried: YES. TWICE.
Instagram Quotable: No, but the style of writing wasn't romantic, so you could totally get down with it.
Would you read it with your mum: This one's a no: Mum's not into sad endings.
Better with a beer? No. Concentration was essential as the narrative kept on changing.
Would you rather read this book OR have a free lunch a the Duck and Waffle? I'd read this book mate.
Nicotine - Nell Zink
1 sentence sum-up: Fiery heroine in her early 20s with a rebellious streak (lots of flaws romantically) decides to do some communal living after going through some family shit.
Book smell rating: Very standard, nice paperback cover. 6/10
Judging a book by it’s cover: Great font makes the book look edgy/sexy. Slim, bright red spine.
Cried: No. Emotional? Yes.
Quotable: Yes. There are some psychotic moments in here.
Would you read it with your mum: No. Some raunchy sex scenes which would make it uncomfortable. This book dived straight in and you just wanted to read it all in one go, no time for sharing.
Would you rather read this book OR have free rent for a month? I'd go with the book. Too good to miss.
Circe - Madeline Miller
1 sentence summary: A bloody fantastic tale based around The Odyssey told from an undervalued and misunderstood nymph with a whole load of Gods-versus-mortals shit on her plate.
Book smell rating: Hardback smells 9/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Super extra copper book sleeve which was irritating as I had to keep taking it off.
Quotable: Yes. Feeling super empowered yay-go-females sort of vibes.
Would you read it with your mum: YES. Mum loved it so much she then went on to read The Penelopiad.
Better with a beer? Yes, and some sunshine. With maybe a Greek Island backdrop.
Would you rather read this book OR never be able to use a touchscreen again. I'd rather read the book. It really is that good.
Less - Andrew Sean Greer
1 sentence summary: Middle-aged-white-gay-man has a mid-life crisis but feels so sorry for himself he just winges all the time about how shitty his life is now he's a mildly successful author.
Book smell rating: Below average paperback ranking in at 4/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Very slim, quick read. Illustrations are a bit naff but his facial expressions sum it all up.
Quotable: Yes. Full of fluffy life-affirming Insta-ble quotes. Got to the end and thought I liked it, THEN I realised I had gained literally nothing from it, so probably wasn't worth it.
Would you read it with your mum: Suggested it to her but she completely pied it. Very beige so may put you to sleep.
Better with a beer? It might spice it up, yes.
Would you rather read this book OR nope, I would do literally anything else.
Men Without Women: Stories - Haruki Murakami
1 sentence sum-up: Lots of very very sweet stories about men trying to cope in life with themselves and the situation they find themselves in.
Book smell rating: Average looking paperback smells bang on 6/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: I didn't get the nicely illustrated cover (above) but a very plain version. These stories deserve the nice black and white colours. Nice off-white pages though and a good text layout.
Cried: No. Lots of emotions though.
Quotable: All day every day. The writing is so beautiful. This was my first Murakami (I know, what have I been doing?!) and I never realised how poetic and romantic he was. Totally up my street.
Would you read it with your mum: Yes. The stories are short and beautiful. Great for discussing at length with whoever will listen/contribute. Better with a beer? Great holiday shorts, so yeah.
Would you rather read this book OR live in Japan expenses paid for a year? Got nothing against living in Japan, but these words are just too precious.
4 3 2 1 - Paul Auster
1 sentence summary: Total fail in lack of commitment from me as I didn't get past page 50. If I'm honest, the blurb bigged it up so much I was expecting something completely different.
Book smell rating: 2/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Also super thick and a bit of a mission. I enjoy the graphics though.
Cried: Yes - after spending money on something I didn't enjoy. Hollah at me if you would like to give it a try and i'll send it over!
Quotable: Relatively romantic writing so I'm sure you could find a quote or two in there if you dug deep enough.
Would you read it with your mum: No.
Better with a beer? YES.
Would you rather read this book OR head round the Eden project for a day? Eden project, hands down.
Tin Man - Sarah Winman
1 sentence summary: Very sad tale of loosing loved ones and how we manage to trudge through life once they're gone.
Book smell rating: 5/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Looks a bit trashy but nice colours - great for summer as it's a short read.
Cried: Verging. Initially difficult style of writing, but once you adjust it's fantastic.
Quotable:No. Writing style was diary-esque so nothing stood out as a quote.
Would you read it with your mum: If your mum's into the whole sad book thing, yes.
Better with a beer? Possibly. The beer may just open up the tear ducts.
Would you rather read this book OR get a free bike? I'd probably rather the free bike right now, but it was a very sweet book.
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
1 sentence summary: Filled with complicated relationships, rebellious teenagers and overbearing mothers in a small American neighbourhood so it's never really going to end well, is it?
Book smell rating: 3/10, nothing special.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Recommended from Reese's book club I thought the horrible scrawl lettering on my cover was going to be a bit trashy but it's surprisingly complex.
Would you read it with your mum: No. Nothing embarrassing in here (apart from the odd teenager trying to have sex), but I just don't think Mum'd like this one.
Better with a beer? Pretty tense and keeps you guessing, so maybe not.
Would you rather read this book OR visit Madame Tussauds? I would read this book again and again if MT was the alternative.
Nutshell - Ian McEwan
1 sentence summary: Written from the viewpoint of the unborn baby listening in to his mother and her lover struggle to find harmony in their lives. Unlike anything I've ever read, absolutely loved it.
Book smell rating: 8/10
Judging a book by it’s cover: My first Ian McEwan (!) so literally had no idea what to expect. Book cover suggests something maternal and loving, but it is far far from.
Quotable: You may be able to find something in there, but it's not that sort of book.
Would you read it with your mum: Possibly. Seems very personal and I like the idea of the narrative voice staying unspoken.
Better with a beer? Not for this one. This is murder vibes.
Would you rather read this book OR be a cat for a day? I'd read this book.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa
1 sentence summary: A focus on the relationship between a man and his cat that he is trying to re-home. If I'm honest, I was expecting it to be meatier but I just got a bit bored towards the end so the last few pages are still unread.
Book smell rating: 9/10
Judging a book by it’s cover: Very nicely published with attention to detail and great illustrations.
Quotable: A little, but it's translated from Japanese so maybe the essence of the writing seems a bit lost.
Would you read it with your mum: I would probably read out bits to mum that sound like our own cats. There are some things that cat owners just bond about.
Better with a beer? Yes.
Would you rather read this book OR become a crazy cat lady? I would probably try reading this book again, I have hope for the second time around.
Forever and A Day - Anthony Horowitz
1 sentence summary: When your favourite childhood author (excluding JKR) smashes out an absolute raging classic nothing can really go wrong in the world of James Bond.
Book smell rating: This was actually 10/10.
Judging a book by it’s cover: Hardback, bought it as soon as it came out and although Hardbacks are tricky to read comfortably, it was necessary to get the goods.
Quotable:In a James Bond sort of way.
Would you read it with your mum: Yes. A family favourite and the language is easy breezy.
Better with a beer? Always. Or a martini.
Would you rather read this book OR meet Daniel Craig? I'd read the book. Actually I'd meet Daniel Craig. Actually, I'd get Daniel Craig to read the book to me.
Uncommon Type - Tom Hanks
1 sentence summary: Short stories that all gravitate towards the importance of the typed word written by the old favourite Tom Hanks.
Book smell rating: 10/10
Judging a book by it’s cover: Fucking love orange mate.
Cried: I didn't cry, you cried.
Would you read it with your mum: Yes. But I'd rather have Tom Hanks read it to me. You can get that on Audible! He writes just as he speaks, so it's hard not to imagine him in your head.
Better with a beer? Yeah, they're quite fun and light.
Would you rather read this book OR have a brand new edgy typewriter? I'd read the book YES.