I like to think my hours spent scrolling through Pinterest can be counted as research. I mean, it is research, right? It’s not time wasting, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I find book recommendations everywhere. Books that will make you a better person, books that will make you smarter, books that will somehow make you fit that super cute, beautiful messy bun wearing, well-cultured indie movie protagonist that lives in the cutest studio apartment above a dusty bookshop who can quote any (and every) classic book on demand, and can actually keep a plant alive.
You also get some pretty strange book recommendations too, let’s be honest. But, I’ve taken one for the team and trawled Pinterest to find some fairly interesting books to read. Now, as the faithful public servant that I am, I’m here to share them with you. You’re welcome. Let’s go!
Oh, P.S. most of these are non-fiction, because this is my blog and I am me *beams*.
In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The authors–Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas–unmarried but attached, with children–have been friends for years. Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic.
You will be taken on a first date, to a party, to some favorite haunts in Paris, to the countryside, and to one of their dinners at home with recipes even you could do — but to be out with them is to be in for some mischief and surprises. They will tell you how to be mysterious and sensual, look natural, make your boyfriend jealous, and how they feel about children, weddings and going to the gym. And they will share their address book in Paris for where to go: At the End of the Night, for A Birthday, for a Smart Date, for a A Hangover, for Vintage Finds and much more.
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are will make you laugh as you slip into their shoes to become bold and free and tap into your inner cool
I’ve actually tried to read this one before, and by ‘tried to read’ I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve loaned it from the library before and then proceeded to forget I loaned it and never read it. It sounds like a book that’s right up my alley, and no doubt it’s going to make me weep, as medical books usually do. But I am ready. I am ready to weep over the pages of this book that promises to deal with life and death and dying (light and happy subject matters are totally up my alley, haven’t you noticed?) I feel like this book is going to take me back to my senior university student self, obsessed with being House M.D. but nicer. I should put that on a t-shirt.
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
This is another one of those books I’ve had out from the library multiple times and never got around to reading. I have no idea why though, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it. The reviews all seem pretty decent, and I’ve mentally shelved it with books like The Night Circus and The Book Theif (that being the slightly unconventionally beautiful ones). I don’t usually buy into the hype of Pulitzer Prize winners, but I really want to hop on this train and see what it’s all about. I feel like this is the kind of book you’d bring up over coffee with your super bookish friend while you’re munching on the ends of fresh croissants and oozing literary sophistication (again, not in love with the idea of France, obsessed with it). Anyway, HYPE TRAIN I AM COMING FOR YOU.
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
I love books. I also love taking photos (predominantly of books, I mean, #bookstagram). I’ve also been meaning to read Susan Sontag forever. I have a little Penguin Modern book of hers On Camp, but it’s glaring at me from my bedside table because I haven’t read it yet. I mean, I’m far more interested in photography than I am in camp, whatever that may be, so I think it’s probably a better idea to start with photography and move on to camp (and finally figure out if it has anything to do with camping). I’ve been putting off reading this for a while because it’s stuck in my library’s storage and they charge $3 if you want to get something transferred to your local library, which I begrudge paying because if I wanted to pay for something I’d pay for the book, not the transfer. Maybe I’m just a little bitter because at my old library everything was free and this new one charges for everything (okay so maybe you don’t have to pay to breathe air, but it feels like it sometimes), and also they call audiobooks talking books and it makes me uneasy. Aside from that, I am so excited to read this one.
First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag develops further the concept of ‘transparency’. When anything can be photographed and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, the most famous being “In Plato’s Cave”, make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
I like happiness. There are some things I don’t like about it, namely that it can be quite elusive on occasion. But for the most part, I like happiness, and I’d like to have more of it. In fact, I would like to have a whole life filled with it, so much so that it will spill over and hit everyone I meet (totally not violently though). When I saw this book on someone’s ‘Top Ten Books that Changed my Life’ list on Pinterest, I had to add it to my TBR straight away. I’m into singing in the morning and the occasional cleaning of my wardrobe, though I’m not really into fighting, I do love Aristotle and having fun. This book sounds like it’s right up my alley! I hope I can read it wearing my optimistic tinted glasses and not my super-cynical ones though. I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
Have you read any of these books? Or are some going on to your TBR? Let me know it the comments below! I’d love to chat with you!
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