The Lonely Hearts Hotel is kind of like a really horrific car crash you pass on the highway. You know you shouldn't slow down and take in the gruesomeThe Lonely Hearts Hotel is kind of like a really horrific car crash you pass on the highway. You know you shouldn't slow down and take in the gruesome scene, but the closer you get to the wreckage the more you seem unable to look away. That's how I felt reading this book. There were so many moments where I found myself thinking "this is completely insane. This is just wrong" ... but something compelled me to keep reading. I couldn't put it down, even though I wanted to.
This novel is typical Heather O'Neill in that it is gritty, heartbreaking and, at times, downright vulgar. That said, I found The Lonely Hearts Hotel darker and more explicit than her other works - and if you've read anything else by O'Neill, you know that takes some doing. The book opens with a child being raped and from that point on there are graphic depictions of child abuse, incest, sexual assault, physical abuse, a grisly dog fight ... the list goes on. To say that this book isn't for everyone would be an understatement. In all honesty, it wasn't really a book for me as far as content and plot go, but the beautiful writing made it worthwhile. Heather O'Neill has such an eerie, eccentric way of telling a story ... if anyone can pull off a book like The Lonely Hearts Hotel, it's her. I'm glad I read this, but I'm not sure I'd be quick to recommend it to others.
PS: The publisher's comparison to The Night Circus? Yeah, no....more
This was such a beautiful, eery, spellbinding read. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven explores what it4.5 stars
This was such a beautiful, eery, spellbinding read. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven explores what it means to survive - not just literally, but figuratively as well. Gorgeously written, the story sucked me right in ... I honestly felt as though I were there, experiencing this strange new world alongside the characters. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic books can often feel over the top and improbable, but Station Eleven was frighteningly realistic. As fellow GoodReads user, Mel González, wrote in her review - "Sometimes you don't need aliens or an evil dictator with badass superpowers for the end of the world, sometimes all you need is a disease." Mandel paints a world in which there is violence and chaos, confusion and grief ... but also hope, rebirth, expectancy, faith. It was beautifully done. ...more
I've been interested in the Danish concept of hygge for awhile now but wasn't sure which book to pick up (there have been SO many "how to hygge" booksI've been interested in the Danish concept of hygge for awhile now but wasn't sure which book to pick up (there have been SO many "how to hygge" books published in the last little while!) When this one showed up on Kindle for $4.99 I decided to give it a go.
This was an incredibly fast read - I have a newborn and was able to finish it in one sitting. It reads more like a collection of informal blog posts than it does deep, thought-provoking non-fiction but that's okay. I was looking for a brief introduction to hygge, and this book delivered. (Spoiler: hygge is essentially cozy, minimalist living with an emphasis on simplicity and quality time)
I found the first few chapters, where the author discusses the history and cultural significance of hygge, very interesting but the rest of the book was a bit vague and became a little repetitive. Still - a quick, enjoyable read that I'd recommend to anyone interested in an overview of this trend.
"All those small moments in between the big moments are just as important and precious. Feelings of connection, presence, simplicity, and joy are what enriches our lives at a deeper level."
"It’s extremely important to spend time alone with ourselves in order to dream and reflect. When we can become comfortable with introspection and idleness, we find the space to figure out who we really are."...more