In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Elizabeth Gilbert delves deep into the toTo read this review and more head over to www.sugarandstripes.co.uk
In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Elizabeth Gilbert delves deep into the topic of creativity. To say this book was inspirational would be an understatement. She has completely shifted my perception of what it means to be a creative person, and the nature of creativity itself. I feel like this book came into my life at just the right moment, and will be revisited again and again for years to come.
Bringing down the 'creator' from his lofty heights and dispelling some of the myths around creativity, Gilbert re-casts it as an accessible and intrinsic part of human existence. She manages to make you feel like you can, and should, do anything that you dream of. She changes how you approach creativity as something within reach, that should be celebrated and enjoyed. I found Gilbert's perspective refreshing yet relatable. Creativity is for everyone and Liz Gilbert breaks down the barriers keeping us from living a more creative life.
I adore Liz Gilbert's conversational writing style and her use of personal anecdotes - it makes what could be a slightly dry or perhaps preachy topic into a deeply personal, entertaining and moving book. I found Big Magic hugely inspirational and full of wisdom – applicable yet inspirational, it was the perfect balance between self-help and memoir....more
WELL THEN. Where do I even start with trying to sum up this book??
Let’s just begin with the plot.
Lucy, a neurotic thirty-something with a depressive streak and a tendency for existential angst breaks up with her long-term boyfriend Jamie.
Escaping Phoenix and her relationship troubles (not to mention a long overdue classics dissertation) she takes up her sister’s offer to housesit in L.A. Annika leaves in Lucy’s trusted care her beloved foxhound Dominic and a beautiful home overlooking Venice Beach.
But Lucy cannot run away from her problems (or herself) and there continues the spiral of self-destruction, serial tinder dates and melancholic wallowing.
Until one night, whilst looking mournfully over the ocean she meets Theo, a cute swimmer who seems to be different from all the other men. And he is different. He is a MERMAN..
Dark, whip-smart and definitely one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read, Broder’s debut novel sucked me in and spat me out again feeling confused, intrigued and more than a little bit violated.
This is most definitely NOT a novel for the faint of heart.
Firstly, this book should come with some kind of trigger warning – just a small ‘FYI you’re about to dive into the depths of your own soul’ would have been great.
I should have really known - Broder is most famous for her collection of essays ‘So Sad Today’ which vividly recounts her experiences with depression, anxiety and addiction.
We follow the Lucy into the void; down into the spiralling blackness we go. So if you are not of a sunny disposition, perhaps avoid this book. Lines such as ‘I'm less afraid of dying than I am of life’ might not be great reading material if you are in need of a pick-me-up.
If you enjoy dark humour though, go right ahead. Because out of all this human despair comes the comedy. And Broder is an expert in both depressing you, shocking you and making you laugh all in the same sentence.
The fact that it is hugely funny make you almost forget that cannot stand the protagonist. Who really is a uniquely dislikeable character. She makes decision after terrible decision with no thought to anyone else - Lucy is a judgmental b**tch to say the least.
As we follow every last, terrible thought that goes through her mind, nothing is out of bounds. Those awful things that people think that they would NEVER EVER say - that’s what Broder manages to put into words. So as annoying as Lucy, you have to applaud Broder’s ability to perfectly capture the selfishness of the depressive, and the unique narcissism that comes with thinking that the whole world is against you.
And then, there’s the sex scenes. Now, I’m no prude but even I felt myself squeamishly speeding through some of the raunchier bits, which were just a little too graphic for my delicate sensibilities.
So if you can get over all of that (well done) you will be able to appreciate that Broder is an excellent writer.
I was left reeling with how well she captures the depths of human ennui and the fickle intricacies of romantic relationships - the juggling act between power, neediness and vulnerability.
She perfectly offsets all of these very human problems with themes of greek mythology and ancient folklore. As much as you could technically class this book as ‘fantasy’ Broder makes sure it is firmly rooted in reality. A raw, visceral, human reality that sits alongside fantasy, poetry and myth – it’s a clever, intoxicating mix that is just so different to anything else I’ve ever read.
It’s not often you pick up a book that is completely and unexpectedly something totally new. ‘The Pisces’ is sure to divide opinion, but whether you love it or hate it (or as I do, both at the same time) I think everyone can agree that’s it’s unique. That it’s hilarious. And that Broder sure can write....more
From the writer of When Harry met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, Heartburn is NoraTo read this review and more head over to www.sugarandstripes.co.uk
From the writer of When Harry met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, Heartburn is Nora Ephron's semi-autobiographical novel about the breakdown of her second marriage.
Her first and only novel, it tells the story of how heavily pregnant Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband is having an affair with a woman with "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb".
We follow Rachel as she struggles to come to terms with the demise of her marriage and the difficult situation she finds herself in. She is a food writer, and the narration of her world falling apart is interspersed with recipes for 'Key Lime Pie' and 'Potatoes Anna'.
Ephron's dry New York humour is laugh-out-loud funny and her writing is full of hilariously cynical observations about the everyday realities of marriage and domestic life. Heartburn perfectly toes that delicate line where tragedy and comedy collide - I couldn't put this one down....more
I devoured this novel in about 72 hours! A New York Times bestseller, Little FiresTo read this review and more head over to www.sugarandstripes.co.uk
I devoured this novel in about 72 hours! A New York Times bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere is about race, the nature of motherhood and suffocating weight of family secrets.
Set against the backdrop of 'Shaker Heights', an idyllic mid-western suburbia, it tells the story of the picture-perfect Richardson Family and how their lives are turned upside-down by the arrival of a free spirited artist and her daughter, whose lives become slowly intertwined with the family's.
I really enjoyed the the writer's ability to juggle the many plotlines and multiple points of view, all whilst creating vivid characters with rich inner lives. She manages to portray the complexity of each character with empathy – the good and the bad sides of people are perfectly balanced. It leaves you questioning who is right and wrong, and whether following the rules is always the ethical thing to do. She brilliantly captures that bittersweet moment of coming-of age and the complex dynamics of family life.
Little Fires Everywhere is meticulously crafted and a perfect summer read if you appreciate a thought provoking novel with compelling characters and intricate plot-lines....more