Monday, May 28, 2012

Love Hunger Love

Every now and again, a book comes along that is extra special. A book that you want to both keep and share. A book that makes you feel good about life. I had a inkling that Charlotte Wood's Love and Hunger might be just such a book merely from what I'd heard said by others who had read it, and performed the bookseller equivalent of a 7 day overland trek to obtain it (I ran out into the street when the rep beeped her horn, and took it from the car window).



My inklings proved correct. I have a conviction that pretty much every person in the whole entire universe should have this book. It is about food and home cooking, something about which I am passionate. While I know rationally that there are people for whom this topic is uninteresting, I find it difficult to fathom. If anything could change such a person's mind then I reckon Love and Hunger is the book to do it. Why, it has made Tallboy rather keen on lentils! And it has made me want to cook more things, eat more things, and try my hand at sending food through the post.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From Sex Bomb To Sex Drive

I just finished reading Sex Drive by Bella Ellwood-Clayton. I have been reading it on and off for a few weeks. Some parts were utterly fascinating but other sections were too full of facts and figures, which made it a bit of a hard slog at times. I think that if a few more tough decisions had been made in the editing process then it would have been a stronger book. All the information is important, but after 5 or 6 pages of results from different studies it is hard to remember any of it at all.

Despite this, I am super glad I read the book and think it is an important piece of writing in the field Ellwood-Clayton is seeking to address. It is an accessible book about the ways in which perceptions of female sexuality have been manipulated by advertisers and pharmaceutical conglomerates to their own ends. Parts of the book surprised, others horrified.

A "sexual anthropologist", Ellwood-Clayton is able to discuss Science-y stuff without getting too technical, and, even better from my perspective, analyse the role culture plays in the mix. Not really being a numbers person myself, I found the sections where people were quoted from interviews really fascinating. Quite often these segments painted a far more vivid illustration of the point being made.

My overall score: Three point eight not-tonight-darling-I-have-a-headaches out of five.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Secret Favourite

Before launching a description of the book I finished off last week, I would like to explain the concept of the Secret Favourite Song. It's song you adore, but are too embarrassed to admit to liking even a tiny bit because it is so cheesy and poppy and obvious but it totally gets under your skin and makes you want to indulge in protracted booty shaking fun. My Secret Favourite Song is Sex Bomb by Tom Jones. In the name of all that is funky, press on the link. You know you want to.




Overseas, Beatriz William's debut novel is the Sex Bomb of my book world. I am embarrassed to admit that I LOVED it! A love story that transcend the barriers of time is not normally the sort of thing I go in for but I got so caught up with the story that I didn't really care, except when I had to attempt an explanation to someone about what I was reading.

To be serious for a bit, apart from the far-fetched premise, there is nothing to be embarrassed about where Overseas is concerned. It is well written, well paced and I applaud the author who is able to make me intrigued rather than dismissive by the time travel element. Well played Ms Williams!

There Was A Little Girl, Who Had A Little Curl...

When I am good, I am very, very good... but I have been bad. I have neglected my blog for no good reason other than a number of suddenly and inexplicably intense interests that are unrelated to books. I became short term obsessed with winter clothing, stick insects and German cheese (in that order). I have neglected my writing about my reading to these (some might say odd) ends. Thanks to my near-namesake Book Girl I owe the internet a specific blog post, and this is yet to materialise. So I feel extra behind.

Furthermore on the subject of being naughty, I have been reading a book that I really can't claim as work related. It was joyous! I discovered an Edith Wharton I hadn't read: her final (incomplete) novel The Buccaneers. It was - predictably yet satisfyingly - sad and beautiful. I absolutely relished every bit of it, and loved the gentle twist at the end even though (guess what?) it made me sad. It was on the less grim end of the Wharton Scale of Misery, but nevertheless it ended, as always, with a woman doomed to dissatisfaction and misery. I could go on and on and on about the wonders of Wharton but since she is dead there is no chance that she will google herself and stumble upon my blog so I might just leave it here. My next blog post will be all about guilty pleasure.