July 2014: What I bought, watched and read
BLOG OF THE MONTH
GIRL IN A TRENCH COAT
She blogs about style and money, basically the two most interesting topics on the web for me.
I already told her that if we met in real life we’d probably be really good friends, seeing as we have similar tastes (so far) as I have been perusing through her archives.
I’d totally recommend reading her entire archive, but here’s a good starter post.
WHAT I WATCHED
Quite.. chilling. I read the book before I watched the film but still, just hearing him talk is another perspective on what I had read.
WHAT I READ
[ BREADWINNERS / WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE / PARENTING ]
I’d like to thank a reader for recommending this book to me. I tried searching the comments for who this was, but I can’t seem to locate you.
Nevertheless, THANK YOU!
I was hooked from page ONE. I know it’s about working parents with a focus on working mothers as the theme, but if you are interested in male/female relationships, breadwinners, and all that sort of good PF / Life stuff, this is a good book to read.
It has great facts in it, a good perspective from men and women on how they perceive women in the workplace, and how they see themselves.
I definitely recommend it, even if you aren’t a parent.
[ FICTION / MIDDLE EAST / WOMEN / WAR ]
What a gem of a book.. and I don’t say this lightly particularly when it comes to fiction.
I am very VERY picky about reading good fiction and this one was really good.
Ever since becoming a new mother, any story about children, parents and mothers in particular has me in tears. This book almost made me cry. I kept it together though, but my heart was in pain reading the entire time (a good catharthic pain. .if that makes sense).
It made me cuddle Baby Bun just a little harder today. I also came out of it with a completely renewed mindset of gratefulness for being a woman in Canada, to have a partner as wonderful as mine, and a sweet Baby Bun as cuddly as can be.
He is a gifted writer. I cannot wait to read his other books. I was drawn in from page ONE.
[ FICTION / MIDDLE EAST / FATHERS & SONS / WAR ]
Of course, after having read his book above, I dove into his famous Kite Runner.
SO PAINFUL to read in some parts. My brain is still reeling from the imagery of it all, and it’s a sign of an excellent writer when it hits you right in your heart and your core, and you feel raw emotion from having read those words strung together.
*hugs Baby Bun tighter*
It was a difficult read. It ended on a good note though.
[ FRANCE / NON-FICTION / HUMOUR / ANECDOTES ]
Peter Mayle has been a hit and miss for me. I really liked his book French Lessons (I laughed a lot while reading it):
..but when I tried reading his other works (earlier works?) they were missing that wit and charm I had fallen in love with in French Lessons.
LUCKILY… this book Toujours Provence has the same wit and humour I had fallen in love with. Recommended read. It’s basically a book about Provence and I like the way it is divided into short stories. It’s actually very French, if you have spent any time with French people…
[ BIOGRAPHY / MONEY ]
I wanted to like this book, I really did.. but it was not good. It was like reading a blog.
I still somewhat enjoyed it because it was about money and how she dealt with getting out of debt and learning how to manage her money, but it is not a book I would recommend reading.
[ BIOGRAPHY / FOOD / NON-FICTION ]
I liked and hated this book. Some parts were very interesting, like the different foods in the various regions of France. The parts I hated were her whining about her marriage and life…. although SOME parts were also interesting.
It’s well written, don’t get me wrong, but it is more of a story about a woman going through a life crisis with a marriage on the verge of falling apart than it is about food itself.
I don’t know, something about the tone of the book annoyed the #%&#(*% out of me.
I wanted very much to love it, but I didn’t. If you want a biography / French eating book to read, I highly recommend Ann Mah’s Mastering the Art of French Eating instead:
[ BIOGRAPHY (??) / FICTION / CHICK-LIT ]
I think this is actually loosely based on the author’s (Jen Lancaster’s) life and personality. I put it down as fiction but it may not be actual fiction now that I think about it. She writes about herself pretty candidly, and although I think it’s a poor version of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Rebecca Bloomwood, I still can’t help but want to read and finish the entire book.
Does this mean it’s a good book? I don’t know. I can’t say that I would want to read this again, but I somewhat enjoyed reading this because of the bitchiness in the book and the references to shopping/style, but it doesn’t get my rave review and recommendation.
[ BUSINESS / BIOGRAPHY / ENTREPRENEURSHIP ]
Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), is a frugal icon. If you read through the book, you will agree with me 100% because he is one cheap guy for a lot of things, but he’s willing to spend whatever it takes on other things like his big ideas.
I liked and didn’t like the book. I really enjoyed the way the biographer wrote about Bezos and Amazon, and Brad Stone is an excellent writer in that regard, but I didn’t like the book in some parts because.. simply I didn’t like what I was reading about Bezos and how Amazon runs.
Don’t get me wrong, Amazon is incredible. I think it’s fantastic, I love using the site, it’s revolutionized a lot of things and Bezos is an incredible entrepreneur with foresight beyond belief (he was an original investor in GOOGLE for goodness sake).. but I don’t like the company culture because it hit particularly with the way he basically runs all the employees into the ground, citing that this is the way it’s done and if you don’t like working and giving up your entire life to be an aggressive shark for Amazon, get the eff out.
It hit too close too home because I have worked for companies like that before, and I am clearly a fan of the work-life balance, and that doesn’t exist at Amazon.
*shrug* If that’s your kind of environment though, then all the power to you.
An excellent read, highly recommended and a nice insight into the inner workings and beginnings of Amazon.
[ BUSINESS / BIOGRAPHY / ENTREPRENEURSHIP ]
NastyGal is by no means my kind of clothing store. I don’t like the styling, the clothes… I am not a fan at all, but I am now a huge fan of Sophia Amoruso, the founder.
She is a hustler. I mean, a straight up, hard worker who got things done and has a true entrepreneur’s spirit. She built this million-dollar company with ZERO DEBT and from NOTHING. She started on eBay and then branched out into her own store, which is fantastic.
I myself, ran an eBay store around the same time she did doing pretty much the same thing she was (sourcing clothes and reselling it online), except I bowed out early with my earnings and went to business school, while she saw the vision of what she was doing and she worked a hell of a lot harder than I did.
The only tiny thing that bothers me is the title “Girl Boss”. Honestly, it’s a bit demeaning because it assumes then that the word “boss” can only refer to men, and you need to put a modifier of “girl” in front of “boss” to make it clear that the boss is not a man.
This book is REALLY recommended. She is a gifted writer, candid, there are some swear words peppered throughout, and I think she’s fabulous.
I read more Mr. Monk books.
I am too lazy to list them all out, but suffice it to say, I read every single one of them.
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
And I want more.
[ FICTION / FANTASY / HORROR? ]
This is part two in this particular Anne Bishop series. I love all of her books, her writing really gets right down into your core when you read her words, and she can weave a fantasy story like no other.
I recommend EVERY BOOK by Anne Bishop especially if you like the fantasy genre. Highly recommended author, she can do no wrong in my eyes.
[ PARENTING / BABY / EXPERIMENTS ]
With such a cute cover and the fact that I could experiment with Baby Bun.. HOW COULD I NOT READ THIS BOOK?
That said, I tried some of the things that were in the book on Baby Bun and he didn’t respond in the same way. Hmm..
I think I did it correctly, but honestly, he just gave me a look like: Mommy… what are you doing? *curious*
WHAT I BOUGHT
My bank account is really putting a damper on shopping. I haven’t purchased anything this month but I’ve been eying a lot of things like moto boots, some leggings, and all these things that I can’t buy because I am on a retail ban until Black Friday.
Still, a girl can dream.
This is the only item I bought this month:
[THRIFTED] MEXX SCARF – $20
It reminded me of a beautiful Impressionist painting, therefore, I had to have it.
(This is my shopping logic.)
It’s a nice summer scarf. Light and it goes with everything.
(P.S. I am itching to break out more clothes to wear but we are moving AGAIN in a few months and I am loathe to unpack anything as a result.)