Book Report: Jan/Feb

We are now two months into this year's 50 Books Challenge and I am a little bit behind schedule. I should have read eight books by now, but I'm currently at six. Here are some little reviews of what I've read so far. 

Slade House by David Mitchell
I was really excited to read this and it did not disappoint. I've read some David Mitchell, but haven't yet read The Bone Clocks. Apparently I should because Slade House is set in the same world.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I enjoyed the author's descriptive writing style, but overall the story just wasn't for me. However I can't honestly say that I don't recommend this book because I know a lot of people who may enjoy it. If you're looking for a fluffy love story with evocative descriptions of lavender pastries, apple trees, and small towns then this might be for you.

Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell
I admit that I abandoned this book halfway through. I thought that I would really enjoy the subject matter. I imagined the book would be a sort-of witty tell-all about the fashion industry however the tone came off too negative for my taste. While I understand and appreciate having a sense of humor about your career (especially in an industry like fashion), I felt like the writer has no joy at all regarding her work.

Paris Street Style by Isabelle Thomas
I enjoyed this one. Obviously, street style is something that I'm interested in but it's hard for me to find a good book that goes beyond the photos. This book featured some really great interviews with Parisians who have a perspective about fashion that is intellectual as well as tips for achieving the insouciant chic Parisian look.

It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario
Lynsey Addario's book was by far my favorite of the books that I've read so far this year. There is no blurb that can adequately credit Lynsey's impressive career and bravery as a war photographer. In the book, she discusses her experiences (which have included two kidnappings) spanning the world from South America and Istanbul to Pakistan, Darfur, Somalia, and the Korengal Valley.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I loved this book. It impresses me that Shirley Jackson was able to tell a story so timeless. I won't say when the book was published because if you read it blindly, you might not be able to guess. It's a short book, easy to read in a day or over a weekend, and quite psychological. The mood is both creepy and idyllic with visions of poisoned sugar bowls and lines like this:

"All our land was enriched with my treasures buried in it, thickly inhabited just below the surface with my marbles and my teeth and my colored stones, all perhaps turned to jewels by now, held together under the ground in a powerful taut web which never loosened, but held fast to guard us."