Saturday, March 30, 2019


Gulp is one of the most disgusting books I have ever read. Disgustingly brilliant and fascinating! Mary Roach is the queen of taking taboo subjects (death, sex, war, the alimentary canal, etc.) and breaking them down into compulsively readable books that everyone can appreciate. Gulp takes a look at everyone's favorite organ, the alimentary canal (I mean who doesn't love the poop emoji?!), and takes a deep fascinating look at it. There is a chapter on the properties and uses of spit, a chapter on constipation (learn more about Elvis!), a chapter on on overeating or over chewing, studies on competitive food eaters. Everything you could ever want to know about what happens to food between when it enters your mouth until it gets shit out (so much about poop!), is covered in this fascinating nonfiction book. Read it! Soo interesting and hilariously (yet reverently) written.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six

I freaking LOVED this book. It had been getting a lot of hype, but I try not to listen to that too much so I don't get disappointed. However... it damn well lived up to the hype. This is an oral history for the best band that never existed. The whole time reading this, all I wanted to do was listen to their songs. And they don't have songs, because it's clearly about a made up band, but I wanted it to be real so damn much!! The lyrics awesome. The characters are all flawed, yet have redeeming qualities that make you root for them (most of the time). If you like Janis Joplin, rock and roll, the seventies, and I Am Spinal Tap, you will love this book. It reads easy, but is effortlessly compelling, I could not put it down! Taylor Jenkins Reid is fast becoming one of the hottest authors around. Two amazing books in a row. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Two Tails

Much more fleshed out and realized than the first in this series, Impeccable Petunia really hits its stride with this second installment. Double in size to it's predecessor, The Two Tails introduces several new characters: Felix the dog, Winchester the raccoon, and Thatcher the Possum. Petunia finds herself really preferring the luxuries and the friendships provided in the big house and starts to spend less and less time with her peers. She's grown close to Max the cat and prefers to stay out of the dumb drama that comes from the chickens. When Max is taken away and foxes start attacking the hen-house, chaos breaks out and the pecking order is upended. A new hen is rising to the top and things will never be the same. Petunia has other troubles though, she must find Max and restore order to the hen house balance. The other hens may be to dumb to realize what's really at stake, but Petunia isn't. She has to put on her big girl panties and put faith in creatures she would have shied away from a few months prior. This series is very reminiscent of Charlotte's Webb or other animal based literature. Very fun and I can't wait to see where the story goes next.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Claws, Paws, Feathers, & Jaws

Deceptively simple, yet surprisingly deep; this story of a young hen battling the hierarchy of the hen-house and trying to find her place in the world will resonate with readers young and old. Petunia has always stood out from the other chickens. She appreciates the little things in life, cultivates her own tiny garden in the corner of the yard and is always questioning things. When their new lonely owner takes Petunia inside the big house one day, the other chickens are aghast. Will Petunia get eaten? To Petunia's delight she and Silkie (her human) get along thick as thieves, content with each other's company. Petunia even finds herself getting along with the cat, once her deepest enemy. Every night though Petunia has to go back to the hen-house to face the other chickens and they are not amused. They find her behavior weird and they aim to do something about it. Petunia thought she couldn't get any lower in the pecking order but she's about to be proved wrong. Each chapter has an accompanying illustration that helps bring the story to life. Fun and endearing; for readers of all ages!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Edible Woman

Marian is coasting through life. Things aren't great, but they aren't bad. She has a boring job, an interesting roommate, and a tolerable boyfriend. But deep down she knows something is off. When she and Peter get drunkenly engaged it really starts to show. Suddenly certain foods start to taste off, then they become completely un-consumable. At first it's just meat - fine, she'll become vegetarian. But then it starts spreading. Soon it's certain vegetables, puddings, eggs, cake. The list keeps growing and her waist starts shrinking. But Marian starts to feel as if she's no longer in control of her own life. She feels as if she is the one being consumed. Interesting characters, even though all are unlikable and very neat concept. Superbly written.

Decaffeinated Corpse

I jumped right into this series on book 5, skipping the preliminaries and the first four in this cozy mystery series. That being said I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. Most cozies read fairly well as stand alone novels. This series takes place in a quaint coffee shop in New York. One of the co-owners has a knack for solving mysteries but her ex-husband (the other co-owner) never seems to appreciate her efforts. Business at the coffee shop is about to grow as they get exclusive rights to the world first decaffeinated coffee bean. Customers can't even tell the difference it's so good. Things take a weird turn though when her ex-husband's old friend and the creator of the new strain of coffee is found mugged right outside their coffee shop. The characters are pretty fun, it's a neat setting, and all the coffee talk made me extremely thirsty. It was alright, but not the fastest paced cozy I've ever read.

Friday, March 15, 2019

And Then There Were None

It's been seven years since I last read this and I somehow forgot who did this and it drove me nuts until I got to the end! It's a real windinger of a mystery that you have to be a genius to even begin to solve. Ten strangers are invited to Indian island under "murky" circumstances, they soon found out that their mysterious host Mr. U N Owen (unknown) hasn't bothered to show. Too late they realize that something is afoot and the guests begin to die off one at a time. Whose behind it? Is there someone else on the island? Is it one of them? The deaths get more and more outlandish and they all start to crack. Who would do such a thing? It's dark, deep, and one hell of a mystery. A classic that will never go out of style!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Yoga Wisdom

Wonderfully written and full of inspiring testimonials, advice, and sought after wisdom. Stephanie Spence (aka the Yoga Road Trip Girl) writes a wonderful testament to the power of yoga that is equal parts memoir, self help, and tributes from yoga teachers around the globe. This deeply personal and moving book is filled with beautiful pictures of yoga warriors exuding confidence, wisdom, humility, and hope.

Stephanie Spence starts the book when her life hit rock bottom, and as she tells her story across the chapters she includes wonderful passages from yogis around the globe whose personal yoga stories tie into where Stephanie was on her path to fulfillment. There's lots of ups and downs, but through it all, yoga was her saving grace. I really enjoyed reading what yoga meant to Stephanie and to so many different people, the testimonials from other instructors were really uplifting, eye-opening, and personal. Like yoga, this book is perfect for everyone. Whether you are just getting into yoga, only do yoga once in a while at your local winery or are a full fledged yoga enthusiast, this book is a perfect read for you. It's infinitely quotable and each section contains so much to inspire you. Reading a page per day and then meditating on it would be an easy sell, or like me you can blaze through it in 24 hours. Either way, this book is a must and it's really opened my eyes to yoga in a whole new way! I can't wait to put what I read into practice and start implementing yoga into my every day, it's so more than just poses, it's a path to authenticity!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Why did it take me so long to read this book?!? This is a one of a kind young adult book. It's full of swagger, sex, vice, adventure, pirates, romance (gay and straight), and intrigue. And it's historical fiction! It's freaking awesome. Henry, his sister, and his best friend Percy are out on their "tour" of the continent. Henry just completed his schooling and as one last hurrah, he's allowed to go on a year long tour before he has to go back and start helping his father with the family estate, something he is absolutely dreading. Their barely on their way when Henry's antics at Versailles land them in a world of trouble. As if escaping from the party in nothing but his birthday suit wasn't bad enough, they are soon apprehended by highwaymen and it only gets worse from there. If they are going to survive Henry is going to have to cut back on drinking, stop sleeping around, and get his head out of his ass. The three young teenagers will need all their wits. Fun and unique. I'll have to check out the sequel!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Once Upon a River

I don't know what I was expecting this novel to be, but it did not align to what I thought it should be about (based solely on the cover). That being said, this novel of storytelling, love, nature, and imagination was unique in every aspect. Like the flow of a river, I had no idea where the story was going to take me and I certainly didn't come close to predicting the end. The two central figures in this novel are the Swan (a nice little pub where storytelling is the highest form of currency) and the river. One ordinary night as the drinks were flowing, a man stumbled in and immediately passed out due to injuries, with him is a young girl of four; cold and dead. When Rita the local doctor is called for she patches up the injured man and sets the girl outside.... only to realize that the young dead girl is no longer dead. The tale of this miraculous girl grows and spreads. Where did she come from? How did she come back from the dead? What has the river done? Fascinating tale that ebbs and flows with multiple narrators and perspectives.

Stationary Bike

I enjoyed this, but not as much as other Stephen King novellas. I can't pinpoint why exactly, but it didn't resonate with me even though I liked many different aspects of it. Stationary Bike opens with a middle aged overweight man in a doctor's office. Things are being written down in red, weight cholesterol, he has to do something about it. Actually taking the doctor's advice he starts to eat better, sleep more at night, and introduce some work outs. Rather than join a gym, he purchases a stationary bike and puts it in his basement. At first it's tedious and boring, there is nothing to look at. As an artist he decides to paint a trail, a bike path he remembers from childhood. Overnight his biking improves and it turns to his favorite part of the day. If it weren't for the timer to snap him out of his biking reverie he might never stop. It's like he really is biking right there in his art/memories. But one day he sees something and in the distance he can hear an approaching truck. He can't bear to think about what will happen if the truck catches him while biking. Suspenseful, unique, and witty.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gulliver's Travels

UUGGGGHHHHH. Could this book be any more boring or slow?! It was a trial just to finish the damn thing! The only reason I picked this up was its listing on "The Great American Read." I get that this is a classic and all, but COME ON! This book was as dry as a saltine cracker in the desert. There was nothing there. Some idiot travels the world, always gets lost or shipwrecked, "discovers" fantastical lands and peoples and writes about it. This happens FOUR times (alright mate, maybe you shouldn't be a sailor), so the story literally repeats itself four damn times. The narrator then learns their language and customs, pokes fun at their quirks and relates the "proper" way things are done back in England to these "ignorant" folks. In the process he's poking fun of his own countrymen to make a point to the reader. It's slow and droll. I get that this book is like three centuries old. But damn it didn't age well (if it was ever good to begin with).

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Woman is No Man

I was a freaking EMOTIONAL WRECK after reading this! It's heartbreaking, unflinching, and damned powerful. A Woman is No Man tells the story of three generations of Palestinian American women; two who immigrated to the US and one who was born there. The story centers on Irsa, a young woman who is married off to an American Muslim, she is terrified to leave behind her family and the only life she's ever known, but she has dreams that life will better for women in America. Maybe they wil be loved and respected and given opportunities; something she never had growing up. America proves to be another let down though her new family is just as strict as the one she left behind. She is expected to clean and cook all day and bear her husband sons. There is no room for growth or freedom; she can't leave the house, make friends, read, or relax. She is constantly bossed around by Fareeda, her husbands mother, who makes sure that Irsa knows her place. It's a man's world and she shouldn't get any foolish notions in her head. She gets pregnant pretty quickly and everyone is annoyed when she births a girl. A useless girl. Then she goes and has three more girls. She and her daughters are the shame of the family, Irsa's husband starts beating her. The other two perspectives in the story are from Fareeda, her mother in law, and Irsa's eldest daughter, Deya. Reading this book you wish it was taking place in the past, how could something so unfair and inhumane take place in today's society? Are women really so unappreciated and abused? The ending was especially heartbreaking. A necessary read that will break your heart.