I’ve Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella October 2014

Published By: The Dial Press

Year of Publication: 2012

Categories: Non Fiction, Chick Lit.

Pages: 433

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Review:

You know when you need that fun, light, easy to read book to just relax with and not thing about? Well this is one of those books. While I love my historical fiction, thriller, and non fiction books, I also like chick lit once in awhile. It’s almost like a guilty pleasure.

Poppy was a great main character. I could see bits of myself in her (maybe that’s why I liked her). She wants to make everyone happy, which ends up being impossible and leads to some interesting situations. You see her grow a lot throughout the book, from wanting to impress Magnus’ family to figuring out what will make her happy. It would have been easier for her to go with the flow, but she decides to be authentic to herself by the end of the book.

Dating is never easy, and it’s certainly not easy for Poppy. It’s always fun to hear about dating horror stories from my friends and coworkers. There are definitely a few cringe worthy parts in I’ve Got Your Number. I know I’ve had a few bad dates, so it’s always kind of comforting to read about someone else’s awkward moments even if they’re not real.

I love Sophie Kinsella books, and this one was no different. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s fun, this is the book for you.

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Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

The 6th Extinction

The 6th Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Published By: Henry Holt and Co.

Year of Publication: 2014

Categories: Non Fiction.

Pages: 319

Summary (from goodreads.com):

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes. Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Mastodon’s Molars, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Review:

I really enjoyed reading The 6th Extinction. Although I usually go for fiction books, I’m glad I went out of my comfort zone to try this one. The writing was great considering it covered a lot of ground, and I learned a lot.

First off, I can’t believe that people don’t care about the earth, it’s plants, and it’s animals. Reading this book make me want to do even more for the environment. It’s pretty sad when you realize how many animals are going extinct. It’s happening way faster than I thought. It’s sad to think that once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. I work with native plants, and I’ve come to appreciate them so much since I started this job. They grow almost effortlessly outside, yet we put so much effort into growing them in the greenhouse. I can only imagine how much effort goes into researching animals and trying trying to protect them.

Every chapter focused on one topic – everything from frogs to Neanderthals. Elizabeth Kolbert also travelled the world to make her points – from the Amazon rainforest to Siberia. It was great to get a worldwide view. At the same time it was also kind of scary to know that no part of the planet is safe from having animals disappear forever. Reading it also made me kind of angry with people who would pay for a horn or tusk, knowing that they come from endangered animals, and that those animals were killed in the process of getting them.

I know I’ll be more aware of how I treat the planet after reading The 6th Extinction. While I know there are something things that are harder for people to change, I know I’ll be making a bigger effort to do my part. I take transit to school, but once in awhile I’ll drive. I don’t think I’ll be doing that anymore. I’m usually pretty good at recycling and reusing things as well, but I’ve noticed since I’ve started reading this book I’ve been even better at it.

If you’re at all interested in how humans impact our planet, you should definitely give The 6th Extinction a read.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jo's Boys

Published By: Little, Brown

Date of Publication: 1886

Categories: Classic, Fiction, Series, YA

Pages: 336

Summary (from goodreads.com): In the culmination of the Little Women stories, Jo’s Boys depicts the girls and boys of Plumfield as young men and women who are facing problems and seeking happiness in life. The original twelve boys are scattered, but all come wandering back from the four corners of the earth to tell their stories and reminisce over the pleasures of the past.

Review: Let me start off my saying that I put off reading this book for months. Months! I felt like when I finished it the world of Jo, Meg, Amy, Laurie, and all the boys and girls would be over. Forever. I didn’t want that to happen. I can’t be the only one who’s sad about reading the last book in a series, can I?

When I finally finished it, I was glad I had finally read it. There was a lot more about the March family than there was in the first one. The boys came and went as they came home to visit. It was great to hear what they did with their lives, the trouble they got themselves into, and the people they met along the way (even some wives!).

I have to admit that Dan was my favourite from Little Men, and he remained my favourite in this book. I don’t want to say too much about what happened to him, but I did want to say that I never thought he would go through the ordeal that he did. I think it made me like him even more.

While I definitely think you can read Little Women, and even Little Men on their own, you absolutely need to read Little Men to understand what’s going on in this book. There are lots of references to the boys’ earlier adventures in this one, and half the fun is thinking back to what happened in Little Men.

In the end, am I happy I read this book? Definitely. But I’m also a little lot sad that there’s no more to come in the lives of the March’s. I know everything there is to know. There won’t be any sequels. It’s the same way I felt when I finished the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Image: Goodreads

Disclosure: I bought this book from my local used bookstore.

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Published By: Little, Brown

Date of Publication: 1871

Categories: Classic, Fiction, Series, YA

Pages: 344

Summary (from goodreads.com): Follows the adventures of Jo March and her husband Professor Bhaer as they try to make their school for boys a happy, comfortable, and stimulating place.

Review: I have to start off by admitting that even though Little Women is one of my all time favourite books, I didn’t know it was the first in a trilogy until a couple years ago.

Not too long ago I found the second and third books in the same edition as my copy of Little Women at a used bookstore. As soon as I saw them, I knew that I needed to get them. Now I have the complete collection in matching covers. Yes, that makes me happy.

I was a little disappointed when I first started reading. I thought it was going to be a continuation of Little Women, with the plot centering on the March sisters, Jo, Amy, and Meg. However it is mostly about the school that Jo has established with Professor Bhaer at Plumbfield. The other sisters are mentioned (as is Laurie, who even makes a few appearances), but the book focuses on the students in Jo’s care. However as I got more into the book I enjoyed getting to know the boys and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen.

The writing was just as good as in Little Women. The little adventures around the school as just as much fun to read about as the shenanigans that happened in the March house in the previous book.

If you’ve read Little Women and enjoyed it, I would definitely recommend reading Little Men.

Image: Me.

Disclosure: I bought this book from my local used bookstore.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife December 19 2012

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Summary from Goodreads:

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Review: To be honest I’ve never read anything by Earnest Hemingway before I read The Paris Wife. Now that I know more about him though, I might have to try one of his books.

This book isn’t so much about Hemingway, as it is about his first wife, Hadley. I had a hard time relating to her – she lived life thinking everything happened to her instead of her being able to go after the things she wanted. She wasn’t very good at being introspective and figuring things out. She seemed almost like a pushover – willing to say or do anything Hemingway wanted to do, even if it ended up making her miserable. I kept waiting for her to stick up for herself, but it never happened. I had a hard time liking her because of that.

I loved the setting of the book – Paris in the 1920’s. They travelled quite a bit, visiting different countries in Europe and spending time with friends (like fellow author F Scott Fitzgerald). It was pretty cool to get an inside view of what it was like to live the life of an author/artist at that time.

The book ends when their marriage does – but it does have a short epilogue to explain what happens to both Hemingway and Hadley. Looking back, you can see how it was either Hemingway’s big ego or mental illness that was his downfall.

If you’re looking for a book about Hemingway’s first marriage, I would definitely recommend this book, even if Hadley made me a little crazy.

The King’s Speech by Mark Logue

The King's Speech January 23 2013

Summary: Based on the recently discovered diaries of Lionel Logue, The King’s Speech recounts an inspiring real-life tale of triumph over adversity, when an Australian taught a British king with a crippling speech defect how to speak to his subjects.

Review: I ended up reading this book cause I had seen the movie and really liked it. I’m kind of a history nerd, so little did I know how good it was going to be!

The book is about the relationship between Logue and the King, from it started in the 20’s to the 50’s when the King died. A lot was happening around the world during that time (the great depression, WWII), so it was really interesting to see how the story of their friendship was laid out on the backdrop of world events.

The details in The King’s Speech is what makes it worth reading. The authors included snippets of letters, journal entries, and even newspaper clippings. While there were lots of details, it didn’t get overwhelming, instead it enhanced the story.

It was interesting to read about how because radio was one of the main medias of the day, the King’s stammering was such a big deal. It’s easy to think about how something like that could be dealt with, with all the technology we have now, but back then most of his speeches were done live, so there was a lot more pressure on the King to get things right.

While I can see how the movie was based on the book, the movie only highlighted a few parts from the book. There’s so much more content to read about. Even though there was a lot of history, it was still very easy to read.

In My Mailbox (68)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to goodreads.com. Summaries are also from goodreads.com.

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Images: Goodreads