The Book List #27

January 28, 2015

The Book List #27

The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp
year: 2003 | pages: 256 | rating: 3/5

Twyla Tharp shares some of her own creative habits and lessons learned during her prolific dancing career. A lot of useful and practical advice for sustaining and maintaining a creative lifestyle. There is, unfortunately, a lot of - what I consider to be - unnecessary embellishments to each chapter. Although this narrative method does provide a refreshing new perspective that tackles creativity from new angles. If typical, straight talking creative advice books aren't quite your thing, you might enjoy The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
year: 2014 | pages: 256 | rating: 1/5

I put off reading this book for a long time because #GIRLBOSS is the most vomit-inducing book title I can think of and now I have read it I wish I hadn't bothered. #GIRLBOSS is peculiar mix; it's a book that doesn't know whether it wants to be a memoir or if it wants to give business advice. Most of Sophia Amoruso's memories are irrelevant and self-absorbed, with humble brags littering the pages. Sophia constantly reminds readers of the "meteoric rise of Nasty Girl" and how her "own profile has risen with it" not to mention all that money she is making and how she gets "congratulated on a daily basis," and then she reels off a list of achievements just in case we didn't already realise how successful she is. I don't doubt Sophia probably has some wise words to share about running a business, it's the way she goes about sharing it that I have a problem with. You would do well to heed your own advice, Sophia: "It’s not cool to get drunk on your own success."

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
year: 2008 | pages: 360 | rating: 2/5

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher ends up being more about crime and detective work in the 1800s than about the murder at Road Hill itself. The book reads like a mix between a Victorian thriller and a historical recounting of Scotland Yard's best detective, Mr. Whitcher and his investigations into the murder of a young boy. Both the book and the "greatest murder mystery of all time" are rather dull, with an anti-climatic and somewhat obvious ending. Overall this book was disappointing.

Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders
year: 2014 | pages: 64 | rating: 3/5

A very brief and sweet reminder of the importance of being kind.

After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie by Jean Rhys
year: 1930 | pages: 192 | rating: 2/5

Jean Rhys is one of my absolute favourite writers, her writing is melancholic and her books often leave me heartbroken. Yet After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie didn't make me feel anything but fed up; all the characters are irritating, frustrating, or lifeless. The protagonist - Julia - was infuriating, I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her. After their marriage has failed, Mr. Mackenzie cuts off Julia's allowance and because Julia is so used to men paying for everything, she loses the plot a little bit. She bounces from Paris to London and back again expecting other people to pay her way. After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie doesn't have any of the depressing charm of Jean Rhys' other books.

Last Days by Adam Nevill
year: 2012 | pages: 531 | rating: 2/5

Last Days is about a documentary film-maker who is asked to investigate a dangerous cult and film some of its previous members. The book has a deathly slow pace, which would build suspense.. if anything actually happened. Instead the story drags for the entire 500+ pages and so when we reach the "climactic ending" we're just relieved it's finally over. Compared to The Ritual, Last Days is mediocre at best.

{ the book list #1-26 }

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  1. Renata1/28/2015

    Creative Habit is such a great book. I haven't finished yet but it's so good. Great tips as always =D

  2. I haven't read any of these, the Creative Habits one sounds pretty good. I've never been too keen on the sound of Girl Boss, so this has definitely confirmed it for me, I love how honest you are!
    Hannah x

  3. I am like half way through #Girlboss and for the first 100 pages or so I was cool with it, wasn't taking it too seriously, it was just a fun biographical book about a girl who went from ebay and myspace to having her own legit business but then all her chapters on finance were so painfully obvious and I really began to roll my eyes.

  4. Thanks for the review, I think I'll pass on reading #GIRLBOSS after reading your review. I do enjoy reading business books, but this one doesn't seem worth the time.

  5. Hmmm .. looks like you had a lackluster reading period here :( I hate when that happens.

    I didn't like #GIRLBOSS much either. In fact, I listed it on ebay as soon as I was done reading it. I wanted to get my money back lol

  6. Tamira Alison1/28/2015

    Thank you for saying honest things about GIRLBOSS without apologizing for it. I find her tone and holier-than-thou way of dispensing advice sickly and honestly, it makes my skin crawl. I don't know how i'm going to finish the book. I don't even feel like it's fluff and taking the piss out of itself, it just genuinely feels like she totally buys into her own hype... Which she self-generates. Guh. T xx

  7. So much yes! Just the title of #girlboss has absolutely put us off reading it - this has affirmed that decision!! Thanks girl!

  8. I read The Suspicions of Mr Whicher some time ago, and like you, I was left disappointed too. I don't think the way in which the book pans out is immediately identifiable based off of the blurb. I enjoy crime writing in all its forms but I wasn't all that impressed by that particular book.
    Bits & Bobs

  9. I like the way you do this. I hope it's okay, but I will be following your lead - by listing the year, pages and rating. Please consider it a compliment.

  10. Absolutely, go ahead. It's by no means my original idea, loads of people do it :))

  11. It just wasn't what I expected.. and it was rather dull. Two thumbs down.

  12. Yeah, definitely don't bother with this one, there are far better books worth reading.

  13. I got the same feeling that she buys into her own hype; none of her "advice" was very good and I got the impression a lot of what she did was a bit shady (there is a lot of controversy over her success.)

    I couldn't find anything of worth for inspiring creatives who wish to set up their own business. It was a bit of a pointless read.

  14. Ugh, yes. A run of disappointing books. I hate it when that happens.

  15. I would recommended skipping it, I didn't learn anything of worth and there are better books out there that give solid advice.

  16. I really enjoyed reading it, I'm glad you did too :))

  17. My eyes were rolling for the entire book, she really has bought into her own hype.

  18. I would recommend reading Creative Habits over #Girboss any time.. or pretty much any book, to be honest.

  19. Kind of, there is more ego stroking than actual advice and her whole revelation on capitalism/earning money was super eye-roll inducing. it was really groundbreaking to read that if you work hard, earn a lot of money then you won't have to worry about bills. great that SHE could do it.


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