Melissa’s Reading Round-Up April 2013

the storyteller

With so many excellent new release books to read, I was reading in a rush this month! I also increased my non-fiction quota significantly with a mix of books about simplicity and business books. Below are my April reads:

The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult

We follow the journey of Sage, a baker with a paralyzing scar and haunted by her past. A new friend gatecrashes her perfectly protected world and asks her for a favour of epic proportions, and the story begins. With interconnecting strands, Picoult weaves Sage’s grandmother’s story (a Jewish survivor), a 95-year-old ex-Nazi’s story and a fictional story written by the Storyteller. See my full review here.

The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty

A beautifully written story about the liberation of a 1920s small town housewife. The focus is the summer that Cora (the housewife) spent chaperoning a young ingénue (based on the life of silent film star Louise Brooks) and the undoing of inherited prejudices. The last part chronicles the rest of Cora’s life, living out her new ideals in the confines of her society. Usually I find academics (Moriarty is a lecturer in creative writing) to be pretentious, but her writing is delightfully accessible and full of warmth. See my full review here.

Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective, by  Ed. Michael Schut

the girl's guide

This book is an exploration of simplicity of time, money, consumption, economics, food, theology and community. As an aspiring minimalist, interested in simplicity and creating my own “good life” it was a good anthology of writing in this area from the 1980s and 1990s. It has (of course) generated a reading list for further reading. See my mini-review of book about simplicity here.

The Good Life: Your Guide to a Greener and More Fulfilling Life, by Francesca Price

A great, visually packed guide of living the good life in New Zealand. Journalist, Price, outlines the research supporting the organic lifestyle—and it is considerable. She also provides recommendations for what to purchase and where, being wary of price.

The Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business, by Caitlin Friedman & Kimberley Yorio

A funky, concise guide to becoming a female entrepreneur. Some of the advice is specific to America and some of it I don’t agree with, but there are some great tips and interviews with female entrepreneurs. The advice around business planning and marketing was particularly useful as these women run their own PR firm. While I would happily do business in pink heels, a pink dress and a pink car, I don’t believe there are different rules for women and men.

the indigo spell

Enough: Finding More by Living with Less, by Will Davis Jr.

While this book didn’t teach me so much about living with less, it did present a strong argument about the benefits of giving away more—a very Pentecostal Christian view of simplicity. I did learn a lot and it was full of references from the bible, which backs up his points perfectly.

The Indigo Spell, by Richelle Mead

This is the third book in the Bloodlines series and focuses on Sydney’s dawning understanding that her controlling Alchemist religion/employing organisation and her developing and asserting her independence. This is a highly readable, well-written book with an exceptional protagonist, a lovable (and gorgeous) hero, and an extremely addictive plot. Unfortunately, I have to wait until November for the next installment. See my full review here.

The Secret Circle: The Temptation, created by L.J. Smith and written by Aubrey Clark

This is the final book in The Secret Circle series. It opens up with Cassie trying to save her Circle from possession by her ancestors. The only friend, Nick, who is able to fight this possession, due to his love for Cassie, is my favourite character of this book. His strength helps Cassie to save the group and this includes saving her boyfriend, Adam. This was really a great book to escape into, the plot is addictive, and although the writing is not as sophisticated as The Indigo Spell (above), it was a good read.

The Temptation

I’m currently working on more business books, a Jane Austen memoir, a Jane Austen dating manual, and Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life. Hmm, I need to find a fiction book to add to my pile! Happy reading!


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