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Title: Lighter than my Shadow
Author: Katie Green
Genre: graphic memoir, YA
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 528
Date read: August 2017

Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.

Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.

Wow... this book really packs a punch.

An extremely poignant story about a teen battling an eating disorder and sexual abuse and the long-term effect on her life from both. It did an excellent job of explaining how having an eating disorder isn't just a phase that a person can grow out of - it takes years of work, setbacks, therapy and relapses and is probably something the person has to battle in some form or the other, for the rest of their life.

I liked the drawing-style and found it fascinating to see how Katie Green used the media to depict the specter of an eating disorder without having to use any words at all.

I did miss getting full closure on her battle with sexual abuse (mainly knowing whether or not she ever reported it), but appreciate that in real life we just don't always get that kind of closure, and that reporting it would probably have taken more strength that she had at the time.

A really brilliant graphic memoir that I highly recommend.
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Title: The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hourse, Four Patients' Lives
Author: Theresa Brown
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: Audiobook ~9hours
Date read: July, 2017

n the span of 12 hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen.

Every day Theresa Brown holds patients' lives in her hands. On this day there are four: Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him - or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who, after six weeks in the hospital, may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient's most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.

From Sue Barton to Scrubs, I've always been fascinated by life at a hospital, so when I heard of this book, I knew that I had to read it. And fortunately it didn't disappoint. After having watched so many episodes of Scrubs, it was interesting to follow a real nurse during a shift (and actually also served to explain some things I'd been wondering about), and though I was slightly sad that I got to know all these patients, but was never told what happened to them, I still think following a day in the life of a nurse was a really good way to write the book, as it gave the reader insight into not just the highlights of a nurse's job, but also all the small extra tasks they have to do, in order to keep the ward running smoothly.
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Title: Mad Girl
Author: Bryony Gordon
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 336 pages
Date read: July, 2017

Bryony Gordon has OCD.

It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.

I came across this book in a London bookshop and thought it sounded interesting. I knew absolutely nothing about Bryony Gordon before starting the book, and still don't really have any clue if she's a person you're "supposed" to know.

Even so, I thought the book was fascinating. Most people know somebody with at least a mild case of OCD, but it's still rare to see as severe cases as Bryony's. It was interesting to see how it affected all aspects of her life, and heartbreaking to hear how little help she got from the health care system, simply because it's a mental illness rather than a physical one (imagine people having to wait 3 weeks to get a broken bone set!). Unfortunately I've heard this complaint before, about the British NHS, but I wouldn't automatically assume it's any better in other countries.
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Title: Something New
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Graphic memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 292 pages
Date read: June, 2017

A funny and whip-smart new book about the institution of marriage in America told through the lens of her recent engagement and wedding…. The graphic novel tackles the all-too-common wedding issues that go along with being a modern woman: feminism, expectations, getting knocked over the head with gender stereotypes, family drama, and overall wedding chaos and confusion.

My sister is all kinds of awesome and got me this as a "just because" present :-D

It totally lived up to my expectations, and I found myself choking up on more than one occasion. I'm really glad my wedding was a lot simpler though! I don't blame Lucy for getting stressed out by all the things she had to get sorted.

A very feel-good memoir that will have a lot of good advice for a bride-to-be and which can't help but make those already married think back fondly on their own wedding :-)
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Title: Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy
Author: Manjusha Pawagi
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 288
Date read: May, 2017

Manjusha Pawagi, a successful family court judge, has written a not-so-typical memoir about her experience with cancer. Wryly funny and stubbornly hopeful, this is her quirky take on what it's like to face your own mortality when, to be honest, you thought you'd live forever. She describes how even the darkest moments of life can be made worse with roommates; details how much determination it takes to ignore the statistics; and answers the age-old question: what does it take to get a banana popsicle around here?

An excellent book! I'd recommend this to anybody, no matter whether or not they've had their lives touched by cancer.

It's a very poignant and real book. Manjusha allows the reader an insight into an experience they will hopefully never have to go through themselves, and while Manjusha is undoubtedly one of the lucky ones (she survived!) it still served as a chilling reminder of how cancer effects not just the patient, but everybody around.

I find it wrong to say that I "liked" the book, but I had a very hard time putting it down, and it is one of those powerful books that stay with you for a long time after finishing it.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Dare to Do
Author: Sarah Outen
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 288 pages
Date read: January, 2017

On 1 April 2011, rower and adventurer Sarah Outen set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam - cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean after tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so.

But that wasn't the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm...

I've been wanting to read this book pretty much ever since I first heard of it... which was while Sarah was still on her London2London expedition, so it's been awhile :)

Sarah Outen's first book, "A Dip in the Ocean" was a clear 5-star book, and this came very close to being the same, but unfortunately it suffered somewhat from the expedition being so much longer, and the book (by necessity) therefore couldn't go into as much detail.

I still loved reading it though. Granted, I knew much of it in advance from following Sarah Outen's blog and youtube channel, but it was still great to have it all wrapped up here, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her experiences... well knowing that there's no WAY I could follow in her footsteps in reality. Didn't make it any less fascinating to read about - probably quite the contrary.

My one complaint is that there wasn't nearly enough photos for my liking - only 8 pages worth - but fortunately the rest are easily found online.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: French Milk
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 194
Date read: October, 2016

Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde's grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk.

I love these graphic memoirs :-) This is basically just Lucy's journal entries from the 6 weeks she spent in Paris around her 22nd birthday, but it still worked for me. It's filled with anecdotes and fun facts about their rented apartment - in no way deep or intellectual, but an honest account of a sometimes-great-sometimes-not vacation. Other readers have mentioned that she complains too much, but I think to me that's part of its charm... well, not the complaining, but the honesty of it. It's her journal - it's not dressed up in any way (I don't even think it was meant for publication originally), it's just what she did and thought during this trip.

I enjoyed it, but if reading a somewhat superficial account (it does have loads of pictures of what they ate and shopped for while in Paris) isn't your cup of tea, you're probably better off picking up one of her other memoirs instead. "Relish" and "An Age of License" are my two favourites.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Wrong Way Round: One Country, One Camper Trailer, One Family, One Amazing Adventure
Author: Lorna Hendry
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 238
Date read: April, 2016

'Mate, I reckon you're going about this all wrong. For the first month, you're only going to be a day's drive from Melbourne. If it was me, I'd get her across the Nullarbor quick smart so she can't nick off home.' When Lorna Hendry, her husband James and young kids left Melbourne on a one-year trip around Australia in a 4WD with a camper trailer (having only been camping once before they left), they ignored all advice and drove across the Nullarbor and up the west coast of Australia .

They may have been travelling the wrong way around Australia, but it was the best decision they ever made. Lorna returned to Melbourne three years later, having crossed deserts and rivers, taken ill-advised short cuts in the most remote areas of the country, stood on the western edge and the northern tip of the country, stumbled onto its geographic centre, and lived in remote communities in Western Australia.

Wrong Way Round is a story about four people who had to get out of the city to become a family. It's about this beautiful and harsh country. And it's about the adventures that you can have if you step outside of your door and turn left instead of right.

Not the best book ever for a readathon, as it was rather slow reading, but man, I loved it! This is one of the best travelogues I've read in a long time, and I loved living vicariously through the experiences of Lorna and her family. It made me want to go back to Australia and explore more of the country (I've seen depressingly little of it), although I'm not quite sure I could be as loosey-goosey with the planning as they were ;) Still, it made for fascinating reading.

My only complaint was that there weren't enough photos! There were a few pages at the end, but that was it. I would have appreciated seeing more of those - although Lorna did do an excellent job of putting them into words.

I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to come back to 'every day life' after an adventure like that.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: One Year Off
Author: David Elliot Cohen
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320
Date read: February 2016

A year off from work. A meandering, serendipitous journey around the globe with the people you love most. No mortgage, no car payments, no pressure. Though it sounds like an impossible dream for most people, one day David Cohen and his family decide to make it a reality. With his wife and three children, Cohen sets off on a rollicking journey, full of laugh-out-loud mishaps, heart-pounding adventures, and unforeseen epiphanies.

Readers join the Cohen family and trek up a Costa Rican volcano, roam the Burgundy canals by houseboat, traverse the vast Australian desert, and discover Istanbul by night. Through it all, the family gets the rare opportunity to get to know each other without the mundane distractions of television and video games, discovering the world through new eyes and gaining fresh perspective on life and priorities.

Really interesting book, and I loved living vicariously through the Cohen family. It's the next best thing to being there myself, and I liked how David didn't sugar coat anything. Things were the way they were - the good as well as the bad.

A shame that David's emails home became less and less detailed as the time went on - their time in Costa Rica and Europe was wonderfully elaborate, but after that weeks and even months disappeared with no real mention. If it hadn't been for that, I'd have rated it a full 5 stars, but though very understandable, it was a tad frustrating.

Still, he mentioned a lot of places I wanted to go (or go back!) which made for fascinating reading, and all in all I've definitely caught the travel bug!
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Take It As a Compliment
Author: Maria Stoian
Genre: graphic memoir
# pages: 100
Date read: February 2016

Bringing together the voices of males and females of all ages, the stories in this collective graphic memoir reflect real life experiences of sexual abuse, violence and harassment.

Covering acts such as sexual violence, public sexual harassment, domestic abuse and child abuse, this is a reminder for survivors that they are not alone and a call for all of us to take action. The stories clearly show that assault of any type is not an honour bestowed on anyone. It is not a compliment.

I don't know how to rate this book. It seems completely inappropriate to set a star rating on it. It is an absolutely brilliant and powerful book. It is an incredibly heartbreaking and loosing-faith-in-humanity book.

But beyond all that, it is an important book. All the stories are so raw - so real. My jaw kept dropping at the horribleness of it all.

A trigger warning is in order. I'm fortunate enough that I've never experienced unwanted sexual attention or harrassment, but I know too many people who have, and am afraid that those women will find this book only too relatable.

But hopefully it will also vindicate them. Rape culture is a thing. Victim-shaming is a thing. We need to stand up and talk about it - let the victims know that we believe them, and that we will not stand for it.

"Take It As A Compliment" is a quick read, but not an easy one. I applaud all the people who let their voices be heard in this collection of graphic short stories. It can't have been easy, but it was necessary. So to all of you - thank you.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You
Author: Kunal Nayyar
Genre: Essays, memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 256
Date read: January, 2016

Of all the charming misfits on television, there's no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory - the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist - ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV's most-watched sitcom since Friends.

I really enjoyed getting to know the man behind the character of Raj. My favourite essays were absolutely the ones that related to TBBT in some way, but I appreciated the others as well, and found many of them heartwarming, amusing or both. Kunal Nayyar has a great way with words, and I left the book thinking I would really like him as a person and would have a great time spending time with him.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law
Author: Katherine Wilson
Genre: Memoir, Cultural
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 304
Date read: January, 2016

I love living vicariously through other people - especially on travels - so the minute I saw the description of "Only in Naples", I knew it would be right up my aisle. Katherine Wilson travels to Napoli - originally only for 6 months - and ends up falling in love with the city, the people, the mentality and the language... and when her future husband's family take her in as one of their own, she knew she was never going back.

The first few chapters were a bit slow-moving. I got slightly frustrated with Katherine at times, and wasn't sure where she was going with her memoir. As she became more familiar with the country and its customs the frustrations lessened though, and before long it came to the point that I smiled involuntarily just from picking up the book, because its charm had so completely captivated me that I felt like I knew these people, and were reading about friends of mine.

Originally I'd assumed it to be a travelogue, but it's more a story of an unexpecting ex-pat falling in love with a new country. As such, it didn't inspire my wanderlust, as much as it made me relive my own experiences abroad, and I therefore connected with the book on a different level than I had expected, and found it intensely relateable.

Highly recommendable.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook
Author: Fred Bronson
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 160
Date read: October, 2015

It's not an exaggeration to say that The Sound of Music is the most beloved film musical of all time. It has touched more than one generation, as over the years, many parents have shared the magic of this wonderful movie with their children. Seven very special children experienced The Sound of Music firsthand: the seven young actors cast as the von Trapp children. Now, for the first time, they tell their stories about making this celebrated film, from their auditions to rehearsals in Los Angeles to an incredible spring and summer in Salzburg, Austria. What was it like to work with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer? How did they learn the songs and dances for the musical numbers? Who almost drowned when the boat tipped over? What was it like to attend the gala Hollywood premiere? What were their lives like after starring in this legendary movie? And how did they become a family in real life, remaining as close as any brothers and sisters for the last 45 years?

I grew up with "The Sound of Music" and it's always been one of my favourite movies, so when I heard of this scrapbook, I knew I had to have it! "Behind the scenes" information has always been of great interest to me :)

Fortunately, this book totally lived up to my expectations, and I breezed through it in one day. While I was perhaps less interested in the "where are they now" chapters, I loved the insights given and enjoyed all the fun anecdotes. The book was co-written by the people who played the seven von Trapp children, so I did miss a few more anecdotes about Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer but oh well. I did find it awesome that the seven 'children' still stick together :-)

A great book to water my enduring adoration of this movie :)
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef's Story of Family, Food and Forgiveness
Author: Cat Cora
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 256
Date read: September, 2015

Before she became a celebrated chef, Cathy Cora was just a girl from Jackson, Mississippi, where days were slow and every meal was made from scratch. Her passion for the kitchen started in her home, where she spent her days internalizing the dishes that would form the cornerstone of her cooking philosophy incorporating her Greek heritage and Southern upbringing - from crispy fried chicken and honey-drenched biscuits to spanakopita. But outside the kitchen, Cat's life was volatile.

In Cooking as Fast as I Can, Cat Cora reveals, for the first time, coming-of-age experiences from early childhood sexual abuse to the realities of life as a lesbian in the deep South. She shares how she found her passion in the kitchen and went on to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and apprentice under Michelin star chefs in France. After her big break as a co-host on the Food Network's Melting Pot, Cat broke barriers by becoming the first-ever female Iron Chef.

Full disclosure: I knew nothing about Cat Cora prior to picking up this book. However, I've long been interested in chef's memoirs, so I knew I wanted to read it all the same.

As many memoirs it was a bit slow to start, but after about 50 pages, it quickly made up for it and I found it difficult to put down. Cat's journey from cooking at home with her grandmother to being the first female Iron Chef and opening her own restaurants was absolutely fascinating, and certainly made me try my hand at cooking some of her delicious-sounding meals as well!

The story of Cat's rise to stardom was nicely seasoned with anecdotes from her more private life, and I appreciated the insight we got into her family, her relationships and her personal life in general. Cat Cora arose from the pages as a fully formed human being, instead of merely a 2-dimensional chef.

I'll have to check her out on youtube, and see if I can find any of her Iron Chef competitions.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Somebody Else's Kids
Author: Torey Hayden
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 394
Date read: August, 2015

A small seven-year-old boy who couldn't speak except to repeat weather forecasts and other people's words...A beautiful little girl of seven who had been brain damaged by terrible parental beatings and was so ashamed because she couldn't learn to read...A violently angry ten-year-old who had seen his stepmother murder his father and had been sent from one foster home to another ...A shy twelve-year-old from a Catholic school which put her out when she became pregnant...

"What do we matter?"
"Why do you care?"
"We're all just somebody else's kids."

They were four problem children-put in Torey Hayden's class because no one else knew what to do with them. Together, with the help of a remarkable teacher who cared too much to ever give up, they became almost a family, able to give each other the love and understanding they had found nowhere else.

Absolutely devastating, just like all her other books, and equally as readable. Torey Hayden really knows how to write a relateable story. The odd thing is that I don't think I'd like her books much if they were fiction... too much emotional manipulation, too little resolution, but because they are memoirs they couldn't be any different.

That doesn't mean I don't still shake my head at some of Torey's actions and decisions at times though. But I'm impressed that she relates her failures and mistakes as consistently as her successes.

Her books are all very similar though, so after having read these 4 or 5 books by her, I think I'm done. They make for engaging reading, but they're formulaic.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Angry Conversations with God
Author: Susan E. Isaacs
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 252
Date read: June, 2015

Disillusioned, disenfranchised, and disinterested in anything churchy, Susan Isaacs knew of only one thing to do when she hit spiritual rock bottom at age 40.... She took God to couples counseling.

In this cuttingly poignant memoir, Susan Isaacs chronicles her rocky relationship with the Almighty--from early childhood to midlife crisis--and all the churches where she and God tried to make a home: Pentecostals, Slackers for Jesus, and the über-intellectuals who turned everything, including the weekly church announcements, into a three-point sermon. Casting herself as the neglected spouse, Susan faces her inner nag and the ridiculous expectations she put on God--some her own, and some from her "crazy in-laws" at church.

Very interesting and thought-provoking book. I love the idea of taking God to couple's counselling, because while at the end of the day, I'd be the one who had to change, hopefully - like Susan - my perception of God would have to change along the way.

And it brought up some really deep issues - do we expect everything to go our way, and that God will bless our every endeavour, just because we believe? How do we cope when God's every answer doesn't seem to be "yes and amen", but a door shut in our face? How can we see the big picture and trust Him when we're in the middle of the dark time of the soul? (I keep wanting to write "the dark tea-time of the soul" - darn you, Douglas Adams!)

Definitely a book that has given me a lot of food for thought. I found myself highlighting passages all over the place, so I'm glad I got it as an ebook!
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 400 pages
Date read: June, 2015

Pioneer Girl follows the Ingalls family's journey through Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, back to Minnesota, and on to Dakota Territory sixteen years of travels, unforgettable experiences, and the everyday people who became immortal through Wilder's fiction. Using additional manuscripts, letters, photographs, newspapers, and other sources, award-winning Wilder biographer Pamela Smith Hill adds valuable context and leads readers through Wilder's growth as a writer. Do you think you know Laura? Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography will re-introduce you to the woman who defined the pioneer experience for millions.

The fact that it took me almost a month to read this is in no way an indication of what I thought of it, but simply due to its size and how RICH on details it is.

An absolute must for an fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is chock full of facts about the people, places and events that Laura write about in her autobiography, and provide an extremely interesting insight into her life. As a life-long lover of LIW's books, it was fascinating to see where the books correspond with real life, and where she added details or changed things around to make a better story. There's no doubt that the life of the real LIW was a lot harder than that of her fictional counterpart.

I'm not sure the book ever answered the question of why it was published now -- where has the manuscript been hiding all these years? But I may just have missed it, as I did only skim the prologue/foreword. No matter what, I'm glad it was published. It gave me a new appreciation of some of my all-time favourite comfort books.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: Displacement
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Graphic memoir
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 161
Date read: June, 2015

Knisley volunteers to watch over her ailing grandparents on a cruise. In a book that is part graphic memoir, part travelogue, and part family history, Knisley not only tries to connect with her grandparents, but to reconcile their younger and older selves. She is aided in her quest by her grandfather s WWII memoir, which is excerpted. Readers will identify with Knisley s frustration, her fears, her compassion, and her attempts to come to terms with mortality, as she copes with the stress of travel complicated by her grandparents frailty.

Not as good as Lucy Knisley's other books, and certainly the saddest of the lot, as it focuses on Lucy's experience seeing her grandparents growing older and less competent. In that regard, I thought it an incredibly true and honest account.

Unfortunately it also made me incredibly frustrated on Lucy's behalf, and infuriated at how other people treated her and her grandparents - up to and including her own family!

Fortunately, there were also some really adorable moments - like when Lucy finally got her grandparents into the pool - and all in all I rather liked the book, and definitely want to read more of Lucy Knisley's work.
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: An Age of License
Author: Lucy Knisley
Genre: Memoir, graphic non-fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 195
Date read: April 2015, April 2017

Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate--these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's experiences on her 2011 European book tour. "An Age of License" is both a graphic travelogue and a journal of her trip abroad.

Ever since reading "Relish" I've known that I wanted to read more by Lucy Knisley. I finally got the chance, and I was not disappointed! In "An Age of License", Lucy travels around Europe, which means that I knew many places she visited (and many of the quirks she talked about), so that just added to the charm.

I love how Lucy obviously uses her drawings as a form of journaling. Being a journaler myself, this adds an element of relateability for me, as do the personal anecdotes she adds to her work. I'll definitely be on the lookout for her other books as well!
goodreads: (Peanut: Book geek)
Title: A Dip in the Ocean
Author: Sarah Outen
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 310
Date read: April, 2015

Four-thousand miles of unpredictable ocean, 500 chocolate bars, 124 days of physical exertion, three Guinness World Records, and one incredible journey

On April 1, 2009, brave 23-year-old Sarah Outen embarked on an ambitious solo voyage across the Indian Ocean in her rowing boat, Dippers. Powered by the grief of the sudden loss of her father and the determination to live life to the fullest, Sarah and her tiny boat successfully negotiated wild ocean storms, unexpected encounters with whales, and the continuous threat of being capsized by passing container ships. Along the way she broke two oars, ate 500 chocolate bars, and lost 20 kg of bodyweight before arriving in Mauritius. She became the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean.

Absolutely fascinating memoir! Very well written, and so interesting! Parts had me crying and parts had me cheering. I seriously cannot even imagine setting out on such a huge adventure / challenge alone though! I'd be completely terrified. But I love living vicariously through others, and this book was right up there with "Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World" by Nancy Sathre-Vogel in how much it captivated me.

I need to google Sarah Outen now, and read more about the London2London trip she mentioned in her afterword. Perhaps there's a book out on that as well?

Highly recommendable for people who like to be adventurous through others.


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