“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
OVERALL RATING: 5 out of 5 stars
“Leonardo Da Vinci” is a biographical piece written by Walter Isaacson in 2017, detailing the life and work of the renaissance man we all know and love.
Spanning about five hundred and twenty five pages, along with seventy five pages worth of footnotes, references and appendices, the book details and critiques the life of the great master and sheds some light on the enigma that was Leonardo.
To describe this book in three words I would say that it was insightful, informative and thoroughly analytical as Isaacson left no stone unturned.
I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in brushing up on their history or just genuinely curious about art and Da Vinci, it’s a terrific introduction to the Renaissance.
I won’t say anymore about this book for now because I plan on writing a full review of it shortly, but I do implore you to read it, I can promise that you won’t be disappointed.
2 AM Thoughts by Makenzie Cambell
OVERALL RATING: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
“2 AM Thoughts” by Makenzie Cambell is a short collection of romantic poetry published in November of 2017.
I gave this book 2.5 stars because it was, in my opinion rather boring, and now I’ll explain why.
I gave this collection a rating of 2.5 because of the book’s tendency to be monotonous and repetitive.
I constantly found myself getting bored and skimming through the poems, and frankly I wasn’t missing much since the same old message of love and loss was being preached on every page.
It just wasn’t interesting.
And secondly, this got such a low rating because of the constant themes of love, loss and romance.
Now, you might tell me, “but it was a collection of romantic poetry, what were you expecting?” Well, I didn’t know, I randomly found this book in the middle of a store, liked the cover and started reading because I had nothing better to do.
And by the time I had noticed the recurrent theme in this collection, I was already halfway through and decided to push on.
Now, I don’t have a problem with romance, it’s just that I enjoy poetry that I can relate to, and since I have a hard time empathizing with romance, it’s a little difficult for me to see the message being put forth by the author as something I can deeply connect with.
I can understand it in theory, but since I’ve never felt romantic attraction, it’s rather problematic for me to interpret the words on the page as an extension of my mind and thoughts.
I did enjoy a handful of poems though; the collection is about 90% romance and 10% miscellaneous poems and I enjoyed that 10% and that was it.
Those were mostly poems about books, recovery and mental health, and they were all things I could relate to and I genuinely enjoyed those pieces.
Additionally, the writing isn’t terrible. It’s not profound but it isn’t horrible either and flows nicely, which is why I easily powered through till the end.
And lastly, I just really like the cover. I know the author has nothing to do with that but it’s still cute.
All in all, this isn’t a terrible book, it’s just I had a hard empathizing with what the author was trying to say, however, if you enjoy romantic poetry then I suggest you pick this up.
The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace
OVERALL RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
“The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One” is the third and final installment of Amanda Lovelace’s series of Feminist Poetry, “Women are some kind of Magic”, with the “Princess saves herself in This One,” and “The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One,” preceding this collection.
This was an anticipated end to Lovelace’s collection but sadly it was a bit of a disappointment; firstly the collection was largely a collaboration between numerous authors and majorly featured poems from those writers.
It was a bold move and I don’t mind being exposed to different material, but nearly 50% of book featured work from collaborators and I personally found it a bit off-putting.
Secondly, just as it was with “2 AM Thoughts”, the poems were repetitive and mundane, mostly shells of her previous collections, which I frankly enjoyed far more than this installment.
I did enjoy a fair few poems, but they were just barely enough to make up for the numerous dull pieces scattered throughout these pages.
Here are a few I personally liked best:
“when i tell you i’m still waiting for my hogwarts letter, what i meant to say is i never meant to be here for so long.
– forever wandering lost and wandless” Page 34
“you’re/the kind of/intriguing/that/inspired/thousand-page/epics.
– how many centuries have you lived?” Page 51
“i don’t write/what i write/ to hurt you.
– i write what i write to heal me.” page 112
Those are only a few of my favorites, the rest can be found on the following pages if you do decide to pick this up: 24, 25, 34, 51, 101, 103, 105, 111, 112, 113, 122, 123, 126, 135, 136, 137, 141, 150, 152, 156, 157, 178.
All in all, it’s not a bad collection but in my opinion the other two were much better.
That being said, Lovelace is an excellent introduction for anyone looking to get into modern or feminist poetry and she still remains to be one of my favorite authors.
Jughead (2015): Volume One by Chip Zdarsky
OVERALL RATING: 2 out of 5 Stars
If I had to describe this book in one word it would have to be boring.
I absolutely love Jughead, and he is one of my favorite characters to this day and I was really excited for this book not only because it featured Jughead but because it featured an aromantic and asexual Jughead, a character I can personally relate to on a deep level.
But the story was so lackluster and plain that I struggled to get through this and eventually gave up.
The only reason this is getting 2 stars is because I enjoyed a few of the panels and I appreciate that the writers were LGBTQ+ inclusive by portraying Jughead as aromantic and asexual.
That being said, this was read was a no for me.
Food Wars! Volume 1 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki
OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
Food Wars! is an interesting manga following a sixteen year old culinary student, Soma Yukihara as he enrolls into an elite culinary school in Japan in hopes of one day surpassing his father’s skills in the kitchen.
This was a fun and lighthearted read; the art is beautiful and the story is entertaining and easy to follow and I really enjoyed Soma’s personality.
My only gripe with this book is that it had a tendency to oversexualize the characters and the art in an effort to show how much they enjoyed their food.
this can be a bit uncomfortable initially but you quickly become accustomed to it and it doesn’t detract from the story or the entertainment in the slightest.
All in all, this is a funny and sweet graphic novel that I think anyone will be able to enjoy.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
6 thoughts on “Monthly Book Haul: April, 2019”
Honestly, romantic reads are always hard for me as well. That’s not say that I can’t enjoy reading or watching romance, but after a while it becomes a bit mundane and lackluster. I appreciate a good friendship far more due to the fact that romance seems to pertain to only the passionate idea of “being in love” whereas friendship is always evolving and building the other person up. Excellent review!
Thank you! And finally someone gets it! I can enjoy romance as much as the next person but I don’t like seeing it where it has no business belong i.e. everywhere. But it can’t be helped considering how much people like to believe that love and romance are a vital part of what makes us human.
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I think there’s a difference between love and romance though. Romantic, passionate love is fleeting, but true selfless love that can be found in the best relationships, friends, and families is much easier to watch because this is a love that doesn’t require raging hormones.
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Thing is most people aren’t able to tell the difference. Infatuation is fleeting passion based most often on sexual attraction, but the thing is it eventually fizzles out. 9 times out of 10 when two characters are portrayed as being romantically interested in one another, there isn’t any chemistry or history or backstory, the second they make eye contact it’s all ‘oh my god they’re in love!!’ When they don’t even know each other’s surnames. There needs to be a gradual transition from strangers to friends to lovers for it to be realistic and enjoyable because crushes don’t last and seeing or reading about the subtle changes is much more interesting and easy to digest because by the end you’re waiting for the characters to get together not because the relationship is annoying or tedious but because you WANT them to be together because of their chemistry and development.
But media often falls short of this and mistakes infatuation for love.
And another big issue is that romantic love is often thought of the be all end all, as if you’re other relationships such as those with your family or friends that are wholly platonic are to be put on the back burner because they aren’t as important as your romantic relationship. I absolutely hate seeing that but it’s the general idea put forward by mainstream media and even society to an extent.
Sorry, I kinda went on a tangent but I do agree that seeing any sort of well developed relationship be it romantic or platonic, is far more enjoyable to be subject to as opposed to fleeting infatuation.
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Amen to everything you just said. Someone needs to write books that actually follow this logic.
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I maintain the hope that people are starting to realize their faulty logic with infatuation and I’m actually planning on writing a serial novel that will be published on this blog that follows the gradual development of love between two of the characters and puts an importance on the points I mentioned. I just hope the final product will live up to expectations.