Tag Archives: books set in Portugal

Friday 5: Books with Cool Covers & Strange Titles

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So it just works out this way… I have a few restos I’m sure my husband would like me to write-up, but I find books so much easier! No worries, I’ll get going back to those soon, hopefully… ūüėČ

Here are 5 recent books I read… Some with cool covers, others with strange titles.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
by Jenny Lawson 
(non-fiction; well, mostly) ‚Äď worth a read/listen

furiously-happy

I think that this book helps shed a bit of the stigma of mental illness. Lawson is hilariously candid about things her life circumstances and experiences dealing with depression and anxiety; but also illustrates her difficulties and is serious about that. She shares her own personal coping mechanisms; but also reiterates that everyone is different and not every strategy will work for everyone nor all the time.

I like her over-the-top stories and sense of humor; but don’t be easily offended! She eloquently compares mental illness to other better-known diseases to create a better understanding and¬†help break the stigma. At first, I found the author’s up-speak to be a bit difficult to listen to on the audiobook; but later realized that there would be no one better to narrate it! These are her words, thoughts and experiences… thus her excitement, candor and compassion shines through in just the right places.

I thought the cover of this book was just cute… but then you find out why it’s the cover of this book!

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The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion:
Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
by Christopher K. Germer
¬†(non-fiction) ‚Äď DNF

mindful-path

The author said that “This book will not be a lot of work.” I had to go back and look for the quote, because my memory thought he said, “This will not be hard. In fact, it’ll be easier than what you are doing now.” He did go on to state: “The hard work is actually behind you – fighting and resisting difficult feelings, blaming yourself for them and their causes.”

However, I did find this book to be difficult. Although I’m working on meditation a bit, I find quieting the mind¬†very¬†challenging. I had trouble with some of the exercises and felt overwhelmed… and I definitely wasn’t compassionate with myself about that! In any case, maybe it’s just not the right time for this book for me. This one might be better to purchase and work on little by little, rather than check it out from the library with the hopes of completing it when it’s due.

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The Fox From His Lair
by Elizabeth Cadell
¬†(fiction) ‚Ästworth a read

the-fox-from-his-lair

Truth be told, I picked up this book because the¬†story is set in Portugal. Rob and I are thinking of spending our international vacation there this year. I did a search for guidebooks on Portugal on my library’s website and this book was one of the results. I hadn’t even realized it was written in the 60s until I picked it up. It even had its old check-out card and pocket still fastened on the inside cover!fox-lairThis book is categorized as “romantic suspense fiction”. I didn’t choose it because of that descriptions and would have never considered it a romance novel until maybe the very end. There is just so much more to this story. I think it transcends time, too! I really enjoyed it, although I’m not sure where the title comes in to play. And although the setting is just background, I still enjoyed reading about a location I may soon visit. I also love the cover of this book!

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DIFFICULT WOMEN
by Roxane Gay¬†(fiction, short stories) ‚Ästworth a read

difficult-women

Although I am not a fan of the color pink, I just love this cover! Before I read the book, I read a review that the title was not quite fitting. I would have to agree. In this age of “nasty” women, I expected this book to be about women who may be considered¬†difficult,¬†in the sense that they are challenging the norm and making breakthroughs. I expected to be inspired, not having read¬†anything really what this book was truly about.

Instead, it may be said that this is book is about women in¬†difficult situations. It’s a collection of short stories about women. The writing is absolutely fantastic, though the stories are a bit disheartening and sad. I’d say it’s about women and abuse and twins and sex and baths and motherhood and Michigan. If there weren’t exactly parallels in the stories, there were certain elements that were similar.

I’m curious and looking forward to reading Gay’s other works.

 

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The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life
by Ann Patchett
¬†(non-fiction) ‚Äď worth a read (especially if you are thinking about writing)

getaway-car

I don’t have a Kindle or any type of e-reader, but I do have the Kindle app downloaded on my phone. I don’t like reading on my phone very much at all, but I having a short or less-involved story available on that app at all times in case I end up in a line or waiting room somewhere and haven’t a book with me!

I thought this was a short story written by Patchett; but instead it’s a bit of a memoir. It’s kind of funny to read this having never read any of her books before. {I’m¬†now reading¬†Commonwealth.} While I don’t exactly understand the butterflies on her cover, the¬†getaway car¬†is in reference to her attempt as a novelist to escape a life of waitressing. It’s full of sensible advice to those aspiring to write; but also gives a look into the life of a novelist.

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Do you choose books by their covers or titles?

What book do you think has had the best title or cover?

Cheers~
Carrie