Watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries provided my go-to (more or less) comfort watching from about 2015–2016. Not only are the stories interesting, witty, daring, and exciting, but the costuming and casting are just so amazing. I haven’t really read a lot of mysteries, but at work I’m always getting asked about them. I decided to read book one of the omnibus of the first three Phryne Fisher books, Cocaine Blues or Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates and it is super good! Even better in some ways than the show. I keep wanting to read more of these, but I am worried if I start again, I won’t stop until I’m done and there are many books in the series.
This book is super cool and interesting. There are a lot of color theory/history books out there, but this one came out around the holidays in 2017 and is really accessible, in that it’s written with the layman in mind and is only $20. The book is divided into color families, and there is also an overview explaining a little bit about color theory. I also reviewed this book as part of one of my ASMR videos. It really sparked a renewed interest in art history and design for me.
Here is my first draft. I liked it more, but it went a little hard.
This was the first Murakami novel I read. I had previously read his book of short stories, The Elephant Vanishes, and decided to jump in to his oeuvre with this guy. I don’t know why I chose this book, except I thought it sounded cool and the name was interesting. I picked it up at a very liminal time in my life, which ended up being very fitting. I was 21 and it was 2006. I was in my last semester of college at Texas A&M. I had just broken up with my college boyfriend and found out my beloved grandmother, Mimi, was in a coma following a fairly routine surgery. We didn’t know if she would come out of it and I was in shock, trying to process the news. It felt like reality was crumbling around me and all I could do was sit on the steps of my apartment, drinking gin and tonics (a new discovery), chain-smoking American Spirits, and reading this book. By losing myself in another world, the way the protagonist sinks into his alternate reality, I was able to keep somewhat safe from raw feeling and from what moving forward meant. Spoiler alert on my end: a couple of weeks later, Mimi would be gone.
I stole this whole thing pretty much from one of my first blog posts, which you can peruse here. I tend to do this thing where I set myself up to experience complementary things at the same time. I do it with books I’m reading, and also I just tend to get into a topic from a bunch of different angles at once. A couple of years ago I took a natural perfumery class and was also reading this book. I had seen the movie before (also good), but had never read the book. I’ll just say that this book is delicious. I like morbid stuff, especially if the line between sick and beautiful is a thin one.
It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but I have gone through multiple copies because I give them away to people. Vonnegut is great, and is probably still my favorite American author. This book is cool because he takes an old story he never used and splices it with his life story. He has a whole lot of awful stuff happen to him and his family and yet he takes it in stride, transmuting it from something tragic into something resonant and universal. I love him, and I love this book. If I start reading Vonnegut quotes, I’ll start crying. One time I just sat on Tumblr or something reblogging Vonnegut memes and weeping, so I have proof.
(Drawing by Josh Richards)
This is back when I was trying to figure out my writing practice and just figuring out how to start (I still haven’t figured out how to start). A friend gave me a copy of the book and I blew though it. I’d read a few King novels, but was surprised at how funny, humble, and kind his voice was in this book. Did you know he got hit by a car a while back? I didn’t. Or that when he first got started, he wrote on a typewriter in the laundry room of his apartment after a full day at his job in the meat-packing plant? It makes you think that whatever excuses you have for not writing simply aren’t good enough.
So I work at a book store, and we’re encouraged to write what are referred to in the industry as “shelf talkers” about books, sharing what we like about them to make the recommendations more visible to customers. At first, I was very nervous to write anything, but then I started really liking writing and illustrating them. I got in the habit of documenting them, so I thought I’d share them here.
A few notes:
The vast majority of these were written on the floor, AKA getting interrupted multiple times while writing and illustrating them. If I wanted to get these written, I had to formulate coherent thoughts and write them down legibly (more or less) and quickly in order to get them done. Over time, I got less precious about them
I had only 2-4 sentences to work with
I chose to only write these for books I really liked; I didn’t want to be lukewarm about what I wrote
I had to keep the content pretty clean, PC, and positive, even if there were aspects of the books I didn’t really care for
Some of these books I read at the time of the review, and some I had read quite a while before. This means that I had to be more general about what I liked about the book (and I only did this for books that had become my favorites, that I return to over and over)
Enjoy and feel free to ask me questions about the books!